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  • 5.0 star rating
    3/3/2014
    1 check-in here

    Yikes. I've been remiss in not posting my very positive review of Viajante earlier and Nuno Mendes has now left the restaurant!

    Despite its Michelin starred status, the staff are very relaxed and it's nice to see so many tattoos, piercings and individual hairstyles. My sister and I witnessed a most impressive flaming (literally!) cocktail being poured from glass to glass (yelp.co.uk/biz_photos/vi…)

    As Chef Mendes won't be bringing his unique inventive cuisine here any more, I won't give a blow by blow description of the inventive style of cooking of his multi-course tasting menu supplemented with many extra amuses. For example, imagine mackarel with blackberries and coffee. I love this inventive style of food and this was one of my favourite meals in London

  • 5.0 star rating
    2/11/2013
    Listed in Top Restaurants.

    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 is found here, served with a wonderfully offbeat yet professional service style.  Unusual wines are paired with each course.  The unique architecture,
    all set in a funky neighbourhood in East London, adds to the charm of this establishment.  This restaurant is elegantly eclectic, and well worth the visit and expense.

    This is an exciting food trip, so, get ready for the inspiring ride!

  • 5.0 star rating
    30/3/2013
    1 check-in here

    Just excellent in every way.
    Warm welcome on arrival. We were early for our reservation so stopped at the adjoining cocktail bar for a pre-dinner drink.
    There's a central island bar with cosy seating areas around with an atmospheric vibe and pleasant staff. I enjoyed a Spanish dirty martini which was quite different and enjoyable with lots of herbal flavours and I think smoked vodka and olive dust around the rim.

    They've done a great job forming a restaurant out of the 1910 Town Hall building. Open kitchen at the front where you can watch the group of chefs diligently preparing each dish with care. The lighting is nicely subdued as well as the calmly confident and understated design theme. Just comfortable, informal and relaxed.

    The menu has three options: 6 course, 9 course or 12 course blind tasting menu. Just choose how many courses you want. We opted for the 9 course.  You won't know what the dishes are in advance except when they bring them to you and explain but at the end you'll receive a print out of the menu to remember.

    Then the meal starts. Round after round of amuse bouches (six in total) including some excellent 'bread and butter' which was a mini bread board with some chicken flavoured butter.

    Next, the actual dishes. Each perfectly formed, intricate and precise yet simple with clean flavours and innovative. Vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, sweets. Some highlights:

    -Sea urchin with frozen sea water was great. My previous experiences of sea urchin were with sushi but this was the best yet.
    -Scallop with parsnips and watercress came as two roughly hewn large scallop 'chunks'. I think the waiter described it as 'chewy' scallops. It was chewy in the best possible way with a flavour that was sublime. I can't think how they did it.
    - Two meat courses of iberico pork (always a favourite for me), one served as a mini stuffed cabbage and one was crispy tail.

    Several desert courses followed including 'milk. A plate of white items including folded sheet like forms, soft semi frozen tasting of a cross between ice cream, cream cheese with salt and sweet. Interesting and unique.

    The presentation and timing of each dish was perfect. Our waiters were smart and calm and enthusiastic. The sommelier made some good recommendations of wine by the glass and provided samples for tasting before selecting.

    Overall a great eating experience and faultless organisation and service to match. Although fairly pricey, the value quotient is very high for me here and hope I can return to experience again.

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/1/2011
    1 check-in here

    Everyone has their bar. Their favorite place. Their go-to spot. The one where you're on a first-name basis with a majority of the staff, you bring all of your out-of-town friends, where you stop in at least once a week and the the bartender has a pretty accurate idea of what you like to drink. If I lived in East London, or anywhere close to it, the hotel bar of Viajante would likely be mine.

    A bold claim, if you're familiar with my drinking preferences. This would put Viajante in the elite company of Flatiron Lounge in NYC and Drink in Boston. The staff at Viajante is friendly. The cocktail menu is legit, but the staff is more than willing to whip up something custom, with the spirits and historical bar knowledge to back it up. The atmosphere is hip, the decor chic--all without impeding your ability to relax, have a chat with your friends, and sip something glorious. Yes, the prices are not cheap, but count me among the few who are willing to drop a few dollars on the enjoyment of a proper drinks.

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/7/2013
    1 check-in here

    We arrived a little early so we sat in the bar area and had a few drinks. When we finally got seated, i was happy to find out that the service here was probably some of the best service I've ever had at a restaurant. Everyone was friendly and communicative, and everything was , as Jovanie would say, "proper and well appointed."
    Adrienne picked this place and while there is a reference menu on line, it clearly states that the chef basically cooks whatever he feels like and you can eat it. Thats it. And you can choose six,nine or 12 courses, and you can pair it with wine. While Jovanie and Adrienne are both adventurous eaters , i am basically a gastronomical midget. And i bask in that title. I knew that i wouldn't be able to do so at this restaurant so i was approaching this experience with some trepidation. I also bought a bag or tow of chardonnay vinegar crisps back at the hotel in case i was still hungry after dodging most of the courses.It turns out that i ate all 12 and probably liked 11 of them and really loved at least half.
    scallop with parsnips and watercress
    crab with milk skin and radishes
    monkfish with asparagus and millet
    smoked bone marrow with carrot and horseradish
    langoustine and braised chicken skin
    cod tripe with onion and potato
    celeriac with roasted potato and mushrooms
    pluma with vegetable crepinette
    iberico ribs with Jerusalem artichoke
    cucumber with reduced milk and lemon
    black carrot with toasted caraway seed ice cream
    milk

