Restaurants named after their location can either come across as supremely confident in their excellence or almost diffident. For every 64 Goodge Street or No Fifty Cheyne, there are a dozen other places that are immediately forgettable and sink away as a consequence. Yet 65a, just by Spitalfields Market, is something altogether different. The name is so understated as to be oddly memorable – even down to the letter, half-denoting something concealed and clandestine – and when you do turn up at this particular French-accented bistro-brasserie, you feel a sense that you’ve earned your steak frites and oysters.

Heavens, though, it’s good here. London is not exactly suffering from a paucity of Gallic bistros, but for my money, this is the most charming and convivial example of the breed since Jeff and Chris Galvin’s Bistrot De Luxe shut its doors on Baker Street – a sad day indeed. What’s so lovely about 65a is that it’s all things to all people.

If you wanted to pop in for a brunch dish of parmesan scrambled egg and truffles on a croissant washed down with a Bloody Mary, that’s your call, just as I have no doubt it does a supreme croque monsieur and carrot and turmeric juice if that’s your particular tasse de thé. But I would suggest that an evening visit for dinner is where you really begin to get into the fun, and the raison d’etre for this particular spot.

Perch yourself in one of the splendidly comfortable corner banquettes, which allows for a superb panorama over the room and the bar, and order a drink. (Our recommendation? One of the sublime blood orange negronis, although the wonderfully dry martinis are a perfect palette-cleanser.) Then it’s very much a case of delving into the brasserie staples that they excel in.

Half a dozen Carlingford oysters, served with just the right amount of Tabasco and mignonette sauce? Yes please. Perfectly cured smoked salmon (smoking done in-house) with capers and fennel? Sign me up. The best rib-eye you’ll get this side of New York, to say nothing of a perfect special of pork belly? It’s hard not to say “Oui, oui, et oui encore”, and revel in the atmosphere and the sense of fun here.

The wine’s also exemplary, as you’d hope; we opt for a carafe of Gruner Veltliner with the starters, getting a nod of approval from the waiter, before moving onto a bottle of Alice Vieira Portuguese red, which is suitably hefty and flavourful in order to be able to cope with the mains.

This is all manful stuff, and we’re all but defeated by the time dessert rolls around, but where there’s a will, and so a truly sublime flourless chocolate cake proves a lighter-than-expected treat to round off what’s been one of the best and most joyful experiences somewhere like this that I can remember. We walk out into the night air exhilarated and replete alike, and vowing to return. After all, it’s considerably cheaper than a Eurostar, and probably more fun, too.

65A Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA. For more information, and for bookings, please visit www.65arestaurant.com.