The magic and resilience of hospitality through the seasons of 2021

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To say that is has been a challenging year for hospitality does not quite describe the anguish and frustration that many restaurateurs have faced. His & Hers has not been able to visit as many restaurants as we wanted. The restaurants we did visit were totally memorable, and well worth recalling. And here’s to a spectacular 2022, to make up for all the uncertainty of this last year. We wish everyone, all our readers and everyone in hospitality, the very best of times in the New Year.

Feature by Jean Hill

Six by Nico Liverpool

Six By Nico

The inspiration behind the name is that the menu keeps changing every six weeks. The intriguing aspect of the Parisian evening which His & Hers attended was that the quality of the cooking could not be bettered in a restaurant in Paris (none that I have visited).

The venue is elegant and refined. The kitchen is partially on view and it was fascinating to watch the young chefs at work, diligently assembling culinary art on a plate. The tasting menu, inspired by Paris, promises six courses. There is a theme in here somewhere.

The ‘snack’ was intended simply as a lead-in dish and it very nearly stole the show. Pomme frites came with sourdough bread with whipped pork fat butter. I was expecting French fries. What arrived on the plate were larger rectangular shapes of potato, but still deep-fried, with Parmesan and truffle. I cannot do justice to the taste; more of a vibrant potato ‘smash’ hit. There was depth; a sense of flavour that you get when you dig up a potato patch and cook within the hour. The Parmesan is inspired and the sourdough crunchy and satisfying. I told my companion that it would be impossible to better this dish and it would be hard to match. Perhaps I underestimated the talents of the chefs at Six for Nico.

The breast of duck was pink and pretty much melted in the mouth. The crispy parsley root was different in a really good way; with preserved quince, blackberry  and truffle and puy lentil fricassee. A treat for the senses. The red Bordeaux was a perfect match, rich with a lingering sense of well-being. The final course was baked Savarin: orchard pear, vanilla ganache and champagne with Moscato Passito, Araldica wine from Piemonte. The vanilla ganache was sparkling and the pears were soft, and rich with juicy flavour.

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Tapas Revolution Liverpool

Tapas Revolution

His & Hers had a first taste of tapas in the Basque region of Spain. When tapas bars arrived in Liverpool, that caused quite a stir. The idea of small plates and sharing is such a lovely sociable event. All this means we are excited to be welcoming Tapas Revolution to Liverpool.

Tapas Revolution has acquired the Queen Square La Tasca site. They bring a fresh new look to the Square, with Spanish inspired menu by Madrid-born, TV Celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy. This man’s love of and enthusiasm for Spanish cuisine takes your breath away.

Alongside the traditional Tapas favorites, paellas that are packed full of flavour take centre stage. There is a range of larger sharing plates and main courses, including 12-hour slow-roasted Iberian pork shank served with piquillo peppers and green beans. Another tempting option is marinated chicken in a lemon and garlic glaze, skewered with onion and mixed peppers, served with garlic crushed potatoes. 

The dessert menu is awesome. Try the crispy Spanish churros tossed in cinnamon sugar, served with hot dipping chocolate, or the traditional Basque cheesecake served with a red berry compote. Or you could opt for the delicious traditional almond cake served warm with vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce. Or try the silky-smooth chocolate fondant with a hint of orange, served with clotted cream. Intend returning as soon as I can.

Tapas Revolution has created an initiative named ‘Paella With Purpose’ and Executive Chef Omar cooked up 100 paella portions for The Whitechapel Centre.

Helping charities and those who are vulnerable is incredibly important to the Tapas Revolution team, especially during the festive season when so many people may be struggling or going without.

Paella With Purpose aims to support vulnerable communities as much as possible, starting with the delivery of these meals.

Individual Restaurants

Brimming with the finest seasonal fayre, special seasonal menus are available now at Piccolino, The Restaurant Bar & Grill, and Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant. The festive lunchtime, evening and à la carte menus can be enjoyed until Sunday January 9th 2022. There is a choice of two or three courses.

