SquareMeal Review of
Damien Hirst’s long-closed Notting Hill restaurant Pharmacy has been resurrected in Vauxhall, coming into partnership with Mark Hix – whose influence on the modern British menu is evident. The dining room is located within Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, tucked down an anonymous street by railway tracks. Its bright interior is stuffed with Hirst’s work: bar stools have been transformed into giant tablets; colourful pills are embroidered on the bright blue banquettes. Staff are friendly, but service can be leisurely – we waited ages for main courses. Hix’s menu highlights top-quality ingredients, simply served: Glenarm Estate beef; Hix-cure smoked salmon; and snacks including delectable cuttlefish croquettes with inky-black centres, served with wild-garlic mayonnaise. Hix’s classic ‘heaven and earth’ starter also appears, comprising softly spiced black pudding atop a contrasting pile of sweet mashed apple and potato. The short mains list focuses on marine life; our smoked haddock with poached egg and colcannon was comforting, if slightly over-salted. Mini puddings (reasonable at £4) are designed to share; don’t miss the fruity, refreshing poached Yorkshire rhubarb with saffron ice cream. Add the well-edited wine choice and concise cocktail list, and Pharmacy 2 might well be a prescription for success – if it overcomes the isolated location.