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Blixen

Restaurants, Contemporary European Spitalfields
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(23user reviews)
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
4/7
© Kris Piotrowski
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski
Blixen (© Kris Piotrowski)
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© Kris Piotrowski

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A lovely all-day brasserie in Old Spitalfields Market.

No one goes to a restaurant solely because of its looks. But Blixen, on the south side of Old Spitalfields Market, might make some reconsider that policy.

Essential to the appeal is the subdivision of the main room into areas that are within full sight of each other, yet somehow feel self-contained. We counted five – and that’s not including the bar, with its gorgeous canopy and soaring backbar.

This would count for zilch without good food and drink, but you’ll get both at Blixen. The menu allows you to eat either daintily or dangerously, perfect for people of every appetite. We went the dainty route at lunchtime, sharing a selection of small plates and salads. White onion soup came with a crunchy lozenge of cauliflower cheese rarebit. Salads were well-dressed and featured fine, fresh ingredients. Only the pickled mackerel (under-flavoured) in another starter let the side down, but things were revived with excellent chocolates and baked goods.

Another special feature is the offering of soft drinks. Some juice fanatics think that the drinks don’t have to taste good as long as they’re supposedly beneficial to health. Blixen knows that taste matters. This applied in both a mixed juice and in a grapefruit and coriander ‘house soda’.

At night we would do as the muscular City gents at the next table were doing, and order something more substantial – the burgers, steak and chips, and big bowls of pasta all looked good. Cocktails are reasonably priced and so is the mostly European wine list, which offers plenty of choice in order size and price. Service is wonderfully friendly and warm.

Blixen is enlarging its domain with a terrace backing onto the market, and I have no doubt that they’ll make that look lovely too. Good looks, good food, and fair prices to boot – it’s a winning combination. I’ll be back. 

By: Richard Ehrlich

Posted:

Details

Address: 65a Brushfield Street
London
E1 6AA
Transport: Tube: Liverpool St
Price: £26 to £40
Contact:
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Users say (23)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:11
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|23
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tastemaker

A delicious range of French-Spanish tapas for dinner. My friend and I shared a bunch of dishes last night and it was a great mix of flavours! 


1. Chorizo Bites - These were so simple and so satisfying! The chorizo really was bite-size and it came with this dry rub/dip, which added more spice. 


2. Beef Cheeks - It came with a lovely crisp batter exterior, a well seared scallop, and a crunchy pomegranate and apple/celeriac topping!


3. Cod Croquettes - How can you go wrong with a croquette and cheese? This was an interesting mix of fish and cheese. I liked the fresh artichokes and figs in the salad to go along with it. 


4. Cauliflower Cheese Fries - Again, just a great combination of vegetable and cheese. It had a golden and crisp exterior and just ooooozed out when bitten into! 


5. Deer Terrine (Starter of the day) - This was so great, I can't describe! It wasn't as oily as some terrine can be, I could see the meat, and the crisp bread to go along was a perfect match. I wasn't a fan of the chutney, as I don't normally like eating terrine with something sweet. It tasted wonderful on its own on the toast!


To go along, we had a carafe of red wine. It was super smooth, not spicy, and paired great with our red meats. The staff were also so lovely and friendly! The food came out within reasonable time, especially since it was crowded and buzzing for a Friday night. For dessert, we shared two. The first was the Figs and Crumble. This was a great way to end the meal because it was fresh and light. The figs were sweet, the crumble was super crunchy and flavourful, and the lavender ice cream was subtle. Our second dessert was the Pear & Almond Tart. A pretty typical French dessert and again, not too sweet nor rich so it was easy to eat up as an end to the meal. 

tastemaker

After admiring an array of insta photos of the brunch, we finally made it to Blixen and boy was it worth the wait and the hype. Firstly, the staff are absolutely lovely and the venue transports you to this tropical, green haven, dotted with comfy couches, heaters and blankets. The coffee is strong and the food is beautifully executed. Set in a corner of the Old Spitalfields Market, this unassuming cafe is a must-visit for all brunching aficionados. 

