The idea behind Pix is simple yet brilliant. When you arrive you’re shown to your seats and given a plate each and a jar for the group. After you’ve ordered drinks you go to the tapas bar. You help yourself to tapas, which are served on huge plates at said bar. In every tapa is a stick – short sticks are £1.95 and tall sticks are £2.95. As you eat your tapas you collect the sticks in your jar and at the end these are counted and equal the bill. Ta da! It’s a really efficient system; means there’s no hanging around waiting for food, and you can obviously go up to the bar as many times as you like. Perfect for a Hungry Swan and friends (one of whom is training for a marathon, and therefore has every excuse to be EXTRA hungry) on a Friday night.
Because you choose your food on an ad hoc basis as you’re faced with it you can end up with a pretty eclectic mix if you don’t plan (I didn’t). On my first go I had; chorizo & manchego, jamon and tomato on crusty bread, seared tuna (also on crusty bread), a chorizo and vegetable skewer and a little plate of meatballs.
The chorizo & manchego was my favourite of that lot; the chorizo is grilled and coated in a sticky, chilli jam which makes it extra dreamy. Something to be aware of when you go to Pix is that a lot of the tapas on offer are a variation on a ‘bread-with-topping’ theme. Not knocking this – it totally works with the sticks = bill methodology – but depending on the topping you choose some things can get a bit overwhelmed by bread. My tuna should have been glorious, but the bread:fish ratio was all wrong so I couldn’t really appreciate it. I also had that problem with the broad beans and feta, the topping was delicious – really light and fresh and springlike – but, in my humble opinion, would have been much better without the bread.
Having said all of that, some things worked brilliantly. The meatballs for example, which came with a little piece of garlic bread to mop up the meaty, spicy sauce was perfect. And the goats cheese and fig topping was more than robust and generous enough to work with the bread. My favourite was the jamon iberico with a little runny egg on top. Not only was it the cutest thing I’ve ever seen on a piece of toast, but the flavours were lovely; the creamy yolk with the salty jamon. Delicious. And yunno, the toast is a convenient way to get all this to your mouth with the minimum of fuss and washing up. Fair enough.
For drinkies we had a couple of bottles of organic wine between us, because that ‘doesn’t give you a hangover’, Sophie said*.
Readers, I’ve never met a Tapas restaurant I didn’t like, and Pix is no exception. It reminds me of the little tapas bars you get in Barcelona (best city in Europe – except London, obvs) and has the same laid-back-yet-bustling, sit-at-the-counter vibe. In order to maximise your tapas enjoyment my top tips would be… 1) be aware of the bread issue and choose your tapas wisely, 2) don’t stock up on your first go at the tapas bar – the waiters are constantly bringing out plates of new things and you don’t want to be too full to snaffle a bit of sweet potato tortilla (yum) AND 3) save a teeny bit of room for pud. We had churros and a shot of chocolate, which went down an absolute treat.
^ the damage…
We finished off the night at the AH-mazing London Edition cocktail bar, which definitely requires another visit and a whole new blog post…
*NB: This may not be an actual fact. Will do some research and get back to you.