Meat-master Mark Hix is at it again with his latest opening south of the river: Hixter Bankside. The former metal box factory uses its industrial-sleek looks to great effect, with exposed brick- and metal-work serving as a backdrop to a pretty impressive collection of modern art. It’s a formula that’s worked for Hix for years so why change it, eh?
It’s downstairs in Mark’s Bar, though, where this new branch comes into its own. Behind the glass partition, the dimly-lit main bar is fronted by old cinema-style seating, as well as an obligatory bar billiards table that’s proved popular at the City site. The best seating in the house, however, has to be Helen Chadwick’s tube carriage replica art installation, which sits proudly in the corner. The relaxed atmosphere mirrors the clientele, with small groups of up to six working perfectly.
Those who are worried about missing out on the meat-fest taking place upstairs need not worry. The snax section of the 12-page bar menu has some of the restaurant’s best options. For those who want something alcohol-absorbing, opt for the chips and curry sauce or the holy fucked chicken wings. Our favourite though? Gigantic Yorkshire puds with whipped chicken livers for dipping. We get emotional just at the thought of them. Whether gin, vodka, whisky or rum is your tipple of choice, the bar more than caters for all of them, even incorporating the house ales. Just In Thyme does this best, with Tanqueray, thyme-infused HIX IPA reduction, honey water, lemon and egg white. Pair this with a cock snack and you’ve got chicken and egg heaven.
Best Bars tip: Head down to the bar at 10pm when happy hour lasts until 11.30pm, with cocktails up for grabs for just a fiver each. Oh, and take a peek at the toilets. They involve naked men and women. Lovely.
— Millie Milliken, @milliemilliken