Tastemaker

This restaurant is beautifully designed- plants everywhere, comfy seating and candlelight, providing a very cosy atmosphere. Unfortunately, the setting and dessert were the only positive aspects of the dinner I had with a friend in the lead up to Christmas. I ordered the £20 lemon sole main and it came out completely overcooked and didn’t taste fresh at all. I had to send it back and the waiter tasted it and apologised and agreed it didn’t taste good at all. As a gesture of good will, in addition, to taking the dish off the bill, the waiter (who had not been very attentive until we complained) gave us our dessert for free, a sticky toffee pudding, which is always a crowd-pleaser. I would only recommend this place for drinks, the food was really quite a disappointment. 


A truly hidden gem.

It’s like walking to a hidden enchanted garden, beautifully decorated.

Lovely starters and delicious food and wine.

Perfect for a date.

tastemaker

Blixen is a lovely restaurant hidden in a quiet corner of the lively and well-known Old Spitalfields Market, just a few steps from Liverpool Street. I chose the restaurant for a catch up with a friend and was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere. Once greeted by the staff you'll be shown to the table in what looks like a exquisite indoors terrace where design is clearly looked after to the last detail: plants adorn the "terrace's" wooden trellis and soft lights encircle the area, making the atmosphere minimal, but equally charming and alluring. The choice of food is interesting, despite it having just a few vegan and/or vegetarian options. In terms of mains for instance, whether you fancy salad, fish, meat or pasta/risotto, you'll have something to choose. Also, I must say that some of the dishes they propose do really have interesting combinations in them. I've opted for a Pea, Broad Beans & Spinach Risotto with Creme Fraiche and Cured Egg Yolk, whereas my friend had a Slow-Cooked Lamb, Rose Harissa, Butter Beans & Anchovy. I really enjoyed my dish, it was both generous in terms of potions and rich in flavor, plus, added to the friendliness of the staff, made my dinner a really great experience. Perhaps as a restaurant it is a bit expensive, but if you're up for a treat or a fancy dinner, then give it a go. 

Tastemaker

I usually try to avoid Spitalfields at the weekend, but was luckily convinced to meet for brunch at Blixen. Just the interior itself is worth a visit - just stunning and makes you feel at home.

The food was great too and of course the staff. It's not your average go to place, but if you want to spoil yourself once in a while I can totally recommend it. It's not cheap, but the quality matches the prices.

I will definitely come back to this oasis in the middle of bustling London.

tastemaker

I went downstairs to the Broken Ear bar which is like descending into an underground cave, and with its low light, clay-effect walls, large pot plants, candle-lit mosaic tables and cushioned seating areas, you could easily feel as though you were in Morocco. Table service is included, so a friendly and obliging waiter came over to take our drink order and delivered our tipple on an elegant tray, however the same cheeky scoundrel poured double measures for those of us who ordered simply a spirit and mixer. Plus each drink is around £10 each, but after all, you are drinking in the middle of Spitalfields. Keep an eye out for the metal owl creation at the counter too.

tastemaker

Blixen is completely delightful. Perfectly positioned on the corner of lively spitalfields market it provides and calm and atmospheric retreat from the bustling streets outside. 

The interior almost feels like a town house and the decor is perfectly picked to feel both relaxed and upmarket. Dark shiny wooden tables are complimented by copper fixtures and quirky details like the covered, heated garden out the back and the porthole style toilets really set this place apart. 

In terms of food its a little on the pricey side but it was delicious and portions was a nice size. I had the chili squid which I highly recommend followed by cauliflower steak, with curry leaf, toasted coconut, wild rice which was absolutely delicious. 

I would recommend making a booking. We attempted a walk in and were met with a little bit of panic from the staff on the door, however they did manage to accommodate us in the end!

I've also heard their brunches are not to be missed! A perfect place to meet with friends or for a romantic date night. It really ticks all the boxes!


Great brasserie with a wide range of food options for a reasonable price. I wouldn't rush back, but good for dinner if you're in the Spitalfields area.

