The Tramshed Project, 32 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3LX (020 3515 0480). Small plates £5-£10, larger plates £10-£18, desserts £5, wines from £25
In its first incarnation as a restaurant, when it belonged to chef Mark Hix, the Tramshed in London’s Shoreditch had at its heart a huge, thumping joke. It was an artwork by Damien Hirst: a stuffed bull, with a cockerel standing on its back, inside one of Hirst’s formaldehyde-filled tanks, raised above the dining room on a heavy-duty plinth, so it could watch you while you ate. The gag was that at Hix’s Tramshed you could have anything you liked as long as it was steak or roast chicken – Cock and Bull, as the artwork was entitled. Those were the only options. So here was the menu, staring you down.
House chef Andrew Clarke looks like he could swiftly skin and butcher the elk you just bagged on Shoreditch High Street
Sadly, Hix’s restaurant empire did not survive 2020. Accordingly, the Hirst has been removed from the Tramshed (which, as the name suggests, was once where London trams went to bed at night). It’s been replaced by a rubber plant. What a symbol for 2020: out with the jokes and in with the sturdy, low-maintenance foliage.