Hush Brasserie manages to feel like a chain restaurant even though, as far as I can tell, there is only one branch. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, as it’s shorthand for a pleasant, modern, somewhat innocuous decor, a menu that appeals to the widest possible customer base, well-trained staff and competent cooking.
Its Holborn location is very central, making it a good bet for weekday lunches or early dinners with colleagues or friends. On our Monday lunch time visit, it was surprisingly busy, which provided a pleasant but not intrusive buzz.
Like Balans Soho, which I reviewed recently, the menu has an international influence, with American, Chinese, Indian and Italian-inspired dishes, though there are several resolutely British dishes such as Toad in the Hole, Shepherd’s Pie, Sausages & Mash, Chicken and Mushroom Pie and a Sunday Roast. However, these appealing dishes have been relegated to a “Blackboard” section with only one of them available on any given day. A shame, because I found these dishes the most tempting on the menu.
A very simple, rustic and generously-sized dish, my starter was full of flavour with the mushrooms benefiting from the kind of slow cooking that intensifies flavours.
Presentation was a little mixed here, with the crab and avocado served in an elegant tower and then paired with less refined slices of baguette. Flavours were good and this was another decent start.
At first glance, I worried that my lobster roll contained far too much mayonnaise and far too little lobster but appearances were deceiving and it was very generously packed with large, meaty chunks of lobster which balanced well with the mayo. The New York Salad was an excellent accompaniment – the tiny caper berries mixed in with cucumber, tomato and lettuce gave just the right hint of sharpness to cut through the lobster roll. Chips were very good, crisp and with nice colour on the outside and soft inside. For £16 I thought this was both delicious and excellent value.
My fellow Indian friend and I weren’t sure whether ordering the Tiger Prawn Masala was setting ourselves up for disappointment but decided to give Hush the benefit of the doubt. The dish was actually pretty good! The lemon rice was much like I’ve had elsewhere and the curry sauce was good, if lacking any chilli heat and that’s me, the chilli-wuss, talking. Essentially it was a prawn moilee, but given a more generic label.
The dessert was the only disappointment in our meal. Billed as a Mars Bar cheesecake, the only caramel was that sperm or tadpole-like wiggle on the plate. Although the top had been dusted in cocoa, there was no real chocolate taste either. So it was essentially a plain cheese cake with no Mars Bars flavours whatsoever. Luckily, the praline ice cream was so tasty it made up for it, and we satisfied ourselves with that and left the cheesecake unfinished.
With a glass of wine and a green tea each, our bill came to £33 a head plus service. For what we had, that seemed fairly reasonable; the prawn curry was a few pounds overpriced but the rest was fair. Without drinks, £25 a head for 2.5 courses each.
Service was as you’d expect in this kind of restaurant – friendly and helpful but busy busy busy dealing with so many tables.
Kavey Eats dined as a guest of Hush Brasserie.