8 Hoxton Square

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
2 Love It
1/6
© Jamie Lau

Jamie Lau - 8 Hoxton for Time Out

2/6
© Jamie Lau

Jamie Lau - 8 Hoxton for Time Out. Portraits - Head Chef Cameron Emirali

3/6
© Jamie Lau

Jamie Lau - 8 Hoxton for Time Out

4/6
© Jamie Lau

Jamie Lau - 8 Hoxton for Time Out

5/6
© Jamie Lau

Jamie Lau - 8 Hoxton for Time Out

6/6
© Jamie Lau

Jamie Lau - 8 Hoxton for Time Out

Shoreditch
Book a table

Book now

This smart-casual restaurant, a sibling to Soho's 10 Greek Street, combines fab Modern European food, great wines and ace service for a grown-up Hoxton crowd.

Hoxton Square was once the apogee of the east London bar scene, full of creatives clutching bottled beers on their way to the Lux Cinema or a club night. But the Square’s matured – now so mainstream the once-edgy streets have branches of Bill’s and Byron. As the arts crowd has moved further east, a moneyed new media set is moving in, clinking wine glasses as they go. The neighbourhood’s becoming less cool, perhaps; but the cash-rich techies are making it a better place to eat.

8 Hoxton Square is targeted at those who are looking for something more interesting than beers and burgers, more destination than pitstop. It’s an outpost of the no-reservations 10 Greek Street, one of Soho’s most deservedly popular restaurants. Both branches brilliantly combine great food, great wines and great service – a common goal, but one that’s harder to realise than a Middle East peace plan. But in a welcome departure, 8 Hoxton Square takes bookings. Result!

The term ‘Modern European’ was coined by Time Out in the mid-1980s to describe an emerging blend of British, Italian, French and Spanish cooking, still flourishing today. A courgette flower stuffed with crabmeat, then battered, fried and served with a samphire garnish, roasted tomatoes and a squeeze of lemon is evocative of the seaside. Seafood is a strong point, with two meaty monkfish tails pan-fried then served on a bed of borlotti beans. Italian influence is evident in the combination of fennel, olives and pungent shavings of bottarga, the dried fish roe giving each forkful surprising depth to the monkfish. The ‘Tuscan beef’ is actually French in style, this tartare of raw diced beef was topped with a raw egg and garnished with tendril-like deep-fried ‘chips’ – retro, but classics never go out of style. The meal moved on to Spanish-style succulent fresh cod cheeks, wrapped in Iberian pancetta and topped with colourful guindilla peppers.

Executive chef Cameron Emirali’s dishes are accompanied by Luke Wilson’s expertly chosen wine list. A score of unusual and excellent wines are sold by the glass, at very modest markups. Rotgipfler might sound more like a fierce breed of dog than an Austrian wine, but this rare, aromatic grape variety is a perfect match for seafood. Small taster samples were offered before pour; all were luscious.

8 Hoxton Square defies the accepted wisdom that Hoxton is somewhere you go to drink, not eat. Byron and Bill’s should either be pleased with this new development, or very nervous, as Emirali and Wilson’s new place is a perfect smart-casual place for a destination meal with a date, with friends or with family.

Venue name: 8 Hoxton Square
Contact:
Address: 8 Hoxton Square
London
N1 6NU
Opening hours: Breakfast: 10am-12.30pm Sat, Sun. Lunch: noon-3pm Mon-Fri; 1-3pm Sat, 1-4pm Sun. Dinner: 6-10pm Mon-Fri; 6-10.30pm Sat.
Transport: Tube: Old Street
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £85.

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
2 people listening
London Foodie Mama
1 of 1 found helpful

If LFM had a score for effort, 8 Hoxton Square would get maximum marks. Their brunch menu was creative and the chefs seemed to make everything from scratch; from breads to all components of their ‘Shakshuka baked eggs, labneh & dukkah’ dish.  Buttermilk waffles with vanilla cream & blood orange were executed well as was their take on the old scotch egg. Our only complaint were the teeny sized cups used to serve coffee.

The venue is cosy and tables close to one another so not great for more than one buggy. High chairs were provided and staff even offered to warm up baby’s bottle without us asking! 

Masumi S
1 of 1 found helpful

Dine hear back in May, when they opened, they make their own bread, try the one with goat cheese, its amazing!, also the cockles is easily the best dish, a close 2nd was the prawn, chorizo & saffron. 

Nik
1 of 2 found helpful

Meeeh.... We're great fans of 10 Greek Street so had high expectations of 8 Hoxton Square. Firstly despite having a reservation they crammed us onto the "communal table" where we sat like sardines on tiny stools bent double over a low table being elbowed by other diners. It was physically uncomfortable. Then the food... meeeh. The "garlic & jamon soup" was just a bland tomato soup, and the veal schnitzel was tough with soggy batter. What a disappointment!

Ros J

Oh go on then. I'll join the five star club for this little delight. 8 Hoxton Sq is a new find, and it is a good spot for brunch amongst other meals (or so I gather). I had the full english (only option for a hangover, in my opinion). It was lovely. Great toast. Great poached eggs. The best roasted tomato in the entire world. A really nice apply minty drink. You get the gist. If it was a sweet it would be a Tangfastic.

Why, oh why, are people queuing for 100m in the rain for the breakfast club round the corner (which I actually love as well, btw, so I get the draw), when 8 Hoxton is a hop skip and jump away?

This place feels like a lazy, New York, exposed brick, higgeldy piggeldy (not sure how to spell that, apologies), chaotic but really chilled, kinda venue. They have newspapers. They give you water in old glass milk bottles. It's authentic and warm feeling without any BS.

I'd say the service could be a little sharper and quicker but maybe that's just part of their overall chilled out charm. Regardless, staff were friendly and helpful. I'll be back.

Ashleigh Arnott
Staff Writer

In what is a rather tricky area to find a Mum-friendly venue for lunch (good food, available tables, bill that won't end up quashing my chances of a decent Christmas present) 8 Hoxton Square is an oasis of delicious calm. Sure, there are prettier squares to have as your front garden. Squares that have never even seen a warm can of Red Stripe, I'd wager. But once we'd tucked ourselves into the coolness of the restaurant all Shoreditch stress was forgotten. We had a magnificent lunch of smoked eel with horseradish, rainbow trout and beetroot, squid with n'duja and butterbeans, garlicky spring greens and truly excellent (truly homemade) chips with aioli. All of it so good I'll be sad if I don't manage to eat it again. Though of course their menu changes all the time, so I'll just have to order something new to mask the sorrow. And of course my mum loved it, too.