    The milk dessert was milk done three ways and i have to say , was the big finale.In fact, Jovanie argued with me that everything on the plate wasn't milk, even though the server had said so, so we had to call him back to the table to prove me right. One of the best meals I've ever had.I highly recommend Viajente.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/10/2011

    I was thoroughly impressed by both the bar's space -- clean, mid-century modern lines and nice, atmospheric lighting --  and its cocktail offerings -- creative and appealing with just the right amount of "What's that ingredient?" flair to keep things interesting.

    My friend had the Shiso Lovely whilst I opted for the Porto di Pisco. Both elicited excited reactions at first sight and sip. The sofas were comfortable enough to have a true catch up and it's easy to imagine settling in here for a couple of rounds, though on this occasion we stuck with a single drink each.

    Next time I'll swing by to sample the seasonal cocktail tasting menu that can be booked Sunday to Wednesday between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm.

    The only drawback I can see with Viajante is that it's not really near anything else of interest and can feel a bit far out if you live more centrally.

  • 5.0 star rating
    11/9/2010
    ROTD 19/2/2011

    AS GOOD AS IT GETS!  It took me a long time to get the reservation, but was so pleased.  This is not dinner--it is an eating event!  You can do 6, 9 or 12 courses.  We opted for 9 which was a bit too much for us (and we got the wine pairing with it).  We were intoxicated by the end--not just because of the wine, but the food was intoxicating.  

    The decor is simple and they really space the tables out so no one is near you (which I feel is so uncommon--I feel like I am constantly packed in with other tables).  

    We had 4 amazing amuse bouches to start--things like watermelon sashimi and razor clams with red pepper and pumpkin seeds.  The courses were all in these amazing bowls or beautiful plates.  Things like the halibat, confit yolk, courgette ribbons and sofrito was simply amazing.  (You get a copy of the menu--that's how I am able to write in such detail!)  The wine pairing was magical....wines we weren't  too sure about when we tasted them but then they made the food come alive.  Inventive dishes, unusual combos, simplicity and complexity of dishes at the same time.  Great textures and taste combos--like the use of frozen purees.  So good.  The words on the menu don't do justice to what happened in my mouth.  

    The sommelier was adorable--Italian and so passionate about the wines--he was so great to talk to.

    The only disappointments--the VERY expensive bill (thank goodness for my banker boyfriend!), for some reason they forgot to bring us our cocktails, I could not understand what the waitress was saying when she told us what each dish was, and the KILLER was that the chef seemed to stop or serve at all of the tables except ours :( and I wanted him to meet my boy because they are both Portuguese (and for the amount of money we paid he could have hung out a bit to chat).  

    I will be back--very stoked to hang out at the bar and eat off the bar menu.  

    This is a memorable meal.    6 stars--come on Yelp!--make a 6 star function....

  • 4.0 star rating
    23/10/2011
    1 check-in here
    Listed in Hooch Houses!

    REVIEW FOR THE BAR ONLY

    Friendly, not pushy service.

    Lovely modern retro decor, comfy seating

    They have a sense of humor. I ordered a drink called the Ron Burgundy. It was basically rum, pinot noir and mahogany. The menu said it was served on a leather bound book but alas it was not given to me that way :( But it was still awesome to see on the menu none the less.

    They also served another drink called the Cleva Gal, based on the famous quote from Jurassic Park.

    Gotta Love it.

  • 4.0 star rating
    12/1/2011
    1 check-in here

    I've recently discovered a love for a decent cocktail. I've also discovered a love for hotel bars. Propping one up and chatting up the bartender is a favoured past-time of mine.

    Viajante has two parts to it, the hotel bar on one side and the restaurant on the other. In-between the two you have a specky east London twat look-a-like behind a reception desk. Go right and you'll meet some fine cocktails with passionate staff, go left and you'll walk into their dining area.

    I've been to the bar a few times now. It's a stones throw from my house and having cocktails this close is just too tempting of an evening. It's also very warm in here and when you're walking from Bethnal Green tube station is tough not to want to pop in, just to warm yourself up of course. When you do take a seat, have a chat with Alex, the tween who will always be in his white jackets creating something experimental for you to try. The first occasion I went in, a half pint of beer with foam on the top was put in my hands. This was no beer ladies and gents, it was a cocktail that with Alex's ingenuity has me still talking about it months later.

