Monday, 2 March 2009

Hoxton Apprentice Review

A quick review of The Hoxton Apprentice to which I took Fran this last Friday.

It's similar to the the nearby Jamie Oliver restaurant '15' in that it is a "training restaurant which provides skills and training for homeless and long-term unemployed".

Apparently '15' is more geared towards helping people to become chefs whereas the Hoxton Apprentice tries to equip people with vocational skills for any work environment as well as training for chefs, front of house, bar, waiters and management roles.

You can find it in Hoxton Square on the same corner as Zigfrid's in a grade 2 listed building that used to be a Victorian primary school.

I had a bit of trouble booking the table as they didn't answer the phone for the whole of Wednesday, as it turned out they were using the restaurant for filming and it was closed, in the end I just booked using top table - even easier!

I ordered Gravlax salmon for a starter and a steak for my main course, Fran had a chicken terrine as her starter and Fish Cakes as a main course.

The waiter recommended a nice bottle of Italian white wine the name of which I can't remember, the wine list was reasonably priced though!

The salmon was tasty, a much less strong flavour to smoked salmon it came served with strips of pickled cucumber. I would say there was probably a little too much cucumber and not enough salmon other than that it was a light and fresh start to the meal.

The terrine was served with prune pickle, it didn't come with any bread, which we ordered separately, I'm not sure you would want to eat it on it's own. I didn't try it but Fran said it was delicious.

I ordered my steak rare, it was probably not as rare as I like but the meat was very tender and delicious, it came with some great chips and a salad. We ordered green vegetables on the side, broccoli, sugar snap peas and Brussels sprouts. I normally don't eat Brussels sprouts as I find them too bitter but these were great, just the right cabbagey flavour.

Fran's fish cakes were very nice just the right ratio of fish to potato to crunchy outside.

We had an enjoyable meal here, the atmosphere of the restaurant was relaxed, the service was good and the bill wasn't steep. However I probably wouldn't go back but that is not necessarily a criticism. There are so many places to eat springing up around this part of the world that it's only very rarely that I find somewhere that I go back to again and again, I always think it's much more fun to try somewhere new!

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