One of my favourite places for brunch is Bistrotheque in East London. Bistrotheque is a well hidden gem on a residential backstreet near Cambridge Heath station. Unless you know what you are looking for, you can easily walk past this place as it is a converted warehouse with no outside decoration or signage. However once inside you are greeted by friendly staff and immediately impressed by the bright modern atmosphere. It’s whitewashed walls are set with white tiles, and white hanging lights and flowers drop down from the high ceiling, giving the place a very bright, spacious and shiny feel.
Flossy’s rating: ★★★★
We recently visited Bistrotheque for Sunday brunch and were lucky to get a seat without a reservation as the place was full of people. There was a pianist playing modern tunes on the piano at the back of the restaurant which created a lively mood and although we were seated at the bar, we had plenty of space and felt very comfortable. The cocktail menu was fantastic and it was difficult to choose between options such as Raspberry Bellini, Watermelon Julep, Cucumber & Strawberry Gin or Apricot Brandy with Grapefruit, however in the end we went for a traditional Bloody Mary. It was pretty darn good although not the best Bloody Mary I have had. The tomato juice was good quality with a thick consistency and it came with the requisite celery stirrer. However it would have benefited from some fresh cracked pepper or chilli plus a dash or two more of Worcestershire sauce. The additional lemon wedge and cherry tomato garnish was also unnecessary.
The brunch menu is simple but impressive, with a good selection of breakfast classics, some delicacies and a few creative twists. I was tempted to order a non-typical breakfast of West Mersea rock oysters with bubbly and steak tartare, or the more indulgent Canadian-influenced cornbread with maple syrup, candied pecans and whipped butter. However it was extremely cold outside so I ordered the more hearty pork chop with layered potato and fried egg. The cut of pork was very thick and juicy and it was served alongside but severed from the bone, making it easy to eat. The egg lay atop the chop and was perfectly fried to medium-well so it did not run when you cut into it. Most interesting though were the fried potatoes. They were served as cubes of stacked and very thinly sliced, fried potato that tasted amazing although I am scared to think of how many calories they contained. The fresh, crunchy watercress garnish deliciously complimented the variety of flavours and textures.
My husband Edgar ordered Eggs Benedict, which was prepared in the traditional way with perfectly poached eggs atop an English muffin with medium-cut ham and hollandaise sauce. We enjoyed everything at Bistrotheque and would have stayed longer for more tasty cocktails or to sample their desserts, had we not been in a rush for our next appointment. The total bill was reasonable given the vibrant setting, gourmet menu and careful preparation of our meals, not to mention this place is considered trendy!
Bistrotheque is located 23–27 Wadeson Street, London E2 9DR near Bethnal Green tube station and Cambridge Heath rail station. If you live in London, I highly recommend Bistrotheque for great cocktails and brunch.