Typing Room at the Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green
Viajante, the Michelin Starred eatery in Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, moved west some months ago. However, East Londoners will be delighted to discover that it has been replaced by a superb successor in the form of Typing Room, a restaurant that brings style and culinary sophistication to East London.
The walk down Cambridge Heath Road from the Central Line isn’t the prettiest, but once inside you quickly realise you are on to a good thing. The staff are attractive and solicitous, the diners hip and refined, the décor soft and welcoming. This is the place to impress on that high-stakes third date, to show that special someone that you’re serious and you’ve got taste.
The food here is exceptional. The restaurant is housed in a grand Edwardian building in an area that epitomises contemporary London, and the food reflects this blend of old and new. Go for the tasting menu – 6 courses, each offering surprising, playful twists on traditional British ingredients. A mackerel starter is served sushi-style alongside passion fruit, while a full plate is concocted out of cauliflower creatively prepared in different ways. This is a truly innovative dining experience with skilful touches – octopus carpaccio here, a little burnt cucumber there – woven in to burnish the dishes.
The wine pairing rose to the challenge when accompanying this catalogue of delights. The Spanish sommelier was knowledgeable and charismatic, artfully matching wines from various countries with each course. The highlight was an organic English white, Davenport: Horsmonden, which combined a floral nose with a pleasingly dry palate.
Sometimes the tasting menu set-up can be a bit disruptive when you’re trying to find your conversational mojo, but the staff succeed in serving the plates and talking you through the combinations without ever being overbearing.
Dinner here will be an intimate and memorable moment in your relationship – one to savour. Arrive early and grab a cocktail in the bustling hotel bar – they offer a number of their own gin confections to steady those nerves. By the second wine pairing you’ll be gushing about the food and drink. By the fourth you’ll be bound together in mutual congratulation of your fine taste, and by the sixth you’ll be feeling carefree and ready to take this further. You’re a short hop from a number of great bars so there’s no excuse not to make a night of it – if you’re feeling reckless, the bedrooms are right upstairs…
You’ll be paying 3 figures per head for the tasting menu and wine pairing, so this might not be the place for a speculative first date. But given the exquisite experience, you’ll consider it money well spent.
4. Pull out all the stops.