Celebrated chef, food writer and renowned restaurateur Mark Hix is known for his bold, original take on British cuisine in London. He takes some time out to give us the inside track on the London food scene and his favourite haunts and eateries in the city.
If a friend was visiting you in London for the first time, where would you take them and what would you show them?
There are so many fantastic neighbourhood restaurants and interesting places to eat these days - I'd try to get them out of central London and show them places such as Towpath (42 De Beauvoir Crescent, +44 20 7254 7606) on the canal in Hoxton and interesting food markets such as Maltby Street. There are some really great producers at the latter, like Mons Cheese, Little Bread Pedlar and Bermondsey Gin – perfect for stocking up on essential supplies!
Aside from your own, Hix in Soho, what are your favourite London restaurants?
London changes so fast, it’s hard to keep up – but I've always been a fan of Vietnamese food which traditionally you had to travel to the East End for, but a great Vietnamese restaurant has opened in Dean Street (in Soho): Cay Tre. The menu here changes regularly and is always really interesting and very unlike any other Vietnamese restaurants you'll find in London. They also do takeaways if you fancy a quiet night in!
Where would you go for: fish and chips, a curry, a business meeting, fine-dining and cocktails?
For fish and chips it would probably have tobe The Golden Hind on Marylebone Lane; for curry Tayyabs in Whitechapel for their chops; for a business meeting, The Wolseley in Piccadilly; fine-dining, perhaps Dinner by Heston and for cocktails – can I shamelessly say Mark's Bar? If not, Lounge Bohemia in Shoreditch. Everyone seems to think it’s the bar equivalent of Marmite – so I guess I’m one of those that love it.
Where is your favourite part of London and why?
That's a difficult one, it depends on what you are looking for but I think the East End is always doing something pretty wacky.
How would you describe London’s culinary scene to an outsider?
Diverse and, if you do your research, you'll be well and truly spoilt for choice in exciting, great quality dining no matter what your budget.
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About the author: KatieKatie Manning
Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning