5/21/2012 09:50:00 AM

Chef Mark Hix Talks About His New Restaurant, Tramshed

We've been anxiously awaiting the opening of Mark Hix's new East London restaurant, Tramshed, since we first told you about it in March. It's finally opening on Wednesday, May 24, so we sat down with the man himself for a quick chat ahead of the big day.

Zagat: Why the Tramshed building? Does it hold any particular significance?
Mark Hix: I've always dreamt of opening a restaurant in the old Tramshed building. My first restaurant was The Rivington Grill, which is just opposite, and I lived just around the corner on Great Eastern Street at the time. I also spent many, many years as a resident in the East End, and the area is still a big part of me.

Zagat: You'll only be serving chicken and steak. Where will the meat come from?
Mark Hix: Our chicken and steak are supplied to us exclusively by Hannan Meats and Woolley Park Farm, who I have worked with at some of my other restaurants. Our beef is dry-aged in a Himalayan salt chamber on Peter Hannan’s farm on the Glenarm Estate, Northern Ireland, and the chickens are exclusively slow-reared on the family farm in Wiltshire.

Zagat: So, how do you feel about vegetarians?
Mark Hix: The same way we feel about everyone else. We'll offer something seasonal for them - it just won't be part of the main menu, but there will be daily dishes that have as much time and effort spent on them. Vegetarians are never an afterthought for us.

Zagat: Will you be taking reservations? Do you have any thoughts on the no-reservations trend happening in London at the moment?
Mark Hix: Yes, but we'll also leave some space for walk-ins. I am all for a no-bookings policy and completely understand why small restaurants need to do it, as they just can't afford to have empty seats waiting for reservations that are late or don't turn up. Luckily, with bigger restaurants you can offer the best of both worlds.

Zagat: What about private dining?
Mark Hix: We have a mezzanine floor, which offers a great view of the restaurant and Damien Hirst artwork. It seats up to 30 and overlooks the restaurant, so you get all of the buzz as well as some privacy.

Zagat: Tell us more about the Damien Hirst artwork.
Mark Hix: Damien has created one of his unique artworks for the space. He's suspended a bull and a cock, which sits on top of the bull's back, in formaldehyde. The enormous piece stands on a large plinth in the centre of the dining room. I have to say it is pretty magnificent.

Zagat: And finally, what is your favourite dish on the menu?
Mark Hix: It’s a very short menu, but a good roast chicken and the perfectly cooked steak are both dishes that are very hard to beat. But my personal favourites are Yorkshire puddings with whipped chicken livers that comes instead of bread - it's an idea that I took from a place in New York and expanded on.

Tramshed, 32 Rivington St., E2A 3LX; 020 7749 0478

1 comment :

  1. Got a reservation for Wednesday night. Can't wait. I work directly opposite this place, and have been eagerly watching it come together in the last few weeks. Very exciting.