This weekend, I had dinner with a few friends at Hill & Szrok, a new master butcher and restaurant that just opened on Broadway Market near London Fields. Hill & Szrok is a butchers by day, selling free-range and rare-bread meats, and restaurant by night (from 7pm on Wednesdays to Saturdays and for Sunday lunch). The seating for the restaurant is in the shop itself, so places are limited, with the main table being the butchers block in the centre of the room and bar stool seating around the outside. With two seatings, one at 7pm and one at 9pm, this place is already difficult to get into days after opening.
We were lucky enough to get places for 4 along one of the bar-style ledges for the 9pm seating, after stopping by the wine shop down the road (it's BYO). The branding of Hill & Szrok is simple and classic, as is the decor of the shop/restaurant, with marble table tops, wooden stools, functional but soft lighting and an semi-open kitchen.
The menu for the night is written on a chalk board on the side of the room and, while the menu is not large, I definitely felt the anticipation of a really good meal and found it hard to choose. While the three people that I was with went for the ribeye steak, I had the braised chuck and blade steak in a 4 pepper sauce. It was seriously amazing. The sauce was thick and almost smoky, with a big pepper flavour that had a lot of depth and was not at all overpowering. The meat was so tender and so well cooked - not at all dry or overcooked. I split an order of the midnight potatoes with a friend, which were thin sliced potatoes baked with onions, and I was glad that I did. They allowed me not to waste any of the sauce that came with my main. I also split a broccoli, fennel, almonds and goats' curd dish - also very well-cooked, well-seasoned and delicious.
I left Hill & Szrok feeling warm and elated - a feeling only good food and good friends can give.
Ratings: (numbers out of 10, £ out of 4)
Overall experience: 9