Mark Hix is an extremely successful chef with, what seems like, an ever-growing restaurant empire around the British capital. Fortunately I happen to live right nearby one of the earliest around the country, Hix Oyster and Chop House. I’ve eaten here several times before and although it’s packed out to the rafters during the week, thought it best to still book ahead for an early Sunday evening dinner. Located down the very end of a tiny street backing onto Fabric’s back-door step, I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who still manage to find this place.
On to the food… As soon as you’re seated, they always bring out a crusty warm loaf of bread with accompanying butter. This stuff is utterly delicious and I’m forced to stop myself from gorging myself on it in order to enjoy the rest of the menu to come. They seem to have different sizes for different tables, but it’s very nice to have to the bread presented on a tiny little bread board of its own.
I start with the Pea and Lovage Soup, and despite the warm day, end up having it served hot. I’m not one to voluntarily have a cold soup if I can help it. Cold soup seems as wrong as warm beer. As you can see, the soup has its intense greenness preserved and with whole peas scattered throughout, provides a great contrast in flavour. Pea-essence fills my mouth with every spoonful and I enjoy every last drop, although it tastes slightly over-salted as I find myself reaching for the water continuously afterwards. I have no idea what the Lovage is, but it doesn’t seem to have a strong or offensives flavour.
I order the River Severn sea trout and wild herb salad with a soft boiled hen’s egg though I pictured it more as a trout dish with the salad on the side, rather than a completely full salad dish. Nevertheless, an impressively fresh dish with light flavours and plenty of greens helping me feel healthy after eating it. I feel slightly less guilty about ordering their lucious Fried Onions in Scrumpy batter. I don’t think it totally makes up for it, but I guess it’s start.
The picture is simply proof about the perfect poaching of the egg. Loving the oozing and the rich orange yolk minus any awkwardly clear white hanging around the middle.
To finish off the meal, I end up with the two scoops of the Credit Crunch Ice Cream. I think the greed got the better of me, and had I known they were so big (or the dish so rich) I definitely would have just gone the single scoop. This ice cream is something they whipped up during the credit crunch late last year, and understandably a decadent crowd pleasure. Not only are there chunks of chocolate throughout the ice cream, mixed with honeycomb pieces all served with a hot chocolate sauce that, literally, looks like melted chocolate. Decadence and much running needed after this meal.
Service was affable, though started to be lose out as the restaurant filled up. Nice enough for a Sunday meal. Total damage for two people excluding wine and a couple of soft drinks: £82.
Name: Hix Oyster and Chop House
Found at: 36-37 Greenhill Rents, London EC1M 6BN (Off Cowcross Street between the Eat and the Nicholas