Friends, I have exciting news.
I think I may have just found your new favourite restaurant.
I know, I know; I speak a very bold claim – but I am writing these words to you a mere 2 hours after digesting dessert.
I paid my bill, bid adieu to my fabulous friend and raced home so I could tell you all about it.
And if that doesn’t scream true love to you then I know what will!
You can find Hispi in the heart of Didsbury village, so modest you might almost miss it; but take a right turn after The Cheese Hamlet (best cheese shop in town FYI) and there you’ll find the love child of Sticky Walnut and Burnt Truffle.
The place itself has been around for a while and I’m all but kicking myself for not going earlier, alas some places are definitely worth the wait.
We arrived for our 6 o’clock reservation and were seated by one of the charming servers.
The decor is elegant yet homely with comforting smells of freshly baked bread escaping from the open windowed kitchen.
(Act fast and you can even pinch yourself a slice or two…)
Having arrived early doors, we took it upon ourselves to take advantage of the £19, 3 course menu; as most courses from the main menu can range from anything between £15 to £19.50, this you’ll understand is a terrific barg. Within half an hour, the originally quiet restaurant buzzed to life with diners, similarly excited for early weekend celebrations.
Placing our order was a symphony of “umms”, “ahhs” and “Okay, you order that, and I’ll order this and we’ll share yes? And then we’ll pick at that?” That our waitress was thankfully able to translate.
First up, the starters;
Chicken liver pate, red onion marmalade and rye toast. A classic done to perfection; the velvet pate soft against the the sharp crisp bite of dark rye, sweetened with a kiss from the red onion marmalade.
Chilled tomato broth, toasted crumpet with herb butter. Do things really get any better than a homemade crumpet? I didn’t think so, but pair it with the fresh flavours of lightly salted tomato and you get pretty close.
For mains, braised featherblade paired with charred baby gem lettuce and pickled walnut.
For sure, possibly the best thing I put in my mouth all year – and I don’t say that lightly! The meat, so soft it fell apart with a mere glance; tender, rich and ridiculously melt-in-the-mouth wonderful. Paired perfectly with the charred baby gem which was full of flavour, delicate but still firm enough to deliver satisfying crunch.
The steamed plaice was a handsome fellow, its light bites of flaked white meat enhanced by a good smothering of golden anchovy butter and heritage potatoes.
The portions are sized perfectly modest, leaving you absolutely no choice but to definitely order dessert.
Banana loaf topped with caramel ice cream and peanut “crack” for Dariane.
And for me?
The Caramel Tart.
Heavenly, warm with an exceptionally good wobble. Enough said.
Having only just tried Hispi, I already can’t wait to return. Not only is the food utterly sublime, but the staff are also the loveliest and down to earth bunch you’ll ever come across.
I’ll be trying Burnt Truffle next, followed closely by Sticky Walnut; but you? You have some catching up to do, so book yourself an evening at Hispi, and don’t worry, you can thank me later.