    They have a huge range of spirits and a wealth of knowledge about them. The service is relaxed so take your time and browse the menu. If you're just popping in for a quick drink, don't bother. You'll leave disappointed. Everything here is meant to be savoured. So why with all the love for this place have I four starred the bar? It's a hotel bar, and past a certain time you'll get dicks arrive who want "beer and nuts." They don't understand or appreciate the wonders and skill of the chap making their drinks and it saddens me. Still it won't stop me from coming back.

  • 5.0 star rating
    18/1/2013

    Viajante are the slackliners of Michelin star cuisine. The stuff of daredevils.  Complexity & combination completely unique to any experience I've had in the food world & the wine pairings were a clever play on contrasts and unexpectedness. Those who want 'flawless' should spend their money someplace more conservative. Those who are looking to explore, soar, love and learn- Viajante is your place.  

    A word on the decor and lighting- its severe/stark/garish as hell, prepare yourself for that ahead of time and you will soon be distracted by the fabulous & unprecedented food.

  • 5.0 star rating
    13/6/2012

    The best!

    My trip to London centered around three things - ..., ..., and Viajante. I knew I wanted to have one really special dining event during my trip to London knowing that the city has a great reputation of really fine cuisine and I searched for months (literally months!) for the right place.... and Viajante it was.

    It exceeded my expectations. I've been to a few fancy pants restaurants in my day - and what I loved the most about my experience here was how it managed to be so incredibly innovative and somehow simple at the same time. I love how I left after eating multiple courses and I didn't feel sick and stuffed - I felt fed and light.

    Nuno Mendes came out to the lobby on our way out and we chit chatted - he is so sincere and warm. I support his movement here and wish him nothing but good things. He's a good man who makes great food and who is so humble about it.

    If you're in London, or going to be in London - make a reservation and fall in love with Nuno Mendes and his fantastic restaurant Viajante.

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/3/2011

    made the booking for Viajante two months in advance, something that I don't do often. Midway through that two months, the Michelin man came out with the 2011 Edition and they were awarded one star. Now I really couldn't wait for the day to arrive.

    After my experience, I really enjoyed the tasting menu. I didn't know what to expect and what I got was natural ingredients with some that I have never seen or expected to be used to create dishes that was though filling, felt light and almost healthy. You usually leave feeling almost like roly-poly by the end of a tasting menu but this did not do that.

    Less successful were some of the wine pairings as noted by my foodie partner in crime. It was such a relaxing lunch as the kitchen was relaxed, everything was in sync and there was even music being played in the kitchen. It almost feel like you were having a leisurely lunch in the comfort of your home.

    Viajante in five words - provoking, refreshing, different, exquisite, delicate.

  • 5.0 star rating
    29/8/2010
    First to Review

    Absolutely beautiful. the bar is sexy and somewhat masculine and mondern.
    Friendly warm staff.
    Unique, well made extraordinary cocktails.

    I went for a drink and some bar food. The smoked salmon pizza is to die for - the Nomad Martini - is the best martini I have ever had- Alex aerates the martini by doing the high and I mean really high pour - three times....

    I cannot wait to go back for dinner. The dining room was full and people looked increibly happy and lively.
    the vibe is now, perfect, new, desire, happy.

    Nuno actually came out and said hello. Chef extraordinaire!

  • 5.0 star rating
    25/4/2012

    Oh my goodness. Yes. This restaurant was so incredibly good. I want to go back about 100 times.

    One of the more delicious and creative places for a tasting menu in London, even compared with the more established and expensive places in the city. Definitely lives up to the hype and didn't break the bank as much as other hotspots. It's definitely in my top 3 London restaurants, vying for #1. Also, it's not overly formal (thanks, Bethnal Green location) so it makes for a hipper experience with amazing food.

    When you come and get a tasting menu with 6 courses, you will not leave hungry.

    You will eat mystery foods, including what I thought was a vanilla-flavored jellybean and turned out to be frozen olive oil. Amazing.

    Another highlight was the Ron Burgundy cocktail. A glass of burgundy wine mixed with I believe Scotch comes in, on a tray with a lid. Underneath the lid are smoking mahogany chips. Quite the presentation and delicious as well.

    Gluten-free notes: Yes, you will eat really amazingly normally well here. They also have the best gluten free bread I have ever had, a freshly-baked cumin roll. You will eat your cumin rolls with smoked butter and consider whether buttered cumin rolls constitute a balanced meal.

  • 5.0 star rating
    26/6/2011
    2 check-ins here

    Hands down - best eating experience in London so far.

    From the delicious pre-dinner cocktails to every single, complex course from the 9 course tasting menu which had far more than 9 courses. About half way through we'd lost count of what we'd had and when we asked they smiled and said they wouldn't tell us. The service was excellent, this place is amazing food but the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable.

    The transformation of the town hall is stunning with furniture that I would love to have in my own home if I could afford it.

    Favourite course was a new one that day served by Nuno Mendez himself (we actually recognised him but the main maitre d helpfully or rather awkwardly depending on your point of view, used his name in a "don't break those plates Nuno" as he placed them on the table): a milk yuba served with peas and parmesan, who knew milk skin could be so delicious?

