Review: Townsend at Whitechapel Gallery


Downstairs and to the right of Whitechapel Gallery’s entrance, you’ll find the small and unassuming Townsend restaurant. But, don’t let that deceive you. Home to contemporary cuisine, Townsend is an incredible place to find yourself on a Friday night in the east end of London.

The restaurant is the love child of Nick Gilkinson (Garden Café and Anglo) and Head Chef Chris Shaw (Petersham Nurseries and BAO Soho), and the seasonal menu focuses on showcasing British produce alongside a fantastic wine list.

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The seasonal menu changes weekly

Townsend is home to modern-meets-mid-century décor, with walls full of mirrors, low lighting, Scandi furniture and parquet flooring. The warm, muted glow of the lights allowed for a peaceful atmosphere and we felt relaxed and comfortable as soon as we sat down.

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After perusing the two menus, we decided to opt for the à la carte option and chose a few plates to try. But not before starting with a serving of rock oysters, and it was absolutely the best decision. The oysters were delicious and some of the best we have ever tried in the City – full of fresh flavour.

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The décor is a mix of modern and mid-century

While sipping on a glass of Austrian natural red, we shared a plate of celeriac salad with black truffle next. A forceful punch of flavours, the delicate vegetable was transformed into a meal in it’s own right, packed full of taste.

For the main event, we chose the pot roast partridge as well as the Cornish cod. Smooth, rich and succulent; the partridge was wolfed down. The cod was not as much of a hit, but still tasted great.

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The menu is simple yet full of flavour

The clean, fresh fish was beautifully cooked, but the large bed of sweetcorn was slightly excessive. Make sure you add a side of the fried pink fir potatoes – thank me later.

With full bellies, we opted to share the silky, sweet chocolate cream with an espresso for dessert. It was undoubtedly the most perfect way to finish a delicious meal.

77-82 Whitechapel High Street E1 7QX

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