You’re probably aware, along with the rest of the world, that celebrated chef Mark Hix has turned a disused tram shed (from 1905 don’t you know) into a chicken and steak restaurant in Shoreditch. You may or may not also be aware that there is a Damien Hirst formaldehyde-encased cow standing on a huge pillar in the centre of the room, with a large cock perched on its back. It’s definitely a novel way to stand out.
Arriving ridiculously early for a birthday party having just picked up our wedding rings (eek!) Ian and I settled down at the bar to while away the time. He had a zombie and I went for a Temperley sour – the zombie was served with a flaming, rum-soaked sugar cube which was heavenly, and the appley Temperley was tart and refreshing.
When we’d been seated (well, before then to be honest) we decided to go for a 250g sirloin and half a chicken between us, which both come with chips and a variety of dips. The chips were perfect – really hot and crispy, and it seemed like they’d been cooked in rosemary oil; there was a really subtle hint of it. The steak was lovely with the béarnaise and the chicken, served with feet and all, was also good.
But.. that’s it. It was all good, I have no complaints about the food at all. But I think given the hype and that it’s Hix, I was expecting to be blown away. We paid about £140 for two, and I can’t help feeling that we could’ve paid not much more in Hawksmoor or MASH and had a better meal, or headed to Chicken Liquor and had the same quality for a lot less. (Although I have to say that we drank a fair bit so a chunk of the bill was that).
The dessert was incredible – salted caramel fondue with big soft marshmallows and soft, light doughnut chunks to dunk in it. It was rich, decadent and unnecessary but so good.
We were up on the mezzanine level which gave a great view of the buzzing restaurant and blue-hued cow, and staff were constantly running up and down the stairs to give really attentive service. We were a big group so no mean feat.
It was a great night overall and everyone had fun – I really enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong. You could go elsewhere.. but then you wouldn’t get to eat with a real cock and bull..