Make sure to make a booking even if its mid week as we didn't get a chance to sit in the garden area inside spitalfield markets which seems much nicer.

Tastemaker

I cannot praise this place highly enough. Every single element was faultless. I arrived super early for a booking, and during the 5-6pm window when the kitchen is closed. However, I was warmly welcomed and shown to my table. I explained I had very limited time but knew exactly what I wanted (the Tuesday special burger) and that I was happy to sit and wait. Naturally I was delighted when at 5.50 I heard the sizzle and was told "as your order is so simple the kitchen have begun already." Wow, thank you! I had already perused the dessert menu and fancied a item that has a 15 minute prep time so again spoke to my waitress. I was told there's be no problem and this was started whilst I was still eating my main and timed to be served to perfection. My experience was topped off by the 'greeter' having remembered my name and wishing me a lovely evening. Incredible service. Walked out feeling like an exceptionally valued customer and as a result have recommended to others who I know have since booked. Looking forward to a return visit myself too. 


Then venue looks lovely and staff very helpful. Sadly i was impressed that the bread they served was a shop bought loaf of Warburtons seeded. (the waiter confirmed this). It wasn't even slightly toasted, but once ask for some to go with my soup , they happily obliged. Generally the food lack flavour and all seemed quite slaty. We all left feeling very dry and thristy. I was looking forward to trying the general menu, but as we were private dining. we had a set menu, which wasn't the greatest selection they had.  Room for improvement!

Tastemaker

It’s a lovely bright and spacious restaurant in the heart of Spitalfields with fantastic food reasonably priced. Perfect place for work lunch or informal brunch. Unfortunately, I have to mark it down for the service. We’ve ordered all available nibbles on the menu and none of them arrived. And then, after about 45 minutes of waiting, both our starters and mains arrived at the same time. Not only they hardly fit the table (there were 6 of us), but by the time we'd finished the first, the second was borderline cold.


My kele, walnut, beetroot, lightly pickled courgette salad was full of flavour. The pickle was delicate, so it didn’t over powered the rest of the dish.


The cauliflower steak, with curry leaf, toasted coconut, wild rice was very tasty and satisfying. I loved the toasted rice sprinkles on the top.


Although post lunch the restaurant was almost empty, it took the staff half an hour and a reminder to get our puddings, which arrived mixed up.


Luckily, the hot banana pie was worth waiting 30 minutes for. It was creamy, not too sweet. The thing that didn’t work for me was the coconut sorbet it came with. It was too watery, it would be much better if it was ice-cream.


Apart from delicious food, Blizen serve interesting array of cocktails, healthy juices and soft drinks. The grapefruit and coriander soda was a good choice.


The kitchen is open, so you can watch the chefs in action while waiting. But when you book the table, I’d recommend trying for one in the green, conservatory like part of the restaurant, it’s much cosier. Worth spotting are also the cabinets in the toilets. The place has an ongoing programme of quarterly art residencies called ‘the Vacant Cabinets’.


Wasn't overly impressed with this. Its a nice setting and cool interior, but a bit overpriced for what it is. The food was tasty but small portions for quite a lot of money and a long wait to get in.


"I wish I knew this place was here sooner" - said by a coworker who we took to Blixen for her leaving lunch. The decor is lovely, the food is fresh, seasonal, and interesting. The waitstaff is friendly, and you can sit at a bar and watch the kitchen work (which is always great for solo dining). Definitely one of my favorite lunch spots in Spitafields when you feel like sitting down and indulging a bit.

Tastemaker

I don't know why I didn't know about this gem sooner. Beautiful restaurant in with excellent food, lovely atmosphere and very pleasant staff. Would definitely go back again.

Tastemaker

The banana bread with butter here is delicious. It is like an oasis from the crowds of Old Spitalfields. Tasty coffee and friendly service.

