Only recently have I discovered this gem of a restaurant and it’s fast becoming one of my new favourite places in the city. It’s a more high end pub owned by the Bistro Qui? Ltd (many of you will have walked past Bistro Jaques: Hardman Street of the same owners) and is situated in the Casartelli building at the end of Hanover Street (around the corner from John Lewis at Liverpool ONE). The gorgeous interior makes it something a little bit different, with exposed pipes and copper pans hanging from the ceiling: it’s the perfect combination of buzzing restaurant without the prices that will make you weep.
I’ve visited twice now – once for lunch, once for dinner – and feel it’s now my job to spread the word! It also opens for breakfast which I am very tempted to try out soon! The menu’s are varied: the lunch and dinner menus both consist of mains, lite bites/starters, pizza, cheese boards and desserts; plus there is also a children’s menu available. When I visited for lunch, it was pretty quiet and service was rapid. I ordered ‘Stuffed Potato Skins, Cheese and Bacon’ from the ‘Lite Bites’ menu (all dishes under £5, and they feature offers such as 3 dishes for £10.95). Lite bites suggests that portions will be small (especially for the price) but when they arrived – with side orders of chips and crusty bread – my friend and I were pleasantly surprised:
Safe to say, we were completely full by the time we had finished eating, and the food was excellent. The Lunch Menu also features sandwiches, pizza and a selection of mains also available in the evening. The interior of the restaurant and the friendly staff meant that the atmosphere was amazing, even at a quiet time, and the bill came to less than £10 each!
So by now, I wanted to see how dinner compared to that tasty lunch! This time, we went on a Friday evening and the place was packed out with people enjoying some after work nibbles, or having a few drinks before hitting the town. A slight hitch to the start of proceedings was handled smoothly – they hadn’t made a note of our telephone booking. However, by the time we’d ordered drinks from the crowded bar, our table was ready and the staff were apologetic.
Between us, we ordered: 2x 8oz Steak Burger (served with bacon, cheddar cheese, chips and ‘hub-slaw’, 8oz ‘Conway Valley’ Fillet Steak (with chips, tomato and field mushroom) and Salmon (with saffron rice). The food arrived without too much of a delay, given how full the restaurant was, and the burger was really lovely. I’d never had a steak burger before – and you weren’t offered a preference of how it was cooked – but I found mine was just right at medium-well done. I don’t have a picture to show you guys, but it arrived on a massive plate with a side salad and chips. The salmon was enjoyed (although he wished he’d got the burger in hindsight) but the steak probably could be improved. For £18.95, it’s the most expensive main on the menu, but it was pretty small and only came with a couple of chips and two tomatoes. Although it was great quality, a little bit more quantity probably would have been more filling for an evening meal. New drinks were offered frequently, but even with the three I was with all drinking cocktails and whiskey (booo to being designated driver, sitting left out with my cokes ! ), the total bill came to £95 between us for food for four, plus all our drinks.
Maybe not somewhere to visit frequently when you’re running low on money, but if you’re in need of a little treat or celebration I would urge you to get down to The Hub. It’s perfect for birthday drinks (especially if you visit in Happy Hour: 5-6.30 where you get 2 cocktails for £8, or 2 jugs for £25) or a family meal. Full of 20-somethings getting ready to forget about work for the weekend, The Hub is one of my new favourite places to eat in Liverpool City Centre.
The Hub: Alehouse & Kitchen can be found at 16 Hanover Street.
Call 0151 709 2401 to book a table or visit http://www.thehub-liverpool.com