"Italian food in a hip Hoxton venue"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
Right on Hoxton Square and within easy reach of both Old Street and Hoxton tube stations, the outside workmanlike eating area of Gigi’s reflects the relaxed, breezy attitude of the area.
The interior is vast and spacious – as you would expect in a music and club venue aimed at the predominantly young local population. There are bright pop-art murals on the walls and large wooden sculptures dotted around. I particularly liked the eagle.
We took a seat by the large window overlooking the terrace and the square. The service was friendly and swift. We were there early in the evening and I imagine the place is transformed as darkness takes over and the crowds swell.
My glass of South African Sauvignon Blanc (£6.30) hit the spot and my companion was happy enough with the house Rose (£7.50).
My scallops (£9.50) were cooked beautifully and were light with a delicate blend of seasonings. My companion’s crispy squid (£7.90) was a little less exciting – especially with a tartare sauce and an unintentionally wilted lettuce as a garnish.
Other starters included: aubergine parmigiana, Italian burrata, beetroot carpaccio, roasted duck breast, beef carpaccio and grilled mackerel.
I chose one of the chef’s favourites for my main – the crab linguine (£15.50). Well cooked pasta and a rich, flavoursome sauce with courgettes, cherry tomatoes, lemon, garlic and chilli. My companion’s grilled beef fillet (£22.50) was a sizeable portion and cooked a little more than the requested medium but still tender. It had a rich, rosemary gravy which worked well with the artichoke and polenta. The standout dish surprisingly was the spinach side (£4.50) cooked simply but brilliantly with garlic and lemon. Head Chef Antonio Mollo’s Italian heritage shone through the cooking and didn’t disappoint.
Other mains options included: summer salad, grilled aubergine, Sardinian pasta, homemade gnocchi, chicken Milanese and grilled rack of lamb. There were sea bream and tuna dishes also. The sharing mains appear popular – there are steak and seafood options (both £49).
We didn’t get as far as desserts which featured vodka lemon tiramisu and chilli vanilla panna cotta as well as cheesecake and ice cream.
The brunch menu looked appealing – with sharing platters, full Italian breakfast, eggs benedict, hot rice and prawns, roasted aubergine and vegan breakfast (injera bread, guacamole, mixed peppers and crispy leeks in a spicy red pepper sauce) as well as various burgers.
Food of this quality (and price) appeared a little incongruous in the informal environment but I suspect that the locals will be delighted at its addition to the many local restaurants on offer.
KimT reviewed Gigi's Hoxton on Fri 12 Jul 2019Review disclosure: reviewer was invited to review