44 Palmers Road E2 0TA
0208 983 6634
AKA: The one with the pretty food
The deal: OK, if you're dining here in a group, you don't want to be the first one to arrive. You'll be plagued with all your friends calling you and proclaiming: “Um, I'm the park, I can see a canal?” “I'm at the big office-like building, where exactly is it?”. Basically, it's pretty hidden away. But totally worth getting Google Maps out and timing it so you've got a glass of wine in hand, sitting on their terrace as the sun sets. Has Mile End ever looked so pretty? The restaurant is very clean, minmalist and with a Scandi air to it and the menu combines rich ingredients and flavours that have been tweaked and served up in new, innovative ways by the head chef.
The food: Get ready for new taste sensations. Plump, juicy scallops are topped with burnt onion and a touch of piquant peach coulis, set off with a pleasing sprinkle of crunchy pork scratching crumbs (£8). Bone marrow is interestingly served raw, the fatty, creamy mouthfuls paired with garden-fresh ribbons of carrots, cucumbers and radishes and topped with pretty flowers from the restaurant's garden (£7.5). For mains, we're warned the salted cod (£13.5) is very salty (it is) but is offset by the sweetness of the tomato “textures” - a sort of relish. Finishing touches to this dish are lemon oil and a decorative ink soil. The heartier braised lamb (£14.5) is more indulgent, slow cooked so it's falling apart, drizzled in oyster juice and served with savoy cabbage. Desserts are highly Instagrammable, all pretty colourful flowers and berries decorating the sweet treats.
The signature dish: Braised lamb with cabbage and oyster juice
The chef: Martyn Meid
When to dine: A sunny weekend evening
Damage to pocket: A main averages at £14, so with two other courses and wine, it'll be about £40 per person.
File under: Date night, pay day blow out, sunshine dining