Category Archives: South London

Hixter Bankside

I’m a big fan of Hix in Soho, which is probably why Mark Hix just opened up a whole new Hix right next to my office. For those of you that don’t stalk me regularly, that’s near Borough Market (London Bridge). It’s called Hixter though, not Hix.

 

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The restaurant has only just opened – it’s housed within an old metal box factory, and it’s a bit of a tardis, as it happens. Walk through a huge bar and there’s a big, light restaurant where you can see the chefs bustling about. There’s also, of course, much fancy looking artwork (Hix’s other restaurants include pieces by masters like Damian Hirst).

 

The idea is simple: it’s chicken or steak to share.

 

You can order bits of meat in various sizes, all sourced with perfect precision from (mostly) Great British producers. There’s mighty-marbled Himalayan salt dry-aged steak from hand-selected cows and barn-reared chicken from Swainson House Farm in Lancashire.

 

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There is also another Mark’s Bar in the basement, but it’s much bigger than the Soho version. This one’s even got table football and a tiny tube carriage you can get drunk in! There’s a market for that now, what with actual drinking on the tube being banned in a terrible oversight a few years ago.

 

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The restaurant currently does a lunch menu for a perfectly reasonable £9.95, with quite a big selection of dishes (sandwiches, burgers, salads etc.)

 

We tried a few of the sandwiches – the Cock ‘n’ Bull – that’s a half chicken, half steak sandwich, the Swainson Farm chicken sandwich and a chicken, Sillfield Farm bacon and summer vegetable salad. All came accompanied with more chips than four people could possibly eat, which is never a bad thing.

 

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The food was, on the whole, a little underwhelming. The sandwiches were cold (we didn’t think they were supposed to be) and the chicken in the salad was a bit dry, but on the whole it wasn’t bad. If Hix’s other restaurants are anything to go by I’m sure things will improve…

 

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££

 

6/10

 

Gluten Free? Yes – quite a few options.

 

Hixter Bankside
16 Great Guildford Street,
SE1 0HS

http://www.hixterbankside.co.uk/

 

 

Hixter Bankside on Urbanspoon

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A Persian Feast at Doost, Kennington Road

Owing to a bit of a kerfuffle between our Lord Boris of Johnson and the naughty train drivers last week, I found myself stuck in the delightful land of Kennington, with naught but a sly hope of gourmet dining to keep my spirits up. After a bit of exploration I stumbled upon Doost, a Persian restaurant on Kennington Road, which, weirdly enough, doubles as a vodka bar.

 

Doost Restaurant

 

Of course I was sold, hurling myself inside with such enthusiasm many customers dropped their forks in shock. Having been seated within this diminutive little eating hole, which, I can only imagine was designed with borrowers in mind, I found myself perusing a menu so vast it took almost all my strength to hold it upright.

 

On the menu were all the world’s dishes which could conceivably be thought of as ‘Persian’. Reams of starters included dips and flatbreads, tiger prawns, calamari, the terribly exclusive ‘Doost Chicken’ and much much more. Refusing wholeheartedly to waste valuable time and energy on decision making, I opted for the mysterious ‘Platter For Two’, Chef’s selection of six Mazeh served with Barbari & Taftoon Bread. (I shared it, I’m not Augustus Gloop).

 

Chef’s selection of six Mazeh
Chef’s selection of six Mazeh

 

What arrived was a veritable feast of Persian goodness! King Prawns with Herb, Tamarind, Coriander & Parsley, Herb Frittata, Roasted Aubergine & Garlic, Caspian Olive Tapenade and Calamari. All of which tasted entirely wonderful, my favourite being the Roasted Aubergine & Garlic, a tiny bowl so powerful it could easily have knocked out the entire cast of Twilight.

 

Mains were good, yet a little less interesting than the starter platter. It is of course tremendously difficult to compete with a platter, though. I opted for the Doost Chicken, reasoning that it must be terrifically tasty if they chose to name their restaurant after it.

