Bistrotheque

M and I had such a good meal last week! Martin’s work colleague Bryan recommended Bistrotheque near Cambridge Heath. It’s in a truly bizarre spot. I’m used to restaurant gems being relatively hidden in London, but Bistrotheque is the most hidden of the lot. Located on a quiet residential street, the only thing which guided us to it was noise emanating from it. Even the entrance is hard to find. Luckily, it’s well worth hunting out. The space itself is enormous and a good mix of industrial chic juxtaposed with more Michelin starred-esque white table clothes. We kicked things off with drinks at the bar. The cocktail list was exceptional. I chose the Charlie Chaplin, a heady mix of apricot brandy, sloe gin and lime. So good that I may have devoured three over the course of the evening. Stingy me of the past would have baulked at the idea of ordering such a small drink ( I mean where is the value for money, people?) but, as sensible M continually points out, a glass full of ice does not equate to good value. Here I am with my new hair cut. The hairdresser lopped a good 5 inches off the length. Much needed to get rid of the dry crispy ends I’d been sporting in recent months. Onto the food. Bistrotheque specialises in using seasonal ingredients of the highest quality. The menu constantly changes as a reflection of this. Dishes are unfussy and let the superb ingredients do all the talking. I chose asparagus, smoked shallots and Lincolnshire Poacher cheese for my starter. It was fabulous. I could have eaten 10 dishes of the stuff. The cheese was out of this world and brought the whole dish together. M was equally impressed with his smoked salmon and artichoke crisps starter. As a life long hater of fish even I was tempted to try his dish. And my verdict? Delicious. Keeping things equally simple for my main I chose the half roast chicken, aioli and rocket. Simple and executed well, this was excellent. M chose the  smoked lamb shoulder, tumeric chicory and duck fat toast which photographed appallingly. You’ll just have to imagine the toast dripping with duck fat, I’m afraid. Then onto dessert, sadly the only disappointing aspect of the meal: poached pear, meringue, yoghurt and hazelnuts. This was fine but lacked the decadence of a real indulgent dessert. If we’d eaten a stodgy, heavy meal it probably would have been enjoyed more, but as it was it felt more like a light starter than a dessert, not helped by the liberal sprinkling of some nondescript herb. Never mind, our overwhelming impression of Bistrotheque was one of excellence. Prices are reasonable, too. Approximately £6 for a starter, and £15 for a main etc etc. Find it on Wadeson street, the closest tube is Bethnal Green and closest overground is Cambridge Heath.

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