The Corner Room has only been open a two weeks and is a secretive little place which has been opened by Viajante chef Nuno Mendes.
It is in the same Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green as Viajante but is in a more rustic room on the first floor where the hotel serves breakfast.
There are maybe 8-10 tables and no bookings - turn up and give your name then head to the Viajante cocktail bar for in our case about 40 minutes.
The food comes from the same school as Viajante, which is my favourite restaurant in London. There is however a menu to choose from rather than everything coming unseen. Four starters, four mains, three desserts.
Walnut bread was excellent as was an amuse bouche of an absolutely massive green olive stuffed with anchovies and orange.
We tried three of the starters, which all have very minimal descriptions.
Squid, Jersey Royals and Fennel was the pick of the bunch. The menu didn't mention it was on a base of squid ink and included samphire. Perfectly cooked squid and aesthetically an absolutely beautiful dish.
Asparagus, egg and tapioca was interesting although lacked a little seasoning while Poached Artichoke, San Jorge and Rocket suffered in a similar way with the lovely little pieces of jamon massively outnumbered by the artichokes.
Mains were both stellar, Seabass with watercress and Lamb with cereals were extremely clever and I'm loathe to spoil the surprise of them but the feta that came with the lamb was probably the best I've ever tasted.
We tried all three desserts, Dark Chocolate with Peanut Butter ice cream was rich and decadent. Vanilla parsnip ice cream is a Viajante dish with a twist. Then goat's cheese with caramel was also very tasty although was overshadowed a bit by the depth of flavour of the other two desserts.
Good value wine list which is short and totally organic. Although curiously it was £5 cheaper to buy 6 x 125ml glasses than a whole bottle!
But the incredible thing about thing place is the value. Starters are £6, mains are £10-12 and desserts are £4. I wonder if they will stay that cheap if it makes a success of itself but for the moment I cannot recommend it highly enough and cost about the same as three courses at Pizza Express. If you liked Viajante this will be a great reminder and considerably easier on the wallet. If you haven't gone for slight nervousness then The Corner Room is the perfect way into Mendes's cooking. Even the dishes that were slightly underwhelming only need fine touching to be excellent and I'm sure that will occur as the kitchen gets more experienced.