May 11, 2009
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St. John and Hix

Not far from the Rookery, this mecca of head-to-tail cooking has a lively bar and a fun, white space with a semi-open kitchen. The menu wasn't nearly as full of oddities as I’d expected, but it was fun and seasonal. And there was a party who had ordered a whole pig in advance — that was pretty spectacular.

I had a cuttlefish appetizer – solid but unspectacular – and then a lovely slice of roast pork, served with the best dish of greens and butter beans I’ve ever tasted, sauced with a complex, balanced mustard that works brilliantly with the pork. It’s our old friend Sauce Robert, but it’s simple and unfussy and delicious. Dessert was a Bakewell tarte with a dollop of jersey cream. Terrific.

Followed up, later in the trip, by an even better dinner at Hix. Five varieties of oysters – with Chablis. Braised rabbit with wonderful little jersey royal potatoes – with a great Coteaux du Languedoc. And then a shipwrecked tart with a wonderful dessert wine.

When you come right down to it, there’s some really good food in London these days.