There’s something magical about Hix, Soho. Maybe it’s the open dining room with high ceilings, the countless pieces of fabulous art or the snuggly bar in the basement. Whatever it is, I feel special every time I walk through the huge wooden door on Brewer Street.
I haven’t been fortunate enough to eat in the restaurant yet (I really should get round to that) but I was lucky enough to be invited to an event in the private dining room by the lovely people at Clarence Court.
The event, for bloggers, was an attempt to show us just how fantastic Clarence Court’s fabulous eggs are. After all, according to their motto, Clarence Court produces fabulous eggs from fabulous birds and if the recent adverts are anything to go by, I truly believe them. I wonder how they got their feathers so ruffled!?
We had a surprise visit by Mark Hix himself who plonked himself down and explained a few of the reasons that he uses the eggs in his restaurants. We were then treated to two taste tests. Boiled eggs were brought through in amazing little egg cups that spelled out ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ and we were asked to tuck in and firstly choose our favourites, second and third best and also which egg we thought was which. We had three options. 1. Clarence Court Burford Brown 2. Happy Egg 3. Regular free range barn egg.
I thought it would take a miracle to serve all of the eggs soft boiled and it seemed to prove slightly difficult. That didn’t deter any of us from ripping into the eggs and scooping the yolk out onto a chunk of toast and gobbling them down though. As a Clarence Court user, I could easily see the difference without cracking into it. The Bradock Brown shell has more of a distinct brown colour compared to the other two. The yolk was also a lot richer and more orange. The taste, well what can I say? It is superior.
Unsurprisingly, everyone guessed the Clarence Court egg and every group put the Happy Egg at the bottom of the three. I find this extremely interesting because when I first clocked eyes on Happy Eggs, I bought them. Why? I’m obviously a sucker for packaging and a good brand name. The name denotes happy little birds playing around but recent reports don’t seem to agree.
The next test was scrambled egg. Three large plates were brought to our table and again, immediately everyone could tell which one was the Clarence Court plate. I am a huge fan of Ottolenghi and order the Scrambled egg whenever I go. I am always amazed by the colour of it – orange as if it has been dyed. My boyfriend tried to recreate it at home and added Tumeric, which of course made it taste of the spice. I have come to realise over the last few weeks that he must be using fabulous eggs. I’m not sure if they’re Clarence Court but the Scrambled Egg is the same colour! Not surprisingly on this taste test, the results were the same.
Annoyingly the photo of the Clarence Court scrambled egg was really blurry but this was the Happy Egg.
After the taste tests, we then had a full three course meal to come with the main ingredient of each being, you guessed it, Clarence Court eggs.
First up was Smoked Haddock with soft boiled free fly Quails Eggs and I loved this dish. The quails eggs were perfectly cooked, the yolk nice and runny.
Next was Breaded Blytheburgh Pork with Capers, Anchovies and a Fried Burford Brown, which reminded me of a dish that I love to eat when I go skiing in Austria. I managed just over half of the dish, similar to everyone else. It was delicious and I wish I could have finished it but my stomach was saying no. The colour of the Burford Brown yolk was fantastic – why is it that the richer orange yolk makes it more appealing?
The pudding was Sea Buckthorn Berry Posset, something that I have never tried before. I have a real sweet tooth and demolished it promptly. The orange jelly on top was very tart but when accompanied by the creamy bottom, was delicious.
We were given a goody bag filled with eggs to go away with. I’m quite excited about cooking with my Quails eggs this week!
70 Brewer St
Westminster, London W1B 5
020 7292 3518