Hixter is all about high-end homey and hearty dining – but that doesn’t stop it taking on a few chameleon-like qualities.
Expect to sample a casual atmosphere with friendly staff wearing denim jeans and black tops, but also be prepared for a whiff of truffles in the air.
Hixter is far from pretentious, the food isn’t overly fussed over, and dining is not a work of art as the canvasses that adorn the walls would suggest; but what you do get is quality cuts of meat, generous portions and punchy flavours.
And while it has the feel of a high-end American steakhouse, it is all very British.
Before getting stuck into the menu, be sure to allocate some time to head underneath the restaurant to Hixter’s very own drinking den – Mark’s Bar.
It’s surprisingly large and boasts a great sunken bar surrounded by cinema-style seating. And just like all of Mark Hix’s dining spots, the bar hosts some incredible revolving artwork installations, breathing more life into the space.
Grab the Full-English Negroni, made from all local ingredients (no Campari in this one), for a slightly less bitter take on the classic cocktail. Bartenders here have created an intricate cocktail menu with plenty of bespoke drinks; indeed, they’ve got you sorted for winter warmers, fresh and fruity creations, and just about anything else your boozy heart desires.
Once you’ve satisfied your cocktail cravings, head back upstairs for the main affair. For now, it’s time to feast. And we seriously mean feast. A three-course meal at Hixter won’t set you back too much, but it will keep you full for days.
The crispy baby squid starter is a huge win. It’s a big bowl of battered squid, covered in almond shavings, fresh chillies and lime. And we couldn’t look past their mac and cheese, either. As a starter, it’s pretty hefty – chocked full of the stringy good stuff – but somehow we were left wishing there was even more cheese stuffed in. For us, mac and cheese should be an artery-clogging affair.
The heroes of Hixter are the meaty mains. Mark Hix’s eateries are well known for their full roast chicken carved up at the table; great for showing off to clients but probably not best when you have a vegetarian pal at the table. Diners are then absolutely spoilt for choice with beef options; choose either an entire kilogram of rib on the bone or Porterhouse – both made for sharing.
Then there’s the impressive Club Steak which comes served on its own wooden board and cut up in front of you by the waiter.
Meanwhile, the slow cooked ox cheek is a great alternative; salty and rich and cut with Somerset cider cabbage.
Be sure to embrace the truffle smell wafting throughout the restaurant by ordering the truffle fries and then go full greasy indulgence by getting the onion rings, too. No need for greens and vegetables here.
Slosh it all down with some of the many wines on offer and cap it off with dessert – because no matter how full you may feel, there is always room for dessert. Always.
We opted for the chocolate mousse with Temperley cherries. Like all dishes, there was plenty of it on the plate, but it wasn’t creamy and light like some mousses out there. it was thick, dark and boozy – just the way we like it. The perfect ending to a decadent night out.
You may leave Hixter with the meat sweats but embrace this possibility; it’s the sign of truly treating yourself to good honest food.
16 Great Guildford Street SE1 0HS