Walking into East Street is like stepping onto Orchard Road in Singapore or Khao San Road in Bangkok. A menu composed from all the best street food, sampled across Asia by their talented team. Whether a noodle vendor in Tokyo or a street market in Vietnam you have all the choice as if you were half way around the world in the humid 35 degree heat.
The incredible smell of my Malaysian Redang Curry hit me long before it was placed in front of me. There was no hiding the spice when it was sprinkled with large pieces of red chilli, but it was cooked expertly with all the flavours coming through. Whether it was the lemongrass or the sweet coconut you could still taste it all without the chilli overpowering it. The menu does have clear ‘spice levels’ next to each dish so you can be sure to pick something that suits you. My friend had ordered the Vietnamese Shaking Beef, rump steak infused with sesame oil, dark soy & oyster sauce. It was served with a tomato, red onion & watercress salad. We kept it simple with a side of coconut rice to accompany our mains, but they offered everything from crunchy Thai Salads, Udon Noodles, Korean Spicy Cabbage or wok-fried Oyster Greens. Plenty of choice from plenty of countries!
It’s hard to find a good dessert in most Oriental restaurants, unless you like the obvious Banana Tempura or average ice cream out of a plastic Penguin pot (they might be for the kids!). I’m always looking for somewhere that does something different or at least puts in a little effort. East Street did just that. I ordered the Chocolate Fondant, it sounds very normal but was in fact a very pleasant Pan Asian surprise. The chocolate fondant itself was spot on, firm on the outside with the rich melted chocolate middle, yet with an addition of sweet coconut bursting out from inside. It sounds very sweet but it was a splendid balance with the rich chocolate. Served with a sesame ice cream it was a superb end to an already sublime dining experience.
It also was an experience that didn’t break the bank, and for central London that’s sometimes hard to find. Our two main courses alone were £25, with drinks and extra courses its likely to come to around £50 for two people. The important point is that it’s well worth the money, not just for the great food but because we were surrounded by excellent service. The friendly staff were efficient and quick but they were also more than happy to explain dishes and give recommendations when needed, and with the dessert they were spot on!!
It’s not a place to get dressed up for and the plastic chairs really do give you the street food feel, but if you want excellent food with a group of friends or as a couple its perfect for that fun lunch or dinner. The atmosphere when busy was absolutely buzzing, it was as if you were stood at that street vendor in Cambodia amidst lots of people, tooting horns and the odd stray cat. I can definitely recommend it for when shopping on Oxford Street or looking for something more casual in Central London!
Contact: 3-5 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1HJ – 02073230860
Opening Times: Mon to Sat: Noon – 11pm / Sun: Noon – 10pm