8 Hoxton Square

8 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU, United Kingdom

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8 Hoxton Square is in the same ownership as 10 Greek Street, but unlike its sister restaurant it takes reservations. Its head chef is Australian Cameron Emirali, who formerly worked at 10 Greek Street and The Wapping project. The restaurant opened in February 2014, on the site of the short-lived Master & Servant.

Starters were priced from £6 to £8, mains £16 - £19, side dishes £3 to £5 and desserts £5 to £6. There were 30 wines on the printed list ranging in price from £15 to £36. Example wines were Félines Jourdan, Picpoul de Pinet 2012

At £21 for a wine that you can find in the high street for £8 or so, Allende Rioja 2007 at £28 for a wine that retails at £17, and Tenute dell Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 2008 at a very fair £36 for a wine that you will struggle to find in a shop at that price. Corkage was £10 a bottle. However, wine lovers will skip to the “cellar list”, available on request, which is where the serious wines are listed. This hand-written list is rotated monthly, and has some bargains. The lovely Failla Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 was £46 for a wine that costs £35 in a shop, Cuvee Frederich Emile 2007 was £59 for a wine that retails at £38 and Dominus Napnook 2006 was £78 for a wine that retails at £42. Mouton Rothschild 1995 was listed at £300 for a wine that will set you back £400 to buy in a shop. Breads were made from scratch in the kitchen, and a bacon bread and a focaccia had very good texture and flavour (14/20). 

Asparagus with iman bayildi had nicely cooked asparagus, and iman bayildi whose aubergine had a pleasant stuffing of garlic, tomatoes and onion, though it was not as good as the version at Provender (13/20). Ravioli of nettle and ricotta came with peas, morels and summer truffles. The ravioli was just a touch softer than idea, though the peas and morels were good (13/20).

Scallops came with pea puree, broad beans and black pudding. The scallops had quite good sweetness and the pea puree is a classic flavour match, the broad beans pleasant (13/20). Lemon sole came with tapenade, monk’s beard (green shoots from Tuscany that resemble samphire) and fennel. Lemon sole can be a very dull fish indeed, but this one was nicely seasoned and had more flavour than I was expecting (14/20).

Portions were generous and we did not make it to dessert, but coffee was very good, from Nude Espresso in east London (£2.40 for double espresso). Service was friendly and efficient. The bill came to £90 a head, but only because we over-indulged with the lovely wine list. If you had three courses and shared a modest bottle of wine then the all in bill would be around £50 or so per head. Overall 8 Hoxton Square was a very enjoyable experience, the generously priced wine list a real rarity in London.

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