Tastemaker

Verging on somewhere between a 2 and a 3 star for this place to be honest but I'm feeling nice today. The nice parts first... great location on the outer section of Spitalfields, and the decor is fab. It's a little bit like the chiltern firehouse inside and I wonder whether it's owned by the same people. Perhaps. The brunch offering here is decent but I have to say I like to leave brunch full - it is a meal which accounts for breakfast and lunch after all, and I think the portions are a bit stingy for the price. I had the potato rosti which was nice though, and the juices/cocktails are good. Recommend the fresh orange juice. 


Now re, the service. When I got there I asked the lady at the door for a table for 2 and she said no there weren't any tables and would I like to wait at the bar. So I did while I awaited my friend's arrival. Instinct told me something wasn't right, so I went back over to her and said, "just to check, I am on a waiting list for a table, right?" and she just looked at me blankly and said, "no."She couldn't give me a wait time and we sat aimlessly at the bar for about 45 minutes until I asked a passing waiter if we could sit down and he said "sure" (because there were TONS of tables free). The host never came back to offer us a table or check we were all set. Very odd. Staff from that point were friendly but a bit haphazard and it took forever to get the bill and pay. 


I wouldn't return if I'm honest, but the food is reasonable and it's worth a look-in if you're in the area. 

Tastemaker

I've wandered past this place a few times recently when in Spitalfields and thought 1, menu looked good, 2, decor looked great so added it to my list of must try's!

After stupidly early morning yesterday with long work hours, bf and I had s lovely lie in then decided to get a late breakfast Spitalfields way before getting a train to his parents.
I was umming and ahhing about where to go as I really fancied granola, fruit and yog then remembered this place.
We rocked up just before 12 and I was hoping they still had their full breakfast menu on however this is only served until 11.30
They did have their brunch on and had a table in their 'garden' area which is where I wanted to sit so we sat down and ordered 2 coffees - flat white and latte (both good). Seating area was lovely and light, with lots of trees, fairy lights and comfy cushions. Overall a really relaxed vibe.
Brunch menu looks pretty good so I had picked between the pancakes or the croque madam however when the waiter came I asked if by any chance id be able to have the granola yog and fruit. She asked the kitchen (they were pretty busy) and low and behold they said yes! Morning (midday) made! Bf ordered baked eggs and Boston beans.
Food came in 10/ 15 mins, not rushed but not waiting and it looked good! Massive bowl of granola with berries banana and rhubarb on top and a big pot of Greek yoghurt. Bf had two big slices of sour dough toast and a casserole dish full of beans, confit duck, lardons and a baked eggs on top. Massive (and tasted good too). My granola was so good - nice and sweet with plenty of crunch and stuffed with nuts!
In all with tip just over the £20 mark at £22.50.
We both came away absolutely stuffed and satisfied. Will be trying the dinner menu soon!
Overall lovely brunch, good service and relaxed atmosphere. Recommend!

Had the most fantastic midweek brunch at Blixen. Potato Rosti with poached eggs and salt beef, great kale, avocado and beetroot salad. Bloody Mary on point. Best of all was the attentive warm service from the welcome to the bill, great staff. Managed to do a bit of star spotting as well!


Attended during the soft launch, so I've overlooked a few hiccups like waiter forgetting one of our drinks and receiving one extra coffee, because those things should be expected during the soft launch.

all in all happy. Staff was friendly from the door. Took our coats, asked how we were doing, accommodated a table change, accommodated an extra diner. Food was great. Tasted fresh and came out in a good amount of time. We had steaks (which were just ok), mackerel (excellent), chorizo,squid and chickpea stew (SO good), Sea Bream (very flavourful!), onion soup (meh), pappardelle (good, not mind blowing) , and one of the best desserts of life, banana pudding! We had a eine which didn't knock any socks off, but the cocktails were fantastic. I'll be returning.


Superb and interesting brunch- the rosti was crispy and not too fatty whilst the beans and mushrooms were that rare combination of meaty, sweet and spicy - clearly having been marinated overnight. Smoothies were great too. We are already planning another visit


So unimpressed. Cold food, poor cuts of meat, arrogant staff. 


Best to be avoided or - at least - just go to Hawksmoor round the corner for FAR better food.

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