I’ve been dying to go to the Typing Room ever since it opened, so an upcoming special occasion gave me the perfect excuse to book a table for dinner. Located in the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, the restaurant takes its name after the building’s original typing room. A nice nod to the former town hall’s history.
The Typing Room has a beautiful interior. It feels warm and inviting, with a relaxed Scandinavian vibe that I love. I’m also into the material details—from the choice of plates, to the marble table tops, oak parquet flooring and touches of brushed brass.
After arriving hungry and excited, we were sat in the perfect spot right next to the open kitchen. Head chef Lee Westcott and his team serve up dishes using local and seasonal British ingredients, and during evenings there’s a choice of a five or seven course tasting menu with an optional wine pairing. After little persuasion from Will, we decided to go for the seven course with wine pairing.
We started with some appetizing snacks: onion bhajis sitting in a small pot of yoghurt and mango chutney; crispy fish skin topped with smoked cod, oyster and dill; an oyster leaf with taramasalata; and a croquet of pig’s head and smoked apple, topped with small delicate flowers.
A sourdough loaf came to our table, still warm from the oven, accompanied by whipped Marmite butter and popped barley. I was unsure about what the Marmite butter was going to be like as I’m not too keen on the stuff. I needn’t have worried—judging from our empty plates, it was delicious.
The staff started bringing our mains, giving a brief description of each course. One bite into each dish led me to exclaim ‘This tastes amazing!’, or sometimes reduced me to silence because it was so damn good and it deserved my full attention. As you can see, I’m quite the food critic.
Alongside each course the head sommelier Fred Marti presented us with some fantastic wines. Describing where it was from, the flavours and how it complimented the dish. And oh how right he was. I’ve only had one wine pairing before which was ok but didn’t blow me away. But at the Typing Room, each glass was the perfect accompaniment.
I had three favourite main dishes: celeriac, pear, femented mushrooms and hazelnuts; Lee Westcott’s signature dish of yeasted cauliflower, raisons, capers and mint; and the Iberico press, swede, carrot and sorrel, accompanied with an exquisite glass of red wine from 1987. It felt pretty special to be drinking a 29 year old wine!
Next was a lemon sorbet with almond foam, lemon oil and salted caramel praline. A great palette cleanser. The sheep yoghurt, apple and dill dessert looked fantastic and tasted heavenly, as did the paired dessert wine.
As we came to the end of the tasting menu, we ordered an espresso as a trio of petit fours came to our table—finishing with salted caramel snickers balls; chocolate covered lime and marshmallows balls; and jelly cherries sitting on a bed of star anise.
I had a fantastic evening from start to finish. Friendly and knowledgable staff, delicious food and wine, with a relaxing atmosphere. It definitely made a memorable anniversary celebration and I can’t wait to go back.
Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, E2 9NF