When Bistrotheque opened its doors over a decade ago, it launched a new restaurant scene in the Hackney borough and surrounding areas. All over East London, new restaurants continue to pop up, but this is the original and remains a firm favourite. Tucked away on Wadeson St, it’s easy to miss – it manages to maintain an air of anonymity even now.
If you were a complete Hackney hipster you might call the interior ‘New York loft style’. The bulk of the restaurant upstairs is a huge local love-in with a big wooden bar, small tables, an exposed kitchen and little else.
Weekend brunches or a Sunday roast are my favourite choices – Xavier the piano player tinkles your favourite pop hits while you can have (my favourite) the posh British fry-up or an enormous roast beef lunch with all the trimmings. Wash either down with a cocktail or one of the French red wines.
For dinner, there’s an even bigger choice of British and French cuisine – I haven’t tried everything, but it’s a pretty diverse menu. Gourmet fish & chips? Check. Calf’s liver? Check. And the desserts! Oh, boy.
The Manchichi bar downstairs is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail, east side. Booking is essential.