Joel Porter went full pelt at Fix Restaurant in Hackney
Tasting menus are a great way of sampling lots of dishes in some of London’s best restaurants but they usually come with a fairly hefty price tag to match. But what if tasting menus didn’t have to be confined to the fine dining establishments of this world? Enter chef James Cochran who has just opened Restaurant Fix in Hackney, with the aim of offering tasting menus at a fraction of the prices. With a CV that includes The Ledbury and the Harwood Arms, James certainly knows the fine dining world but at Fix he wants to do something a little different.
In a corner site on Morning Lane near Hackney Central, Fix is a stripped back simple dining room, free of any pretentious airs and graces. Here James has designed two tasting menus, five courses at £35 and 9 courses for £55 which is pretty amazing value for the quality of food on offer. You can also choose from an a la carte menu of sharing plates if you’re not in the full Fix kind of mood – we of course went for the full 9!
The menus change every month and on our visit we were consistently impressed with James’s beautifully presented, well thought out dishes. James kicked things off with a posh cheese on toast, made from sourdough topped with cheddar, Whitstable bay ale and cauliflower. This was followed by Cornish mackerel, cucumber, dill and gin and, possibly the dish of the day, the treacle cured salmon with cods roe, gin and apple elderflower jelly.
Asparagus with cows curd, chicken juices and garlic flowers was a simple but effective summer plate and was followed by another stand out fish dish, the sea bream, broccoli, peanuts and curry. The soft fish, deep fried broccoli, crunchy peanuts and lemon curry sauce was a perfectly judged combination. Last on the savoury section was the 55 day aged pork belly with two types of celeriac and another winner. Desserts were elderflower yoghurt with strawberries and white chocolate and incredible freshly baked salted caramel donuts with a mini milkshake.
James Cochran is clearly a very talented chef and at these prices he’s making quality, technically accomplished and flavoursome dishes available to a wider audience. We absolutely love it and suggest you get your Fix soon too.
177-179 Morning Lane, London, E8 6LH
Joel Porter is a London based food writer and PR. He is tweeting @joelwporter