This weekend I went for dinner at Blixen, a cute little restaurant located at the quaint Spitalfields market; a stones throw from Liverpool Street Station. We went for my friend Vicky’s birthday and it was her choice of place, which she had previously introduced to us for their delicious brunch menu (rosti with eggs? yes please!).
I had been here on a few previous occasions, but only ever for brunch, so I was excited to see what they had to offer at dinner.
We arrived and were seated promptly, it was not too busy for 7pm on a Friday night which was quite surprising as it has always been full at brunch time when I have been. Weird considering it’s proximity to the City but I am not complaining!
We were sat in the little outside covered bit, which is one of those odd outdoor feel but you are technically indoors because the market place is covered and it has a little gazebo type roof. I am a big fan of the indoor/outdoor vibe and particularly enjoy all the plants everywhere which makes it feel a bit like a jungle. Also weirdly reminded me of the section of the ride queue in Hogwarts at Universal where you go through the Hogwarts greenhouses, but maybe that is just me… Anyway, there were a few other people in having drinks and dinner so wasn’t just us out there, which gave it a bit of a buzzy atmosphere.
First things first, we decided on wine. 3 of us were happy with red, but obviously there was one fussy one (talking to you Bradley) who doesn’t like it. We were quite intrigued by the inclusion of ‘orange wine’, which was in a separate section to rose and white, but they had run out of that, alas. We went for a South African red and a French white in the end which were both reasonably priced around the £25 mark. They were both nice, the red was particularly tasty.
Next, starters. There was debate on sharing or no, scallops or no but in the end we got individual items (not scallops because you got 2 for £10 and we were hoping for 3). I had a burrata, which was served with a flat bread and grape salsa with hazelnuts which was amazing. The others had rabbit pasty, lamb croquets and crayfish, which I am told were all pretty good.
For mains, two of our party went for the beef onglet, and one opted for the guinea fowl from the specials menu and I went for the gnocchi. My gnocchi came with courgettes and parmesan, The potato gnocchi itself was light and fluffy and really quite delicious. Courgettes were a little too al dente for my liking but I ate them anyway. The guinea fowl went down well, even I tried some in my new quest to be more adventurous with my taste and have to say it was not too bad. The waitress asked how it was as they were thinking of putting it on the menu permanently and we told her that we thought yes they should.
Then came dessert. Now this ended up being a bit of a fiasco, which I was fairly oblivious to due to my late arrival meaning I missed the pre-dinner cocktail (thanks to TfL and the circle line taking forever to materialise for that one). In my absence, Jennie and Bradley had gone to drop off a surprise cake for Vicky – side note – Bradley baked it and it was amazing and you should check out Bradley bakes on Youtube.
They went to drop off the cake and were told there was a ‘cakeage’ fee – no, we had never heard of that either! It was only £1.50 per person so that was fine, if a little unusual. They left, all good. Then, Vicky called up to push the table reservation back because we would be late and the waiter said ‘oh but your friends were just here’. GOOD ONE. Then, on the way in, he said happy birthday to her when she hadn’t told the restaurant it was her birthday. So surprise ruined. Literally there is something about Vicky and surprise cakes where they never end up being a surprise quite as planned. Although this was not as bad as Blue’s Kitchen in Shoreditch bringing out the wrong cake for Bradley last year!
Thoughts on dinner at Blixen
All in all it was a pretty good experience. The waiting service was a little slow but once orders had been taken the food was fairly quick and all good quality. The whole thing cost £44 each which isn’t too bad for 2 courses and two bottles of wine really. And cakeage fee…
It did get a little busier later on in the evening although I did start to feel a bit chilly in the outdoor section and most people seemed to be indoors at that point.
I definitely prefer the brunch there, the menu is seriously amazing and not your bog standard brunch, so I think and will definitely head back for more of those, but it was a good dinner and I am very glad we went and checked it out.