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Palmers Restaurant (Restaurant)

Picture of Palmers Restaurant in Bethnal Green, London

238 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 0RY
Cuisine: British
Tel: 020 8980 5590 | Email to Palmers Restaurant | Transport: Bethnal Green | Write review

Palmers Restaurant Review

Best for: Fabulous food in an unexpected area.

Great: Staff, service and menu stalwarts.

Remember ‘Fievel Goes West’, that cute nineties film involving a daring mouse who ventured far away from home, to the distant reaches of the world in search of adventure? Well, this story is a little bit like that.

Only, instead of the Wild West, it was the relatively tame east. And instead of a cute cartoon mouse, it was a bedraggled writer and her fellow writer chum who, after just one day in the office, were already considering raising the white flag and going wherever it is that burnt-out writers go to die.

Can you picture the scene? All tortured grey Monday skies, fierce winds and the mysterious streets of a place called east London. You can see it? Then I’ll begin…

“Don’t judge me, but I genuinely think this might be the furthest east in London I’ve ever been…”

Aforementioned friend looks at me, incredulity written across her face.

“…is that bad?”

In my defence, when I moved to London I settled in the west, and it was only recently that I took the plunge and moved, gulp, north. South of the river is a place almost entirely foreign to me. It may as well be a different continent. East? Do I need a passport? Ooh, do I get a stamp?

We begin to walk from Bethnal Green station along Roman Road towards Palmers, a small family-owned restaurant which is our destination for the evening. I stop a couple of times to check my map and see if we’ve missed a turn. It doesn’t seem like the type of place you’d find the accomplished restaurant that the website purported. Still, that’s what the address says. So we continue.

Just at the point at which I think Fluid London must be winding us up, and as the monstrous Olympic sculpture appears awkwardly on the horizon, we spot the restaurant’s frontage. If I’m honest (and I’m not being snobby, I’ve lived in some pretty shoddy areas of Shepherd’s Bush and Acton) the area hasn’t exactly endeared me to what is soon to become known, to me at least, as one of London’s best kept secrets.

We’re seated by owner Stan, a larger than life character whose enthusiasm and charm are effusive. With his two sons, who are both chefs, Palmers is his life’s work, and it’s a bit of an understated masterpiece.

We’re given the menus to start browsing, but both of us prove indecisive to a fault. However, we’re given loads of time to mull over our decisions, and when Stan comes to take our order, we completely change our minds again after taking on his advice. Palmers, he tells us, changes its menu every fortnight, save for three items on the menu which never change. Upon hearing this, on principle I feel obliged to try all of these items (it might have been a trap, admittedly, but if it was, it’s one I’m happy to have fallen into).

Course one: Bouillabaisse with parmesan crostini. A dish I mostly watch my Dad eat, suspicious of its intense fishy scent and vivid orange pallor. However, this is something else. Packed with mussels and a couple of tiger prawns, the soup has a spicy kick and tastes divine.

Course two: steak. I wouldn’t normally order it for a review meal, since it doesn’t necessarily show the chef’s skills as well as something more carefully constructed after hours toiling in the kitchen. However, Stan has assured me it’s worth a try. I’m faced with a doorstep of red meat, perfectly cooked, with chunky chips and a salad. Don’t mind if I do. Although even with my best efforts, I make a miserable dent in the hunk, and my friend vows to take the remains home, along with the similar-sized off-cuts of her gorgeous tuna steak. Size isn’t everything, but if it matters to you, you won’t be disappointed here.

Course three: ah, yes. Dessert. Chocolate fondant might not be the most imaginative thing in the world, but do it right and, in me, you have a friend for life. Just ask my best bud Stan.

Admittedly, on the night we visited Palmers, we were one of three tables. It’s not chintzy. It’s not central. If you want The Ivy, this is not your place, and if you can’t make your own entertainment, you might struggle to conjure any over the view of the busy road outside. However, if you’re after fantastic, honest food from people who are passionate about the stuff, then this is the restaurant.

And Fievel? He may have eventually found his way home, safely ensconced back in the comfort of his own surroundings. But, as any good mouse knows, there’s always room for a squeakquel.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Palmers Restaurant

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Palmers Restaurant.

“Wow! What an amazing meal we had at Palmers last night. The food was seasonal and beautifully cooked. The service was friendly, but not in your face. Fantastic - will definitely be returning.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Sarah, London (8 years 5 months 9 days ago)

“My sister and I really enjoyed the food, and service. Time Out gave you 4 stars- well done!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
mary, london (8 years 8 months 3 days ago)

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Palmers Restaurant Opening Hours

Monday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm Friday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm
Tuesday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm Saturday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm
Wednesday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm Sunday: 12:00pm - 9:00pm
Thursday: 6:00pm - 10:30pm    

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Venue ID: 20489

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