    I would so love to go again sometime but it is pricey so I think it will be while. In the meantime though I have yet to try the far far cheaper but equally amazing (according to one Yelp and one time out review) Corner room restaurant upstairs, and best of all there are no reservations for that one unlike the months I had to wait for a Friday night to open up at Viajante.

    Ah well, it was worth the wait.

  • 5.0 star rating
    13/5/2013

    Fit for Foodies! Amazing food, Amazing Service. Not only do you get to see Nuno Mendes in action, as kitchen is open to the dining room, he serves the food along with every other staff member. All hands on deck, from hostess to head chef, your table is serviced by everyone! Feels and acts just like a supper club, yet the food is Michelin star quality. What a fantastic night! Door opened for me twice by the head chef, very cool touch! We then went for drinks at the bar, and there came Nuno again with some sample desserts! I was impressed! Worth the high price tag!

    • Qype User cleois…
    • London
    • 46 friends
    • 176 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    3/3/2011

    Viajante is a place I only heard about quite recently. It sounded too good to be true, a place that incorporates el Bulli and Noma esq cuisine in the middle of Bethnal Green. I thought I was having some sick and twisted foodie perverted dream. Or perhaps I have had enough of my area, whichever is true I was amazed to find that Viajante is in fact in Bethnal Green.

    As a birthday present this year I received a voucher to have cocktails there (which I haven't used yet) but a lovely friend suggested we all go there on a Thursday afternoon.

    This Thursday will forever be etched in my mind as the Thursday that changed my life. I'm never looking back from this dining experience, and I feel if anyone who claims to love food this is your culinary mecca. May you go at least once a year to get your key to the portal of extraordinary food bliss.

    Firstly I love that they don't have a designated menu. You choose courses and they ask if you have any intolerances or allergies. One of our party was...I mean had a severe wheat and gluten intolerance. Initially I thought that would mean more bread for us, but they made a special one for her.

    But this was the best bit anything that was a potential problem they didn't sem to get uncomfortable or sweaty under the brow or even take the approach of you can just eat rice or salad or "we can't accomodate your request". Not here. It seems to fuel the creativity even more.

    To start with we had two amuse bouche the first one was called a 'Thai Explosion ll' which was spiced chicken, cooked with chicken skin and had bread on the outside (only for the intolerant one they just had chicken skin on hers)

    This was a fragrant cluster bomb in the mouth. Gentle notes of galangal, lemongrass, coriander, lime, fish sauce and chilli all melanged into a bite. I wanted it again. Just like a visit to a ping pong bar in Bangkok.

    The next thing that came was some bread and butter. Pretty standar for any michelin starred place one would think but here they did some magic. It came with what looked like two brown quinelles scattered with carnivorous debris. Butter 1 had black pudding in it. Butter 2 had Iberico ham. Nuno was pleasing me already, and if it was an ambassador party I would be tempted to say screw the ferrero rocher and give me the ham.

    But you don't say things like that in places like this, well not out loud.

    After we had these courses we were then given the option of matching wine to our subsequent courses. The intolerant one and I decided to stick to water but our other two earstwhile daytime drinkers had the wine.

    I should have had wine too but I decided not to leave this foody shrine plastered.

    The first course we had didn't have the most appetising description on the planet 'Charred leeks, lobster, milk skin and leek ash emusion'. It was the milk skin that sounded strange yet intriguing. When it arrived I thought I was looking at a piece of deconstructed art as that in effect was what it was. Every flavour was distinguished and they were generous with the lobster but not to the point it felt overbearing. I am not the greatest lover of lobster but in little chunks its fine. These sweet nuggets of tail and claw were sensational and the milk skin added an interesting texture to this. Topped with hazelnuts and brioche breadcrumbs (they left off the crumbs for the intolerant one) it all worked together in a moorish way. I would have licked the plate clean if I was more of an animal.

    Second course was Lamb neck in hay, cauliflower and onion. This was seriously the nicest lamb I have ever eaten. It melted, had no chewiness or sinew and the cauliflower was cooked three ways. It was pickled, pureed and fried. Everything again balanced and I loved the concept of having deconstructed elements reconstructed on the plate.

    We then had a pre-dessert of frozen maple pannacotta with a shisho granita and green apple. This will eternally put to bed ever considering lemon sorbet as a palate cleanser ever again.

    The creaminess of the maple took away the sharp acidic and very green flavours of the apple and shisho. It tasted almost herbal but delightfully so. It was like eating something that willy wonka would make, when he has lickable wall paper in a meadow. This would have been what the meadow would have tasted like. Try it and you will see and believe that I am not crazy or on crack.

    Now the next dessert had an air of mystery about it. Our server told us that she could tell us or we could guess what was in the next dessert. This was like a culinary version of Cluedo only there was no candlestick or conservatory involved and the intolerant one was dressed in blue so sadly no Miss Scarlet for us to be destroyed by was present.

