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With its slick service, edgy vibe and quirky pieces by the owner’s celeb artist chums adorning the walls, Mark Hix’s flagship continues to entertain Soho socialites, while its louche downstairs bar
remains one of the capital’s best places to impress a date. Food-wise, it’s a less happy picture, with Hix often accused of ‘taking basic British food and charging a fortune for it’ – although it’s
hard to fault the excellent home-smoked salmon with soda bread, seasonal oysters every which way or slow-cooked breast of Launceston lamb with lavender-and-mint jelly. There isn’t much imagination,
originality or finesse here, with readers aiming their guns at the ‘measly’ house burgers, steaks ‘like shoe leather’ and ‘greasy’ tempura-style potato slices. To avoid a bruising bill, go for
Hix’s competitive set menu (£19.50/24.50 for two/three courses).
Having been to Tramshed before and knowing Mark Hix’s excellent reputation, we were intrigued and excited as we sat down. It took us an age to decide what we wanted, which was partly due to the misguided direction of our first waitress, who didn’t seem to understand the terms of the voucher. We were led to believe we could order any starter or main course, which later proved to be false. We were also told too late that there was only one cocktail for us…The decor in Hix Soho is somewhat confusing. There is a beautiful oyster bar and live jazz music, a goose hanging from the ceiling and a profane Hemingway...
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Along Brewer Street, under a red neon sign and through a huge wooden door, you’ll find Hix, an up-market brasserie serving modern British fare. There are several establishments under the Hix family name, all owned and founded by Mark Hix. I’d been the his bar (aptly named Mark’s bar) a couple of times before. It’s located in the basement, under Hix Soho, but I’d always passed over food here and headed downstairs for a drink instead. Mark’s bar itself is lovely; softly lit with comfy leather sofas and a dipped bar so you can watch the mixologists work their magic. It has a great atmosphere and is perfect for cocktails...
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