Hix Oyster & Chop House by Mark Hix
This modern but refreshingly unpretentious take on traditional British fare is a lesson in ingredient sourcing and unfussy execution.
Named after the London EC1 branch of Hix’s growing empire, the book is a collection of around 100 recipes that give a taste of the restaurant’s menu. It includes trademark dishes, such as ‘Hix cure’ smoked salmon and the German-inspired black pudding and apple recipe, ‘heaven and earth’
With chapters dedicated to oysters, starters, salads, soups, fish, meat, sides and desserts, the book has something for every taste. Fish dishes get a good look-in, but the main focus is on full-blooded meat recipes. Open it 100 pages or so in, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d picked up a butcher’s manual. With forensic detail, Hix delves into his preferred cuts of beef, lamb, veal, venison and pork. For this top chef, meat tastes better on the bone
– this is not food for the dainty palate.
Importance is placed on the sourcing of great ingredients, not the pursuit of complex flavours, so produce is given the chance to speak for itself. Recipes vary in difficulty but the methods don’t assume knowledge. From mackerel and tomatoes on toast, to more advanced chicken and lobster pie, the book covers a wide gamut, whether you’re looking to rustle up a snack or create a dinner-party showpiece.
Hix introduces each dish, talking directly to the reader in a relaxed style and offering insight and information. For those who share the man’s passion for fine produce – and are willing either to pay or forage for it – Hix Oyster & Chop House is required reading.
Published by Quadrille, priced £25.