Corner Room promises “exceptional quality at an affordable price” – a mission that many a restaurant aims for, but few actually achieve. Corner Room is therefore a very impressive rarity, because it really does deliver on this promise. Located inside Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, John Christie has recently been appointed as head chef, and he’s on a mission to prove that more can be done with less.
Each dish on the succinct à la carte menu features a prime ingredient sourced from Britain, served in a delightfully unpretentious way, and engaged waiting staff are on hand to talk you through each of the dishes (there are just four per course, and they work well for sharing) and suggest wine pairings.
A starter of raw minced beef far exceeded my expectations, beautifully presented with drops of egg yolk cream and paper-thin slices of root vegetable. Slow-cooked oxtail with sweet roasted onions and juniper smoked marrow was the most wonderfully rich and wintery main course, and the Bramley apple dessert, served inside the hollowed out fruit, was crisp, tart and perfectly complemented by sea salt caramel and anis.
Interior-wise, the high-ceilinged room is lit by an eclectic collection of reclaimed industrial pendant lights hanging along the back wall – no two are the same, and the effect is quite spectacular. I highly recommend a nose around the hotel on your way out too – there are some surprising décor touches if you keep your eyes peeled.
The memorable dishes plus the unique interior may make you nervous as you reach for the bill, but with starters and desserts at £8 and mains around the £14 mark (or a six-course tasting menu for £45), you’re in for a nice surprise. Corner Room really does deliver a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget, and I’ve never been so impressed.
Three courses with wine was around £48 per person, or a 6-course tasting menu is £45 (£75 with paired wines). There’s a great value lunch menu – £19 for 2 courses, or £23 for 3.
Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, E2 9NF