Shoreditch French diner Blanchette East adopts tapas style portions
- Credit: Blanchette East
Emma Bartholomew finds sharing plates, which are all the rage, have now been adopted by a French restaurant in Shoreditch
Blanchette East follows the hot trend for tapas or sharing plates, and takes the concept into French cuisine.
There’s a cosy bistrot vibe in the Brick Lane diner, inspired by the Parisian Belle Époque.
There’s an al fresco front with a marble bar and long marble counters lining the walls, which flow into an elevated back dining area separated by frosted glass windows.
Founded by brothers Maxime, Yannis and Malik Alary, Blanchette is named after their mum.
Food has a North African influence as seen in one of the signature dishes, the spicy Merguez sausage roll (£6). With harissa mayonnaise, it’s a perfectly formed rectangle pie, with a thin and crispy pastry.
We were encouraged to try the cheese beignets, another of their smaller signature starter dishes. Deep-fried little balls of choux pastry they are served with an onion confit (£4).
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Although all the dishes are designed for sharing, there’s a main course section of the menu. We opted for the confit duck leg (£9.70). The skin was a tiny bit crispy and it came with a mild slice of celeriac covered with roasted sesame seeds and a deliciously rich jus. A green bean salad was given a tangy edge with aged Comté and walnut dressing (£7.25).
The coup de foudre was thinly sliced square inches of pork with a heavenly truffle topping - strangely subtle and yet dinstint simultaneously. Balance came from a creamy cauliflower purée (£9.50).
They recommend three or four plates each but by the time it came to a rich mutton tagine with sweet potato and wild garlic (£9.95), I was done.
Still a little space for dessert though, we loved the mango rice pudding topped with a lime and gin sorbet, and the rhubarb vacherin – a kind of cream cheese dessert, both £6.25.
Blanchette East is intimate and there’s a good vibe with some loud music curated by Malik.
Evidently artistically minded, the brothers are also responsible for the rather racey wallpaper they designed for the toilets downstairs.
It’s nice working your way through lots of little plates so you can get to try out a variety of flavours, and not what I was expecting to find in a French bistrot.
204 Brick Lane, E1 6SA