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Eastside Bistro

40 St John Street, London, England, EC1M 4AY, United Kingdom

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Sadly Eastside closed its doors on 2nd September 2010. The following notes are of historical interest only.

Eastside Bistro was the casual side of Bjorn van de Horst’s Eastside, but as of March 2010 this is now the main format throughout. The open kitchen adds to an exciting, vibrant atmosphere in the dining room. The menu was limited but appealing, with starters £6.96 - £9.95, main courses £13.95 - £17.95 and desserts £6.95. There was a short but sensible wine list. The bread, from Boulangerie de Paris, was unusually good here. Both white and brown bread were from large loaves and have excellent texture.

At my most recent meal we began with enjoyable cheese goujeres; sometimes these potentially lovely creatures can be a let down, but here there was sufficient cheese flavour to work well (15/20). A starter of sardines was served with tapenade and frisee lettuce in place of the advertised rocket, along with excellent sourdough toast. This was a straightforward dish, but nicely made (14/20). Even better was a deceptively simple dish of roast lobster. The flesh had been removed from the shell, which was then stuffed with a paste made from lobster meat, garlic, Swiss chard and breadcrumbs, before the lobster meat was placed back in the shell. This gave an extra dimension to the dish, and the lobster itself, so often overcooked in restaurants, was here beautifully tender (easily 16/20). I also liked the bold seasoning of the matchstick chips on the side.  Prawns, chilli and garlic was also enjoyable, as written about previously.  Service was fine tonight.

 

Further reviews: 01st Mar 2010

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  • Vic Yap

    I adore the bread here, and can never get enough of the pain d'epi. It appears that you dined on the same night that your Masterchef 2009 quarter-final segment aired. Really enjoyed it and thought you were insightful (as opposed to Rayner who's entertaining). Hope you'll be back for more. I would have chosen to eat Ludo's oyster jelly starter, Matt's venison main and Hannah's panna cotta dessert. Anyway, my friends and I had a very enjoyable lunch on the same day, and despite making a note to order the clam chowder when we saw it advertised on their cute little board at the door, we completely forgot (!) until I read your review. Darn. Very much agree that this is how bistro food should be - good, honest, unfussy plate of well executed food. There's also refinement that lifts it above normal bistro fare. We too enjoyed the prawns and couldn't get enough of the duck magret. Also tried the braised beef with a deep & intense red wine jus that could have been eaten with just a spoon. Shame you didn't rate Francois' apple pie. He spent 4 hrs slow baking it while basting it in butter every 10 mins (to create a layer of confit fruit), only for us to demolish it in 1 minute *hides face* Do you think it's a case of maximum effort for nominal results? Happy eating!

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