I thought this place was interesting- a nice space, some bizarre erotic slo-mo video in the loos and obviously that great big cow. Unfortunately the food was totally forgettable.
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Sep 24 2013
After a promising start, Mark Hix’s chicken and steak restaurant has lost some allure. The room remains a winning combination of fun, glamour and heritage: a Damien Hirst cow and chicken in formaldehyde suspended over the main dining room makes a striking first impression set against the backdrop of a building that once generated the power for east London’s trams.
The child’s meal deal is generous, and the house wines are very drinkable. But the overly keen table-turning (we were moved on long before our slot was supposedly up) and variable food soon strip away any stardust. The short menu has steak (rib, sirloin or salad) or chicken as mains. Steak salad passed muster, though we’re unconvinced by the topping of battered onion rings. Whole roast chicken (barn-reared these days, rather than the free-range birds initially used) arrives at the table up-ended on a spike, and surrounded by fries; at £25 it easily serves two and can stretch to three, helped by seasonal sides such as (delicious) wild garlic mushrooms.
Starters (just-so yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers) and desserts (super-sweet salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts, £12.50 to share) had more wow factor. Staff are friendly yet stretched, leaving diners feeling more than a little processed.
Tramshed 32 Rivington Street
- Venue phone:
020 7749 0478
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Meals served noon-10pm Mon, Tue; noon-11pm Wed-Sat; noon-9pm Sun
Tube: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street rail
Main courses £13.50-£20.Meal for two with drinks and service: around £70
- 32 Rivington Street
- 020 7749 0478
- 32 Rivington Street
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:9
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:5
- 2 star:6
- 1 star:18
One of the best steaks I've ever had, and in such an awesome space - love the Hirst artworks
and architecture, good service, slightly overpriced, but still loved it.
Full details and photos on my blog here:
Have You Heard Of It? London bar & restaurant blogger | HYHOI.com
Nice stroll in the area and yes, I'd definitely suggest to pop inside to admire the installation camping in the middle of this refurbished industrial building; then just leave, unless eating a cardboard shaped as a chicken is your aim. The signature dish was drier than the Sahara: the chicken had been re-heated for so long it was inedible. And they claim is not from a battery, but it was treated with no mercy after its death - what's the point of free range during life and waste after death? Save the chicken and yourself the pain.
As I do not eat beef, I shared the chicken with my friends who suggested the place. The skin was crispy and well seasoned but the meat itself tasted rather bland and with some bits too dry. The accompanying fries were good, though they soaked up too much of the chicken's oil towards the end and were kind of overly greasy and inedible (suggestion: pick them up and put on your plates once served or gobble them up asap!). The beans and mushrooms were tasty but a little less salt would be a much healthier option for me. The Rioja by the glass was very drinkable and the Damien Hirst installation is pretty impressive. However, the place is more on the gimmicky side. Food is not good enough for me to go back.
Amazing food. Had the 500g sirloin, which was cooked to perfection! And the blueberry pie for desert was unbelievable, pastry was perfect. Staff were very friendly and service was quick. Can't wait to go back!!
Eating here is an event not just a trip to a restaurant and one cant help feel that you are truly living life and experiencing all the best that London has to offer. The wonderful display of the formaldehyde cow and chicken created by Damien Hirst and displayed in a huge glass tank that towers above diners acts as a centre piece as well as a reminder that these are two staple ingredients of the menu. Set, as the name suggest, in a former tram shed there is art on all walls and the hum from diners adds to the ambience. The staff are courteous, friendly and well-informed. I particularly enjoyed the roast chicken which arrives arse-up with feet still attached in a a morbid display that is softened by learning that all the chickens that you are eating have been allowed to live a free range life and their slaughter does not involve being transported anywhere so has not gone through the stress that all transported livestock suffer. Its flavour is divine. Presented in a specially designed for the purpose serving trays which let the juices of the meat run naturally onto the gorgeously fat chips that are scattered beneath. Cocktails are also excellent.
