Hotbox, meat lovers heaven. We are in love with this place.
The interior is what I will now coin as the Shoreditch look; bare brick, dimmed lighting, reclaimed timber furniture and lots of candles. The seating is similar to a school canteen, Wagamama style so you get to meet lots of people or if you are Elena pretend they don’t exist and focus on who is in front of you which luckily for her was me. The restaurant is so hot right now that it’s packed to the brim. We were also dining next to some famous models on our visit but we won’t name drop.
Hotbox has a very stream lined menu and we have come to the conclusion the restaurants that cut it back in terms of content usually have every dish spot on or as the kids say ‘on point’.
We started off our visit with a trip downstairs to their bar called 46 and Mercy. Very small and cosy with a combination of the bench seating and some sofas. Now, my favourite bars are the ones that have table service and well 46 had table service, whoop whoop. The bar staff are tentative and very friendly and clearly people that love their job. They really help to create that fun atmosphere that the bar has, added with upbeat music, it is a great place to just chill and hang out with your friends. We had some interesting cocktails which were high in alcohol content so it didn’t take me long to get tipsy. The complimentary pretzels kept us entertained as we attempted to resemble phallic objects. They also tasted great, well you know how we love our free stuff.
Once we got to the restaurant we decided straight away we could cover more ground if we shared stuff and boy was that a good decision. We ordered beef rib tacos and a pattie with rib, all the dishes are served with house pickles. When we saw smokey mac and cheese on the menu we had to order them as a side and well we added a portion of sweet potato fries just incase we didn’t have enough to eat 😀
All the food is presented on a chopping board which I love the rustic look of. The first thing we devoured was the soft shell tacos. We had to get in there with our hands and there was juice dripping everywhere. However, I got so lost in the flavours I couldn’t careless that I looked like a wild animal. The tacos were filled with juicy rib beef, rocket, chipotle mayo and crispy fried shallots. Each bite was like a party in the mouth with one flavour break dancing after another. The meat was just that, MEAT! Tender with a few crispy bits here and there, with seasoning all over.
The 4oz pattie was topped off with cheese, onions and more rib beef. The pattie was cooked medium rare and all that goodness was encased in a brioche bun. Now we didn’t come here in search of the best burger in town but we have to put it in our top 10. What a burger! The meat just melts in the mouth. The burger had a spicy kick to it which was much appreciated and just enhanced all the other flavours in it.
The smokey Mac and cheese is the best we have tasted and I mean ever. Creamy béchamel sauce with perfectly cooked pasta and a crispy breadcrumb top. So moorish. I could have eaten two portions of those as a main! It had a smokey taste throughout and I really need to find out how they do it so that I can copy. The sweet potato fries were on another level. I often fear how these will be at different restaurants as often enough they end up being soggy. However, Hotbox received another tick with the fries which were seasoned and triple coated so uber crispy on the outside and smooshy soft on the inside.
I am the one that has to tell sweet Elena that there is no room for dessert but after having amazing drinks, followed by an amazing meal I just had to see what dessert would be like which of course made my partner in crimes day. We had to go for the strangest sounding thing on the menu and order deep fried Oreo cookies. Omg. Each Oreo had been coating in doughnut batter and fried, looked hideous but boy did it taste good. It was served with vanilla ice cream and a pot of chocolate sauce. When you bite into these treats you expect a crunch however, it’s so soft all the way through. You get the taste of a sugar doughnut but you also get the cakey version of an Oreo cookies. It was seriously delicious and so worth the sick feeling of being stuffed. We were in food coma. Result.
The surprising part was the bill as we managed to spend under £25 each which was a bargain for the quality of food we had eaten. As we paid our bill we sat and planned when we could come back and taste their breakfast menu so keep tuned for that review.
46-48 Commersial Street, London E1 6LT