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Jason Atherton’s venture is a departure from his other ‘Social’ venues, and with an eager Lee Westcott at the helm, there is a good reason to justify the extra 10 minutes on the tube to Bethnal Green. Here Jade Farmiloe meets head chef Lee Westcott.
Film by Lucidity Films
RESTAURANT NAME: Typing Room
CITY, COUNTRY: Bethnal Green, East London, England
CUISINE: Who knows anymore? International with influences of Scandinavian methods – like smoking and pickling.
BEST FOR: Taking someone who is difficult to impress.
RECOMMENDED DAY AND TIME TO VISIT: Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, lunch Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Wednesday to Saturday.
AVERAGE PRICE P/MEAL ££££ (£120 for tasting menu, £70 food + £50 wine) £££ (à la carte between £60 and £70). (£ up to £15, ££ £16-40, £££ £41-60, ££££ £60+)
ATMOSPHERE: Relaxed and familiar, it felt like sitting in a tasteful friend’s living room. Cooks in the exposed kitchen go about their work calmly and service is not overbearing.
DECOR: Modern, comfortable and unassuming. Hushed shades of grey and teal and tables of veiny white marble slabs allow for more attention to be spent on your dinner and the person you’re eating with. Plenty of light during day and night.
STAFF SERVICE IN THREE WORDS: Friendly, professional and down-to-earth (no more than one sentence description for each dish).
AVERAGE WAITING TIME FOR MEAL: Take your time here. Around 5 minutes for the arrival of delicious bread, (which now seems like a novel way to start the meal). For dinner, you’ll spend around 2 and 1/2 hours in the dining room.
BEST STARTERS: Two precious loafs of bread to start – one fluffy brioche with chicken skin butter, the other a crusty, warm sourdough with marmite butter. Beef tongue came wrapped in a perfectly fried crust with apricot and dripping sauce and the Langoustine with sweetcorn, dashi (which steeped with fresh herbs in a delicate glass teapot at the table before pouring) and lardo was ever so slightly scorched, cooked just enough to be opaque. Somehow the cucumber spaghetti was delicious.
BEST MAINS: The lamb was silky in texture and bursting with clean, meaty taste. Accompanied by burnt aubergine, yoghurt and onion the dish managed to draw out the subtle nuances in these strong, Mediterranean flavours. Baby monkfish, fermented endive, broccoli, curry and orange prompted my +1 to tell Lee Westcott, the chef, that the fish was cooked better than what he had just eaten during vacation on a Greek island. The famed pigeon in pine was not on the menu the night we visited.
BEST DESSERTS: The lemon and almond palate cleanser was so good it should have been on the dessert menu. Jasmine brûlée toned down the perfume of the normally overpowering flower and offered a deeper aroma. The gently varying temperatures between ingredients on the plate – warm cream, frozen aerated apple – made it a delight to eat.
WHAT DOES THE DRINK MENU OFFER? Wine pairings by Sommelier Miguel Gomez and access to next door’s Peg + Patriot cocktail list.
DO YOU NEED TO BOOK A TABLE? Yes.
WHO GOES THERE? Think less glitzy, more bookie.
Jason Atherton’s newest venture is a departure from his other ‘Social’ venues, and with an eager Lee Westcott at the helm, there is a good reason to justify the extra 10 minutes on the tube to Bethnal Green.
WHERE IS IT? Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London E2 9NF 020 7871 0461
Feature photo courtesy of Typing Room
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