The Hoxton Grill is pretty cool. Part of the Soho House Group, it’s described as a “neighbourhood restaurant in the heart of Hoxton” and really does have a great, laid back feel. Which was handy, as I felt anything other than laid back after battling with the parking restrictions outside.
(Parking restrictions on a Sunday should definitely be made illegal. FACT.)
The restaurant is set to the rear of The Hoxton Hotel, a “budget” hotel that you’d never know is budget (prices start at £99, pretty great for Central London). The space is large, with an open kitchen and the whole space buzzes with conversations and laughter. The decor is modern, with lots of exposed brickwork and wood, with red comfy seating areas dotted around. The staff are chatty, friendly and welcoming as you enter.
We arrived at 1pm on Sunday, and both the restaurant and next door conservatory garden area were already lively with large and small groups eating, laughing and drinking. It’s a great atmosphere here, with a diverse mix of people, from the typical East London hipster crowd (a few of whom made rather regular trips to the bathroom. Bad tummy, or coke problem? I’ll let you decide…) to families, couples and a few older diners. I was greeted by a great hostess who complimented me on my dress (always the way to a girls heart!) and guided me to my table, where half our group was already waiting. We were there for the lovely Zoe’s (on reflection, rather star-studded) birthday lunch and it wasn’t long before our table of 8 was complete, and after some catch up chatter, attention turned to the menu.
The menu is the kind I like, especially at lunchtime. It’s simple, one-sided and there’s nothing too complicated. There’s a small selection of starters ranging from £5 – £8, eight grill items ranging from £9.50 to £25 per head, a handful of mains up to £16.50 and a great selection of burgers starting at £9. There’s also a few sides and both a set lunch option and the Sunday roast, which is £19.50.
Oddly, considering the fact it was Sunday lunchtime, none of us opted for the roast (although it looked pretty stonking when we saw it being delivered to other tables). There was one order of fish, one of the ribs and the rest of us went for a selection of burgers. The food arrived fairly quickly and all eight orders came out almost correctly; there was one portion of missing fries and a missing mushroom – but these were corrected within moments. I can live with that.
I didn’t get to taste anything other than my own burger (which came with cheese, mushrooms and an extra order of coleslaw) but I have to say, it was delicious. There was a soft bun, with a juicy, plump, well seasoned beef patty that tasted delicious and melted in the mouth. The cheese was oozy and gooey without feeling greasy or overloaded, and the meaty, big Portobello mushrooms I added as an additional extra were the perfect topping. The salad to go in the burger was fresh and generous, and served on the side – a touch I like as it stops it going soggy or wilted. The chips were OK, not the best I’ve had but certainly nowhere near the worst – but the coleslaw was an absolute winner. Homemade, clearly, and packed with crunchy crisp vegetables sliced super fine, and coated in just the right amount of homemade mayo. Really tasty and a great complement to the dish.
I can also say that despite not tasting them, both the fish and ribs looked smashing too. The fish came to the table whole, with perfectly crispy skin and delicate, soft white flesh. The ribs were well coated with sticky, rich sauce and smelt wonderful. From what I could see, the meat melted from the bone and was fairly plentiful. There were no complaints from any of us, including the birthday girl, who can only eat gluten-free.
Service started off great, but after our main courses were done we were left looking around for ages in the desperate hope someone would actually come and take our drinks order – I think by about 4pm we tried to catch the waitresses eye 12 times before we were successful. They were exceedingly busy, but still – it would have been nice to at least get a look in! At around 5pm, we were asked rather abruptly to return the table without warning – which wasn’t a huge problem as we were ready to go, but some advance notice would have been nice.
Other than that? Everything was great. The atmosphere, venue and food were all lovely and it’s not going to break the bank; It worked out at around £45 per head (for those who were drinking) and £25 per head (for th0se who weren’t), including service. In my eyes, that’s pretty damn good value for money.
Overall, it really was an enjoyable afternoon. Lovely lunch, good value and the perfect company, with other friends dropping in for pornstar martinis and Sunday afternoon wine. I’d definitely recommend the Hoxton Grill for lunch – and next time, I’m going for that sexy looking roast!
- Great for: Lively dining, good food at a reasonable price
- Could improve: service when busy
I was so busy enjoying the lunch and time with friends I didn’t take any photos – but believe me when I say it all looks and tastes delicious!