Blixen has been on my Must Eat list since it opened over a year ago. Friends have been and raved about it and I’ve read a lot of good things about this stylish restaurant. However, until now it just hadn’t worked out with plans. This year our wedding anniversary landed on a Tuesday and I wanted to find somewhere with a nice atmosphere, that was new, cosy and of course with a good menu. Blixen ticked all the boxes!
Blixen is situated on the southern edge of Old Spitalfields market in East London. The main restaurant is split into a variety of sections; there are stools at the counter of the kitchen where you can watch the chefs at work, booths with beautiful marble table tops, a mixture of tables in the centre and then a line of tiny tables for pairs. And don’t forget the terrace too! There is also a beautiful, grand back-lit bar overlooking the whole space; and there are gold pineapples. This is never a bad thing.
As we walked through the restaurant and were shown to our table out in the beautiful, lush greenhouse terrace there was a definite buzz. This was instantly a good sign. We were seated in a snug corner, where we could see the whole space. Which for me is normally the best seat in the house, I love a bit of people watching!
We had already had a few cocktails before we arrived so we went straight for a bottle of Pinot Noir, a nice light red. Although I had not eaten at Blixen previously I had been down to the vault of the old bank (which is now a cosy bar) for a few cocktails before and I can confirm they were excellent.
As you know because I mention it all the time, I like a concise menu. And even with this concise menu that Blixen delivers, I still had no idea what to order because I wanted it all.
I love the mix of dishes on the menu at Blixen. You can steer down the lighter road or you can jump off head first into all the naughtiness. Surprisingly we sat on the fence and ordered from both sides, maybe it was because it was one of the first Spring-like days we had had so far this year.
Blixen offer a handful of snacks on the menu, which all sounded delicious, but we didn’t want to fill up too quickly, so we started with a light snack of pickled herring on crackers. These were divine little morsels and a great start.
I’m also a sharer when it comes to these nice small menus, that way you get to try more tasty food! Luckily my husband agrees so we decided to share our starters because we couldn’t decide between the dishes.
Our waiter returned with the seabass ceviche with avocado, chillies and red onion and a squid, chorizo and chickpea stew with saffron aioli. The ceviche was good but the stew really stole the show!
The swirling textures and flavours were just incredibly delicious. It was rich and smokey but still remained light and so moreish. I still think about this dish now. I wanted to order another portion, the husband reminded me we still had two courses to go… regretfully I listened!
Main courses were a solo affair, no sharing here. D ordered the slow cooked lamb shoulder with farro, eggplant, peas and rocket and pistachio pesto. There was a big hunk of tender lamb and the pesto was fresh and vibrant, a nice addition to the dish.
I ordered the pork belly, spaetzle, kale and quince. Whenever I see spaetzle on the menu I order it. I love this Germanic pasta, to me it is like a twizzled out gnocchi. The crunchy, salty crackling topped the most succulent pork belly. It was an extremely tasty dish.
Oh, I can’t believe I almost forgot about the cheese and chive mash! Well, we actually did forget to order this and realised as our mains arrived, so we ordered it and it came within minutes. This is the best mash you will ever order, fact. Rich and creamy it was a perfect accompaniment to our course, but I’d happily eat it alone, with a spoon.
By this point we were a little full and slightly woozy with wine, hence there is a photograph of only one dessert! D ordered the cheese selection the crazy man, though he ate it all.
I ordered the pièce de résistance; warm banana and caramel pudding, coconut sorbet. My god this is a heavenly dessert. I mean a sweet sticky banana pudding with a light coconut sorbet, what is not to like. A decadent end to a wonderful meal.
Would I return to Blixen?
100% yes. Blixen delivers beautiful, good quality delicious food; it is comfort food at its finest. From start to finish the staff were friendly and helpful and this place is just beautiful. From the grandeur of the restaurant, to the calming greenery of the terrace, the cosy vault for cocktails, there is a spot for every occasion. I also want the gold pineapples.
I’ve heard brunch is good. I think I’ll try that next!
Have you been to Blixen? Do you have any other favourite restaurants around Spitalfields?
Blixen, Old Spitalfields Market
65A Brushfield St