London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013



Simplicity. A concept that never fails in restaurants. Novelty wears off, trends pass, but getting the basics spot on will never go out of fashion. There has been a move in recent times towards very sparse menus, with restaurants specialising in just one or two dishes, making sure they are spot on every time. Tramshed is one such venture.

‘Want some of the best steak or chicken in town? Then right this way sir. Want anything else? Well, you know where the door is.’ Luckily, steak and chicken seem to be pretty safe choices judging by the number of diners visiting Tramshed. There are rumours that a vegetarian menu is available on request, but this legend remains unsubstantiated – no one comes here for a salad.

There are some however that might come for the artwork, as the first thing diners will notice as they walk into the restaurant, is the humungous Damian Hirst artwork that dominates the room – a giant tank of formaldehyde preserving a cow and a chicken. Perhaps, in an emergency, the kitchen could butcher, cook and serve the artwork if supplies were to run low. Visually stunning, the submerged creatures are visible from every area of the large, high-ceilinged dining area, which, as the name suggests was a former transport depot. Tables are crammed in fairly close together but understandably so – every seat was full on a busy Saturday night, with a constant turnover of new guests arriving. Bordering halfway between casual and sophisticated dining, the atmosphere is fun but cool and refined.

We commenced our meal with a whipped chickpea and broad bean puree – sort of like a posh houmous - with flatbread to share. Simple and light but a great tongue-tingly warm up to the main course. We opted for the 250g sirloin; a very juicy steak topped with bĂ©arnaise butter with marbling running right through the cut, making it one of the most flavoursome steaks we’ve had in a while. A 500g version is also available for the truly ravenous, but served with fries, we found the 250g steak to be a more than substantial meal. We also tried the spring chicken, served whole; a perfect sized portion for one person, again served with fries. Larger Devonshire Red chickens are also available for two to three people to share, presented on boards (with their legs in the air), or alternatively, the chicken is served as a salad. (Ok, ok, some people do come here for a salad.) The food is all comfort food of the highest order, it’s impossible not to smile with good quality steak and chips and we even ordered a side of greens to at least pretend we were being virtuous.

Our recommendation would be to leave room for dessert as we also shared the salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and mini doughnuts which were indecently good and the fluffiest, most delicious marshmallows we had ever eaten. All manners and courtesy go out of the window when sharing a dish like this and you will find yourself competing for that last dip of gooey caramel goodness.

Tramshed’s owner Mark Hix has cultivated an exceptional reputation over the years with his various establishments, and Tramshed may just be his best venture yet. Faultless food, great service and all at a price that won’t break the bank (too much). Other restaurants with long, complex menus would do well to take note – simplicity is bliss.

32 Rivington Street, EC2A 3EQ

Average price of main course: £20
Average price for glass of wine: £8.50
Food and drink: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 5/5

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