Blixen holds the key to an enchanted city garden. Overlooking Old Spitalfields Market, enter Blixen from Brushfield Street and specifically request a garden table for your occasion. You’ll be lead through the bustling eatery, past the open fronted kitchen and into a conservatory out the back.
I ordered a “Garden Up” cocktail whilst I waited for my dining partner to join me on the sofa bench I’d been seated at. Taking in the tropical decor, I felt awfully relaxed in such beautiful surroundings.
I chose the Seabass Ceviche to start and my dining partner went for the Squid, Chorizo and Chickpea Stew. The stew was served with toast and a dollop of bright yellow saffron aioli. Spicy chorizo sausage accompanied a generous helping of squid and al dente chickpeas in a tomato sauce.
Ceviche is a seafood dish typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. The Seabass ceviche at Blixen was served with avocado, pink grapefruit, red onion and chili. It was light, citrusy and full of different textures.
Blixen recommended to me the Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder which I happily ordered. Served on a bed of farro (a type of grain), aubergine, peas and rocket, the lamb was coated with a pistachio pesto. The meat was very tender, if not a little watery and I thought the pesto had a slightly acidic after taste. Apart from those minor glitches, the farro was soft, yet crunchy and went well with the peas and grilled pieces of aubergine.
I did, however, prefer my dining partner’s choice of garlicky lamb chops which was the special that evening. Presented with plenty of greens, the chop was steak-like in size and juicy in flavour. A side of salty fries served in a terracotta plant pot helped finish off the main courses well.
As the evening went on our surroundings went from light to dusk, to dark. Blixen monitored the lighting in the conservatory carefully, dotting tea light candles about the place as the night drew closer. Compared to my last review of the Fountain Restaurant at Fortnum’s, the atmosphere at Blixen was exactly what I adored. It was the kind of place, I couldn’t wait to bring my friends and family to.
After a much needed pause, we both ordered dessert. I went for the warm banana & caramel pudding which was divine. The best way I can think to describe it is like an upside down banana souffle. It had a warm gooey center which burst out of its seams as you tore away the exterior. Served with a light coconut sorbet dusted with dried coconut flakes, it was lovely.
Blixen is best described as a European brasserie with menus from breakfast through to late-night drinks. Housed in an elegant former-bank space with an adjoining garden room, it has a friendly atmosphere and a pleasing choice of dishes available. I would happily return again soon.
ADDRESS: 65A Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA
CONTACT: 020 7101 0093
OPENING HOURS: 8am – 11pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 11pm Saturday & Sundays