Monday, 10 January 2011
HIX Ground Rib Steak Burger
HIX is a rather splendid restaurant set up by Mark Hix in 2009, located at 66-70 Brewer Street in Soho...
Hix began his career at the Grosvenor House Hotel, and then worked at more fabulous restaurants including The Dorchester, The Candlewick Room and Le Caprice. In 1990 he was appointed as Executive Head Chef for Caprice Holdings Limited overseeing both Le Caprice and The Ivy and, in 1998, J Sheekey as well. In 2007 he left Caprice Holdings to do his own thing. HIX is actually his third restaurant, and, let me tell you, it's a meat lovers paradise.
The burger experience I'm about to relate took place on the Friday before Christmas - and it was a right treat - my friend Steph took me to lunch. Couldn't get a table so we opted for a seat at the bar. Which was great as it's much more informal than sitting at a table.
I won't tell you about my starter but cut to the chase: I opted for the Ground rib steak burger (£15.25) with additional bacon and cheese. At this juncture, I should explain that HIX really is a restaurant that takes an enormous amount of pride in the meat on its menu. On a previous visit I had the most wonderful Bannockburn rib steak which set me back £30. Oh, but it was worth every penny. Absolutely beautiful and cooked to my specifications absolutely perfectly. I digress...
Ah yes, so back to the burger. I asked for it to be medium rare and served in a bun – there's an option on the menu to have it without. The image at the top of the post is how it arrived - with a set of three mustards - the middle one being a perfect blend of ketchup and mustard. Bingo. You'll also notice the salad "kit" on the left of the burger. I really like that it was up to me to include whatever I fancied of the provided slice of beefsteak tomato, slices of gerhkin and onion rings. I like all those things so added the lot (bar a few of the onion rings) with a dollop of the mustardy ketchup.
Taste wise, the burger is very simply seasoned: there are no obvious other flavours other than that of the meat, which is beyond tasty. It's divine. I did find that the burger is jolly thick - the burger itself was the best part of an inch thick. Add the thickness of the bread (lightly toasted to perfection) and the extras and it's not one for picking up and eating with your hands. Which was a little bit of a disappointment if I'm honest. The thickness and great flavour of the meat means that the balance of flavours in the ensemble as a whole suffers a bit. But when the meat is that tasty, why not let it be the star of the show?
I should also, at this stage, mention the fries. Absolutely delicious, top notch. Not too thick, not to thin. Just right. Goldilocks would have approved.
So to the rating... Only four out of five stars. It's really tasty and I love the presentation. But being a little too thick to be able to be eaten in the traditional hand held way is what's let this one fall short of a perfect five.
In summary: a wonderfully meaty burger, presented as if to a king. And there probably isn't another restaurant in London you can eat a burger sitting directly underneath an art installation by Damien Hirst either. Well worth a visit!
For more info on HIX and its excellent sister restaurants, visit www.restaurantsetcltd.co.uk