I’m going to be brutally honest, when I first saw Pharmacy 2 the latest restaurant from Damien Hirst and Mark Hix, the interior pretty much put me off ever eating there and I never thought I would. That was until I attended the recent Jeff Koon’s exhibition at Newport Street Gallery, where I stumbled upon said restaurant and their Sunday brunch menu.
Walking inside is like an art gallery in itself and you start to understand it all a little more when you see it for your own eyes. Pharmacy 2, funnily enough the concept is just that, a pharmacy. The back walls are lined with prescription drugs and things you wouldn’t find unfamiliar in your local Boots. The rest is covered in wallpaper which lists each type of pill and medicine, with a cabinet as you walk in with each of them. As well as the seats covered in bright and fun pill designs, I’ll take the Valium seat.
The bar is my favourite, it has a brightly coloured pill design and it really does focus on attention to detail, just look at the seats. Take a seat on a pastel coloured pill for yourself. The bar even more so isn’t plain, inside the bar top you’ll find a clear table filled with surgical masks and who knows what else. Hanging from the bar is a molecule type feature. There is something to look at constantly, from the stained glass windows and Hirst’s butterfly Kaleidoscope paintings to the cabinets filled with hospital type accoutrements. Most people come in for a look after the gallery, but I do recommend eating here and here is why.
Danny and I decided to try the Sunday roast menu, 2 courses for £23.95 or 3 for £27.95. At first I was unaware that this was Hix’s restaurant, but then it quickly became apparent from the HIX cocktails and the beef that was coming my way.
We both decided on a two course, I ordered the roast sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding and Danny chose the roast chicken. Both came with roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese and winter greens and not forgetting a big jug of gravy. I adore a big jug of gravy, no skimping here, I like my gravy people. The roast beef was huge, it wasn’t sliced it was like a giant steak but of course tasted like roast beef, it was delicious and the gravy and the Yorkshire pudding were just as good to match. Danny I think wish he’d ordered mine when he saw it, but enjoyed the chicken much the same. I would definitely recommend the beef out of the two.
Dessert was an equally pleasant affair with a Willies peruvian gold chocolate mousse with honeycomb. The mousse wasn’t too dark and was so delicious, the honeycomb is such a standard Hix addition, I loved it. Danny chose the cheeseboard with crackers, he wasn’t too keen on the blue cheese but ate it all the same. If you love cheese you know doubt will love it.
I also had a glass of Spanish wine, very reasonably priced at £5 a glass, it was lovely and went very well with my main. They also have a selection of cocktails, a little too cool for school for me, I like mine simple-ish.
The exhibition at Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall as I said is Jeff Koons and runs until the 16th of October. It shows various of his works throughout the years, from inflatable flowers to vacuum cleaners and my favourite the balloon monkey. There are plenty of inflatable artworks, you will find it hard not to touch them.
Photography is allowed, apart from in Gallery 3 that showcases some of the more colourful works, these are inspired by his ex-pornstar wife, so I’ll let you imagine. In Gallery 6 is where you will find the giant Play-Doh sculpture and more inflatables that even the kids seemed to love that were in the gallery. Although I think they nearly gave the security man a heart attack.
If you like colourful and modern art, then it’s worth a visit. There isn’t loads to see, but the exhibition is free and you can treat yourself to some brunch at Pharmacy 2… too.