East End restaurant is ‘best newcomer’

A RESTAURANT in Bethnal Green’s former town hall has been ranked as the best newcomer in a leading London restaurant guide.

Nuno Mendes’s restaurant Viajante in Cambridge Heath Road has won the R�my Martin VSOP Award for Best-rated Newcomer in the annual survey conducted for Harden’s London Restaurants.

The 35-seater restaurant opened in April and is booked up two months in advance.

Viajante’s “amazing food combinations” are said by the guide to offer “sheer pleasure all the way”. A meal might include squid tartare and pickled radishes, samphire and squid ink ‘granite, charred leeks, white asparagus, hazelnuts and milk skin, followed by crumbled polenta and lemon paste, strawberries and citrus powder. The award reflects the emergence of East London as a quality restaurant destination. Co-editor Richard Harden says: “This year, East London was, for the first time, the most active area for new openings after central London, Indeed, some restaurants in the East – such as Hawksmoor and St John– are now “exporting’ concepts to the West End, which, until recently, would have been unthinkable.”

The Galvin La Chapelle restaurant in Spital Square, Spitalfield, ranked ninth place in the best for business category.