Tramshed is the perpetual epitome of 'hit and miss'. The first time I visited the vast warehouse space, complete with the over-imposing cow and chicken installation by Damien Hirst, I absolutely loved it. I loved the decor, I loved the general hum-drum from the clientele, I loved the chicken (feet and all), and I loved the wine. I especially loved the fries. Following this first visit was a slightly exaggerated recommendation to everyone I met, something along the lines of, 'oh you must go, the fries alone are worth visiting'. I began to believe my own hype so much that when I planned my second visit I could hardly wait. When I visited the restaurant for the second time it was quite late, around 10pm, and we ordered chicken and fries. However, this time the chicken was a little undercooked for my liking and the fries were soggy- long gone were the firm yet crispy little slices of heaven from the previous visit. Oh, the disappointment. I haven't since been back to Tramshed, but the chances are it could have bounced back to its formed self. The risk is not one I'm willing to take, as the prices are so steep. I would advise anyone planning to visit to do so with caution.
I thought Tramshed was rather overrated. The chicken was on the dry side (possibly because of the cutesy way they have of serving it standing on its head, allowing all of those yummy juices to just slide out of the cavity instead of settling in the meat), the fries were overly salted and the noise levels were high because of the cavernous space which creates a ping pong of a hundred conversations bouncing off the walls. With so few items on the menu, each one should be perfection. Bad Tramshed, bad, bad Tramshed. You're basically just a museum with one piece of art surrounded by a high-priced cafe.
Went in with a party of 3 at around 3pm on a Saturday and the place was pretty quiet, although it did take several minutes of waiting for the hostess to get off the phone and seat us, which was a bit annoying. The waiter was attentive and regularly checked up on us. The place itself is very trendy, with the great artworks and an inviting bar running along the entire length. Had Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers to start, between 3 it was a good appetiser and it tasted phenomenal. For mains, we shared an entire chicken (£25), which was perhaps not as moist as the price commanded and a 400g steak (£40), which was really excellent. These both came with plenty of chips, and the lettuce heart salad side was surprsinginly flavourful. Two of us finished with the credit crunch ice cream which was really special, highly recommended. All in all, the wait at the start and the chicken were small let downs in an otherwise great experience. The total cost including service charge was £97.
Went to The Tramshed last night and was disappointed by the quality of the steak, fries and sides. I cannot understand the hype around this place as the sirloins we had lacked flavour, were served rare rather than the requested medium, and were surprisingly tough, very fatty and chewy. Portions were also on the small side, and we came away dissatisfied overall. Staff were OK, but not amazing either. The discretionary 12.5% service charge is a bit cheeky and staff certainly didn't make any real effort to earn it. The best feature is the actual venue itself: an amazing space with great atmosphere, just let down by the food....
Saturday lunchtime (late) - met by the scream of kids, who apparently eat free. Wood effect table tops and booth seating. Staff not overly attentive and did little to reassure us that we weren't being neglected. However, mixed starters went down well, but followed by tepid sirloin & rib (how long to relax the meat?) - "rare" cooking instruction ignored. Thankfully hot/salty fries, but served with average sides. Eye watering mark up on the Malbec. Plenty of viable aternatives offer better vfm.
Best restaurant in London by a mile. I was a vegetarian for 10 years and work in restaurants, but this was the most melt-in-your mouth beef ever. really impressed with the selection of wines. it's so much more than JUST chicken and steak. i even forget that this is all it does cos you never need anything more. Great atmospher, helpful, friendly, interesting staff. Thumbs up.
I love the beef and i love the chicken. i'll always come back. First time i've eaten beef in a few years. even made my mum try some. and she loved it. i keep on bringing friends and family from around the world who are visiting me and they love it. what's not to love?
Great steak, not cheap but great steak. Best steak in London with my limited experience. Also enjoyed the shared starter very much. Will definitely go back for special occasion.
Having a typical Jewish mother who likes to stuff her family on a Friday night, I have high expectations when it comes to roast chicken. Yet Tramshed delivered an awesome chook: moist meat, salty, crispy skin. And those chips - OMG! Service friendly, efficient. It's made my happy and ready to face the rest of the week at work.
We had such high expectations of Tramshed, but were left very disappointed. The food was ok - but definitely not value for money. The service was poor and the atmosphere was non-existant. If you're looking for a great steak in London, head to Hawksmoor instead.
Very poor value for money, I am not against paying for my food but at least try to get it right!. Two articles on the menu and have to say overall very disapointing. With an average service on top of it we asked for the "discretionary" service charge to be removed . I won't recommend.
