From the chaps behind the wonderful 10 Greek Street, 8 Hoxton Square is their second restaurant and we’ve been meaning to try it for a while but have never been able to get a table. On a Friday night at dinner time we arrived to see the place rather empty. We were seated on tiny stalls at a sharing table next to the open doors meaning it was awfully drafty; not the most comfortable place to sit let’s put it like that.
We started with some small plates which weren’t particularly impressive. The fried baby squid (£6) was pleasant enough; well seasoned with plenty of crunch from the batter but the squid was a touch on the chewy side. The ‘zeppole’ (£4), which were dry stodgy balls of dough filled with an embarrassingly tiny amount of nduja, were awful. How anyone could serve something so inedible is beyond me.
The garlic prawns (£8) weren’t memorable in the slightest. The accompanying courgettes, peppers and olive tapenade (which were served cold) did very little to help liven these dry and stringy crustaceans.
For main, we shared the Welsh Black Beef, garlic fried potatoes, chicory and mustard (£42) which was so disappointing. To be fair, the potatoes were divine; crispy, slightly chewy and seriously garlicky. But the beef, my God the beef. Tough, chewy, stringy – and so unevenly cooked; some bits were rare and others well done. It went stone cold really quickly too, which was probably due to the breeze.
Service was as depressing as the food; our empty plates were left on our table for ages yet our waitress kept walking past looking at them which was really annoying. She also barely spoke to us throughout our entire visit – just plonked down the food and wandered off. Considering it wasn’t busy the restaurant felt understaffed and disorganised. And that food simply wasn’t good enough.