‘London’s hidden secret in the heart of Whitechapel, Le Madison’
By Aiysha Dakri
Not professing to being a food critic, but wow…London’s hidden secret in the heart of Whitechapel, Le Madison.
Though it can be quite difficult to find (behind Barclays Bank on a small side street), Le Madison is a must try!
An American style diner, that is perfect for any get together or family/friends night out, with generous servings and portions.
For those who travel by train, Le Madison is roughly a 5-minute walk from Whitechapel station; and for those who drive, there isn’t a designated car park, but parking is easily available in the surrounding streets.
The restaurant seating capacity is 160, including seating upstairs and downstairs, with access for the disabled. Large parties are catered for downstairs.
The tables are evenly spaced offering enough room to eat in peace without feeling cramped. The decorative, yet modern and chic interior of the restaurant matches the quality and plating of the food it provides.
There is no background music in the restaurant, judging from the day that I went; but in a way this is positive, since it becomes easier to hold a conversation and brings a nice ambience to the place.
Whilst the decor is modern, the restaurant is dimly lit, making it difficult to take pictures without flash. Nevertheless, the mural showing the New York and London skyline was well thought through and brings the whole American Diner-meets-London feel to the place.
We (as in my family and I) started with loaded nachos, which, judging by the pictures on Le Madison’s Instagram page, was well presented with the usual suspects: cheese sauce, guacamole, jalapenos, salsa and sour cream and was essentially a great way to start the meal.
We also ordered the Chicken Caesar as part of the salad options that Le Madison has on their menu. The best Chicken Caesar I’ve had was in Dubai at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, so I had high expectations – Le Madison wasn’t far off!
The grilled chicken was packed with flavour accompanying the mixed salad, croutons and blue cheese dressing. It’s surely something I wouldn’t hesitate to order again.
We also ordered Halloumi on the side. What is there to say about Halloumi? Cooked right, it tastes fine. Not a big fan myself, but judging by the expressions of rest of my family and the comments they made, it met the criteria!
For the mains, we went for Le Madison Platter 3, since we wanted to order something that encompassed a large range of the menu, so I could give as balanced a view as I could of the food.
The platter included a whole chicken, sea bass, salmon, lamb chops, chicken wings, hand cut chips, Mexican rice, salad and coleslaw. The Platter 3 is served on two large plates splitting the chicken from the other meats.
The presentation of the food was exceptional, especially with so much to plate. The sides are included in the Platter 3, and for me the Mexican rice stood out as different – it was light, but full of flavour and complemented the rest of the platter.
Crisped and rustic, the hand cut chips were just as you would want them to be. Salad and coleslaw – the usual stuff, complemented the rest of the platter.
The sea bass was subtle on the palate and broke apart softly, whilst the salmon had a stronger and much richer taste, although it wasn’t overwhelming. The fish was accompanied with sauteed vegetables and buttery potatoes that were cooked to perfection.
The whole chicken was seasoned well and was very flavoursome; something I would love to have again.
My preference is to have lamb chops and wings in barbecue sauce as starters, but it didn’t look out of place on the platter. The lamb itself was tender and succulent. In short the platter was appetising – can be had as a starter as well as a main course to share between four.
For the drinks, we stuck to our favourite and ordered a Strawberry Mojito Jug. When it first came, it struck me that it was so vibrant, red and sparkling. With Saffron Kitchen’s strawberry mojito being my number one, Le Madison had something special here too. The drink itself was light, refreshing, minty and appetising; one that tantalises the taste buds.
All in all, Le Madison is certainly somewhere I would return to, and is unquestionably a place for a fantastic night out. With every review, there’s always a gripe somewhere and for this one, it has to be the service – you like to be checked in on now and then through the night.
Even though it wasn’t bad, it could certainly be a minor improvement point. Nonetheless, the price of the food was reasonable: the quality that you get and the timing between courses cannot be faulted – it was quick, but not to the extent that you feel as though you’re rushing your meal. Once again, Le Madison, which is HMC certified and alcohol free, is undoubtedly a hidden gem in the East End!
Thank you, Le Madison, for a delightful meal – I look forward to visiting again!
51 Raven Row, Whitechapel, London E1 2EG.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 12:00-22:30