The Oyster and Chop house was Hix's debut restaurant after going solo in 2008.
I was really looking forward to this restaurant as I had heard it had a very unique menu and was one of 'THE' places to eat in the city...as it had been snowing and Andy was in jeans and snow boots we were also attracted by the casual dress code.
I thought to myself, I am going to order a big fat juicy steak and sink it down with a bottle of fruity red.....what a perfect way to escape the snow.
As we walked in we were greeted by a lovely hostess, she offered us drinks at the bar first but we decided to go straight to the table and have some cocktails there, the bar did not look terribly appealing and at that time it was a little dead, most likely because of the snow.
The restaurant was quite small and had a 1920s theme with 1920s music playing.
It had a cool, quirky vibe and I really liked it.
We were shown to our table which was nice, only thing I didn't like was it over looked a small kitchen area and there were dirty blue cleaning cloths hanging over the tap and it looked really grimy. If it was a cool, slick kitchen and you could see them preparing dishes this would have been great but they didn't seem to use it much and it took away the special vibe this place had to begin with.
A really sweet waitress approached us, dressed in a smart shirt and she looked really friendly.
Hello! Cocktail menus?
Yes please. Hmmm what shall we go for, I asked the waitress if they had any cucumber based long drinks, they had none on the menu but she said the barman would be happy to knock something up. Amazing!
She came back shortly with our drinks, mine was gorgeous! Exactly what I wanted and I asked her to thank the barman for me!
We toyed with the idea of having oysters to start but we just weren't in the mood, with all the snow outside I really fancied a hot soup.
Andy noticed Lambs brains on toast on the starter menu.....he constantly wants to try new things, so he of course chose this!
I , however, opted for something less risky, I chose the horseradish soup, even though I'm not a fan of horseradish, the waitress told me it was creamy and not too hot, so I thought id give it a go.
We ordered a bottle of Pinot Noir, Drouhin Wilamete Valley, Oregon, USA 2010.
The wine arrived....
It was beautiful, very fruity and fairly light - a great choice at a reasonable price. We were happy.
The starters arrived.....
Even though the idea of eating Lambs brains turned my stomach I was really excited to see what they looked like!
They had been lightly fried with flour and came on 2 pieces of toast.
It looked very interesting and actually quite appealing.
Andy had a huge mouthful with no hesitation, and smiled at me as I waited in anticipation.
He said they were really nice, with a very unique texture.....
I had to try some and see for myself, I guess it's nice to be able to say you have tried Lambs brains!
They were soft, very rich and creamy, like nothing I had eaten before. The flavours blended nicely with the toast.....I could only stomach one mouthful as it was BRAINS!
DELICIOUS! I was really impressed, it was very thick and mixed in with bread crumbs which were really tasty. After every mouthful I could feel the heat of the horseradish in my nose, it certainly warmed me up and gave the wine a spicy kick.
For our main courses I had chosen the Hanger Steak with baked bone marrow. I had nevertried bone marrow before so I was looking forward to this!
Andy went for the Woodcock, complete with the head and beak.
We sat back, enjoyed our wine and noticed the restaurant had really started to fill up.
The main courses arrived.....
I asked for my steak to be cooked medium rare, I sliced into it to check and it the was perfect colour of pink, YUM!
Andy's bird looked a little on the small side and he was slightly disappointed....he was really hungry.
My steak was delicious, bursting with flavour, the bone barrow was really tasty, reminded me a little of butter, the texture is velvety and smooth and went really well with the steak. I was slightly hesitant in trying it but really enjoyed the new experience.
The Woodcock meat was incredible, very rich and beautiful but just not enough of it. He ended up eating half of mine!
To finish our evening at Hix we both had 2 double Amaretto liqueurs on the rocks, even though the dessert menu was tempting!
We were really impressed with the meals, I felt the menu offered lots of exciting new dishes which most people would not have tried before so the experience is allot of fun!
However I do feel it was a little over priced, and reading all the other reviews when I got home I saw lots of people had said this too.
I think the venue could have offered more to add to the over-all experience. It's all very basic...relying too much on the 1920s 'too cool for school' atmosphere.
There was no WOW factor for me but I did enjoy the food.
I think it would be great for a group of men or a business lunch.
Check it out!