A spur of the moment dinner decision this week, when my friend Liese was visiting from Athens, led us to a very good meal indeed.
I work in Holborn, and used to go past French Kitchen every day and think how nice it looked. This is probably more due to a slight girl-crush on Rachel Khoo, but it did look inviting. We tried it once, for an early evening dinner, and it was nice, though the seating was so uncomfortable that both my guest and I had aching backs by the end of the night! A few weeks later, I went past on the bus as usual and the whole thing was being ripped out. Was it something I said?
In its place there arrived a Hush Brasserie. I made up my mind to try it, and last night had the opportunity to do so.
The fact that many good and interesting vegetable dishes were on the menu outside the restaurant pleased us, because as much as I love meat, there are days when you just want a good salad, or a perfectly cooked dish of asparagus. It was also a very warm evening, and salads felt right, so when I saw Globe Artichoke, Green Salad & Hazelnut Vinaigrette mentioned, well that was me won over. Liese had spied a Goat’s Cheese, Broccoli and French Bean salad as well, so that was our Light Main sorted out.
In we went.
It’s a pleasant, quite airy space, with a large bar to the right and oh thank heavens, comfortable seating. No wooden benches any more for which I am truly thankful.
The menu is in a clear font, nicely written.
There is no squinting or reading through overloaded descriptions. THERE ARE NO FOAMS. Please, do not give me a foam. I want a sauce, with oomph.
I ordered an iced tea. Thank you Hush for realising that people who do not/cannot drink alcohol also want something a little more exciting than a Virgin Mojito.
This was Rose Tea with vanilla and elderflower. It was utterly gorgeous, though possibly made with too much ice because when all that melts, the bottom half of the drink is vaguely rose flavoured water. That aside though, it was incredibly good. I want all that heady flavour to last, which is why I think there should be far less ice.
And it was pretty too! As is Liese’s dress.
My starter came up, and to say we were astonished…that puts it mildly.
This is a stuffed artichoke. That is a very large dinner plate. It was ALL OURS (we decided to share) and we ate every delicious bit.
Pulling off the leaves is fun, and the Hollandaise sauce was just right for dipping. Underneath the beautifully dressed salad was the soft, creamy textured bottom and it was meltingly tender. Munch, dip, munch, dip, munch.
Almost sated, but not quite, as we had our Light Main to look forward to.
This beauty here is the Goat’s Cheese, Broccoli and French Bean salad. It also had sweet little bright pods of glistening green. Broad beans! The way they should be! Podded, skinned and lightly dressed.
The cheese was excellent, firm but still creamy and all the flavours were so fresh and very zingy with dressing.
Again, only one point and that is that the broccoli needs to be smaller if served in that deep a bowl, as it is quite hard to cut it into mouth sized pieces, but oh MY the taste. I didn’t want it to end. I was so excited by it that I Tweeted Nigel Slater.
We had chosen a side dish as well, because we are like that.
I present to you Aspen Fries. Frites tossed in parmesan and truffle oil.
Yes, they are in a wee bucket. Yes, it may be a bit of a restaurant cliché now but everything is forgiven because THE TASTE. Salty and crisp, with both the scent and taste of truffle, but it was in no way overwhelming. I’m not a huge fan of truffles, not really, as I find they can overpower just about anything, but this…it was so very moreish.
I think I texted quite a few people saying “I HAVE TO BRING YOU HERE.” If I didn’t, rest assured I was probably thinking of you.
All in all, that came to just over £30 and it was worth every penny.
I’m going to go back and work my way through the menu.
Thank you Hush! We loved it all.
Hush Brasserie, 95-97 High Holborn
020 7242 4580