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Review: Hush, Northampton

This buzzing new eaterie in the heart of Northampton is an unexpected gem, dishing up funky, friendly vibes and pretty plates bursting with flavour.

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

THE LOCATION

Now and again, you hit on a diamond in the rough; a restaurant that gives you something truly unexpected. The time Mr Muddy dragged the kids and I, mindless with jet lag, through Koreatown in LA to Sabores Oaxaqueños, which turned out to be the most amazing Mexican restaurant outside of, well, Mexico. Or when we found a secret seafood place in Almeria, where you have to knock on someone’s front door to be let in and are subsequently presented with an endless stream of whatever incredible seafood has been landed that morning. So much more exciting when you’re not expecting it. Hush is one of those.

When I found out that a one-time boutique on Northampton’s favourite pub-crawl street was being jazzed up and turned into a zhuzhy eaterie, I was on it like a car bonnet (though sadly not that of the the matt neon yellow Jaguar F-Pace that pulled up outside as we turned up). There are already a number of great foodie joints along the Wellingborough Road, not to mention the gorgeous Thackeray’s boutique, so whilst this part of town always keeps it real, scratch under the surface and you’ll certainly be rewarded.

THE VIBE

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

Having undergone a complete transformation prior to opening at the tail end of July, Hush is channelling a contemporary but unpretentious look. It’s crisp but quirky. Think faux foliage adorning the ceilings, reclaimed wood cladding on the walls and leatherette banquettes (is that a Prince song)? If you’re a people watcher (who, moi?) make sure you nab a table by the floor to ceiling window upstairs. The staff are friendly and knowledgable and you’ll often find live music and dancing on the cards too, so expect a relaxed and fun night out.

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

Fellow diners ranged from groups in their 20s to couples in their 60s, so quite a dynamic mix of energy and owner Jay was chatting away and greeting people as they arrived, which gave the place a genuine buzz.

SCOFF & QUAFF

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

No restaurant worth its salt skimps on the cocktail menu these days and Hush has all the classics for £7 each. There’s also quite a decent choice of wines and champagne too. As it was a girls night, we were on the passion fruit martinis and rose (£7.50 for a large glass).

The food is truly the main even at Hush, you will not go away feeling hungry. I had an event to attend later in the evening and was sorry I had omitted to don my stretchy waistband. The menu is pretty extensive but the food is all freshly prepared in the snazzy new kitchen, including what may be the most Instagrammable dish on the menu, the Gold Beef Fillet (£27). We didn’t order it but it has to be worth a mention, adorned with edible gold leaf.

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

I decided to outwit the mouth-watering menu and go for the lighter options. Oh how we laughed. My starter of Caprese Salad (£8.50) included generous wedges of brie on top of the tomato and mozzarella and the walnuts and goji berries added an extra flavour dimension. My partner in crime went for olives and garlic bread served with truffle butter, which was finished generously with fresh herbs.

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

The flavours and presentation are thoughtfully-considered so, while the portions are generous, it’s not just about filling up. My main course of Fillet of Sea Bass (£19.50 and actually two fillets) was served with a delicately flavoured risotto, tiger prawns and a buttery saffron sauce, topped off with zingy micro greens and little pomegranate jewels.

HUSH RESTAURANT NORTHAMPTON

My dinner date went for Spaghetti with Lobster and King Prawns, which was mountainous but beautiful. Of course, neither of us could finish everything and we were offered the leftovers to take home, which is fairly standard practise elsewhere but is a bit unusual here in Blighty. And it didn’t matter how much Boozy Banana Flambe (£8) or classic Tiramisu (£7) called out to us, we simply could not squeeze in a dessert, so let that be a warning to you if you’d usually opt for a dessert over a starter.

OUT AND ABOUT

SHOE MUSEUM

You’re slap bang in the middle of town, so spoilt for choice. The Picturedrome and Deco Theatre are both a couple of minute’s walk for films, comedy, live music and theatre. The Royal and Derngate theatre is close by, with Northampton Museum and Art Gallery (above) housing the biggest collection of shoes and shoe memorabilia in the world. For shopping, cross the road and head straight for Thackeray’s, which is a fashionista’s dream, selling labels like American Vintage, Rag and Bone, Stine Goya and Anine Bing.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

GOOD FOR: Those with a good appetite, pre or post-theatre dinner and drinks, date night, girls’ night and letting your hair down, especially when there’s live music on.

NOT FOR: Kids are welcome but it’s probably more of a grown-up joint. The food is exceptional but don’t come here for airs and graces.

THE DAMAGE:

It’s reasonable given that the portions are huge and the ingredients are well sourced. Starters from £7.50, mains from £12.50 for a salad but going up to £27 the Gold Beef Fillet, desserts from £7 and wines from £20 a bottle.

Hush, 254 Wellingborough Road, Northampton, NN1 4EJ.

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