Last weekend I was lucky enough to be treated to a top-notch meal at the Tramshed in East London. Celebrity chef Mark Hix opened the doors to his 150-seat restaurant in 2012 which is situated inside the old electricity generating station for the London Tramway System.
The menu follows a strict chicken and steak theme which is reflected in the restaurant’s interior. Showcasing specially commissioned artwork from Damien Hirst, including the infamous ‘Cock and Bull’ (2012) – a Hereford cow and cockerel preserved in a steel and glass tank of formaldehyde! It’s an impressive space to dine in to say the least!
Tramshed has a main dining room featuring both banquettes and communal tables as well as a long bar offering counter dining as well as a mezzanine floor. We were seated at a wee table for two on the mezzanine floor. Glancing at the menus which we both admitted to already having studied, we ordered a jug of bottomless “special filtered” tap water, a cider for him and a Elderflower cocktail for me.
A selection of ‘small plates’ are listed as starters on the menu with prices ranging between £1.25 and £6.95. My dining partner was set on three specific dishes which made it easy because they all tickled my tastes buds too.
The Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers was just as impressive as I expected it to be, a huge yorkshire pud balanced on a tiny dish next to a small glass bowl of chicken liver pâté.
The Cock ‘n’ Bull croquettes supposedly served with a mustard mayonnaise were delicious. They had decent chunks of meat in and weren’t too creamy. I noted the mustard mayo as “supposed” because it tasted nothing like mustard to me, it had more of a hollandaise flavour. Either way, it was good and complimented the crispy shells of the croquettes.
The thick slices of De Beauvoir smoked salmon ‘Hix cure’ were perfect. They tasted even better with the vinegar pickled cucumber but the rye bread was a bit pointless and sort of got in the way of a delicate dish.
Now there may have only been two of us dining on this occasion but that didn’t stop the quantity of food in the next course. A 1kg Glenarm mighty-marbled rib on the bone please, AND…. half a Swainson House Farm roast chicken.
The steak was pretty darn incredible. All beef served at Tramshed is aged in a Himalayan salt chamber and comes from Shorthorn, Hereford and Aberdeen Angus breeds. If you’re interested in finding out what that actually means, you can read about it here. Served pink (obvs) it was tough but juicy as all the moisture had been locked in whilst it was cooked.
The chicken was okay. The meat was a tad on the dry side but the skin has nicely flavoured and the stuffing well seasoned. We were served a whole host of sides alongside the steak and chicken, a large and a small bowl of fries, onion rings, 4 different sauces to accompany the meats and a small jug of chicken gravy. It was an impressive spread!
After a short pause we ordered the Salted caramel fondue with cherries and marshmallows to share. Even though we were pretty stuffed I was so glad we ordered dessert as it was awesome! The salted caramel fondue was a very thin texture, coating the cherries with the perfect layer of sweetness. The marshmallows were fluffy and light, turning even naughtier when dipped in the salted caramel!
The fondue was the grand finale to what had been an exciting meal. Tramshed has been on my to-do list since I first moved to London, I’d read many an average review and yeah it didn’t blow me away but that dining experience (that I’m always banging on about) was there for me. Set in a huge old building built in 1905, surrounded by controversial art, accompanied with a menu you can only applaud for its simplicity. I say, good for you Mark Hix.
ADDRESS: 32 Rivington St, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3LX
CONTACT: 020 7749 0478
OPENING HOURS: 11.30am till 11pm Monday and Tuesday, 11.30am till 12am Wednesday to Saturday and 11.30am till 10pm Sunday