Every restaurant that serves you 3 excellent courses for 19 pounds (Sun-Thu before 19:30) deserves a very honorable mention. If you get some added entertainment for another 5 pounds – that’s even better!
This is the package you get at Bistroteque in Bethnal Green, located in a little side street just off Cambridge Heath Road. You have to pay some attention not to walk past the inconspicuous entryway, but when you have finally found your destination you are rewarded with a modern, bright and spacious dining room with high ceilings. Since I have moved to London I am a sucker for big open spaces. Compared to Vienna where I used to live before everything in London is so crammed together and I really miss the feeling of vastness and space. Certainly no reason for claustrophobia at Bistroteque.
There were a range of really attractive sounding dishes on the Prix Fix Menu, so no reason to order from the aÂ la carte.
The Stichelton, Pear, Pine Nut, Chicory, Spinach starter turned out to be delicious. The combination of bitterness from the chicory, sweet pears and pungent cheese worked so well together and even though it was a simple dish I enjoyed it very much. Also successful, fresh and summary was the second starter of Grilled Spring Onions, Romesco, Parmesan, Herbs. I have to say that the spring onions was the most forgettable part of the dish. The romesco however, which is a Catalan sauce containing red peppers, garlic, nuts and olive oil, was beautiful. I would have happily eaten the herbs, the generous parmesan shavings and the romesco without the onions.Â
The grilled chicken with garlic was again a very uncomplicated dish. The chicken was very nicely cooked, tender and juicy and didn’t overpoweringly taste of garlic. They could have put some more effort though into the condiments. There was just a heap of rocket without any dressing. I loved the beef tartare which was just right. Right coarse consistency of high quality beef, right degree of spiciness and right amount of capers and gherkins. The chips it came with were to die for!
We only had space for one dessert and went for the Chocolate and Rasberry Cake. The rich and moist dark chocolate with a hint or raspberry and some creme fraiche to counterbalance the sweetness was a perfect end to a very niceÂ meal
Bistroteque doesn’t do sophisticated cooking. If you want this there are other places to go to. If you want to enjoy simple, well prepared, classic dishes with a strong French influence in contemporary atmosphere, you might be very happy at Bistroteque.
I haven’t told you about the entertainment yet. Downstairs from the restaurant is a small theatre with bar where you can enjoy cabaret at its best. Well, let’s say the Lip Sinkers that play there one a regular basis are truly excellent. This time we went to see ‘Under Construction‘ which is performance platform for new and established performers to show their new work. It probably depends on the evening and who is performing, on the evening we went we decided the 5 pounds we paid in entry were about appropriate for the quality of the performance. Having said that I really liked the lady below and even if you might see some acts that are rather… let’s say mediocre… it’s still a very different night out. I will go again!
- Food: 7/10
- Ambiance: 8/10
- Service: 7/10
- Value for money: 7/9 (set menu)
- Chances of returning: 50%
- Verdict: unique package of lovely bistro food and cutting-edge cabaret