As we were going to be in Cheshire for my cousins wedding, I was delighted to finally be able to visit Hispi Bistro in Didsbury, not least as it meant I could use my vouchers from their Wreckfish Kickstarter, that I helped crowdfund last year, and I was looking forward to another meal from the team behind the brilliant Sticky Walnut
I had been keeping an eye on their Instagram account for weeks in the run up to our dinner, not that I had actually managed to narrow down what I wanted to eat! Thankfully our waitress was great and answered all of our questions about the different dishes on the menu, offering substitutions (such as offering carrot puree in place of a pickled walnut mayonnaise as my mother is allergic, or suggesting some onion chutney with my sisters cheese as she didn’t want the grape one) and I was able to order confidently, with no FOMO!
I started with the Crispy pig’s head, charred courgette, mustard mayo, pickled apple (£8.50) which was served in the form of an absolutely delicious croquette, with little slivers of chargrilled courgette and tart pickled apple to cut through the rich pork.
The rest of my family ordered Chargrilled duck hearts, green sauce, duck fat brioche (£7.50) I was so busy oohing and ahhing over my appetiser, I totally missed out on trying this but it looked absolutely delicious – and disappeared pretty quickly!
A couple of our party ordered Confit salmon, lemon sugar tomatoes, salmon mousse, sesame lavoche (£10) which was a light and fresh way to start the meal (perfect for all the beef that was soon to come!)
We also had a very good Chicken liver pate, onion marmalade, toasted rye (£7.50) – I mean its text book chicken liver terrine perfection right there folks – homemade bread too (their baker must be very busy indeed – they make everything from sourdough to brioche, lavoche and desserts all in-house)
and what was probably my next favourite starter of the evening, Charred baby courgettes, goats curd, green tomato sauce (£8) Simple, yet delicious flavour combinations and lovely and summery!
For mains, I had initially been really tempted by the Chargrilled pork tenderloin, boudin blanc, peas, gem and turnip (£19) but as I wanted the crispy pigs head to start I decided it was probably best to order to something else. Happily for me I was still able to snag a bit of my fathers dish, and can confirm it was every bit as delicious as I had imagined it would be!
Instead, I ordered the Grilled plaice, pickled leek, grelot onions and charred leek dressing (£19.50) which I absolutely loved. The plaice had been cooked perfectly and the smoky, charred leeks and grelot onion garnish added lovely smoky layers of flavour, with the lightly pickled leek adding some nice freshness too. Simple yet delicious – a great choice, and one I was very happy with.
My brother and his girlfriend shared a beautiful looking Chargrilled sirloin, roasted shallots, oyster mushroom, fine beans, truffle and parmesan chips (£65) and were kind enough to let me pinch a couple of the chunky parmesan and truffle chips to enjoy with my plaice too.
My mum also went for beef, this time as Braised featherblade, local salad leaf, pickled walnut, truffle and parmesan chips (£20) with the aforementioned change of subbing the pickled walnut mayonnaise out for some carrot puree
My sister had (surprisingly) chosen both vegetarian options that night, with a main course of Oyster mushroom and goats cheese linguine, hazelnut and parsley pesto (£17) with a tangle of beautiful, almost golden, linguine served atop sautéed oyster mushrooms and hazelnut & parsley pesto, with the goats curd served in quenelles around the side of the bowl so you could add them into each mouthful to turn the sauce creamy.
I hadn’t planned on ordering the Custard tart (£5.50) but our waitress told us in no uncertain terms it was the best dessert on the menu so I felt I had no choice but to follow her advice or be bitterly disappointed!
WOW! I mean, really, WOW! This was without a doubt the best English style custard tart I have ever eaten (and trust me, I’ve eaten more than my fair share!) Perfectly wobbly, the egg custard was so creamy it seemed silky. Perfection!
Most of us heeded the advice on the custard tart, although my father rebelled by choosing the Baked apple and custard mille-feuille, apple sorbet (£8.50) and my sister had a portion of English cheese (£9) which was a nicely balanced & generous selection of washed rind, blue, goats and hard cheese(I forgot which sorry!)
Hispi is the kind of neighbourhood bistro every town needs. We ate from the A La Carte menu and spent, I believe, around £55 pp including pre dinner drinks, with wine and a couple of beers with dinner, but they also have an insane value set lunch/early evening dinner menu priced at £16 for 2 Courses or £19 for 3 Courses (available at lunch and until 7pm at dinner) as well as a beautiful Sunday roast at £20 for 2 Courses or £25 for 3 Courses.
Mon-Thu 12:00 – 14:30 / 18:00 – 21:00
Fri-Sat 12:00 – 14:30 / 18:00 – 22:00
Sun 12:00 – 16:30 / 18:30 – 21:00
For reservations call-0800 160 1811 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
1C School Lane
0161 445 3996