HIX Oyster & Chop House // Farringdon // London

Such is the success of restaurateur Mark Hix that his empire has now grown to nine locations. The latest of his steak-focused ventures is Hixter, where the humble roast chicken gets star treatment alongside the beef. But it’s one of his original restaurants, the Oyster & Chop House that shows just why Hix has been so successful.

This hidden treasure is far from the glitz of the West End; and with good reason too.  With Smithfield market but 30 metres around the corner, this restaurant has easy access to some of Britain’s finest meat.  While aged beef on the bone is a favourite here, it doesn’t detract from the fine selection of seafood that is offered across the menu.

It’s this high quality seasonal produce that Hix uses to great effect in simple and tasty classic British recipes.  If you’re in the mood, a variety of live oysters are available.  Though given the choice of starters, your table might be better to take a range of things to share.  Veal dumplings with velvety creamed savoy cabbage are a winner, as is the restaurant’s own ‘Hix cure’ smoked salmon.  Mains wise, the one steak worth returning again and again for is the one kilo porterhouse, which is a sizable meal for two.  The quality of the meat is clear, and the simple treatment it gets in the kitchen is just right.

What sets Hix’s steak apart from the range of trendy competitors is that he doesn’t rely on fashion to fill his tablesat the Oyster & Chop House.  Honest, simple cooking is what keeps his regulars coming back.

It also helps that his front of house staff are always warm and friendly, and know how to provide excellent, discrete service.

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