Now that Nuno Mendes is toast of the town over at the Chiltern Firehouse, the Town Hall in Bethnal Green (second picture) has enlisted some new talent to fill his shoes: Lee Westcott (first picture), an alumnus of Noma, Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton (he ran two of Atherton’s restaurants in Hong Kong – 22 Ships and Ham & Sherry).
The snappy menu at the Typing Room, which opens on Friday May 16, will consist of five snacks, five starters and five mains, to include dishes such as mackerel, passion fruit, burnt cucumber and dill; pigeon smoked in pine, salt-baked celeriac, lovage and hazelnut; and green tea, yoghurt and sesame. Six-course and eight-course tastings menus will also be on offer.
The menu will be accompanied by a versatile wine list incorporating a mix of classic and more unusual styles, including smaller producers. There will also be a good selection of English wines by the glass. Those in the mood for more outlandish drinks can afterwards head across the hall to the unrelated Peg+Patriot bar, opening on the same day, where Matt Whiley of The Talented Mr Fox, Purl Whistling Shop and Dach & Sons fame will serve eclectic concoctions such as Salt Beef Sazerac or Marmite Martini.
The restaurant is named after the town hall’s original typing room, where all communications from the mayor, council and judicial system were prepared. Designers Ariana Rees Roberts and Lucinda Johnson have taken inspiration from the natural landscape, while retaining many of the original historic features of the building, which dates back to 1910.