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Jan 1, 2010 03:16 PM

Hix, Soho, London

Surprisingly, our favourite dish was identified by my buddy as German -- Heaven and Earth (Himmel und Ääd), a beautiful combination of mashed potato and apple, the heavenly sweet-sour of the apple contrasting the creamy richness blood pudding, earthy without being metallic.

Very good smoked salmon (good supple texture), the even smoky flavour supported by the salty salmony flavour. Have had significantly better smoked salmon, but this was excellent nevertheless. Sat well on a dense but somehow almost fluffy Irish soda bread.

Rich flavours of the shell in a full bodied seafood soup, with a wonderful boozy shadow of cider. Intoxicating.

Cod's tongues were tasty, but served a bigger role as a vehicle for the aromatic toasty hazelnuts, and a gloss of fragrant oil and chopped (what I though was parsley or some green). Good supporting role from mashed cauliflower, carrying the oils and nuts and greens.

Smoked haddock still flaked delicately into big moist pieces, rounded off by a good smooth mash with coarse threads of cabbage, sharp and sweet, and finished with the golden yolk of a poached egg.

Well tuned, and fairly refined but honest straightforward cooking. Would love to go back to try more. Slightly pricey (mains averaging ~£17 iirc), but worth it imho.

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  1. I'm so glad we've finally got a review of Hix. It's gone straight to the top of my "must try" list for 2010.

    9 Replies
    1. re: greedygirl

      Hope to hear your's soon! Would also be nice to get a comparison between Hix Soho and their Chophouse. BTW, the downstairs bar is quite lovely.

      1. re: limster

        Finally made it here. I wasn't as blown away by the design of the main room as some, seems normal bustly brasserie vibe, which is absolutely fine, but.

        Stellar service. My date was late but I was kept very happy with a crisp Martini of Hendricks gin, GORGEOUS pork crackling with an apple dipping sauce and a copy of Marie Claire. Oo and the lovely small warm loaf that is brought to you with just-right butter, and a jug of filtered tap. So far, so me in my element, and thinking maybe I should dine alone more often.

        Then date turned up, he was very smug about his fish soup with cider brandy, it looked beautifully rich but I didn't get any, hrmpf. I had the Heaven and Earth, gorgeousness, the black pudding was loose and sweet in a ball of casing, akin to morcilla in texture, the mash had a mellow spice to it, maybe mace?

        Himself had the lamb shoulder and parsnip mash, pronounced lovely, again no taste for moi...I had fried flounder (OK, but bland) with whelks and 'alexanders' which are a seaside British vegetable like samphire, bit more celery-like though. Much preferred the accompaniments to the fish.

        Lightly fruity Loire red, unasked for water top-ups. And the waitress moved us after the mains to a window table which was much better as she said there was a table of 10 about to arrive next to us and she was worried we wouldn't be able to hear each other. She even ran out into the street once we finally left to check we were happy with the move and hadn't thought she was being bossy. Very impressed.

        So, not perfect, and it IS pricey (£120 inc service for 2) but I haven't been that relaxed or mostly pleased in a restaurant for a long time. It's not extraordinary, the room is noisy, but, well, I felt utterly at home there, and that's rare. This may become a bit of a favourite.

        Avidly want to try the welsh rabbit fondue, milts on toast and the venison. And the veal. And the sloe gin jelly.

        Great place.

        1. re: helen b

          If solvency wasn't such an issue for me right now I'd be all over this place, so its great to at least hear about it!

          As to the noise. I'm glad you said you felt at home. I find far too many restaurants (especially high end) in England are like libraries. I love the sound of everyone laughing and arguing over their food - its nice to be surrounded by people having a good time. Each to their own.

          1. re: chief1284

            I'm afraid to say I was rather underwhelmed by the food here. A lot of hype, didn't deliver.

            1. re: daisyK

              I second this. I like everything about the place but the food. Shame.

              1. re: skut

                I will third this - most of my food was over- salted , their mushy peas too sweet - strange findus type coating on deep fried fish fingers . Good service and great cocktails especially the HixFix with the morello cherry being the best thing I ate all night.

                1. re: bleep75

                  ive only been to the oyster + chop house and wont bother going to the soho now... food was pretty average. so many places doing great british food better (and cheaper)

                  1. re: t_g

                    I'd go to the Soho branch for the bar only. It's wonderful! Just go into the main door and tell the concierge that you only want to go downstairs for a drink, follow the neon sign pointing into the basement, and enjoy. The restaurant is definitely not worth the money in my opinion, but the cocktails and the ambiance are.

            2. re: chief1284

              I've been here twice, on both occasions they've forgotten my main course and I've ended up eating twenty minutes after everyone else. I won't be going back. I just can't see how a restaurant of that supposed calibre can make that mistake. You have 8 people on a table, but you have 8 starters and 7 mains orders; shouldn't someone behind the scenes question that?

              The food and drinks are good, but not good enough to put up with that. There's plenty of places that have great food and get service right.