East Street (Pan Asian) – London
You’d expect a pan-Asian restaurant going by the name of East Street to have some sort of an Eastern vibe to it.
What you wouldn’t expect is for it to literally resemble the streets of the East…
Walking into this restaurant is like turning a corner and walking into a food court in downtown Thailand or the narrow streets of Indonesia; it’s quite a spectacle!
With low hanging lights at the back and blue lanterns at the front, East Street not only has plenty of authentic Eastern-oriented street signs decorating its interior, it also has a corrugated fence for a wall, as well as a movie projector that was playing, of all things, Pokemon during our visit.
It is true that pork and alcohol is served here; but the chicken is entirely halal, and cooked in such a way as to ensure zero cross-contamination.
In fact, one of the chefs, who also happened to be Muslim, kindly demonstrated to us how the woks are cleaned and, thus, decontaminated before every use. Water is added to a preheated wok atop a water-cooled wok cooker before being scrubbed down thoroughly with the use of a brush.
Interesting drinks these albeit underwhelming.
The Virgin Popsicle is a refreshing summer drink that was enjoyed the most by two Lions. A sharp hit of tangy orange is initially met before gently mellowing out. With the pineapple coming through more strongly than the passion fruit, the grenadine was lost somewhere in between.
The Apple & Elderflower Lemonade was considered by the remaining Lion to be well balanced vis-à-vis the lemon-lime and mint combination, and, thus, voted best of the three.
As to the Mango on the Rocks, then the mango was more sour in taste than sweet. With a minty background taste, this requires improvement.
These Japanese Style Sticky Wings were incredible!
With a sweet chilli Teriyaki glaze, these succulent wings had a crispy exterior that was sweet and almost chewy in texture. Sprinkled with sesame seeds, they went really well with the peanut dip, which was actually meant for the Mala Chicken Satay below!
In any case, the best of the starters, and one of the best dishes on the day.
These chickens strips were topped with a chunky textured peanut and garlic paste that had a bit of a bite to it. The cucumber and red onion salad was welcome too in countering the heat of the chilli that comes through soon after. The combo of sweet and chilli notes along with the peanut dip made this a delightful little dish.
We also ordered a bowl of Japanese Edamame, which is simply a bowl of pea pods sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with a mild chilli dressing of sorts. A pleasant enough appetiser.
What a wonderfully flavoured Thai Curry Noodle this was.
Tender chunks of chicken in a rich, deep creamy broth that was perfectly seasoned. With a combination of different textures and taste sensations, the heat delivered by the red curry sauce was warm and mellow, and lingered comfortingly at the back of your throat. Faultless!
This Yaki Udon was light and fresh with the bits of garlic combining well with the chicken, prawns, squid, and mussels to subtly deliver the salty flavours of the sea. Although the squid was slightly overcooked, and thus chewy, it was, nevertheless, a tasty dish.
Despite this Pad Thai exuding a strong, welcoming fragrance, the well balanced flavours were more subtle in nature than anything else, with the textures of the crispy, crunchy veg and the generous sprinkling of egg flakes being the most memorable features of the dish. And since no single bite was the same, this turned out to be an enjoyable eat.
While the noodles and chicken were well cooked, the spring onions crunchy, the bean sprouts firm in texture, and the lemon grass just about discernible, nothing really came through, either in flavour or texture, to make us sit up and take notice. As such, while it promised to deliver on taste, it didn’t quite.
This was a nice clean, mildly flavoured fish curry that would definitely require the addition of rice (sold separately). With large chunks of sweet potato, the curry sauce needed to be fairly thick and sweet in flavour to marry with a fish that was not only firm in texture, but also fairly pungently fishy.
Our only complaint would be with the grainy texture of the sauce no doubt caused by the coconut not being sieved.
If you have a sweet tooth then the Churros should certainly be the dessert of choice for you. We just felt it perhaps had a little too much sugar sprinkled over the top. Nevertheless, it was crispy and sugary on the outside, soft on the inside, and went well with this lovely, warm chocolate sauce.
As for the Vietnamese Banana Fritters, then this was such a delicious dessert both in taste and aesthetics. With their crunchy, nutty flavoured exterior and caramelised banana interior, the golden fritters, sitting atop of a rich caramel sauce, went perfectly with this absolutely mind-blowing white cinnamon ice cream. But what really brought this entire dish to life was with plenty of lime being squeezed all over. Its acidity help cut through all that sweetness to elevate this dessert into the stratosphere. Superb! Just don’t forget the lime!
The subtly sweet and crispy Malaysian Pancake was cinnamon in flavour and went well, at least in terms of the contrast of temperatures, with the cinnamon ice cream. But, to be honest, putting cinnamon with cinnamon didn’t quite make sense to us. We would have much rather preferred a different flavoured ice cream.
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Although pork and alcohol is available on the menu, the chicken is entirely halal, and cooked in such a way as to ensure zero cross-contamination.
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3-5 Rathbone Place
Opening Times: Mon–Fri 11:30–23:00 | Sat–Sun 12:00–22:00
T: +44 (0)20 7323 0860 | W: www.eaststreetrestaurant.com