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Born in 2008 and still ‘going strong’, Mark Hix’s first solo venture couldn’t be a better fit for Smithfield, home to London’s famous meat market. Staff are invariably enthusiastic and enjoy showing off the day’s freshly butchered prime cuts – fillet on the bone, beautifully marbled hanger steak and various chops look terrific, and need little more than a herby green salad or chips on the side. The restaurant also lives up to its moniker with ‘excellent’ oysters – perhaps Brownsea Island natives or Carlingford rocks. Hix knows his wild British ingredients too, and it shows in fashionable, generous ideas such as ramson and nettle soup, goat chops with flowering leeks or sea-buckthorn posset. Whirring fans and an easy-listening jazz soundtrack make for a buzzy atmosphere – perfect for enjoying a beer or tip-top cocktail.

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Mark Hix

Mark Hix's career seems to get better & better. After leaving Caprice Holdings in late 2007, he formed Restaurants Etc Limited with business partner Ratnesh Bagdai & launched Hix Oyster & Chop House in Smithfield as well as Hix Oyster & Fish House in Lyme Regis; he also helped to mastermind the launch iof The Albemarle in Brown's Hotel & opened his self-named flagship Hix in Soho during 2009. He learned his trade under Anton Edelmann, Vaughan Archer & Anton Mosimann at The Dorchester, before taking up his first head chef job at the Candlewick Room in London, aged just 22. From there he became head chef at Le Caprice, stepping into an executive chef role in 1990. His hearty British cooking is now among the most recognisable in the capital. As well as penning a weekly column for The Independent's Saturday magazine, he has written six cookery books. The latest, British Seasonal Food, was published in autumn 2008.

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