Saturday, 21 March 2009

Hix Oyster & Chophouse

There are few things more enjoyable than having a celebratory meal with your loved ones, especially when you come from a family who like to eat. Last week was my dad's birthday. We had a bit of a logistical nightmare trying to sort out a weekend for me to visit, as there were appointments to keep and rugby matches to be watched, so we eventually decided to go out for a meal during the week. Dad originally wanted to go to St John but unfortunately it was fully booked. Whilst on the e-mail exchange, we simultaneously suggested Hix Oyster & Chophouse. It was decided this was an omen, and it was booked.

When we got there, we were greeted by a busy and buzzy atmosphere. I was somewhat dismayed to find we were sat near a table of 6 suits, but they stayed relatively well behaved, with only a roar here or there. Immediately we were greeted with a loaf of warm bread with butter. I had to stop myself from wolfing it all down.

It took us a long time to decide what to order. The menu was very interesting; duck hearts, ox cheeks, rabbit, and laverbread all featured, as well as steaks as you might imagine. We decided to go for a dozen Hereford no.3s to share as a pre-starter, as is only right when you go to a place with 'Oyster' in it's name. The oysters were gorgeous - meaty and minerally and were a delight to slurp down. They didn't really need the shallot vinegar or the tabasco - just a light squeeze of lemon brought the flavour out beautifully.



As for the starter, Mum and Dad immediately decided on the razor clams. I wanted to order something different, and this 'Jellied Ham Hock Terrine with Piccalilli' caught my eye. I enjoyed it immensely; a deeply porky flavour (as one might expect from a ham hock) with the parsley set in the terrine adding welcome freshness. I really must try to make some piccalilli of my own soon. On the other side of the table, there were grins over the clams. I sneaked a taste of myself and was rather envious.


For the mains, Dad and I shared the 1kg Aberdeen Angus Porterhouse steak, aged for 28 days - not a cheap dish, coming in at £63, but very impressive. This beast was brought to the table and deftly carved by our waiter. Ordered medium rare, the fillet side was meltingly tender and beautifully pink, with a great charring on the outside. The sirloin side had a fantastic flavour and was enrobed with extremely tasty fat. It is served au naturel, so we ordered chips and purple sprouting broccoli. I was a touch disappointed that the broccoli was merely lukewarm, but the chips more than made up for it - piping hot, with a beautifully crisp exterior and fluffy innards. It was commented on, however, that they were a touch over-salted. It was all washed down with a lovely bottle of Berry Bros. & Rudd Extra Ordinary Claret, a medium bodied wine with hints of plum, perfect with the meat.

Throughout the dinner, the waiting staff were inobtrusive, but also slightly apologetic. I think our waiter was a bit scared of us. Nevertheless, service was sweet and efficient. We were suitably stuffed after this meat binge, but after reading Helen's review of Hix and how much she loved the blood orange and gin jelly with ice cream, I couldn't resist ordering it myself.

Ah, how I love jelly. The flavour here was great, with the sweet citrus of the blood orange contrasted with the creamy ice cream. There were segments of blood orange hiding underneath the jelly ring too, and a slight hint of gin in the background. I loved it, although Dad, who ordered the same, didn't. He said the flavour was fine, but it made his mouth feel weird. It was a shame the waiter didn't notice that most of that dish had been left, and instead nervously joked that we must be full.

All in all, a fantastic meal. We all loved the atmosphere of the restaurant which was loud, busy and bustling. The bill was a shocker though - it's rather expensive. Still, excellent food and quality ingredients don't come cheaply, and Hix covered all those areas.

Hix Oyster & Chophouse

36-37 Greenhill Rents

Cowcross Street

Farringdon

London EC1M 6BN

Tel: 020 7017 1930

14 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Have you tried crunchy fried insects? Crickets are good.

William Leigh said...

just had lunch and you've made me hungry again. Meaaaat!

Dan said...

This is just round the corner from my work, It's on my (extemely long, and growing daily) list of restaurants to try. From your photos, It looks cracking. Especially the steak and frites- but £63! - even split between two, that's an expensive bit of steak.

Laurie said...

What a lovely birthday feast for your father! Blood orange and gin jelly!!! Total yum.

Helen said...

Wibbly wobbly jelly! I would have ordered that too. That steak looks like a right beast! I am jealous. I want me a £63 steaky beasty. The terrine looks good too, and the oysters - always. Well and truly added to the list!

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

Hurray! Your parents made the right choice, the razor clams are gorgeous. Glad you liked the jelly too. Very envious of your Porterhouse too (I wasn't with my parents!)...

Andrew said...

what is it about talk and pictures of steak that makes my mouth water. But blimey girl that's one expensive cut of meat!

Lizzie said...

My dad suggested we order it, Helen - I didn't order it just because I was with them!

glutton boy said...

My god that sounds like a tasty meal. That photo of the steak had me visibly drooling over the keyboard. How much was it altogether though? And I like the look of that ham hock terrine though it's ringing familiar bells with me from some other restaurant that I can't quite pin down yet.

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

That all looks so, so good. This wasn't on my list but it's going on now.

Kavey said...

Great review, Liz, now I'm hungry for steak and haven't had any breakfast yet!

Gourmet Chick said...

Sounds like a great meal. I went to Hix Oyster Chop House last year and really enjoyed it although it was quite corporate. I think they are doing London restaurant week but only for dinner not lunch.

Niamheen said...

I shouldn't have read this before lunch :-(

Sounds lovely!

EatMeter said...

Great review! I visited this week - might try that steak next time, I had the dexter - also huge!

See my review here: http://eatmeter.blogspot.com/2009/04/hix-oyster-chop-house.html