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Monday
Sep262011

Corner Room

 

I really didn't want to like the Corner Room. Why? Because the Corner Room is really far away from Covent Garden, and I mean River Cafe far away. A £20 and 30 minute long cab ride each way and this place becomes expensive and time consuming. To be perfectly honest, had The Boyfriend and I not been heading to the East End anyway we probably never would have gone. This would have been a mistake because the Pork with Portugese Bread and Butter Pudding was so worth the journey. 


Corner Room is situated in the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green; a hotel I didn't know existed until Viajante hit the scene. The Corner Room is another one of those mysterious (read: incredibly irritating) restaurants that have absolutely no information available: no menu, no bookings, no number. This I imagine must be off putting to some people as that hour long £40 cab ride would feel like a big waste if you showed up only to be told the restaurant was full. 


Luckily, when The Boyfriend and I showed up, 7.45pm Friday, the place was half empty - big thumbs up from both of us. Sadly, an ugly dining room and a seat right in front of the door led to a thumbs-down. Complimentary bread and olives, brought by a smiling waiter remedied the situation however. He was truly helpful, in steering us towards what we should order, and really quite passionate when it came to certain dishes.
Crab salad arrived looking like it was trying to become friends with my sweater, an example of how larger plates may be an idea they want to adopt. The actual salad was satisfying, crab, apple, coriander was a tasty combination but there with a couple of other flavours that meant there were a little too many flavours in total. 
The Boyfriend's Seabream Carpaccio, was underwhelming. Again too many flavours, but this time the majority didn't work together. 
Pork with Portugese Bread and Butter Pudding was genuinely one of the most satisfying dishes I've eaten this year. The pork, was pork like no other - heart still beating in the middle and wonderfully tender. The Bread and Butter Pudding, piles of cloud like bread morsels, flavourful. Carrots added a refreshing contrast. All in all, it was incredible. Eating it was akin to reading a really good novel, one of those ones, you can't stop reading but just don't want to end. 
The Boyfriend's cod with clam chowder was also well received. Cooked perfectly, tender and juicy. The olives and potatoes complemented the dish nicely but the chowder it came with it did not add much to the experience. Good, but nothing compared to the pork. 
We finished with two desserts, which were memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Firstly, the portion sizes were strange relative to the rest of the meal - surprisingly large given the moderate proportions of the two preceding courses. One dessert - a raspberry daikon concept - showed up looking like bubble bath. Taste wasn't much more satisfying than the look - having an overly powerful taste of rocket.  I can't say it is an experience I want to relive. Dark chocolate and peanut butter however, went down a treat with The Boyfriend. Simple concept, well executed and a lot of it. 
The damage was £85.00, including a significant amount of alcohol but ignoring cab fare and it was well worth it.  The individual dishes are incredibly reasonable (£12.00 for the mains both of which would have been a bargain at double the price).
Unfortunately, that means the inevitable happened - the restaurant I so wanted to hate - I of course loved. Now it is just a question of an efficient and cheap way to make it to the Town Hall. 
Corner Room on Urbanspoon

 

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