I used to regard Roast in Borough Market as providing the best Sunday lunch in London but Mark Hix's HIX Oyster & Chop House has eclipsed that, as Roast's star has waned.
The fact HIX Oyster & Chop House is a short walk from my Barbican place made it the perfect venue for Sunday lunch with one of my best friends in London, who I first met when we both worked at the Bank of England.
Outside the restaurant was a beautiful classy Christmas tree, which represents the place perfectly.
We were welcomed with a warm smile and given a great large table in the window.
The Dining Room
This place is utilitarian chic with paper table cloths, quite a contrast with Scott's & The Ivy, where Mr Hix has been executive chef. However, the wooden floor, marble oyster bar etc look elegantly unfussy and there is interesting artwork by Scottish artist Michael Fullerton etc
At Sunday lunch you do not need to pick appertizers. Instead you can share a selection tapas style.
We both loved the Atlantic prawn cocktails with the largest & most succulent prawns and a rich & creamy dressing.
The shaved Franklyn Farm Brussels sprouts with Cashel Blue cheese & toasted hazelnuts was the first Brussels sprout salad I have eaten & so interesting and the dressing was moreishly good.
Our Woodall's Cumbrian smoked Black Combe ham tasted delicately spiced and aromatic, without being overpowering (it is cold smoked in oak and then naturally air dried for 6 months). The crunchy pickled celery sticks worked perfectly with this.
The Main Event - Sublime Roast Beef
We both picked the Glenarm Mighty Marble sirloin of beef with Yorkshire pudding.
It came with a dish of roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese and buttered autumn greens with chestnuts to share and a selection of English & French mustard and powerful horseradish were provided without you having to request them.
It was my idea of a perfect Sunday lunch plate. The beef was rare and melt in your mouth, the roast potatoes were freshly cooked, the cauliflower cheese legendary and the Yorkshire pudding both moist and crispy in just the right way.
Over lunch we had so much to talk about with my friend's work in France and Christmas coming up. I always adore meeting this special lady. We declined the apealing sounding puddings and headed back to the Barbican.
My Barbican Place
Back at The Barbican I showed my friend the private gardens and then my place. She loved everything I had done to it, maybe the bottle of Veuve Clicquot we shared helped with this.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻(5 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - this Sunday lunch is a '5 teddy experience'. Staff are young, helpful & friendly; the food is sublime; and the venue unfussy elegance. My tip:- Barbican Association members like me get a 25% discount.
Our starters of shaved Franklyn Farm Brussels sprouts with Cashel Blue cheese & toasted hazelnuts salad; creamy Atlantic prawn cocktails with huge plump prawns; and Woodall's smoked Black Combe ham with pickled celery but, as you can see, my friend hoped this photo would showcase her freshly cleaned rings.