9a Devonshire Square
The Square Mile is far from short of nice places for a meal – with household names such as Hawksmoor, Coq d Argent and Duck and Waffle calling the area home, settling on one seems like an impossible task. Well, life just got a bit tougher with the introduction of Hixter into the mix.
Hixter has opened in the wake of its Shoreditch sister Tramshed’s success and like its predecessor, Hixter has retained the winning formula of serving exclusively quality chicken and steak mains supplemented by an innovative selection of starters and puddings.
Tonight, my order read: Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers (which was recommended to me) and Cock’n’bull croquettes to start, followed by mains of the Chicken and Egg and the Beef Rib with sides of chips and onion rings. Of course no meal would be complete without some sweet and how could we resist the salted caramel fondue?
Kicking things off strong, both the croquettes and Yorkshire pudding were tops and it’s a toss up as to which one was better. The Cock’n’bull was a delicious blend of beef and chicken with a fantastic cheesy finish but as a fan of pate, my personal preference had to lean towards the Yorkshire pudding. The Yorkshire pudding itself was as nice as it was massive – toasted, fresh – but it was the whipped chicken liver that really made this dish stand out. It was so deep and rich I must admit I was pretty full after it but that clearly didn’t last when I saw what was to come…
The Chicken and Egg was an escalope served with a fried egg, anchovies and capers. This was a very solid dish – the escalope’s coating was crisp but the chicken remained moist. This is a dish which will leave you satisfied.
The Rib is served as either a 250g or a 500g portion. Tonight, I opted for the 250g portion so that I could also order grilled lobster (only half this time but there is the option for a whole) but even 250g was still very sizeable. As expected from a Hix institution, these guys knew their steak and even though I like my steak raw, I heeded the advice of my waiter and opted for medium to allow the fat to render. This was a decision I would not regret as the meat that was served was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had in my life but of course it helps that it was cooked flawlessly; the meat was so tender I barely needed to chew and with flavour so full, sauce was surplus to requirement.
The grilled lobster, served with garlic butter, was a tasty accompaniment which makes this one classy surf’n’turf you don’t want to pass up!
Sides of chips and onion rings were both solid and did not disappoint. Chips passed the “T” test (that is to say chip fiend T liked them) and the onion rings were great though the batter to onion ratio may have leaned just too much on the batter side.
The big finish (and what a finish it was!) came in the form of the salted caramel fondue served with marshmallows and doughnuts. This dessert was EXCEPTIONAL and without a doubt I’d recommend it to anyone – in fact, it’s good enough to go to Hixter just for it. I am not ashamed to admit that by the end, I was basically drinking the caramel fondue like soup though obviously it was better with the marshmallows and doughnuts – especially the doughnuts which were fried fresh.
Tramshed was a hard act to follow but I think Hixter has done it with style and may just be my new favourite restaurant in the Square Mile – I have no doubt there will be many others who share the same sentiment. In addition to great food, the restaurant mirrors the relaxed atmosphere of its location, Devonshire Square, which is nicely tucked away behind Bishopsgate and provides a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the City. And if your still not sold, then the fact that Hixter is also home to a Mark’s Bar – with its extensive list of cocktails – must surely seal the deal.