Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hix: Best New Restaurant & Best Place to Drink 2010-11

OK, so I am not a slave to fashion, be it the couture kind (Ms P will assure you of that) or the food/restaurant kind. The urban cool might have been hanging there for ages, but it has taken me while to catch-on to the wonder of Hix Bar and Restaurant - winner of the Timeout 2010 Best New Restaurant and The Observer 2011 Best Place to Drink.

Located in the heart of Soho, Hix offers a contemporary space as well as the best of British tradition in both food and drinks. The basement bar is a modern speakeasy that has plumbed the depths of British cocktail history to recreate the best concoctions from bygone eras. The pressed metal-ceilings,  large zinc-topped bar, jumble of modern and antique furniture and buzzing environment make it a magnet for those with something to celebrate. Cocktails are quirky and creative.
The Hanky Panky - get me another one

Awesome wood pigeon 
The main ground floor restaurant is sophisticated with a contemporary edge. For entree, Ms P couldn't go past the six Brownsea oysters with Sillfield Farm sausages (£15.50), which were deliciously fresh and offered the tang of the sea - the sausages were also a hit. I however was torn between the marinated Manx Queenies with cucumber and wild chervil (£14.50) and the Northhallerton wood pigeon with black pudding and crispy shallots (£9.95). The wood pigeon won out - and I can assure you it was a winner - perfectly cooked pigeon (the right degree of pink) coupled with crispy shallots and the richness of the black pudding (there could however have been more black pudding). Awesome.
Ms P's oysters were delish

The most flavoursome hanger steak
The main menu was a carnivores' delight: jam-packed with a plethora of British fish and an array of well-aged steaks. The silver mullet with Morecambe Bay shrimps and sea kale (£19.95) was calling my name - it was deliciously tender and the shrimp really upped the ante. The sea kale was limited however, and more of it really could have pushed the flavour boundaries. Ms P's hanger steak with baked bone marrow (£19.95), was just the way these things should be - deep, rich and perfectly satisfying. It proved that hanger steak packs a big flavour punch. (If I was doing it all over again, I would also consider the pan-fried pollack with Brae mussels and sea radish (£21.50)).

The silver mullet was a wonder
Deserts at Hix proved that the British really know a thing or two about the sweeter side of life. Who could pass-up blood orange marmalade steamed sponge pudding (£7.50) or a rhubarb fumble (£7.00). For me, my heart was set on the bakewell pudding with almond ice cream (£7.50): think toasted almonds, caramel and rich custard. Ms P assured me that the credit-crunch ice cream with hot chocolate sauce (£1.90) was a match made in heaven. What could be better than vanilla ice cream covered in rich chocolate sauce and shards of homemade honeycomb.
Almond, caramel and custard:mmm

It might have taken me a while to discover Hix, but I assure you I will be back. The place has a buzz that is engaging and the quality of the fresh produce shines. Extremely good British cuisine.

Hix on Urbanspoon

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