New Restaurant Review: East Street, Fitzrovia

By tikichris Last edited 76 months ago
New Restaurant Review: East Street, Fitzrovia

Brightly coloured backlight signage hanging from the ceiling and vibrant “local” graphics splayed across the walls and printed on all the ephemera. Friendly, clean cut servers. A noodle-laden, pan Asian menu featuring 'best of' dishes from eight east Asian countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Korea).

If a visit to East Street presents you with a strong sense of Wagamama or Banana Tree deja vu, well then you are quite possibly hitting the nail on the head of this restaurant's concept. And if it reminds you of the mostly up north restaurant chain, Tampopo, there's a good reason. East Street and Tampopo share the same owners. And if you think “kinda like Chilango” when you enter – yep, same designers.

All in all, there's nothing really bad to report about East Street. It's a pleasant place to eat in a convenient location with a price point in line with what you'd expect to pay. The food is squarely okay, and the menu seems to have been assembled with an aim to please all palates. You can have fun cocktails that reflect a holiday in Thailand, and the beer selection includes some especially crisp ones such as Beer Lao. But you'd be hard pressed to discover anything truly unique about this place except maybe its own reshuffled representation of some rather same old same old components.

East Street opened this week (with queues out the door during its first day of trading) at 3-5 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HJ right off Oxford Street and just above the Roxy.

Photo/Chris Osburn

Londonist visited East Street upon invitation of the restaurant.

Last Updated 14 December 2011

Ken Fletcher

You know, when you review a restaurant, it is normal to list a few dishes, tell us what you ate and whether it was any good, what the service was like etc.. This is just a PR release.

Ken Fletcher

Oh! Great! You added one sentence to a rehashed PR release .

I still don't know what they serve, whether the food was any good (what does "squarely ok" mean?) , how much it cost ("what you would expect to pay?" I will tell you my expectations when you tell me what I am paying for), whether the service was any good etc.

This is not a review. Restaurant reviews inform. Not about only who owns or designs the place, but about the food!

Texas Smith

You are both right. It would be a badly written press release. But it is also a badly written review.

I have no idea what kind of stuff is on the menu after reading it. Dumplings? Sushi? Bibimbaps? Am I meant to guess?

And you mention the cocktails? What's in them? Are they classics or have they with their own ideas? Fun cocktails that reflect a holiday in Thailand? WTF? Do I just use my imagination again?

This review seems like its designed to demonstrate how cynical and 'in the know' the writer is rather than providing the reader with any useful information. Frankly, it's a review that could have been written by someone who didn't even eat at the restaurant.


Oh wow. Hey guys. Sorry I didn't respond to this sooner. The internet's been down at my flat. Erm ....

Ken: You bring up some good points, but if you re-read the rev I think you'll agree it's far from a PR release. I can assure you I didn't read any PR material about East Street. I did however sit next to one of the owners of the restaurant the other day when I visited. I'm pretty sure my review doesn't convey the message he was trying to get across to me.

As I wrote in the post, the restaurant serves “a noodle-laden, pan Asian menu
featuring 'best of' dishes from eight east Asian countries” which reminded me of Wagamama and Banana Tree. If you're not sure what that means, there's always the actual link to the East Street site included in the review.

Texas Smith: Yes, actually, a little imagination does help. If the opening of somewhere such as East Street warrants a bite-by-bite account rather than a succinct summary, I don't think I'm the guy to write it. As with movie reviews, I don't like spoilers. I hope the tone of my review gives you an idea of whether you might want to check out East Street.

I don't meant to come across as cynical, and I'm not sure how "in the know" I am or not. However, I believe a lot of Londoners would have a similar been-there-done-that attitude toward dining at this new restaurant. 

I wasn't put off by the place, but I was underwhelmed ... to such an extent that I didn't really see the point of a detailed post when my message of what this place is and whether it's worth the effort to visit could be conveyed more expressly for the reader's sake. And perhaps the little mention of how the food actually tastes speaks volumes to what I thought about it. Not much.