There seem to be new restaurants popping up in East London all the time and so it’s easy to find yourself a bit behind the curve. Bethnal Green’s newest culinary edition, Typing Room, pretty early opened back in May and I’ve been keen to try it ever since…not least because head chef, Lee Westcott’s instagram feed is unbelievably mouth-watering.
Typing Room is of a similar set up to many of the restaurants I’ve visited in London recently – a light, airy room, an open kitchen at one end, a focus on seasonal, fresh flavours – and so I began the meal with a slight sense of same, same but different. Typing Room soon proved itself as a contender for my tummy’s affections, however, when the friendly waiter brought over the bread.
It has more than likely become clear over the short history of this blog that I am a bread fiend, so the appearance of fresh sourdough served with marmite butter and still-warm brioche served with chicken skin butter was an amazing start to the meal. Tasting as good as they looked, I was particularly impressed by the addition of the alternative flavoured butters…something I haven’t seen so much of in London.
For our ‘snacks’ we opted to try a few options. I was particularly excited by the courgette and basic profiteroles with black olive and the smoked eel, lettuce, wasabi and pea.
The snacks didn’t quite live up to the rest of the meal…the flavour balance was sadly a little off-kilter in both . The olive in the profiteroles, while delicious, was overwhelming and so the courgette got a little bit lost. Similarly, the smokey eel flavour, one of my favourites, just didn’t seem to break through. I enjoyed the balance of textures in the eel snack, however, and the edible flowers were a very attractive touch.
For my starter I opted for the gin botanical cured salmon, beetroot and childwickbury.
This unbelievably generous portion was delicious. The beetroot in particular was fresh, sweet and juicy.
Even though I usually shy away from raw meat, the presentation of my friend’s starter (raw beef with smoked beetroot, turnip, horseradish and sorrel) was so enticing that I couldn’t resist a mouthful…
And I have to give it to the chefs…the beef was melt in the mouth and the contrast with the crunchy topping really added something. This dish was way too rich for me so I luckily one bite was enough and didn’t result in my suffering from the dreaded food envy.
For my main I tried the sea bass with squid, courgettes, heritage tomatoes…
The fish had a delicious crispy skin but the flesh itself was a little too firm for my liking. That said, the dish as a whole was very pleasing, especially the sweet heritage tomatoes and the basil sauce which was bursting with flavour.
We were given a little pre-dessert of lemon sorbet with almond foam, lemon oil and salted caramel praline. Despite only being a between course extra the pre-dessert was the same standard as the rest of the meal…the almond foam was light, frothy and full of flavour, the lemon just tart enough and the praline the perfect crunchy contrast.
For my dessert I had the summer berries, chocolate and yogurt.
There was nothing particularly innovative about this dish but I think the old adage of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it should definitely be applied to this particular flavour combination, especially when all the raw ingredients are top notch as there were in this instance. This was a delicious end to a very satisfying meal and I’d definitely be keen to come back to the Typing Room and try more of Lee Westcott’s wares.