    This dessert looked at first like pastry and chocolate but on closer inspection there was something different. Also some caramel coloured tapioca was spooned over this making it look like a bizarre caramel frogspawn esq creation with

    • Qype User mseaso…
    • London
    • 53 friends
    • 47 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    29/6/2011

    One of the most inventive restaurants in London today. It's not cheap by any standard, but it's worth all the fanfare (and the Michelin star).

    Hard to comment on the type of food since the tasting menu changes every day, but I can tell you that everything was cooked perfectly, and even if you don't like one of your courses, you have to give it up to the kitchen for executing the dish properly.

    The bar across from the restaurant is beautiful too

    • Qype User KatBro…
    • London
    • 55 friends
    • 78 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    16/5/2011

    Am I allowed to fill this box with "NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM" or do I have to expand my vocabularly sufficiently to mention the superlative friendly staff? The barman who made an off-menu Sidecar for me and related the fact that he used to make them for his grandma? The Jewish wedding music in the beautifully decorated bar?

    Ok, what about the wine list that came inside a copy of Captain Cook's adventures - they're different for each table. The sommelier who introduced each wine in our wine pairing to us with such enthusiasm that we fell on the wine with even more love than would have otherwise done (amazing choices - saki! Lots of it). The food, so delicious, imaginative and moreish, that we managed six courses plus amuse bouches and palate cleansers without feeling stuffed? That Nuno Mendes came out with a copy for the menu for each of us at the end and I felt a little bit like I'd just met foodie God.

    Moreover, that we spent £300 between us, and it still felt like a bargain.

    Enough questions, go and answer for yourself. This wonderful restaurant is the full stop of London dining.

    • Qype User haribo…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 47 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    24/8/2011

    Booked Viajante for a couple months after it opened, somewhere special, that had a lot of hype, for my dad's birthday last year. We got the lunch menu which is all we could afford but got plenty of food.

    Its the kinda place were you get given something to nibble all the time. The menu does not exist so everything you eat is a surprise, which if it is delicious, is great. And it was delicious, very fresh and healthy but inventive and unusual.

    The only qualms I had with the meal was that every time they bring you food they give you a explanation of what it is which can stunt the conversation a little. The decor is a little off and I'd advice ordering a bottle of wine with your meal and not the recommended drink per course, which I wouldn't say is that nice (cherry beer yuk)
    All in all a great restaurant that if not just great food is a great experience

    • Qype User chopst…
    • London
    • 12 friends
    • 105 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    17/3/2011

    made the booking for Viajante two months in advance, something that I don't do often. Midway through that two months, the Michelin man came out with the 2011 Edition and they were awarded one star. Now I really couldn't wait for the day to arrive.

    After my experience, I really enjoyed the tasting menu. I didn't know what to expect and what I got was natural ingredients with some that I have never seen or expected to be used to create dishes that was though filling, felt light and almost healthy. You usually leave feeling almost like roly-poly by the end of a tasting menu but this did not do that.

    Less successful were some of the wine pairings as noted by my foodie partner in crime. It was such a relaxing lunch as the kitchen was relaxed, everything was in sync and there was even music being played in the kitchen. It almost feel like you were having a leisurely lunch in the comfort of your home.

    Viajante in five words  provoking, refreshing, different, exquisite, delicate.

    To read the complete review, please go to chopstix2steaknives.blog…

    • Qype User Mike_B…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 18 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    22/4/2013

    It's a pity that I don't have enough time to go there more often. The menu is good. The three course lunch with beverage pairing for only £53 is completely fine for me.

  • 5.0 star rating
    14/1/2013

    This restaurant is located in an up and coming area of London, and reflects a smooth, comfortable and elegant decor in the old Town Hall building where patrons watch the chefs' meticulous attention to detail. We went here for my daughter's 20th birthday  for lunch and the staff could not have been nicer and more attentive. When my wife, who shies away from pork was served pig tails-which were wonderful- they quickly offered her an alternative without her even asking! The langostinos were terrific, as were most dishes.  Plan to spend a few nice hours here tasting new creative dishes. We all found the food inventive and delicious.  Hands down a wonderful experience. In response to some reviewers who found it a bit of "the Emperor's New Coat"  I feel that one must come here with an open palate and a willing to be experimental. If you are looking for a big piece of meat - go elsewhere. This is a place to celebrate food and taste. (When you make a reservation - try real hard to be in the area where you can watch them cook. It will make you more connected to the whole process.

    If you are a foodie - do not miss this place!

    • Qype User willia…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 6 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    7/2/2013

    We went there with my parents, the atmosphere is actually really pleasant. The meals are tasty, but the prices are high according to me. My parents also agreed on the delicious taste of the dishes.

