Anyone with an older sibling, particularly a successful one, knows what it is like to feel like you’re living in their shadow. If the Corner Room were a person, it would probably feel a bit like that. Housed within the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, the Corner Room is one of two restaurants found inside. If you don’t know the other’s name then more fool you, it’s been hailed one of the best new restaurant to have opened in 2014. The Typing Room is the Town Hall hotel’s bread and butter. The food is innovative, fresh and meticulously designed. But, having eaten at both, the Corner Room certainly gets it right, and at a fraction of the price.
As a space, the Corner Room is unusual. It doesn’t feel like you’re walking into a restaurant but rather an old meeting room, which I guess is partly down to the fact it actually used to be. The furniture is simple and effortlessly cool, think: lots of dark wood and industrial lighting, setting the scene for a laid back, well-executed feast.
We take a seat, and while we wait a little too long for someone to take our drink order, are eventually sipping on a glass of minerally Riesling browsing the punchy menu. John Christie, the guy behind the food, is a genius. The menu changes seasonally but sticks to a refined framework. Each dish showcases a key ingredient that is then complemented by other seasonal produce to enhance the star of the dish. One plate that really stands out in my mind is the slow cooked oxtail topped with onions, juniper and smoked marrow. Delicate and impossibly tender, the dish embodied everything the restaurant is about: simple, quality food. Other highlights were the braised leeks, which came uncut and covered with Riseley, autumn truffle and chestnuts; while slender slices of treacle-cured salmon with salt baked beets and belper knolle blew our mind.
Now it may not be new but it certainly deserves impromptu kudos. Simple, careful cooking, reasonably priced and well-presented, I would go again in a flash…but then again, it’ll be hard to resist the restaurant next door.
Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, E2 9NF
020 7871 0460