I took the children for an early dinner last night after the cinema. The food, the service and the atmosphere were all excellent. All in all a delightful evening which we will definiely repeat.
great building, but the chicken £25 no joking it was dry and to be honest in par with nandos, never again. despite the above good attentive service and great place to sit and be looked at.
I went here one or two months ago with my partner, with the simple aim of having a really good steak. Now while there are other restaurants serving brilliant steak nearby (see Rivington Bar & Grill), we thought we would give Tramshed a go, particularly since it's menu is limited to a few starters, chicken and steak. There were exactly three starters on the menu, which need to be ordered together - why? This may be an attempt at being original, we however found this unpractical and annoying. The starters were incredibly small in size and horribly tasteless, the worst being a bland, almost freezing cold yorkshire pudding with cauliflower cream that was horrible in texture, unseasoned and unpleasant to eat. Moving on from that, we both ordered a 200gram steak with some sides. Again the sides were tiny considering they charge around £4 per portion, however this could have been forgiven if they got steaks right. I had ordered mine rare and my partner had ordered his medium rare - both came medium well, so completely overcooked, were chewy and full of sinew. Our waitress was appauling, hardly paid any attention to our table and was very frosty, but worse - during the entire meal we were unable to catch her attention in order to send the steaks back. She didn't ask us whether we enjoyed our meal when she cleared the plates so that I had to bring up that our steaks had been disgusting. She then brought a manager over, who was very very friendly and professional and offered us a free dessert. We chose the marshmallow and chocolate fondue, which was ok, but not brilliant - nice gesture, but didn't make up for the uninspiring starters and main courses or the bad service. We spent £80, which would have been good value if everything had tasted great, instead this was 80 pounds out of the window - i could have spent £15 at Tesco's and I'm sure me and my partner would have had a more delicious meal and a nicer evening. I hope this restaurant disappears and makes room for a restaurant that actually deserves the beautiful space....
Never normally write reviews, but felt I needed to after having a brilliant birthday at Tramshed on Tuesday. I was a bit apprehensive after reading the reviews but thought there must be something in the place for Timeout to rate it so highly. So booked a table for 12 of us and the food, service and drinks couldn't have been better. Our waitress spent time helping us decide the size of beef needed for the table and the steak and chicken were great. We were also drinking red wine throughout the meal and the final bill came to £40 per person, so not super cheap but not overly expensive either and definitely worth the money... I will be back again...
went last night, apprehensive after reading all the reviews just after making the booking and very nearly cancelled but thought i should see for myself.. have to agree by and large with most of the bad reviews; it's not terrible, but it's not great, the 2 stars are credit to the venue which does have a sense of occasion about it. the venue: is quite special, it is a nice space to be in, we arrived early & had a drink at the bar - it was a good chance to take in the scale & proportion of what is a lovely dining hall (had to wait rather long to be served despite the minimal number of people sitting at the huge bar). it really is draughty though which quickly became uncomfortable as the dining room emptied of bodies (we had a late booking) & did cause the food to cool very quickly making it rapidly unappetising...(cold chicken & chips & congealed gravy...mmmm) drinks: not cheap. i had a cocktail at the bar (tenner) which was good, my friend had a beer which at a fiver just tasted like very average fizzy lager. we had a bottle of house red with dinner which again was just alright for the £18 price. food: we had the chicken between 2 & it was certainly enough for 3, the chips were good but the chicken was just ok - a bit on the dry side & honestly i have cooked a better roast chicken myself & eaten better in both restaurants and peoples houses. sorbet for desert - a scoop of each of the 2 flavours (lemon and blackberry) which were nice, very smooth, just right after all the salt & savoury flavours of the main but really tiny scoops. service: not good at all. not exactly rude but certainly not warm or even especially helpful. food was slapped onto the table unceremoniously & the main came about 2 minutes after ordering which doesnt feel right in such a grand setting - it's not a diner & part of this restaurant's appeal is the experience which is slightly diminished if you're not given time to enjoy it. it was very difficult to get the attention of the staff, it felt as though they were making a point of not acknowledging customers so they wouldn't be interrupted from chatting amongst themselves which they were doing pretty much constantly in a very obviously disdainful manner. they did not seem especially competent either & there is absolutely no way the 'discretionary' service charge is deserved. so: i did really enjoy being in the dining room until i started to feel cold. it's impressive & it has nice buzz. i think the space is the main thing going for this place (maybe i should mention im an architect) so i am glad i went and didnt cancel, if im honest i might at a push go again, maybe once & that's why i have given 2 stars - it is worth experiencing but the food, drink & service while not awful are not of the standard i would expect in any restaurant in london that prices like this and purports to focus on quality. i would even go as far to say that this restaurant is definitely damaging to the Hix brand.
