This month I turned the grand age of thirty-four. Naturally I celebrated in style (by eating everything in sight) with a most delightful brunch at Bistrotheque.
The entrance is rather incongruous, up a flight of stairs that you would never find if your weren’t looking for it. Once inside though, it is impossible not to be struck by what a lovely space it is; Warehouse style, but also very classic and clean. Exposed white painted metalwork ceiling, white tablecloths and white tiled walls. Contrasting the minimalism, a grand piano sits in the middle of the room with an enormous flower display sitting atop. The light in the room is lovely and bright, even on not particularly a sunny day it bounces of the surfaces resulting in a general glow in the room. An aura, if you will.
I choose brunch because it is, (as you might recall) a favourite meal of mine. I will happily eat brunch for breakfast, lunch or dinner and this one did not disappoint. We first order a jug of Bloody Mary (£30). I have been out the previous night, and at 34 (and half a day) I don’t bounce back quite as fast as I did in my twenties. The spiked tomato juice feels like a necessity for survival. To be clear, I’m not exactly a fan of a Bloody Mary, I’d probably prefer a Bellini, but this one is delicious. It’s the exact right balance of sweetness and bite with a very satisfyingly large olive on a stick adorning it for good measure.
Bloody Mary’s on the pass, then next thing to do is order the twice baked souffle with hazelnuts and watercress (£10). I want it, and it’s my birthday so I’ll eat a souffle if I want to. I order it to share between four, which allows the perfect sized morsel for us each to try. It is small, but it is also very rich, decadent even, and a bite is more than enough to taste.
Following this I have chosen the spinach and ricotta benedict with hazelnuts (£12.5) with a side of smoked salmon (£6). The smoked salmon is lovely quality, and I do enjoy the spinach and ricotta. The hazelnuts add an extra crunch to the texture, and the poached eggs are perfectly cooked. I do wish for the hollandaise to be a little more ‘zesty’, and I would have enjoyed a wedge of lemon on the side. A good crack of salt and pepper gives it a lift, and the salmon, while delicious, is entirely unnecessary. As an aside, I must admit that looking at the bistroteque menu makes me feel slightly mad, as if I’m Alice down the rabbit hole, and the ‘drink me’ signage has become a menu.
From about midday a pianist arrives and plays disembodied pop tunes which adds a nice touch to the atmosphere. We do spend rather a lot of time attempting to name the song. Then it’s all over, we have coffee. No cake or fanfare (just the way I want it), I couldn’t have fit it in if I did. Instead, I take my thirty-four year old body home for an afternoon nap.
After all, it’s my birthday. I’ll nap if I want to.
Bistroteque – 23–27 Wadeson St, London E2 9DR
You can check out their website HERE