 

Doost Chicken
Doost Chicken

 

It was indeed tasty, juicy and rich with saffron and lime, but I did feel it was perhaps lacking a little something. The portion though was incredibly generous, I imagine a whole field of chickens must have lost their lives for it. It was accompanied by a mountain of saffron rice, and a tiny pot of butter. Do Persians butter their rice? And if so, is one to butter each grain of rice individually? Must take them ages.

 

Tender Lamb Fillet
Tender Lamb Fillet

 

Boy too opted for a ‘Persian Grill’ main course, choosing the Tender Lamb Fillet marinated in aromatic mixed herbs. And the lamb did triumph over the chicken! A wise choice boy made. I offered my congratulations, adopting stealth mode as I distracted him with bright lights and sparkles in an attempt to switch our plates. This proved unsuccessful, to my shame.

 

Doost
Doost

 

The Verdict: Brilliant food, great service, most delightful little miniature restaurant. Lovely.

 

8/10 

 

££ 

 

305 Kennington Rd,
Greater London
SE11 4QE
020 7582 3123

 

 

 

A Day of Feasting at Kerb, Southbank Centre

Kerb’s taken a rare trip out of King’s Cross to set up shop on the Southbank this weekend, and you should definitely pay it a visit.

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The Grand Union, Kennington

I was feeling a little fragile last Saturday after yet another visit to the fabulous Soho drinking den that is LAB. So fragile, in fact, that only a hair of the dog would do. And something greasy. Really greasy.

 

Thankfully the burger gods answered my prayers, throwing down a pub mere moments from my humble abode, the blackboard outside screaming of “The Best Burgers in London”. I am pretty sure this wasn’t the result of any actual survey. It probably isn’t even an actual quote. They just made it up, I reckon. But how could I judge, if I had not tried one?   Then I tried one. Here it is. Look at it. It looks quite magical, does it not?

 

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Let’s forget, for a moment, that the presentation is an almost embarrassingly blatant copy of new Covent Garden burger emporium Shake Shack, and take it for what it is. A quite nice burger. Two burgers, in fact, sandwiched together like a beautiful Oreo made of meat.

 

As a hat the burgers wore a gloopy blob of American cheese. You know, that wondrous orange paste that tastes mostly of nothing, and definitely not of cheese. The shoddy slop that only ever appears in fast food burgers, where we celebrate wholeheartedly its marvellous shitness. Imagine ordering a cheese sandwich and getting this crap. You’d hurl it back into your server’s face no doubt, overcome with fury. But in burgers we tolerate this cheese-pretender. That is its place.

 

I ordered my burger sans-bun because they serve no gluten free buns here. They call this a naked burger, I believe. Poor naked burgers. It’s enough to break your heart.

 

Gluten Free Naked Burger
Gluten Free Naked Burger

 

Now let me tell you of the chips, these marvellous crinkled fries of scrumptiousness. Look! You get an entire BASKET. You can absolutely fill your boots and probably your bag too. I was given almost THREE HUNDRED* chips. And they taste LOVELY. Not as lovely as Honest Burgers chips, but QUITE LOVELY.

 

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*woefully inaccurate estimate

 

The Verdict: Exquisite hangover food, practically perfect in every way. Also the Kennington Grand Union has a roof terrace. Everyone loves a roof terrace. Not the best burgers in London, though. Soz.

 

Gluten Free: No gluten free buns available, but you can get naked burgers.   7/10

 

Grand Union Kennington on Urbanspoon

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Gluten Free Burgers at Gourmet Burger Kitchen

I fell in love with Gourmet Burger Kitchen at an early age. I loved the fact that almost all burgers on the menu seemed totally excessive. I loved that they were all served with sticks in, lest they toppled over in a meaty mess. I loved that toppings included such madcap ideas as AVOCADO and PINEAPPLE. I just loved it.

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Gluten Free Italian at Cotto’s Italian, Lambeth North

Imagine, for a moment, an Italian restaurant where everything is gluten free. The homemade bread, the pizza, the pasta, the meat dishes. Everything. Sounds too good to be true, and yet it isn’t. It EXISTS.

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Gillray’s Steakhouse, Southbank

The Southbank’s Marriott County Hall is home to Gillray’s – a rather swish steakhouse with some of the most impressive views you’re likely to find in London Town.

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