Monday, 20 July 2015

Joe's Oriental Diner

Pan Asian hipster dining 

Joe's Oriental Diner

Located in London Field, Joe's Oriental Diner is the latest offering in London from ex Nobu chef Scott Hallsworth. With the success of Kurobuta, Scott has gained a reputation of dishing out some top quality western inspired Asian food and Joe's Oriental Diner is all about South East Asian flavours with ideas drawn from China, Vietnamese, Malaysian etc. The dining space is your proper hipster joint in a warehouse setting with a super high ceiling. I've tasted Scott's food a few times in the past from both Taste of Winter and Taste of London and generally really enjoyed it so I took advantage of the restaurant's "Tightarse Tuesday" offer when you can order the whole menu for £25 per person.

Pandan shrimp wraps
crab rangoon
miso grilled foie gras with crispy chicken skins
sticky leg bbq chicken
wood fired jump shrimp with Singapore chilli
bbq belly pork with chilli jam

The Pandan shrimp wraps were far too aggressive with the seasoning, the texture was great but it was too salty for my liking. Duck leg curry was tender and the flavours of the curry were well balanced without completely dominating the duck meat. Beef short ribs buns was another well executed dish, lovely rich flavours with a hint of creaminess in a soft Asian style bun. The bbq belly pork was super moist and it came with a spicy and punchy chill jam, in fact it was perhaps the best meat dish in the menu. Sticky miso grilled aubergine was the star of the evening with a perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness, finely deep-fried with a beautiful nutty aroma from the sesame. 
Unagi fried rice
sticky miso grilled aubergine
beef short rib rendang buns
duck leg red curry
wood fired tofu in black bean, soy and ginger
fruit salad bowl

The food generally was great and you can't fault the friendly service, but it was not cheap at all if I had to pay the full price. Without the offer, the bill would have been over £140 without any alcohol, hardly value considering how small all the dishes are. You would need at least 1 small plate and 2 large plates to get full so that would cost you about £35 before factoring the drinks, given the location, style of the food and the setting of the restaurant, I expected the cost would be a touch more reasonable. What Joe's Oriental Diner has however is a well branded concept and that alone has given the restaurant opportunities to be more commercially driven in its food pricing and I wouldn't be surprised if Joe's ends up as a chain operation in the near future. 

Food 3/5

Executive chef: 
Scott Hallsworth

What I paid: 

£28 pp

Average cost without drinks and services:

£35 pp

Unit 3, 60 Wentworth St, London E1 7AL

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