  • 5.0 star rating
    10/10/2011
    1 check-in here
    Listed in Special occasions

    First information - from a good review by Richard Vines. A high-end restaurant at Bethnal Green ? I am intrigued.
    Second impression - Viajante gets a Michelin star ahead of L'anima ... A restaurant that everyone I know who have been there loves. This must be good.
    Third - another bloomberg article mentions that the chef Nuno Mendez worked at El Bulli earlier and that Ferran Adria considers this a place where one can get food like his. Now I had to try this.
    And so I did ... Last month.
    The restaurant is located in between the Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath stations ... in the ground floor of what looks like a converted church or palace. The bar is on one side of the reception while the dining area is to the other. Its capacity seemed quite limited.
    We went for the six course tasting menu (which was priced at a very reasonable £65) ... however it seemed more like fifteen. They kept on serving us more and more food as part of the amuse-bouche even before we had formally started with course 1. Crab croquette, portobello mushrooms with cheese, potatoes with black olive, bread with flavoured butter ... the list was endless. I was almost full even before we had started.
    Unlike most other tasting menus that i have had, the one at Viajante was very heavy on fish and sea-food. Mackrel, langoustine, cod ... you name it. But my favourite main course was the lamb belly with cereals and garlic. The most unique dish however was the artichokes with milk-skin. Come to think of it, i hate milk-skin ... i have thrown them away all through my childhood ... but this one was divine :)
    After such wonderful food (we were in the 3rd hour already), Viajante excelled themselves with the dessert. Pickled cucumber with milk sorbet ... it was cold ... it was fresh ... it was sweet ... it was brilliant.
    My friends were equally effusive about the vegetarian menu that they tried. I can't remember the exact cocktails and wines that we had, except that they were strong. I loved Viajante ... i will go back to try the 12 course meal sometime very soon.

  • 5.0 star rating
    22/3/2012

    Love on a number of levels.  The interiors are a fantastic blend of Scandinavian simplicity with the history of east London architecture.  Every single person we interacted with was wonderful - very knowledgeable and interesting.  The food...oh, the food.  My favorite experience in London...every dish was impeccable.  On top of it, Nuno spent time with every table - talking about the food and we had a lovely time speaking with him. Sigh. Loved it.

  • 5.0 star rating
    10/10/2011

    the first time i went to Viajante, we went undercover. that is to say, my partner in crime had an interview for a job there at 3:30, so at 1:00 we walked in and asked for a seat. it was breath taking. at the end i turned to him and said "you better get this job. this place is amazing." as we paid the bill he said to the waiter "excuse me, i have an interview with ****," the look on the waiters face was rather priceless.

    time has gone by and they picked up their first star, which from what i had experienced was much deserved.

    i recently went again, excited to see how the last year has fared them. quite well, i would say.

    my friend and i walked in for lunch. and again, gorgeous food, lovely service amazing atmosphere. i would say the only downside of Viajante would be the room itself, its a little corporate and stark, but they have done really well with it. the open kitchen in the front makes it feel so intimate, as if you're sitting in someones living room.

    being that i live around the corner, i have to stop myself from going here too frequently. my wallet and i are having a bit of an argument...  i'll tell you next time who wins.

  • 2.0 star rating
    16/8/2011

    Well well well. I spent £433 on a meal for two and I really didn't like the food. The venue and bar are excellent. The somelier was very knowledgeable and the wine with each course was really good. However, the food itself was far too experimental for me. I hate offal for a start, so cod tripe, duck heart liver and tongue and bone marrow as three separate courses was just too much for me. At one point I was laughing that it felt like being on I'm a celebrity get me out of here, which is the last thing I would have expected. A lot of the dishes were tasteless which really surprised me. I've had quite a few tasting menus in the past and this was by far the worst. Maze or Trinity are a lot better. I left feeling very out of pocket and wishing i had booked something else.

  • 5.0 star rating
    17/4/2011

    Very innovative cocktails, exquisite food and fun to watch everything cooked in front of you.  The only downside is the grotty surrounding area, that is a bit scary walking around in at night on your own.

  • 5.0 star rating
    28/11/2011

    We are from San Francisco and were visiting old friends in London.  

    What a trip...and I don't mean the flight to London...I mean the entire tasting menu and  wine pairings.  

    The wine pairings were very unique.  Each wine had a distinctive flavor that really complemented the food. One white seemed a touch caramelly - loved that.   Another red was smokey.  Yum - bold, special.

    Mr. Nuno Mendez - What an interesting soul.  He wasn't offended when we asked him questions about his stints in California, in the US.  And was most gracious.  

    Ah and now. the food - adventures to see, taste, smell, guess.  What I liked was that the various creations still kept so true to the original tastes - meaning freshness is tantamount.  The scallops were sweet, fresh, tasty - just as fresh as those i had in Japan earlier.  The olive oil in one of the dishes was so fragrant.   The best ingredients!

    This was totally worth it - again to leave our three heathen children in the hands of a capable babysitter - while we naughty parents enjoyed our night out w/ our friends.  And - heck - while I was doing the laundry the next day - I could always think about the yummy meal before and forget the task at hand.  

    We all need such adventures!

    • Qype User Swedis…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 6 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    16/1/2011

    For photos see swedishmeatballeatslondo…

    After having lunch at Viajante a while ago I've become absolutely obsessed with it. Bread with chicken skin and pancetta butter... At night I dream of visiting again, for a full 12 course tasting menu. One day! The setting is beautiful, Nuno Mendes comes to your table and serves you (!!!), and the food is exciting and fresh. Go!