Prices range from £28 for a three-course festive lunch to £46 for a four-course party menu.  The Restaurants’ New Year’s Eve menu is priced from £70pp and includes a glass of Franciacorta Brut Doc G, canapés and a four-course dinner

Da Noi Chester

Da Noi Chester

This is a husband and wife led culinary adventure where we were guided through authentic recipes from several Italian regions: The couple came from the foodie city of Turin. Valentina is the chef, and Fabrizio is front of house. The setting is classically simple. Lovely warm welcome too.

The antipasti included Buffalo mozzarella stuffed with roasted peppers. Off to a flying start with a traditional Piedmont anchovies sauce to perfectly complement the richness and creaminess of the mozzarella.

One of Valentina’s speciality, signature dish is risotto. She used Carnaroli rice, and added courgettes, Burrata and caviar for this version. Burrata is a soft creamy mozzarella, renowned in Apulia that adds the crucial creaminess to this dish. The caviar was an inspired choice too, just to add a little kick to the dish.

The ravioli was a wonder of lightness (freshly made pasta has a softer, lighter, fluffier bite). Mortadella is finely ground heat-cured pork with a good strong flavour. Pistachios and pecorino sauce added a little ‘spice’ to the dish.

The lemon and almond frangipane with basil flavoured cream was a classic. Reminds me of the frangipane cakes my mother used to bake with oodles of almonds in the mix.

I found it the Bunét dessert in my ‘Culinaria Italy’ It comprises egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, crushed Amaretti, milk and traditionally a small glass of rum. It is cooked in a bain-marie (in a mould, placed in water in the oven), so a very slow gentle bake. It tastes divine. Well worth a visit.


Churche’s Mansion

Churche's Mansion

Churche’s Mansion is a timber-framed, black-and-white Elizabethan mansion house in Nantwich, Cheshire. The Grade I listed building dates from 1577, and is one of the very few to have survived the ‘Great Fire of Nantwich’ in 1583.

Inside is a revelation. There is a brick ‘walk in’ fireplace, with a carved Cheshire oak surround. The décor is not austere, and the seating is elegantly comfortable. We had a view of the gardens, lush shades of green, peaceful and soothing. We felt totally ‘at home’ and relaxed as we ordered afternoon tea. Luca who served us comes from Naples: he was friendly, efficient, really knowledgeable about the food and the building. His colleague Luigi was on hand to explain about the history and the new direction of travel.

This is a speciality fish and seafood restaurant, that seeks the best sourced seafood and the finest of local produce. Thomas Tapley is the Head Chef, and he was working on new menus when we visited: reason to return I think.


Metquarter GPO Food Hall

Metquarter GPO Food Hall

A GPO Gift Card could mean a meal and evening out with drinks flowing, a week’s worth of grab and go sandwiches from a top notch Liverpool trader, or a much-needed pit stop and pick-me-up during a busy day in the city.

With eleven+ kitchens all working under one roof, and some of the best indie restaurants in town, it’s a feast of culinary delights. The food is served piping hot and was delicious on both occasions we ate there. The most difficult part will be choosing. The marble and the chandeliers and state of the art décor make this such an elegant destination too.

Bouchon offers chic French cuisine in the heart of Liverpool


His & Hers was so pleased to join in the celebrations at the pre-opening bash at Bouchon. Jonathan Poole and Paddy Smith of the Red & Blue Restaurant group have opened a French bistro in Castle Street, Liverpool, with that mixture of great food, a well-stocked vibrant bar and a really sociable vibe.

Bouchon is in a beautiful location, a glass frontage that opens up with both indoor and outdoor seating (roll on warmer weather), with views of Derby Square and the Baroque Victoria Monument. You can watch the world walk by: though I predict more than a few will be inclined to step inside.

The food is wonderful. The fish was crispy fresh and perfectly cooked. This restaurant serves the best olives in the city, and you can buy them next door to the restaurant.

The Olive Tree, New Brighton

The Olive Tree

Sadly we have not been able to visit our favourite ‘local’ restaurant as much as we would have wished. Life got in the way! Just to mention the people who own the Olive Tree are awesome, and the food is always really good. Their fish and chips is a welcome and much appreciated staple. Their Sunday roasts are legendary!

Check for days when Olive Tree is open.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all.

From the archives: Six by Nico garners a gastronomic taste of Paris in Liverpool.

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