Was looking forward to this meal out for a while as had to book a good month in advance to get a decent time on a Friday night. The venue is good, as you walk in it smells like roast chicken which instantly ups the hunger levels. The cocktails were original. The first annoyance was that the whole room was cold. I realise that it is a big space to heat, but this did have the knock on effect of making the food cold, and for those prices I would expect more. The second annoyance was how rushed we were. About two minutes after ordering the starters were there. I know that there are only three of them so they must be waiting to go, but again, at those prices it should be made to feel a bit more special than it really is. Same with the main. Starters were whipped away the moment we finished and the main out a couple of minutes later. Overall, kind of glad we went, but won't go again. Can do a lot better for the same or less money.
Awful, the worst £50 i have ever spent at a restaurant. The staff were bone idle, we were a party of 12 and they asked us to sort out a list of what everyone wanted rather taking the order themselves even though the menu is limited and it would not have been difficult to do. Some of the group where served wine, i declined and said id like a different drink but the waitress walked of f and i had to call another over which was a bit of challenge, All through the evening they were unattentive and not worth the 12.5% added to the bill. Now for the food, the starters where pointless, who wants to eat a dry Yorkshire pudding with a tasteless FRIDGE COLD cauliflower purée!? Not me!!! the other to lacked seasoning and any kind of imagination. I tried the chicken which was overcooked and tasteless and i had the steak which was ok, but when thats you forte it should have been amazing. Im sure this restaurant will stay open and make money purely down to a novelty value, which saddens me. I can't imagine anyone returning or at least i hope not. Just terrible, go to Nando's for a better meal and service at a fraction of the price.
Oh Dear Mr Hix – you have got it wrong this time! The venue is quite trendy with the cow and chicken as the centrepiece but this can't save you from the very poor quality of the food itself and not to mention the cold draft running through the building. I already expected the limited choice and was fine with that as I was looking forward to impeccable taste and presentation, thinking each dish would be well thought out and cooked to perfection – I was very wrong. The starters were bland, did not go together, yorkshire pudding was slightly warm and overcooked. The steak was ok but nothing special considering the price. The chicken was presented in this slighly macabre way with its feet stuck up in the air – I can't say this enhanced my appetite. One of my party removed the offending legs for the squemish on the table and the waitress proceeded to cut into the chicken , I guess to make it easier for us to help ourselves but she basically just ‘mullered’ it. Some stuffing would have helped the poor dry chicken as the very salty gravy did not. Chips ‘a la Mcdonalds’ were exactly that and side dishes did not go well, especially the overcooked veggies. I took solace in my vodka cranberry that was not stirred and no stirrer provided – when requested I was told they don't have any, so I used my fork! Some of the staff were friendly but mostly inefficient, they were completely fazed by criticism and did not respond appropriately. I'm afraid the association with Damien Hirst could not save this most disappointing experience!
Awful. Do not waste your money. I took my boyfriend and his family out for what I thought would be a nice meal and was left feeling embarrassed for having gone there. If you are only going to do 2 things on your menu - Chicken and beef (only sirloin) there should be no excuse as to why it isn't at least average. The chicken tasted mediocre I could have easily prepared myself and the beef was one of the worst we had tried - absolutely no flavour. I feel Tramshed is just running on the Hix brand and Damien Hirst's work. Service is slow and once you have taken in your surroundings there really isn't much else to admire. Will not be going back.
Very disappointing, below average presentation of food,inflated prices for what you get,appalling service,we were kept waiting for the food 1.5 hours! Will definitely not be going back there .