    • Qype User thelon…
    • London
    • 49 friends
    • 73 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    2/5/2010

    Viajante - Pics at The London Foodie(thelondonfoodie.co.uk ) Having had the most fantastic meal at The Loft supper club which I reviewed in 2009 (here), I was eagerly awaiting the opening of Nuno Mendes' new restaurant Viajante in Bethnal Green's imposing Town Hall building. I was pleased to find that they offer a £25 lunch set menu which I tweeted about. It didn't take more than a few minutes until a tweet up was organised with Uyen & Simon of Fernandez and Leluu, Jones (Unwholey), Euwen (A rather unusual chinaman), and Joshua of Cooking the Books. Set in the grand Town Hall building, the bar and restaurant areas are airy and light, boasting huge windows, parquet flooring, and some very elegant furnishings. I liked the clean, semi-minimalist feel of these rooms, with their light colours and the Scandinavian-styled furniture. It was also good to find a relatively intimate restaurant (a maximum of 40 covers at any one time) which overlooks an open plan kitchen so diners can watch the chefs in action. We had a few cocktails at the bar before heading to the dining area (diners are only seated when the entire party is at the restaurant). We opted for the 3-couse set menu priced at £25. There are no descriptions of the dishes on the menu. Viajante also offers 6 courses £60, 9 courses £75 and 12 courses £85. Wine flights can also be purchased to match each course and these are priced £30, £45 and £60 respectively. We kicked off proceedings with a dainty amuse bouche of paper thin toast topped with romesco sauce, tapenade, greens and gherkin slices in a beautiful checker-board pattern. Our first starter was a glass of soya milk (similar to a panna cotta in texture), and tasted like good quality, creamy tofu I have eaten in Japan. This was topped with a delicious layer of jellied dashi flavoured with aubergines and a small sandwich of pureed aubergine in layers of filo pastry. I loved the combination of flavours of this dish, although some of my fellow diners disagreed, so I was lucky enough to finish off Uyen's. The second starter Thai Explosion was served next - shredded chicken in a lightly spiced, creamy sauce reminiscent of Thai green curry and sandwiched between two thin wafers. From Japan to Thailand, the flavours were again complex and tantalising  I love the Asian influences in Nuno's cooking and am still to find a chef who can incorporate these in their repertoire as well as he does. A platter of bread and butter was also served. The bread was obviously freshly baked on the premises and tasted good. I would struggle however to describe the butter  it was very light, similar to churned butter milk and flavoured with some unidentifiable ingredient. The purple coloured seasoning was also intriguing, and the overall taste of the butter was outstanding. Three courses on, I feared that this was the end of our lunch. Luckily it wasn't and we were soon served a fish course of sashimi squid, with squid ink granita, thin slivers of radish, samphire and other greens. In my opinion, this was the best dish of the day  the flavour combination of squid ink granita, squid, olive oil and samphire was heavenly, and everyone at the table loved it. The presentation was again fantastic and I savoured every little bit of that dish. Our next main dish was a meat course of tender pork and prawns with deep fried capers and green cabbage juice. The meat was deliciously yielding and combined well with the prawns. I was pleasantly surprised with the salty flavour and texture of the deep fried capers which really lifted the dish. As a palate cleanser, we had a lemon and holy basil sorbet. The flavour of basil was intense and magnificently refreshing. I am not a huge fan of sorbets but I loved this and cannot wait to try and replicate it at home some time soon. For dessert, we had a chocolate fondant with pureed raspberries, hazelnut ice cream and ginger crumble. The raspberry juice was nicely tart and contrasted well with the rich chocolate. The ice cream had an intense nutty flavour and was the perfect accompaniment to the fondant. The spicy ginger crumble added another layer of complexity to this delightful and very satisfying dessert. As petit fours, we had chocolate truffles with a citric aspic. The truffles were filled with white chocolate with intriguingly earthy overtones. Nuno explained that the white chocolate mixture had mushroom as one of the ingredients. The wine list is carefully thought out but also overpriced in my opinion. There are only two choices below £30 (a white Pinot Grigio for £22, and a red Syrah priced at £24). We ordered a bottle of Syrah @ £24 which had slight peppery tones and nice, soft tannins. It was a great choice by Simon, and one I will make sure to order on my next visit. It was nice to see Nuno Mendes again as he cooked and oversaw his team at Viajante. He came to our table and chatted with us for a while, and was as charming and unassuming as I remembered him to be when I first met

  • 2.0 star rating
    5/8/2011

    We went to Viajante with foodie friends from LA. I had been warned that it was not worth trying, by other trusted foodies, but I gave it a shot, well, I had no choice in the matter, I was invited. Anyway, the ambiance was not to my particular taste, a sort of attempt at 1950's Scandanavia with badly finished molding, and bright lights, not the warmest place or cosiest place in the world, but this is supposed to be haute cuisine, and I suppose, the seriousness of the decor is supposed to support this hauteur, and, people could be into that kind of thing, the 1950's thing I mean. I can only take a small amount of 50's inspiration. Anyway, the food came and, out of 10 or more dishes, as hard as I try, I can't even remember one, I can't remember any that I absolutely loved. The tuna did not taste very fresh, the combination of flavors tasted amateur. The Portuguese wine selection was great and that was exciting, thank God, or the £100 per head would not have been worth it for any of us.

    • Qype User laisse…
    • London
    • 29 friends
    • 61 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    15/12/2010

    [Non-photo Review] For full article, see: wp.me/pwXBH-YL  LOFTY AMBITIONS Summary:Nuno Mendes' new venture certainly warrants attention. Much like the travelling theme of the restaurant, it is clear that Viajante is embarking on a journey. Its kitchen has a fascinating pedigree and there are flashes of brilliance, both in the food itself and the design. I am eager to visit again once they have progressed further along their path to discover what it is they want to become. But for now, £25 for 3 courses with so many extras has to be one of the best fine dining values around! Bringing it all together True to form, I am pretty sure most London-based food bloggers have already reviewed Viajante, and if you are from London, you quite likely already know a bit about it. Nonetheless, I believe that some degree of context is always useful  but if you don't need it, please skip ahead to the part about the meal. Viajante is the newest venture of Nuno Mendes, an intriguing Portuguese chap who was formerly chef at London's Bacchus and also runs a supper club called The Loft Project. Nuno also notably worked at El Bulli and has travelled the world working in various exciting kitchens. The Loft Project features notable chefs from all over the world who take up residence for a few nights to cook in an open kitchen to a table of 16 random paying guests (for reference, a review of the meal I had when Samuel Miller, Sous-Chef from noma, was cooking can be found here). As I understand it, The Loft Project sort of proved as a testing ground for Viajante, while Nuno figured out what type of food and experience he wanted to offer diners. The restaurant itself took a long time to develop, and after a somewhat prolonged soft opening, it finally reached fruition. Viajante, which is means 'traveller' and is therefore apt  also because the kitchen is made up of chefs who have done stints at major international restaurants  is located within the Town Hall Hotel in East London's Bethnal Green. There, now that wasn't too painful , was it? The travellers settle in I dined there for lunch during my last week living in London (sob), and had the pleasure of sharing the meal with kindred foodie spirit (and actual person) @gourmetraveller. She, of course, had already dined here many aeons before our rendezvous. She said the food had been interesting and that it made for an engaging dining experience that was quite unique in London at the moment (see her review here), so she didn't have a problem returning for another meal there. Either that or I'm irresistible. In any case, I am pretty sure that she didn't tag along just because the second part of her online identity shares the same meaning as the restaurant. Cue snare drums. I had actually taken my first ever half-day off from work to have this lunch so that I wouldn't have to rush back to the office, most likely too cheerful from inebriation that my colleagues would be highly suspicious given my otherwise rather cantankerous office disposition. I rode solo on the top deck of red London carriage and took in the rawness of the ever-effervescent East London landscape. It was a cold, wet and dreary afternoon, and I was all too happy to get inside the Town House Hotel's front door a-sap. Upon stepping through the main entrance, there is a bar through the glass doors on the right, which interestingly is not housed within the dining room, while the restaurant proper lies through the glass doors to the left. The hostess informed me that @gourmetraveller had already arrived and was in the bar. After some quick detective work (à la Jonathan Ames in Bored to Death  sans the horrible raincoat), I realized she was not there. It was just me plus Nuno and a couple of people who were obviously trying to pitch something to him over in the corner. A very friendly young barman gave me a drink list to peruse as I waited for the ghost of GT past to arrive. He said he could report no sightings of the said apparition, but I barely heard him as I was quite intrigued by the sound of some of the liberal libations on offer. Just as I was getting down and dirty (so to speak) with my Breakfast Martini, she appeared from the bowels of the building, where I presume she had been attending to her own bowels. Greetings were dispensed and a second drink menu was proffered for the good lady. Meanwhile, I was enjoying a slightly sweet concoction made from vodka (normally Chase Seville Orange Marmalade but they had run out so something else was substituted), Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, orange juice (or grapefruit if you prefer) and honey. It was certainly easy to drink. The tardy gourmand ordered the fascinating sounding (and looking) Green Traveller, seemingly not perturbed by the fact that she was taking this name similarity business to a whole new level. Her drink was made using fresh lemongrass, Tanqueray, Green Chartreuse, fresh lemon juice and orange bitters  with Thai basil bubbles to make you feel

    • Qype User kateat…
    • London
    • 8 friends
    • 15 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    26/7/2010

    Visiting Viajante is an experience and anyone who's really interested in food and eating out should go there. i'd recommend not going for the 12 courses unless you have a huge appetite as with the amuse bouches etc it turns into 17 courses and that was really too much. You'd get just as much enjoyment from the 9 course and the 6 course I'm sure would still be wonderful. Nuno Mendes is very talented and obviously has a real passion for food and combining flavours.

    • Qype User Liam-B…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 2 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    7/2/2013

    amazing place!

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