I love to find new places to eat and I was recently fortunate enough to check out at the Hollows, a fairly new eatery in Hoole, Chester. The Hollows aims to bring back a convivial style of dining which allows people the chance to really relax over a meal, engage in a conversation and take their time truly savouring the experience of eating out. The menu has an emphasis on the popular small plate style of dining and there are many mouth-watering options available on the menu which is split into sections for meat, salads, vegetarian/vegan and fish.
The Hollows is a stylish restaurant which is decorated in a cool way with eclectic and bohemian furnishings such as chandeliers, feature wallpaper and hand woven floor rugs.
As soon as you walk in, the enchanting ambience of the restaurant engulfs you and your eyes are immediately drawn by the large oyster bar where oysters are served fresh to you. There was a pleasant hubbub in the restaurant when we arrived, with diners seated by the windows which had been thrown open to let the air in on the warm and sunny evening.
Delicious aromas of food filled the air as we settled at a cosy table and took our time perusing the menu with the help of our lovely waitress who was on hand to talk us through the menu. We were advised that we could order a few small plates to start off with then order more later on, or that we could order everything at once. We decided to order everything at once because we were tantalised by the delicious options on offer!
I enjoyed a crisp glass of Italian Novita Trebbiano whilst we nibbled on fresh bread with oils and decided what to order.
First to arrive was a delicious portion of toasted hazelnuts with paprika salt which were a piquant delight. Next we feasted on seared Halloumi, with a prune and herb pesto followed by carrot, coconut and lime with violet potatoes, which was a sensation.
Carrot coconut and lime
The toasted focaccia, tomato and pepper tapenade was topped with scrumptious mozzarella and this was a dish I could have happily eaten all night! The combination of bread and cheese is hard to beat and this was just delicious with freshly baked focaccia and mountains of mozzarella!
We had spied poutine on the menu and I loved the Hollows spin on this classic French Canadian dish, which consisted of chicken with crispy potato, roasting juices, spring onions and Gruyere. This was an inventive take on poutine and it was lighter than the usual poutine dishes I have tried due to the use of lighter roasting juices rather than a thicker gravy.
We found room for sesame and honey glazed chicken wings, which were juicy and sweet and there was a nice chilli kick to them which was lifted by a zing of fresh lime juice.
Patatas bravas with alioli was yet another inventive dish, with a lovely spice to the bravas sauce which was given a refreshing injection of flavour from the alioli and spring onion.
You can’t come to a restaurant as good as The Hollows and not be intrigued by the desserts, and I chose well by ordering dark chocolate, coconut and Bacardi pave with coconut cream, which was rich and decadent.
My dining companion enjoyed a lovely white chocolate and Chambord panna cotta with honeycomb and crème fraiche.
After so many wonderful goodies, we were extremely lucky to be treated to an additional dessert of red wine poached pear, caramelised almonds, liquorice ice cream and lemon crème fraiche compliments of the talented Chef Parth Bhatt. Thank you Parth for treating us to this added dessert which was simply a revelation, I am now addicted to liquorice ice cream!
We had an amazing evening at the Hollows and we adhered to the whole ethos of the restaurant by taking our time over the meal, soaking up the atmosphere and chatting whilst we enjoyed the sumptuous food. I could see that so much thought had been put in to the creation of each dish, and everything was sublime from the flavours to the presentation. I would recommend at the Hollows to anybody who enjoys delicious food in a relaxed and cosmopolitan environment. The staff were all extremely friendly and helpful and they welcomed us like old friends and made us feel so at ease. It was a superb evening and I felt as though I had been transported to le Marais district of Paris, such was the relaxed and European feeling created by the food and the setting.
What do you all think, would you like to settle down for an evening of small plates, excellent wine and animated conversation at The Hollows? Which of these dishes would you eat first?
As always I can't wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post!
at the Hollows
20 Charles Street
Until next time,