I am really lucky. I am in a position in the job I have where I get great holidays. I have had nearly 5 weeks off over the Summer, and it has been lovely having the time off to just recuperate, get on top of my college work (I'm studying for Playwork Level 3,) and have some time for rest and relaxation after a crazy last term (if you haven't guessed yet, I work in the Education/Childcare sector.)
Whilst I've been having lots of time off, Boyfriend has been at work. So I wanted to take him out for a surprise night out/meal, just as a bit of light relief away from all the stress. I'd never been to the Hanover Street Social before, and nearly always go past it when I'm in town, so it seemed like the perfect place to take him.
|Our bubbly treat|
The inside of the restaurant was really beautiful. There were candles on every table, and the lighting really set a romantic and relaxed atmosphere. The décor was really understated and cool, and the moment you stepped inside, you just felt relaxed and comfortable. Our waiter was really friendly and smiley too, and let us take our time in looking over the menu, which just added to the general feeling of calm and relaxation of the restaurant.
I had tried to decide what I wanted to eat before we went out, but of course, as is custom with me, when we arrived at the restaurant and saw the menu, I changed my mind. It all looked too delicious for words. So as an aperitif while we looked over the menu, I ordered us a glass of prosecco each. It's kind of become a dinner tradition to have one at the start of the meal, and this one didn't disappoint!
For my starter, I ordered beef spring rolls with hoi sin sauce. I'd never heard of having beef and hoi sin as a combination before, so wanted to see how the flavours worked together.
|My Beef Spring Rolls|
The portion size was amazing. There I was thinking that I'd get a few dainty spring rolls sitting on my plate, and BOOM, I was hit with a plate of beefy goodness. (My mouth is watering just looking at the picture I took.) There wasn't any fault I could make about the spring rolls...they were jam-packed with beef, the pastry was crispy and melt-in-the-mouth, and the hoi sin dipping sauce was the perfect accompaniment. I really appreciated the presentation on the plate (well, board) too. It was really rustic-looking and down to earth and let the food do all the talking.
|Boyfriend's black pudding starter. Sorry the photo is a bit blurry....I was a bit excited to start eating. ha|
Boyfriend had the Grilled Stornoway black pudding on potato hash with poached egg and grain mustard sauce to start.
Oh my goodness!
I'm not over-exaggerating when I say it was to die for! The dish was so visually appealing, the egg was cooked to perfection, the potato was crispy and gorgeous, and the black pudding.....Soft and rich and succulent, scrummy and sensationally beautiful. I've only recently discovered black pudding, and I honestly don't know where I've been. This starter was the black pudding of champions. And it took all my willpower not to go in for another bite.
Then, just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it was time for the main course...
|My slow roasted belly pork. How beautiful does this look?|
As a main course, I had chosen the slow roasted belly pork with Stornoway black pudding, apple and ginger puree, cabbage, bacon and sage jus.
When it comes to food, presentation means a lot to me. If a dish looks beautiful, it sets the whole premise of the food itself. And my main was absolutely stunning. I had also completely forgotten that the pork came with black pudding as well, so I got a nice surprise when I slid my knife into the meat and found it gently resting on top of the belly pork!
It really was a testament t how well the belly was cooked when I cut through it with just my fork (I can't use a knife and fork at the same time.) The flavour was absolutely gorgeous, and I don't really think I could have been more engrossed in eating a plate of food. The black pudding in particular was an absolutely sensational addition to the main.
I am definitely a black pudding fanatic after this visit!
|Boyfriend's "blue" steak.|
|Blurry photo alert! Think I was too anxious to get chomping.|
As his main, Boyfriend had the steak, and ordered it "blue" with the sauce bearnaise. I'm not a huge fan of ultra-rare steak, but I did have a bite (I just had to,) and it was a really beautifully cooked steak. I think Boyfriend really appreciated the fact that the chips came in their own separate container.
Eating our mains was the longest stretch of silence out of the whole evening. In my eyes, that's a clear sign that the food was impeccable. When you;re too busy enjoying your meal to say that much, it's always a good indication that you're on the right track to gastronomical paradise.
After all that delicious food, we were far too full to order dessert. So we had an after dinner drink instead. With his steak, Boyfriend had had a glass of the House Red Wine, and it was gorgeous and smelt just like Christmas. So I ordered the same drink to have after dinner. Boyfriend ordered a brandy.
It was the perfect way to sign off a lovely Foodie evening.
If you haven't been to the Hanover Street Social, get down there quick. The food is amazing, the atmosphere is lovely, and you get what you pay for and so much more. Not at any point did we feel rushed, and the staff were so friendly and helpful, which really helped make the evening. It was the perfect place to go to spoil the person who means so much to me!
For more information about the Hanover Street Social, go to: