Lee Westcott’s Typing Room has been on my restaurant wish list since the day it opened, so when a friend (who’s become a bit of a regular) asked if I wanted to go there for lunch, I couldn’t say anything but yes.
Running kitchens for Tom Aikens and Jason Atherton, it’s in Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel that Lee Westcott has been given the chance to shine with Atherton’s backing (although he’s very much a silent partner). This room in the hotel previously housed Nuno Mendes’ Michelin-starred Viajante, so there were some very big shoes left to fill – and Lee certainly fills them with aplomb.
I love watching chefs work and it’s always a pleasure to sit near an open kitchen – it just adds an extra dimension to the experience. In contrast to the serenity of the dining room, the kitchen was a hive of activity – Lee plating at the pass with incredible speed, yet precise dexterity – while front of house were utterly charming and extremely knowledgeable. I’d single out Frederic Marti, the head sommelier, for particular praise – his recommendation of a white blend from Girona, Spain held its own with every course.
Dining at lunch time, we had the choice of the five course tasting menu (priced at £60) or the lunch menu (two courses for £24, with three priced at £29). It was a tricky task to pick, but we decided to go for the lunch menu and ordered all six dishes on offer to share – inherently greedy people when it comes to food, we wanted the chance to try everything.