The Corner Room, by Nuno Mendes, at Town Hall Hotel
The second restaurant by award-winning chef Nuno Mendes is the perfect amalgamation of the trendy, pop-up style, boutique location and a high-end dining experience. In the infamously trendy district of East London’s Bethnal Green, amidst the decadently fashionable location of Town Hall Hotel, lies The Corner Room, an intimate 30-cover restaurant that continues the theme of the hotel to provide a polished, artistic setting.
As the rest of the hotel, the restaurant boasts pockets of art installations, intermingled with the traditional ‘remains’ of the grand, 20s style, hotel. The far wall is host to a hanging light display, while opposite stands a beautifully intricate black spiral staircase that reaches up to the high ceilings of the Edwardian mansion. There is also a grand marble fireplace which, all combined, forms a truly sumptuous setting evoking feelings of faded grandeur and the decadence of eras past, yet the bursts of appropriated modern and contemporary art, far from seeming juxtaposed, work seamlessly in providing a wonderfully refreshing and uniquely alternative dining experience.
Mendes has also constructed the perfect menu to accompany the setting. Subject to change weekly, each course is experimental and pioneering, without being clinical or too ‘nouvelle cuisine’. The dubbed ‘explorer in gastronomy’, famed for his appropriated cultural techniques in cuisine, concentrates his efforts on flavors, rather than aesthetics, to offer an innovative menu. Diners may expect meals such as sweet squid with squid ink served with potatoes, salmon confit with beetroot and horseradish, and Iberico pork plumas with Portuguese bread pudding. The food may be slightly unusual, but not for the sake of it. Our favorite item on the menu was the peanut butter ice cream, with dark chocolate brownies and soft caramel fudge, or, as lovingly referred to as by the waiter, the ‘deconstructed Snickers’.
The only drawback on this charming restaurant is that, with their no reservations policy, there can be quite a long wait. However, the equally characterized downstairs bar can provide an adequate interlude to the evening, and the hotel concierge even offers tours of the artworks that sporadically fill the corridors. For more information on this unique dining experience, see: