Tithebarn Street, Liverpool
Review by Sarah Brown
Coined as a gathering place and social space, HUS is the kind of establishment which immediately makes you feel at one. The atmosphere warm, the staff friendly and the food fresh; HUS is the perfect remedy for a cold December night.
Brought to you by the team behind The Baltic Social, the Scandi inspired café, bar and restaurant is the new kid on the block in the commercial district’s burgeoning social scene. Inspired by the relaxed eateries of Stockholm and Copenhagen, HUS is finely in tune with Sweden’s casual approach to social dining.
We were immediately impressed by its effortless interior. The Tempest building’s industrial beginnings provide the perfect base for this Scandinavian-style retreat, filled with spacious booths and long benches for dining and minimalist couches to relax and unwind on.
Instantly at ease, we were welcomed by our friendly host and shown to our table – a cosy booth amongst the hustle and bustle of friends sharing their day’s news. Ever the fans of a smorgasbord, my dining companion and I couldn’t wait to delve into the small plates menu and craft our very own from HUS’ Swedish offering.
But first, something to drink. My fellow diner plumped for a refreshing bottle of Fritz Limo melon lemonade (£2.95), while I wasted no time in getting to grips with the cocktail menu. The White Lady (£7.50) immediately caught my eye, combining Beefeater gin with zesty blood orange, elderflower and lemon, topped off with rosemary and egg white. The egg white added an unusual twist to one of my favourite cocktail combinations, proving a firm favourite for the evening.
Suitably impressed, we turned our attention to the main event – the smorgasbord. We both opted to try the traditional Swedish style meatballs (£6) served with cream sauce, mashed potato and lingonberry. When in Sweden, after all. My dining companion opted to try the gouda and kale croquettes (£4.50), while I couldn’t resist the Nordic smoked haddock and cod cakes (£5.50). We also decided to share a side of rosemary garlic skin-on fries (£3.95), for good measure.
The gouda and kale croquettes were quick to arrive; hot and crispy, they were the perfect start to our Swedish adventure. The filling was rich and oozing, while the distinct flavour of the kale provided the perfect balance to the intensity of the cheese. The fishcakes soon followed; served with chives, crispy smoked bacon and HUS remoulade, the dish was packed with fresh, intense and smoky flavours.
The melt in the mouth meatballs were the star of the show. Hugely satisfying, the classic accompaniment of creamy mash and tangy lingonberry made for the perfect comfort food.
Never ones to pass up dessert, we couldn’t refuse the dark chocolate tart (£6) to finish. Served warm with hazelnut brittle and brandy soured cherries, it was an indulgent end to the evening.
HUS is certainly a welcome safe haven in the city’s bustling commercial district, bringing a quiet corner of Sweden to Liverpool. I would happily share many a contented evening with friends there.