Hixter is to food, what hipsters are to humanity.
Its fair to say that I am one of lifes eaters, and my blog is an anthology of all that has passed these lips. As all-encompassing as my palate is, there are only two things that one restaurateur, Mark Hix, is offering. He has a special fixation with roast chicken and steak, for that is the focus of his restaurants. Where Tramshed can be described as Marks’ ‘pioneering’ restaurant (scaling the talent required to, err, roast a chicken and not screw up a steak), Hixter is his sapling venture. There are a number of excellent steakhouses in London, and Mark tries to differentiate his by aging the steaks in a Himalayan salt chamber (in Ireland). Perhaps somewhere in the world this technique results in the most gasp-worthy meat you’ve tasted. Alas, this is not the case with Hixter (or Tramshed, incidentally).
A 250g ribeye is cooked on a plancha (a flat surface), which distributes heat evenly over the surface of the meat. It is adequate, I’ve had better here, here and here. A half chicken is chosen to augment the meal, to stretch out the modestly sized steak. It fills a hole, closes the gap between hungry and full, but has no sticking power in the memory. Surely a sign of calories not well spent?
The most memorable part of Hixter (apart from retina-searing neon ‘art’ fittings and red-toned lights) is in dessert. A deep dish of molten salted caramel is sweet enough on its own, heightened to almost radioactive levels with sugar-frosted doughnuts and marshmallows. A few dollops is more than enough to satiate, any more may result in loss of sight or spontaneous gum-swelling. A credit crunch sundae is actually quite rich, where vanilla ice cream is tossed in coarsely flaked honeycomb and toffee.
Like Tramshed, Hixter fails to impress on the food front. Unlike Tramshed, Hixter does not have any cool art or architecture to fall back on (try harder, Tracy Emin and co). Its location in London’s city-slick Square Mile is reflected in its gargantuan prices; I’m sure that the local clientele will oblige but I can think of other ways to spend the dosh (here and here if you’re in the area).
Tube: Liverpool street