Such a disappointing experience! There's nothing I enjoy more than a good steak and chips so we were really looking forward to this meal. The place offers two mains, steak or chicken, there's not much to get wrong yet they managed to do so. We opted not to get entrees as the choice of three looked somewhat underwhelming (yorkshire pudding and pâté seemed like the most promising choice but after seeing it served at the table next to us we decided against it) Our waitress recommended our group of 4 order 1 chicken to share and 1 500 gram steak. As we all wanted steak, her advise was to get 2 500gram steaks to share for the thicker, juicier cut of meat. We opted for this, 1 med and 1 med rare. Upon reflection, maybe they were trying to get rid of the old cuts of meat because there was nothing impressive about our steaks. Both steaks had a large inedible strip of fat on the edge at least an inch thick. I'm not afraid to eat a bit of fat on a steak but there was nothing tasty about this piece of rubber. Our friends ordered their steak medium and it came out more bloody than our medium rare. They returned this to the kitchen and when it came back the new steak was practically grey. Out of pure hunger they ate it anyway. Steak itself was flavourless and tasted like a cheap cut of meat. Our wine was topped up regularly but they forgot to bring out one of the sides. Waitress was disinterested but at least they offered a 10% discount on our bill. I would have been happy with this meal if it cost £10 in the local pub but nothing about this screamed quality food. Plenty of other places in London to get a decent steak and more inspiring starters. If you go there expecting to pay £10 for steak and £10 to look at the sculpture you won't be disappointed.
Unfortunately have to agree with the majority here, the main reason for going to this restaurant is for the funky decor and perhaps the lively ambience. The food, the service, all pretty amateur. Considering they had such a limited menu you would have expected for them to get their dishes to a phenominal standard ,but alas no, very disappointing to see the dishes both on presentation and taste being lower than average. A very run of the mill experience and will not be going back there in a hurry. Wine list was a shocker.
ordered spring chicken. 20 pounds . no meat; this place is an absolute joke. i so wanted to like it. the wine was good.
A disappointing experience. At our table we were told that if we got the larger steak for 4 it would have been better - juicier ... and it turned out more like a Sunday road (dry and over cooked) ...and it took over 1.5 hours to arrive! We have been told repeatedly that the food was coming - and it kept on not showing! How about some little snacks as an apology?! And after that long wait to be brought a poor main course, was just the ultimate disappointment. Given the fact that the restaurant focuses on just 2 main dishes, you would expect them to be perfect. Service was also mediocre, we complained about the steak about being too dry and nothing like we expected, and yet the staff - although nice enough - did nothing to recover the situation. A mediocre restaurant, that just happens to be in a nice venue. Will never ever go back and will definitely not recommend.
We went for a late dinner mid week, the food and service were great. Initially there was no one to greet us when we arrived, they were too busy table setting (in anticipation of our arrival, it turns out) so I was a little wary. We declined the first table offered (near the entrance) as it felt like we would be in a thoroughfare and requested to be moved to one of the large tables on the mezzanine and they were happy to accommodate us. The limited menu showcased the very good skills from the kitchen. The steak and chicken with fries ordered for four people were excellent, as were the duck salad, and chicken liver starters. Our server was attentive and knowledgeable and couldn't do more for us, especially when we were trying to decide on wines. He brought two taster glasses of the wines we were trying to decide on to help in the decision making. We had a great night and will definitely return.
we had a great evening, great steak and delicious apple pie. the staff was kind although a bit unexperienced. we would definitely go back again!
Tramshed is just so-so and feels like a glorified and expensive Nando's. The hype doesn't justify the food, service or the environment. First of all, we were seated about half an hour late even though we had made reservations. At the end, we had to chase our table to get it. Once seated, the service staff didn't take our orders for another 30 mins. Basically, the service staff looked confused the whole time in general. So you can guess we were hungry and annoyed at this point. Anyways, let's move on to other observations. The place is extremely loud to begin with. The high ceiling of this space only exaggerates the sound. The steak was great and well-priced, but the sides were too small for their cost. Overall, I don't think Tramshed does any favours for the Hix brand. It feels phony and tries to capture some of the Shoreditch glory. Frankly, I don't think I'll be back.
The steak is just alright. Personally they are not as good as those in Gaucho or Hawmooks. Nice cocktail thou.
