If you go down to Hoxton today you’re in for a big surprise. For hidden away from the main thoroughfare of bustling bars and eateries is a new gem of a restaurant serving up an array of playful dishes that will get your tastebuds tingling.
Chriskitch Hoxton is the second restaurant from Christian Honor, a chef who worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world, from the 5 star Oberoi hotel in Egypt, to Gordon Ramsay in London and The Dorchester.
The Sydney-born cook set up his first restaurant in London’s Muswell Hill in 2013 but his latest venture really steps the game up a level.
Walking into Chriskitch Hoxton I was immediately struck by a science lab-feel, with the chefs seen intently playing with some quirky looking apparatus in the open plan kitchen.
The bare concrete walls and flooring add an injection of New York-cool, with minimalist pieces of furniture completing the clean aesthetic.
Taking a table close to the kitchen so we could catch a glimpse of the action we had a peek at the menu. Chriskitch Hoxton’s menu changes daily, depending on seasonal ingredients that are available.
The menu is fairly concise but extremely playful, with some imaginative dishes and a whole course of ‘canapés’, instead of the usual tapas / appetiser section.
Many of the dishes also reflect Chris’ global travels, with Asian essences clearly visible; a sprinkle of sesame seeds here, a dabbing of soy sauce there and a tower of tropical amaranth leaves to top it off.
We started off with one thing that you must order. A baked oyster with scrambled eggs, champagne and a generous dollop of caviar. The canapé starter – which comes in at a reasonable £3.50 – was absolutely divine and something I’d definitely never seen on a menu before.
‘The truffle oyster’s been a best seller, people really love them,’ Chris explained, as we swiftly polished off the contents of our mollusc shells. On the side we grazed on a helping of crispy potato skins, dusted with a mouthwatering truffle and thyme powder.
Adding to the biology lab feel, the swanky fries came served in a kilner clip top jar infused with blast of wood smoke, which billowed out as we opened it.
Next up, as my fellow diner was vegetarian, we opted for a fresh salad. Chris tasked us with guessing the ingredients. We did pretty well with most of the elements but the swamp weed left us stumped. Chris told us that he tries to source as much as he can locally, so for the salad dish he’d used some swamp weed dredged up from the local canal.
Moving to the main course, I opted for a slow-cooked pork jowl, while my friend Clare tucked into a medley of seasonal vegetables.
May I add that every dish at Chriskitch Hoxton is presented like a neat work of art. Beautiful handcrafted crockery from Poland – where Chris’ wife BiBi is from – act as canvases for the edible sculptures.
Back to the pork jowl… like the truffle oyster, this is a must try! The tender meat frayed at the touch of my knife with the crispy top making for good contrast in texture. A soft poached egg and stack of polenta finished off the decadent dish.
To wash it all down, we tried a couple of wines from the list, including a crisp glass of Veuve Clicquot, which worked wonderfully with the poached pear and caramel sauce dessert.
Asking Chris where his new venture sits in London’s ever-expanding restaurant scene, he replied: ‘So you know that middle market, casual but a bit of skill and craft, I think that’s where we fit.’
During the day another section of Chriskitch Hoxton opens up for brunch with a set menu on offer for around £20.
The great thing about Chris is that after 27 years as a chef, you can tell that he still loves what he does, and Chriskitch Hoxton has just ignited that flame further.
The father-of-two said before we made our way out of the restaurant’s sleek interior back into the hubbub of Hoxton: ‘I’ve never cooked so relaxed and enjoyed it so much. It’s really fun.’
Cheers to that!
For book a table at Chriskitch Hoxton visit the website www.chriskitch.com or call 02070336666