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|Address:||32 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3EQ|
|Tel:||020 3641 8345|
|Price: £47.00||Wine: £18.75||Champagne: £35.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 11am-10.30pm (Sun -10pm)|
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The massive Damien Hirst piece which dominates Tramshed invites parallels and I say “Cock and Bull” is the perfect complement to this restaurant. Depending on your view of Hirst this is either high praise or deep damnation. In keeping with London's one(ish)-trick pony theme du jour, Tramshed serves just Chicken and Steak. Geddit? Ha! How witty. The Hirst visual joke raises a smile but after that, like a Chinese takeaway, you're left wanting more. Same with Tramshed food: it's perfectly edible, but there's no depth, there's no subtlety, no passion. Perhaps Hix wasn't after that. Perhaps he just wanted to make a Tramshed load of money. Why chicken? I wonder if it's because at £25 a pop it has big fat margins as juicy as the meat itself? Or because it's hard to get wrong so you can churn them out (like Hirst does with the spot paintings)? Or because, like modern art for the masses, it's a crowd pleaser? There's nothing wrong with the chicken, it's rather tasty actually, but there is nothing particularly special about it either except the gimmicky serving on a spike, legs akimbo. A whiff of the words “bandwagon”, “moneyspinner” and “Emperor's New Clothes” hangs in the air, like the ghosts of the unfortunate cow and cockerel. It's all a bit smug, self-conscious and self-congratulatory, like Hirst. We manage to spend £83 a head, admittedly mostly on Pouilly Fume, but neither the cold yorkshire pud with dense pate starter nor dull-as-ditchwater strawberries merited many pennies on the bill. Service was lovely, with just a few prompts to ensure our wine was kept topped up, and there's a reasonable buzz, mostly from City types who've braved the £4 cab fare to Shoreditch. Like a sucker for punishment I followed lunch with a visit to the Tate Modern's Hirst exhibition. Who's laughing now?