THINK Brick Lane and French isn’t the first type of food that comes to mind.
But take a walk past the curry houses for which the famous East London street is known for and you will find a ‘magnifique’ surprise hidden behind the understated frontage of Blanchette.
In truth though, Blanchette would look out of place alongside the countless other high-refined French bistros, where you need a blazer just to get through the front door.
This is French food for the hip young things of the 21st Century, where sharing is the buzz word and having a relaxed and enjoyable time over good food is what it’s all about.
This starts with the old-timey bar out the front and young, social staff who take the food and drink orders. It sets the tone for the night.
The brainchild of a half American, half French twenty-something, this is exactly how the restaurant feels, taking the best of both cultures and bringing them together for a unique culinary experience.
From France, you have the exquisite food. This is evident in the plate of meats and (what else) cheeses, which are ideal for picking over, while gradually downing a bottle of Bergerie de la Bastide.
While sharing is the overarching theme at Blanchette, there are daily specials as well, and from the specials I try the Savory Crepe with Noix D’epaule, Fourme D’Ambert and Egg, which is a flavoursome treat on top of a classic French crepe texture.
On the American side, you have the relaxed casual feel, inviting you to have a good time. No better is this demonstrated than by the tiny tables and bread served in a classic brown paper bag.
It not only prompts comment, but puts the diner at ease, and emphasises that this restaurant is about substance over style.
And at just £7.50 for the special, and a lunch menu offering two courses for £15 or £19.50 for three, Blanchette offers that rarest of things – quality food in London at an affordable price.
It all adds up to a perfect spot to while away an evening or lunchbreak among good company and quality food.
Review by Mark Richardson