At first glance the Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields looks like a less than salubrious establishment. Definitely veering into OMP territory (that’s Old Man’s Pub to us young-uns), you would never guess that it has a fantastic restaurant in the upstairs dining room.
Upstairs at the Ten Bells originally started as a 3 month pop-up by a collective of chefs called the Young Turks. I went there, way back when it was just a temporary venture and loved it. Unsurprisingly, as it was so popular, it’s now a permanent feature at the Ten Bells.
The dining room is super cosy and its the perfect place for a winter’s night catch up with friends after a long work week. The service is so friendly and you’re welcomed with a loaf of home made, still warm, bread.
They change the menu regularly and serve seasonal produce. Happily this meant the menu was completely different from the last time I went- apart from one dish which I was so glad to see they were still serving! I had this delicious buttermilk chicken with pine salt to start.
The girls starters were also apparently delicious, a chestnut and truffle soup and mussels.
And while we waited for our mains we admired the interesting nip-art that adorns the dining room.
We also sampled the roast partridge which looked really special
And one of the things I loved most was that even though one of my friends is vegetarian (and a proper veggie at that- no fish or anything!) there was still an appealing option on the menu for her. I definitely would have been happy to eat any of the veggie dishes, like this butternut squash with spatzle.
Last but not least, dessert- my favourite course. I find the desserts here to be really interesting and unconventional. I had this pear and thyme salad with honey ice cream and coffee crumbs. I love that they don’t just stick with the standard and often boring traditional desserts.
The other dessert we tried was apple and ale fritters with creme fraiche which was a little more conventional, but still really unusual and innovative I thought.
In my view, the food at the Ten Bells is just as good as what you would get in a top end central London restaurant and the price is very reasonable. We had 3 courses and wine for under £40 a head including service. Definitely give it a try next time you venture to East London, I can’t recommend it enough.
Upstairs at the Ten Bells. 84 Commercial St. E1 6LY. Enjoy x