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03 June 2011

The Corner Rooms

Earlier this week, the few trimmers that weren't masquerading around Europe or having an MRI scan, decided to relish a quiet day , make like the french and actually go out for a three course lunch and maybe even drink some wine...gasp.

The chosen destination was London's latest top secret restaurant 'The Corner Rooms', headed by Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes. It's hidden away in the shadows of Mendes's first London restaurant, Viajante (probably the most controversial restaurant to have opened last year) in the austere, beautiful and according to Leila, haunted Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel.

There's no website, no phone and no reservations. The only evidence of it's existence is a lonely facebook page. This is the first reason why this place is great. The second reason is that the menu is short, 3 starters, 4 mains and 3 desserts. Third reason, is the price. Compared to the eye opening prices at Viajante, eating at The Corner Room feels like you've just found a £50 note on the pavement. Without wine, £20 for 3 courses of simple yet exceptionally executed dishes leaves you laughing at the fools next door.

We fell into silence at the feet of a super rich poached egg starter served with asparagus and pop in your mouth tapioca balls. Iron levels were raised with a hunk of lamb encrusted with macacadamia nuts and miso,
that bled beautifully into the new potatoes. A satisfying loin of park was partnered with sweet scrapings of fried portugese bread. Two very different desserts were chocolate cake scattered like a painting with peanut butter ice cream, caramel, fudge, mousse and lemon cream. This was seriously good. A second more unusual dessert was a herby granita, totted with goats cheese blobs, blueberries, toasted brioche and minimal caramel. It tasted like a perfectly plotted summer garden. Our only issue at The Corner Room was the sloooow service. Problem being that there only appeared to be one chef to start with, and then as the room filled I guess more were nabbed from Viajante, hooray!

We left, bellies full, feeling smug and a tiny bit bitter that the french do this all the time. I guess we will just have to make a more conscious effort to seize the quiet days and luxuriate ourselves in the E2 eating opportunities.

Go to Corner Rooms before the prices go up and a phone line is put in.