It doesn’t bode well that I suffered manic food poisoning two days after lunching at Hix – although I have since realised this had nothing to do with the large plate of fabby Kingdom of Mourne rock oysters, nor the sweet, plump Duchy of Cornwall natives. It was in fact an office-borne 24-hour bug-like monstrosity that had me hugging the loo for dear life and seeing a repeat reemergence of a Marks and Spencers mexican chilli chicken salad…
Hix is a charming luncheon spot, with a nice softly-lit downstairs bar that cleverly hides bags under the eyes and “make-up-done-in-taxi-on-the-way-to-the-business-lunch”. The staff are attentive and ever-present without being fawning and in your face. The bread is chewy and delicious. There are sardine cans hanging from a mobile in a suitably Young British Artists cantina, post-something, trendy designer way.
The oysters, as I mentioned, were fabby. Its all nouveau-British posh pub food, which is to say – perfectly edible and nice-looking without ever really being exciting, or new, or in fact worth anywhere near the prices on the menu. I had a gurnard (ugly looking buggers they are too) which was supposed to come with all sorts of accoutrements such as cockles and some sort of fancily-named seaweed. Instead I just got an ugly fish on a plate swimming in its own little mediterranean sea of bubbling butter. The cockles had clearly met their demise somewhere between the kitchens and my table, perhaps being tangled up in one of the hanging mobiles?
A starter of “heaven and earth” – in other words, black pudding and squashed potatoes (not mashed, yet not whole) was satisfyingly warming and home-cookingy, but again, nothing I couldn’t whip up at home. The black pudding stuck to the roof of my mouth in a rather cloying way.
They did have whole grouse on plates – which I immediately regretted not picking, especially as it is game season. And the chips were scrummy, I pinched many a handful from my dining partner’s platter. But Hix, frankly, doesn’t cut it for me. Interesting that most readers of Time Out seem to agree with me too: Read some real stunning reviews here!