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Tratra (CLOSED)

Restaurants, French Shoreditch

Time Out says

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Please note, Tratra has now closed. Time Out Food editors, May 2019.

Tratra, an upmarket joint in the basement of Shoreditch’s Boundary hotel/bar, is the first UK restaurant from Stéphane Reynaud, a French chef, restaurateur and writer descended from a family of butchers and thus something of a charcuterie don. Seriously now: if you’re not a meat fiend, Tratra is not for you.

Any veggies wandering in by mistake will get a feast for the eyes at the very least. The space is impressively decked-out, with a sparkly textile canopy, red velvet chairs, silver burnished tables and a window into the kitchen, where chefs drift about serenely. Service, too, was meticulous and affable.

Le food was all very good, and occasionally great. The bar-style nibbles were exemplary: from tiny rounds of sardines on toast, firm and silvery (nothing like the hulking, collapsing tinned kinds) to crumbly parmesan sablé biscuits, the best one topped with lurid salmon eggs and a tiny chunk of eel. Perfect for chucking down between glugs of the good stuff.

A charcuterie platter, too, was excellent, as it should have been. Best were a dense saucisson de Lyon (a funky grey colour but almost primally meaty) and a fatty ventrènche, a rolled and cured pork belly cut. Shuddering marrow, scooped from split bones and adorned with chorizo and spring onions was equally punchy. Food for the squeamish this is not.

Later, a couple of cracks began to show. Sweetbreads doused in brown butter and flecked with pomegranate were excellent, but the peas strung about the plate were dry and mealy; while a plate of duck breast saw perfect meat offset with a sauce that was a little too sweet.

And bordel de merde! It’s not cheap. Those sweetbreads were £27; the ‘snacks’ of sablé and sardines £7 and £8, respectively. Nothing on the wine list came below the mid-twenties (and reds started at £30, which is not, in London, really acceptable). Still, this is refined, gutsy cooking from a name chef (not that he was there) – and, if you’re feeling flush, a fine bolthole from the hordes of Shoreditch.

Tratra says
Informal, relaxed and open to all, TraTra is a neighbourhood bar and eatery deep beneath the streets of London’s buzziest district. A social place to gather, drink, talk and laugh whilst enjoying delicious food, great wines, cocktails and nightly entertainment.


Address: Boundary
2-4 Boundary St
E2 7DD
Transport: Shoreditch High Street Overground
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