The concept of Hix at The Tramshed in Shoreditch is very simple – it sells steak or chicken. If you’re a vegetarian I think you get a slap round the face and are asked to leave.
If you were hoping for a bit more detail – the “mighty marbled” Glenarm sirloin steaks served with chips are sold in quantities of 250g starting at £20, going up to £80 for 1kg. The roast Wooley Park Farm free range chicken and chips (for 2 or 3 to share) is £25 and served whole (including feet – we’ll talk about that later).
The inside of the Tramshed is a beauitfully huge space. Seating 150 this was a brave addition to the Hix empire. A Damien Hirst ‘cock and bull’ in formaldehyde proudly stands above diners in the centre of the room and is definitely a talking point.
We were seated along the bar – I have no problem with sitting and eating at a bar as long as it’s comfortable – the only problem here was our long legs made it impossible to be close enough to it, so my gentleman companion went for the sidesaddle option. We managed but it was never going to be somewhere we’d want to sit for hours on end.
To start we decided to order from the ‘Bar Snax’ menu and went for the Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers (£3.75). A giant Yorkshire pud was placed before us and we dived in only to realise it was cold. A cold yorkie? And fridge temperature whipped chicken livers? Not my cup of tea to be honest. The pudding was however light and not at all greasy so it was well made – we just wanted it warm.
We also ordered the Tramshed Croquettes (£3.75). These were filled with chicken yet had no flavour whatsoever. The inside reminded me of a sandwich filling you might find in a Tesco lunch meal deal. They laid on a bed of gloopy white puree which was also void of flavour.
Our waitress was efficient and friendly – she told us how busy The Tramshed has been. On a weekend she doesn’t leave the restaurant until 3am after clearing up! All the staff here seem to work extremely hard. Men with muscly arms continuously brought out tray after tray of huge steaks and chickens – it was never ending.
We opted for the whole chicken which was served upright and the impressive presentation did get a “wow” from us. We couldn’t help but wonder, was the purpose of the feet purely to shock and create a talking point? If we had been presented with a whole footless chicken maybe our reaction would have been muted.
Our waitress offered to start the carving process for us or we could do it ourselves. Feeling rather manly I decided to carve it myself – which went down as well as could be expected. Who knew it was so difficult to carve a chicken vertically? For practicalities sake we would have loved an extra bowl to place all the bones (and feet) as we quickly ran out of room. We suddenly found it hard to access the salty chips that were buried beneath the carcass.
The chicken itself was moist apart from the centre of the breast which was rather dry. The jug of rich chicken gravy would have been more suited to a Borrower as it was so small but our waitress gladly brought over another (even bigger jug) upon request.
This was carve it yourself Nando’s and we loved it. My fingers were greasy, bits of chicken were flinging off into my hair and our table was covered in bones but it was great fun. The messy DIY eating reminded me of Burger and Lobster – you tuck in and get stuck in.
Our waitress cleared away our dinner and gave the table a much needed wipe (our hands could have done with the same treatment). We decided to share Ron’s apple and gooseberry pie with custard (£5.75) as we were near the point of self combustion. Again, the jug of custard was miniscule which was annoying. The pie pastry was flakey and heavenly. The sharp gooseberry was the perfect contrast to the sweet apple and custard. Ron, whoever you are, you make a mean (delicious) apple and gooseberry pie.
Hix at The Tramshed provided us with an evening of entertainment and enjoyment. If we came again, we wouldn’t bother with the starters and would give the steaks a go. And we’d order that wonderful pie for dessert. I just hope they get bigger jugs!
A solid 7/10