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
London EC1M 6BN
Tel: 020 7017 1930