Hix, Soho

My friend Kristin, who I know from Uni back in Sweden, lives in London too, and we try to meet up once a month to catch up, enjoy good food and speak Swedish. The first time we met up we had oysters and pig’s trotters at Terroirs, so it is safe to say we’re both foodies.

My last week in London before going on holiday we had dinner at Hix, where we both enjoyed baked bone marrow.

We met straight after work and had time for a glass at Mark’s Bar in the basement at Hix before dining on the ground floor. The food is prepared in simple ways to enhance the fantastic produce. Seasonal food and local produce are definitely key words here.

I started off with a plate of girolles, just lightly fried in herb butter. The mushrooms were beautiful (and I should now, us Swedes take girolles seriously) and very enjoyable.

Kirstin chose sand eels with caper mayonnaise and received a huge plateful. I got to try them too, and they were definitely the best sand eels I’ve had.

Both Kristin and I chose hanger steak with baked bone marrow for mains. The meat was perfectly cooked (mine rare and Kristin’s medium-rare) and again the portions were huge. The bone marrow was mixed with a mustardy stuffing and baked in the bone and was absolutely wonderful. And a fun way to serve it too.

Although the portions were big we still ordered sides, which was totally unnecessary. I hardly touched my chips or Kristin her salad. We also got three sauces with the steak; a mint sauce, a hot mustardy sauce and both our favourites, the bearnaise sauce.

The food at Hix was delicious, but rather expensive. Absolutely worth it once in a while but when spending money in this price range I usually choose more complicated gourmet restaurants. This was my first time at Hix and although I thoroughly enjoyed it, I prefer St John in this restaurqnt category, but it is definitely a good thing that such a restaurant exists in Soho,

Bonus: Mark Hix’s recipe of the main course we had; hanger steak with baked bone marrow.

My birthday part II: St John

My birthday was a real foodie day, with lunch at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon with Caroline and dinner at St John in Smithfield with Christopher.

Smithfield is an area close to Farringdon tube, well know for its meat market and John Torode has his empire Smith’s of Smithfield here. It is also in this area where you find Fergus Henderson’s restaurant St John.

The restaurant is located in what looks like an old factory or storage area. It is painted white, both inside and outside and as soon as you step inside you see the bar and a few tables, and to the right you have the dining room.

I don’t know how to describe the place other than very rustic, perhaps a bit rough, but that is part of the concept. A good concept it seems as the restaurant is full up this monday evening, and the clientele vary in age and ethnicity.

As soon as we sat down the bread and butter appeared on the table, and a minute later the bottle of sparkling water I had ordered appeared as well; Hildon water rebottled with the St John logo. The service continued to be this efficient all evening, and I was actually impressed how good the waiters were. Quick, efficient, knowledgeable and friendly. This together with the excellent food made you like the place instantly.

I started off with the famous bone marrow with parsley salad. The plate also held two large slices of brown toast and sea salt and all you needed for a tremendous food experience.

Christopher opted for duck hearts with radishes which were very nice and tender, but the bone marrow was even nicer.

My main was wood pigeon with courgettes and I got two large pieces of tender, still slightly bloody meat. Gorgeous. And the mushy courgettes were all you needed to go with it.

Christopher chose the lamb sweetbreads as his maincourse and they came with bacon and turnip. What a dish! I have tried sweetbreads before in restaurants but it was never this good. These were melt in the mouth smooth exploding of flavour. The smoked bacon was a perfect match as well.

Quite full at this stage we welcomed the 15 minutes wait (announced on the menu) it took for our dessert to arrive on the tables. We shared half a dozen freshly baked madeleines that were gorgeous! Buttery and soft. Total bliss! Till efterrätt delade vi på ett halvt dussin madeleiner, som vi båda älskar.

This is another place I highly recommend, especially for fellow foodies. But even if you’re feeling less adventurous there is plenty of fish etc.  on the menu.

St. JOHN Bar and Restaurant
26 St. John Street

Friday update

Friday again, my favourite day of the week. This week has been fairly quiet, due to the holiday coming up I think. I am suddenly aware of how tired I am.

After a weekend away it was nice to relax at home this week, but at least I have had time for baking and cooking.

We’re off to the cinema tonight. For the first time in our part of London, Clapham, and I am ashamed to say that we have lived here for over a year now. We have been to the cinema in this year though, not often, but a few times, but usually we go straight after work in central London or to see obscure (no, not really) Swedish films that only the arty cinemas show.

Tomorrow, we’re going to Trinity for the tasting menu to celebrate dear Gaby’s birthday. I am tres excited about that, haven’t been to Trinity for, let’s see now… 3 months. That is too lon! We don’t have to cook at all this weekend as we are going for dinner at our friends Jess and Chris on Sunday, and on Monday we’re eating out again, at St John this time, to celebrate my birthday.

Have a nice weekend guys!