Opened in October 2016, Hispi is the latest crowd funded restaurant from Sticky Walnut founder Gary Usher. The formula seems pretty simple; good quality, bistro style food with relaxed but competent service. Having eaten at Sticky Walnut a couple of times previously, and having been part of the crowd funding drive for Hispi (yes, my name is on the wall, smack bang in the middle), I was full of anticipation as I visited for Saturday lunch with my wife and young daughter.
On arrival, it's clear some effort has been put into making the restaurant a pleasant space to eat, just the right kind of decor for a place like this in my view. The welcome was warm and service throughout was really without fault. Lunch began for me with the gin cured sea trout; it was a decent dish with some sharp tones; an enjoyable plate of food. My wife had a decent enough soup and then we were on to the mains. For my wife, her linguine again was an OK dish but I thoroughly enjoyed the much-mentioned featherblade beef with mushroom puree; it was nothing complicated but tasted great and was the highlight of the meal for me.
My dessert of dark chocolate mousse with pistachio sponge was very nice indeed but unfortunately my wife had a bit less luck on this occasion with her dessert of fromage blanc. It wasn't a particularly pleasant flavour and neither of us enjoyed it which was a bit of a shame. I should add that our young daughter enjoyed her fish goujons and although we were initially served the wrong dessert for her, this was rectified quickly and she also enjoyed the kids ice cream sundae once it arrived. Drinks wise there's a decent wine list and I enjoyed a couple of different G&T's during my visit also.
Overall, Hispi is a welcome addition to the Manchester dining scene serving good tasting dishes, with good service, in a very pleasant environment. It's perhaps not quite as stand out as I was expecting based on what I'd read previously, but I'd still have no hesitation in going back and look forward to doing so.
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