We get pretty excited when a super chef moves into SE1, especially opposite MC HQ. So, when Hixter Bankside opened its doors in August we sent PA to our editor-in-chief over to find out what it had to offer.
Situated in Great Guildford Street, the first thing I came to were two friendly and accommodating hosts who offered a pre-dinner cocktail in Mark’s Bar while I waited for a friend. The bar is situated underneath the main restaurant so lighting is always set low, creating an everlasting late night environment. The bar itself is sunken in the middle of the room in an old tin metal cooling pool (it used to be an old metal box factory), low stools create a good place to sit and observe all the assembling characters or you can hide away in one of the booths.
After a look through the ample cocktail list I settled on Just In Thyme, a Tanquery, thyme-infused HIX IPA reduction, honey water, lemon and egg white (£9.75). Tt was a lovely, summer drink and suited the chatter I’d started with my friend who had just arrived. She ordered the Elderflower Scrolls – Tanquery with elderflower cordial and Bitter Truth celery bitters (£9.25). This bar is definitely somewhere you can come to in its own right, open until 1:30am.
After a trip to the cheekily decorated toilets – super-sexy Tom Oliver wallpaper and moving girly posters – we headed back upstairs to the restaurant. As with all of the other Hix restaurants there is art all around – a large Gary Webb sculpture made of brickwork and a beautiful painting by Matt Collishaw are the most prominent in this room.
So onto the food. I decided to go for a classic atlantic prawn cocktail (£11.75). The prawns were king and laid on very crisp shredded lettuce with a light but still creamy sauce; it was exactly how it should be. My friend went for the Portland crab (£12.50) served with heritage tomatoes and chives, which, she reported back, reminded her of a recent trip to Cornwall. So far so good.
Main courses were hard to choose between, but we decided to go for meat as that’s what Hix is known for. We went for rib steak (£20.00) and the Hixter BLC (£25), a beef, lobster and chicken sandwich with side orders of fries and onion rings. My steak was so soft the knife just glided straight down to the plate, the only thing missing was a little salad or something green. You need to be hungry for the Hixter BLC as it’s on the large side but it has got all the meat you could ever want and then, under all that meat, is a generous smear of whipped chicken liver pate to give it a super luxe, rich flavour.
We were about to explode, so the staff were happy to let us have a long break and finish our bottle of wine (Tramshed white £25) before serving our favourite part of the evening – an incredible salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts. The homemade mini marshmallows dipped into the hot salty caramel sauce made our eyes somersault with delight, we quickly reached for another, mentally booking gym classes with every mouthful.
Come hungry, try the cocktails, enjoy the art. As far as new neighbours go, we could do a lot worse than Hixter.