According to the Metro, Shoreditch has lost its edge. No longer the refuge of dead-beat artists clawing an existence from the gutter, where carrying a lowly iPhone 3 would get you mugged, Shoreditch is now a candy land for the affluent, with Liverpool Street suits wandering up for lunch at a high street eatery or over-priced poncery. These days the Gucci-clad thieves won't give you a second glance unless your iPhone 5 carries an 's'.
Perhaps Shoreditch has lost its edge. I've no idea. I haven't worked here for that long. What I can say is that I'd rather trade edge for security, impoverished artists for cash points, and salmonella for quality food. Shoreditch is awash with good places to eat. Of a lunchtime, you can glutton your way from Old Street to High Street, and back again, on cheap eats, eye-watering bills, and everything in between. Try doing that in Harlesden.
Just off the glutton trail, tucked down Rivington Street, is a surprisingly large hall that is Tramshed. Owned by a renowned chef (Mark Hix), with a Damien Hirst centre-piece, and occupying a building that could house no less than a hundred wannabe Yokos, Tramshed is everything the Metro must hate.
Tipping its hat to edgy credentials, at Tramshed you can dine almost exclusively on steak and chicken - I presume a vegetarian option is available, but they'd probably have to blow the dust off it first. The litmus test - steak and chips - was passed with flying colours, although I would say my steak was slightly more medium than rare. Bonus points too for being only the second place I've visited which serves Oxford Sauce. I just don't understand why this delicious, spicy brown, anchovy infused condiment isn't more widely available.
A series of sides accompanied our meal, but having foregone the recommended Oyster Ale (5.5%) in favour of champagne, I really can't remember what they were. I do recall the pudding, although I challenge anyone to forget a bowl of molten chocolate served with marshmallows and donut batter for dipping. I can also recall the envy felt for my friend's chicken and steak sandwich. Half the price of my meal and looking just as filling, if not more tasty, with crisp pieces of chicken skin poking out from each side.
When you next wade through the endless high street chains clogging the streets of Shoreditch, lamenting the disappearance of all those oh-so-trendy artists and violent muggings, turn to Rivington Street, visit Tramshed, and within minutes you just won't care.