Hixon Green Brighton review
You can’t help but notice Hixon Green when you walk along Church Road in Hove. With it’s blue exterior and floor to ceiling windows, it’s the type of place that turns heads. And, no matter what time of day I wander past, it always seems to be full of people having a lovely time. Last Friday, my partner Tom and I joined them when we went along for dinner.
Hixon Green feels special from the moment you step through the door.
The décor has an opulent yet relaxed feel, with high ceilings, glass chandeliers and commanding central bar. An all-day venue, HG opens its doors for breakfast and keeps them open until 11 pm at night. This means you could pop in for a breakfast pancake; meet friends for coffee and cake; enjoy an a la carte lunch or dinner, or stop by for a late night cocktail.
Extra special cocktails
Speaking of cocktails, they’re an absolute must. I started with the Hixon 75 – the bar’s twist on a French 75. Hixon’s creation adds Aperol, St Germain Elderflower, and Brighton Gin to the classic ingredients of lemon juice and fizz to create a smooth, sweet-sour short. Yum. Tom went for Bramble No5, made with wild berry gin, berry liqueurs, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Perfectly balanced, it tasted ‘very berry’, and even better than the classic. If you’re off the alcohol, Hixon’s ‘zero proof cocktails’ also sound good, with the likes of a blueberry julep, and cucumber and elderflower cooler on the menu.
To start, Tommy chose the heritage tomato salad with burrata. A trio of multi-coloured tomatoes arrived, topped with creamy burrata cheese, and finished with shiso (a Japanese leaf), sesame, soy and smoked balsamic dressing.
Full of fresh, light flavours, it’s a perfect summer starter.
I ordered the smoked fish terrain – two shards of smoky fish and fresh avocado terrine, wrapped in silky smoked salmon. The horseradish crème fraiche and wafer-thin discs of pickled beetroot it was served with added contrast and kick.
A burger, but not as you know it
For his main, Tom deliberated between the ‘fritto misto’ fish and chips, or the beef burger. On our waitress’s recommendation, the burger won. Turning the standard beef patty on its head, HG packs pulled, slow-cooked, whiskey- braised short rib into a soft pretzel bun. Served with chipotle mayo, crisp salad and hand-cut chips, it’s a daring and juicy take on a classic. To drink, he ordered Brewdog Elvis juice from a choice of craft beers, lagers and Harvey’s ales.
I chose the sea bass, which was beautifully pan-fried, with thin, crispy skin. It was served with sautéed samphire, fresh asparagus and pink fir potatoes, all doused in a rich, brown shrimp butter sauce. I loved the fresh and salty flavours of my dish and, thanks to the generous portion sizes, Tom did too.
I enjoyed a glass of the house white with my fish, which was fresh and dry with melon undertones. The wine list features a good range of options, including an English red, white and sparkling from the local Bolney estate.
We decided to share our deserts, so the kitchen kindly sliced our rhubarb and ginger semifreddo in two. Cold and creamy, it was served with a ginger crumb and poached and candied rhubarb.
Next up was Eton mess with two spoons. A swerve on the classic, it was stirred through with passion fruit and topped with mango – another winner for sunny summer days.
Back for breakfast?
When we left at 10 pm, Hixon Green was still buzzing with drinkers and diners. We’d been tempted by the after-dinner cocktails – which include the Toblerone, made with real Toblerone chocolate – but, after a tiring week, bed was calling. “Let’s come back for breakfast instead,” said Tom.