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“Top and Exotic - A Hit with Substance In Hot Part of London”
Review of Viajante - CLOSED

Viajante
Price range: $46 - $147
Cuisines: International, Spanish, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: East End / East London
Cross street: Patriot Square
Transit: TUBE 3 minutes walk to Bethnal Green tube on the Central Line (between Bethnal Green Road and Hackney Road). Take the 1st exit on the right hand side of the station, walk straight up Cambridge Heath Rd. TRAIN 2 minutes walk from Cambridge Heath Road overground (5 minutes from Liverpool Street) BUSES 26, 48, 55, 106, 254, 309, 388, 394,D3
Description: Viajante offers a blind style tasting menu of 3, 6, or 9 courses for lunch and 6 or 12 courses for dinner. Menus are based on the seasonal availability of produce and on the diner's dietary restrictions. Lunch is served Wendnesday to Sunday: 12:00 pm to 2:00 pmDinner is served Monday to Sunday: 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
39 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Top and Exotic - A Hit with Substance In Hot Part of London”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

If you think it's a hike to Bethnal Green to eat, think again - it's right on the Central Line or a long bike in good weather if you are from other parts of town and Viajante is worth the journey. Located off the entrance to the Town Hall Hotel, a magnificent renovation of, yes, the BG Town Hall with wonderful dark woods, brass and skylights , this exceptional restaurant is a delight from start to finish - one of the best in London and way better than Heston's in the more sedate and boring Kensington (or even the original Fat Duck which also now at least pales compared to this place) as a clear example of the travel being well worth it. The menu has a Portuguese accent centered on fish, greens and meat, but it is unusual delicious and surprising. That it has 1 Michelin star already is no surprise either. There is no set menu but a tasting menu and there's nothing to be put off here about that. We sampled 5 varied starters from Gordal olive soup to a virtual delicate clam dumpling made from clam broth to prawns with dulse and then followed up with the six course menu which include crab with milk skin and peas to celeriac with roasted potatoes and mushrooms and a very nice Iberian pork with a fine vegetable wrap. You should call in advance if you are curious about the rest of it. The service was excellent, with different waiters for different courses, all very interested in what you wanted or might not like with the bartender even coming in from the bar on the other side of the hotel to whip up a special margarita to order with fresh lime and lemon as it wasn't on the menu and they wanted to make sure everything was right. The head chef Nuno Mendes was a delight - warm, engaging and personal. And the hair was a hoot - one notices right away each of the waiters aside from their distinctive personalities had some wild and effective haircuts (so does Nuno - he looks like and has a bit of an air of Giancarlo Giannini. When I asked why this was so, they confirmed, perhaps only half jokingly that it was part of the job requirement to be different. So there you have it . Original, fun, and and effective. The only 'could be improved' comment would be that in contrast to the hotel the dining room except for the open air kitchen was bland and 'corporate' - which I was told they are changing ; and second the red wine selection was a bit short in contrast to the white wine selection which was excellent. They are addressing that also so by the time you get there I am sure it will be 5 stars on all points. On the food, the experience....... and the hair it already is hands down. And while you are at it tour the hotel, Bethnal Green and Hackney particularly by the Canal - a great excursion in good weather particularly. These areas are 'hot' for good reason this restaurant being one of them (see the pictures..).

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank E M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

231 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    155
    34
    15
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Creative menu, but poor flavours and awkward moments”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

Went with group for a birthday and had the 6 course tasting menu in the evening.
Friend saw a staff member roll her eyes when I made a request to move a cake aside which was poor.
Courses served were creative, but repetitive (themes of green and seafood). Some seafood was either too fishy or were paired with ingredients that weren't complementary. Monkfish was tasteless. I am a big fan of seafood but the prawns smelled very fishy the crab wasn't pleasant.
Bread course was served with light, fluffy and creative butter that wasn't pleasant at all - charcoal is never a flavour that's tasty or gourmet.
Chefs really tried hard but food is overrated for the price you pay. Dishes look amazing and presentation is fantastic, but once in the mouth, it's quite the opposite story.
On reflection, we each struggled to name our favourite dish - none of them stood out as being delicious.
Even if food was half the price, I would not come here again.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank May2013_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“I didn't want it to end!”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We had been recommended Viajante by my son who is studying to be a chef himself. I was a bit sceptical of a restaurant out in the east end suburbs in Bethnal Green, but thought we should give it a go - after all we had a great recommendation and all the reviews were great! The staff are all really friendly and laid back - but at the same time very attentive to detail too. We had the best seats in the house - front row in the front room right in front of the open kitchen so we could watch our food being prepared by the very able chefs. Decor is very retro and funky, all in all an experience worth the travel to and from there. Best courses for me were "cod tripe", "Iberico pluma" and the "milk" dessert. We had a 6 course taster - there is also a 3 course which would not be enough to satisfy and then there is of course also a 9 course. Apart from the 6 courses there were 5 amuse bouches and their famous bread and butter - the hay smoked butter is nothing short of amazing!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank VicandPer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
253 reviews
210 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
“Fantastic luncheon experience.”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

On a recent trip to London I had the good fortune to experience the amazing cuisine by Chef Nuno Mendes. (I've been a fan of Nuno since his days at Bacchus.) Very creative cookery, wonderfully offbeat yet professional service style, unusual wines paired, unique architecture, all set in a funky neighbourhood in East London. This restaurant is elegantly eclectic, and well worth the visit and expense. This is a food trip, and get ready for the inspiring ride. One can make a reservation using Top Table, and get instant confirmation.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank R M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Excellent leisurely lunch - with a staff and chef that really tried”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We are visitors from New York City and a local recommended this innovative restaurant. We felt well treated from the moment we stepped in and really enjoyed the pace and atmosphere. We went for the three course lunch (a bargain at 35 pounds) and they added many other little side dishes. Each was carefully crafted, inventive, and in most cases quite enjoyable. The presentation was lovely... and the wait staff had excellent timing. The portions were not overwhelming, so we did not leave with a stuffed feeling (I hate that) but felt quite content. This restaurant proves that the UK has come a long way from fish and chips, and there is hope for foodies. We highly recommend a visit - and lunch was a delightful experience

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DianeAngelaDrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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