East London Eats: Typing Room, Bethnal Green

July 10, 2014
I'm breaking out the courier font for this post because duh, Typing Room.

Who knew there was so much dining drama going on in Bethnal Green? I have come to regard this charming little pocket of East London as gritty yet serene village within a city, no doubt thanks to the juxtaposition of Victoria Park facing townhouses and the V&A Museum of Childhood against rude boys cruising around the estates in their (borrowed) Beemers and hooded figures in Ion Square trying to sell you ganja in the park. Yet even in this verdant bubble of almost-there gentrification (long may the dusty gentlemen's clubs live) there was some titter surrounding the defection of Nuno Mendes from Viajante at Town Hall hotel to Maryleborne's snazzy new Chiltern Firehouse, and the excitement over the new restaurant replacing Viajante. In its place is the newly-opened Typing Room, run by Lee Westcott. 

Happily, Typing Room retained the open kitchen that was once a huge feature of Viajante. 

Like the elderly couple we are destined to be Henry and I arrived for dinner at the early bird hour of half six. I called earlier to ask for more seats to be added to our table only to be told that they were fully booked, yet we were the only ones there till maybe half seven, and even so the place only really filled up by 8. Hmm. Either way the cozy restaurant is certainly not understaffed, as we could see from the open kitchen buzzing with chefs and the attentive staff. 

Did I also mention that almost all the chefs were sporting very impressive beards? Perfect for 'snörglebörg' the beard-related sport that Henry invented. See, he spread a rumour around Spitalfields that it's an ancient Danish sport denounced by the Pope for being too violent. To play, two men with beards at least 2cm in length will stand facing each other, grip each other's beards, and at the shout of SNÖRGLEBÖRG! rip them off. The first person to rip the other's beard clean off wins!

Shortly after Henry decided to go rogue and started 'snörglebörging' people by surprise, the clean shaven look became quite popular among his peers. Henry is pushing for snörglebörg to be recognised as a real sport. The whole time we were at dinner Henry kept staring intently at the bearded staff going...'Ooooohhh...snoooorglebörg' with shiny eyes.


Food porn photos from my visit to Typing Room, as part of July's gorging week (first week of July). Pardon the photo quality, I took these on my humble iPhone.

We tickled our tastebuds with delicious rosemary and black olive buns (I fell in love with the one on the top, it was light, fluffy and buttery and reminded me of the buns served at breakfast at our casa in Havanawith chicken skin, beautifully puffed barley butter, and a Marmite butter that Henry loved and I loathed. There, now you know my stand on Marmite.

I'd rate this a 5/5 for sure, even though I hate Marmite.

And sipped on sweet but potent cocktails. This had ginger ale in it, and gin, I think.

A selection of snacks of arrived...

Chicken wing ‘drumstick’, wild garlic, potato & lemon. 4/5.

Cumin lavoche, crab, sweet corn & curried egg. 3/5

Crispy fish skin, smoked cod, oyster & dill. A tad too fishy for me, but the boy liked it. 4/5

...followed by our starters.

Henry's scorched langoustine, carrot, pistachio & coriander. See how beautiful scorched it is? The sweetness of the carrot and coriander was the perfect marriage to the 'salty sea flavour' of the langoustine. 4.5/5

My raw beef, smoked beetroot, turnip, horseradish & sorrel. Well presented and the beef was certainly fresh and well prepared but the sweetcorn and beetroot confused me. 3/5.

Suckling pork belly, peach, mustard & rainbow chard. This. was. perfection. 5/5.

Pigeon smoked in pine, salt baked celeriac, lovage & hazelnut. 4/5.

We cleansed our palate with a sharp, tangy sorbet...

Lime, basil, and ginger. Refreshing especially with the shaved ice, I could easily eat a whole bowl of this on a hot day. Although only a palate cleanser I'd rate this a 5/5.

It's not a real gorging day without pudding. You can't desert your deserts!

Henry inspects the cheese platter. "Are those all for me?!" No, love.

Cheese selection with homemade chutney and bread. 3.5/5.

Jasmine brûlée and aerated apple sorbet. I ordered the brûlée because it has my name all over it. Haha. It was quite mild and had the slight bitter, creamy aftertaste of tea. It's not quite the brûlée I know and love, but interesting nonetheless. 3/5.

Chocolate, amaretto, and almond. A classic. 4/5.

Strawberry, pistachio, and white chocolate. My favourite! 5/5.

Overall I'd rate Typing Room four out of five. Stylish, beautifully food with room for improvement but when they get it right, they get it right. I'd come back for the langoustine and suckling pork belly, and if they ever do consider making the basil, lime, and ginger palate cleanser an actual desert I'll be there every night.



  1. used to live in bethnal green and love it's trendy now i've left! www.thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk

    1. That happened to me too, right after I moved out of Dalston! x

  2. I've been meaning to book for the Typing Room as it's only up the road from me. Must stop saying I'm going to do it and actually do it, especially after seeing all your photos, it all looks so pretty.

    1. DO IT! And order extra bread, it's soooo good. x

  3. beautiful-looking food! Those langoustines look yum!

    1. The langoustines are beautifully seared, they look almost snail-like don't they? x