Things I liked about the Tramshed was the interesting space, the show-piece art and the wine. What I was less keen on was the cold steak, stingey portion sizes of the unimaginative starters and the lack of friendly customer service. We had a particularly surly Scottish waitress who dropped a tray of drinks over our table, charged us for her mistake and failed to crack a smile from start to finish! Also pretty pricey in my opinion.....I wouldn't personally recommend it, but that said I hear some people have had a good experience, so might be worth a visit if you're curious.
We picked Tramshed for its alluring picture in a recent magazine review - the Damien Hirst fixture alone provided enough wow factor for us to give it an enthusiastic try. We were informed upon arrival we had to "vacate our table" by 9 pm. Notwithstanding this was not told to us when we made our reservation, we were agreeable enough as the evening was early, the place seemed to have a pleasant buzz, and we were enthusiastic about the food. However being shunted to the side of the room in one of the booth tables was unexpected - do not fall for the marketing/ advertisement shots of the great open space underneath and around the Hirst installation, if you call to make a reservation without specifying where you would like your table (as we did), you will most likely find yourself uncomfortably attempting to shout across to your dinner partners because of the awkward table arrangement. Upon informing the front of staff that this was not what we had in mind when we saw the nice pictures of the restaurant, we were told in a rather patronizing manner the restaurant was booked full (despite two tables in the main area looking very much unoccupied) and "of course we will let you have a table in the main area, though it will probably not happen". Ignoring all these tell-tale signs of shabby treatment from a restaurant that considers itself too-cool-for-school, we endeavoured to make the most of our evening. Just when we were starting to enjoy ourselves, we were presented with the bill by our server who (the only saving grace of the evening) at least apologetically informed us we had to vacate. So fine, we paid the bill with another server. After making payment, I asked if she would be so kind as to help us take a group picture with the Hirst installation as a background. Imagine my surprise (given the extra hype surrounding the installation as an advertisement point) when she said the restaurant discourages people from taking pictures with the installation, as it is "policy", she was forbidden from taking pictures, but "if we wanted, we could go ahead". At which point, I informed her this review would be going up online, setting out factually the reasons why we were definitely not impressed with Tramshed, and how lacklustre its performance is, given all the hype. Hype is not enough fuel for a new restaurant - food and service, and really how good a dining experience it provides, makes or breaks it. We most definitely did not have a good dining experience, for the reasons above. Foodwise, the steak was alright for the price, though not exceptional. The cocktails we had were passable. Which begs the question, would we go back? Well, not in A Thousand Years!
It's chicken and chips or steak and chips and neither were particularly good on our visit. The chicken, especially, was very dry and the steak was not cooked as requested. The fries were full of roast chicken flavours you'd expect from a bag of said crisps which you will either love or hate. With chicken I enjoyed but I don't want my fries with my steak to taste of chicken and rosemary... The service was very slow and uninformed and when we went to order desserts (having being given the menu and sitting with them for 15 minutes) we were told the kitchen had closed and we had to pay and leave! Had we been slow this could be forgiven but the service was shambolic at times to the point we were sat 30 mins after our reservation, our starters arrived before the wine (which were both ordered at the same time) and we were sitting with empty plates for up to 10 minutes after starters and mains. To then be told we couldn't even have a coffee because of license issues was just rubbing salt in what turned out to be a fairly expensive underwhelming experience. Would I go back? I've eaten the entire menu (minus desserts and coffee) so probably not. There really is far better in the area. My advice, try The Rivington or Princess of Shoredtich instead.
Its chicken and chips. Or steak and chips. And neither are very good. When we went the chicken was dry, the steak lacked flavour, the service was uninformed and a bit rude (we where given the bill at 11.30pm and told we had to leave NOW). The decor looks a bit like IKEA. I will never come back, because there is nothing there for me to go back for. I have had everything on the menu - and neither was very good.
This is the most boring food I've had at any restaurant for a long long time. there is absolutely nothing exceptional about it in anyway. the chicken was boring and fairly tasteless the chips were not really much better than McDonalds and the onion rings were completely average. To be honest you'd be disappointed with this food in a normal pub, let alone a Hix restaurant. I've been to other Hix places on several occasions and have been very impressed, so was really looking forward to trying the new place. It's such a pity it was so unbelievably underwhelming. The one and only excellent thing is the interior. It is undoubtedly a great setting.