Hixter, which is just a short stroll from Liverpool Street, is the latest restaurant from Mark Hix. It’s based on the same idea as his other restaurant Tramshed; specialising in just chicken and steak – that’s Swainson House Farm chicken and Glenarm Mighty-Marbled steak to be precise.
The restaurant was a pretty little thing; giant paintings of smiley faces hung on the exposed brick walls and there was a red glow throughout. In the basement there was an even prettier bar which proved the perfect place for a pre-dinner sharpener.
To start we decided to share the Atlantic prawn cocktail (£11.25) which was a sturdy and solid version of the classic. Served in a Sundae glass, it featured plump juicy prawns, crisp fresh lettuce and a big ol’ dollop of tangy Marie Rose sauce. I love a good prawn cocktail and this was exactly that.
For main, the two of us shared the whopping 1kg rib on the bone (£65) which was for 2-3 to share – I reckon I could have totally eaten it on my own though! It was a humungous piece of meat and whilst our waiter carved it at our table the aroma of beef totally got me going; it was quite literally incredible.
The steaks are fried on a plancha, which is a totally flat surface, meaning the crust on the outside of the meat was seriously and evenly charred. The real flavour came from the fat which had rendered down perfectly and melted in my mouth – I’ve never had a steak quite like it.
The only negative was the tiny pot of béarnaise sauce – I wanted a huge bowl of the stuff to match the size of the steak. It was however only a minor negative as plenty more was brought out when requested.
The chips (£3.95) were crispy and well seasoned; perfect for dunking into the béarnaise. The scrumpy fried onions (£3.95) were exactly how onion rings should be; crisp, grease free and worryingly addictive.
For dessert, the salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and donuts sounded right up my street, but after shoving loads of beef and wine in my face all night, I was pretty close to self combusting so we decided to share the shipwrecked tart (£7.25). Served with a scoop of clotted cream, it was pure indulgence; a treacly, nutty treat – perfect for sharing.
I really enjoyed my meal at Hixter, and with steak that incredible, it would have been difficult not to. It’s not a particularly cheap restaurant but you certainly get what you pay for. Service was friendly and charming and the food was delicious – after a small outbreak of the meat sweats, I left feeling thoroughly satisfied. I think I’ll have to go back to try the chicken. And another steak. And that salted caramel fondue.