Restaurant review: Parts and Labour, Aldgate East, E1

Parts and Labour in Aldgate East offers up some Jewish cusine

Parts and Labour in Aldgate East offers up some Jewish cusine - Credit: Archant

Stylish hotel packs an Eastern surprise

Based out in Aldgate East, the optimistically monickered Qbic City hotel has the potential to be a place steeped in disappointment but, in fact, it’s rather nice.

Reminiscent of a trendy Lower East Side hotel, a lobby which could be a corporate horror has been transformed with stylish bits and pieces hanging from the wall, a rickshaw, a lightly scary doll’s pram – you get the idea.

The theme continues into the restaurant, Part and Labour, which also enjoys a hint of Scandanavian wood-panelled warmth with some neat touches – bowler hat hanging lamps in particular.

Clientele-wise, a mixture of diners and patrons of the hotel, the odd person dining alone, a confused looking elderly couple waiting for a hotel taxi.

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There’s more than a hint of Jewish influences to the menu, particularly the sandwich section – toasted Ruebens and Sabichs are available.

But the a la carte menu’s a bit more mainstream, burgers, steak, etc, which makes sense for a hotel restaurant.

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There’s still a few surprises though; the eastern European-style gnocchi, more like croquettes than Italian dumplings, were absolutely fantastic – served with rich mushrooms and leaves, and possessing a deeply satisfying garlic and lemon flavour. Also croquette-like were the ham and cheese potato parcels, a bit bland until dipped in the accompanying mayonnaise. Meanwhile the smoked salmon was juicy, thickly sliced and served with some slightly stodgy buttered bread.

The desserts were impressive: the pear tarts with almond ice cream melted in the mouth; the chocolate marquise was dark and mysterious, livened up with a mint and pistachio sauce; and the delicious plum crumble came in a blue-trimmed dish with a tiny milk bottle full of custard.

A good meal, then, but it’s hard to know how to categorise Part and Labour. If you live nearby, head down for sure – is it worth trekking across town for? Possibly not. If your family are visiting, stick them in Qbic and meet them there for a meal.

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