Traditional cooking at The English Restaurant
The English Restaurant is an independent family owned restaurant in the heart of Spitalfields. From the outside you could be forgiven for thinking the restaurant was caught in a Dickensian time warp. Wedged in between the shiny offices, coffee shops and ailing retailers is a quaint, Victorian restaurant, oozing charm and character, openly inviting you into another world.
An olde-English restaurant
The olde-English exterior continues into the restaurant, with its wooden bar, wooden tables and chairs, wooden panelled booths and wooden floors. The mixture of tables, both with and without tablecloths add to the ambiance.
Booth dining at the English Restaurant
The evening we went, we were lucky enough to get one of the three booths on offer, a perfect setting for a chilly December night. For starters we ordered the scallops with black pudding on a pea puree. Even though this irresistible combination looked fantastic, it was slightly cold and disappointingly bland to taste. There was also some confusion about the skin being left on the black pudding. However, we still polished them off and washed it all down with a glass of ‘reasonably good claret’ – a wine so dark in colour, it appears almost black in the dimmed light of the English Restaurant, but tastes fantastic and is a reason to revisit.
For mains we ordered the pork belly, braised celeriac, sautéed apple and black pudding. The dish is served with two healthy chunks of pork belly, one tasting more apple infused than the other, both with crispy skin and amazing texture. The celeriac was novel, but there was a bit too much of it and unfortunately the black pudding was served cold with the skin intact again. Putting these slight niggles aside, the pork belly was wonderfully flavoursome and one to try.
We topped the evening off with a delightful chocolate fondue and a lovely warm scone (I refer the scone as singular, actually two were served; there just wasn’t enough jam or cream for two. However, as we were suitably full at this point there seemed no need to ask our attentive and enthusiastic waitress for more).
Overall the English Restaurant is definitely one to visit. The charming character, along with the traditional English cooking, make for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
The English Restaurant
52 Brushfield Street
020 7247 4110
We spent: £45 p.p.
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street