As soon as I stepped in to 100 Hoxton I knew that I was going to like it, I immediately knew this was my kind of place. It was chic, intimate and most of all welcoming. Will was superb with all things vegan, an absolute delight to speak with and would certainly give Tom Cruise a run for his money with his cocktail making skills.
Starting with cocktails, they were not only delicious and well balanced, they were beautiful presented as well. In fact they were stunning and really added to the entire experience, which in itself was a journey of visual delights and taste sensations. With cocktails designed to knock your socks off, I opted for the Spiced Plum Mai Thai, a fruity affair with a sense of distant shores, with plum jam, Appleton’s Signature rum, sweet syrup Orgreat, lime and pineapple, this was a winning start to the drinking journey. The Yammy colada with rum, jinro, pineapple, coconut, palm sugar and purple yam giving it, it’s signature lilac colour, quite possibly the prettiest cocktail I have ever seen, with glitter and sugar balls to decorate the top. These were winning cocktails, however, it was necessary to eat something with the to soak up the alcohol so on with the food we went.
You can eat off the A La Carte menu or you can go down the route that I went for, which is to order an array of sharing dishes. The early bird, which runs from Monday to Friday before 7pm is based on 2 people sharing, each selection 1 of each of the 5 sections of the menu, including dessert. It is £17.50 or £35 in total which I think is an absolute bargain. Each dish was bursting with flavour and texture combinations that complimented one and other. It was the ultimate taste experience that’s for sure.
First up was an array of salads, starting with the Burnt Eggplant Salad, that came with crunchy fresh apple, ripe and sweet cherry tomatoes, hazelnuts and majestic toasted coconut, this was a dish balanced to perfect for the palate, it was sweet with the taste of the tomatoes and apple with the burnt egg plant giving it some real depth of earth and savoury flavours, the nuts and coconut gave it a perfect texture with the fresh apple crisp to bite, tasty and then some!
I know that for those who know me, what I am about to say will seem rather odd, as I will eat most things vegan but cauliflower has remained a distant enemy for as long as I can remember….until now! I am converted thanks to a dish I will never forget. I have even got a cauliflower currently sitting in my fridge, ready to attempt to recreate it, I should probably explain to you why this dish was so incredible. It was a roasted cauliflower that was served with walnut and a pomegranate salsa but the cauliflower had clearly been roasted whole and had such a wealth of flavours, the way that it was not mushy but tender enough to fall apart with the spoon, was incredible and only wish I had discovered this sooner in life!
Butternut squash and avocados are two of my favourite things to eat, served with quinoa and topped with sumac this was a dish that was meant very refreshing and healthy but it was really nice to have as a lighter salad to add to the rest of this tasty feast.
It still remains a mystery to me, how these guys managed to make a potato dish so delicious. POTATOES! Cooked with plenty of garlic, chilli and coriander, these were the result of a chef with a great palate because they were balanced out perfectly and were such a welcomed addition to the already filling meal, they had such a wonderful flavour. As soon as Will advised these are the potatoes they serve with the vegan roast, I had started to plan a Sunday return!
With that being said the seasonal vegetable were also a triumph with okra, bitter melon and beans working together to make a hearty delicious dish, that worked so well. It is fair to say that these guys know what they are doing when it comes to flavour and texture combinations and that is why the idea of sharing each dish work so well, though if you are anything like me, you won’t want to share, but I assure you each dish deserves it’s place on table and all compliment each other.
For the last of the savoury section, we had Marpo eggplant with tofu, shitake mushrooms, black beans and Sichuan pepper. This was a ferocious mix of flavours, that exploded in the mouth and made a very full piglet, suddenly, very hungry again! This is a dish not to be missed, the eggplant was cooked perfectly, the sauce with the mushrooms was exceptional. The flavours were insatiable and as for the tofu, the coating was crispy and tofu itself melted in the mouth. For someone who eats a lot of tofu this was a whole new world of food, the way it was presented was pleasing but the flavour combinations were adored!
Will rightly suggested this should be eaten whilst indulging in a Riesling that managed to exaggerate the flavours to their fullest potential, causing fireworks in the mouth and making this dishes spicy elements heat the palate increase.
Accompanying the eggplant dish was a chilli friend rice with peppers in a lovely sauce that made this dish moist and a perfect side to this incredible explosion of flavours. It worked so well and once more the flavours were balanced so well!
Will was kind enough to give us some sauces to accompany this already opulent meal, a zingy jalapeno dip, a chilli sauce rich with lemon, a creamy Dijon and a red pepper dip that would make anyone smile. This just showcased yet again this restaurants understanding of flavour combinations and how well they were delivered.
Dessert was a welcomed trio with sorbets with raspberry, blackberry and pineapple. All worked incredible well to cleanse the palate, though for me, the pineapple was outstanding, it was so fresh and refreshed with ease. The raspberry and blackberry were bold in flavour and left the table in silence whilst consuming them, with lots of nods of appreciation.
To end this extraordinary experience, it was the turn of the Espresso Martini, once more ticking all the boxes. It was unapologetic in punch with vodka and coffee tickling the taste buds with this ultra smooth night cap. Concluding this meal in a classy manner, it was clear that this restaurant is big on flavours and they are foodies. They must be, otherwise, they would never be able to create dishes like they do and serve drinks that are so well balanced.
After the meal, I had a peak at the private function room which is situated next door to the restaurant, I quickly began to think how I could fill this room with near and dear ones and how much they would thank me for introducing them to such a pleasant dining experience. I was rather shocked when I found out that it is so affordable with menus designed around the guests.
There is also an 8 seat private table that is also available for the evening, this was very intimate and would be a great place to take family or friends, when you want a good catch up with a special touch. Regardless of what it is you are wanting from a meal, other than delicious food and fantastic drinks, Will is sure to be able to help, as he was superb throughout our entire night at 100 Hoxton. I will be going back very soon to try the Sunday roast and am going to be ordering extra potatoes!!