Hopkins

The borough of NDG isn’t the first place many people think of when planning a night out.  But that’s all going to change with the addition of Hopkins, a proper bistro on Monkland Blvd.   The interior is beautiful with marble and hues of blue and grey throughout, very chic!

We started with a platter of house made charcuterie, some of which you can see hanging in their glass wine cellar/cold room.  This was paired with a cider which is not something we would normally associate with a charcuterie plate but Hopkins’ sommelier was spot on.  The smoked duck had a line of glistening fat, the bresola was a deep red colour, the sausage was thinly sliced and spicy, and the cheese was delicious too!

“A selection of house made charcuterie”

We had a salad that was anything but boring, with pickled mushrooms, a grilled endive, shaved asparagus, and pickled blueberries and grapes which added such a nice pop of flavour.  The mushrooms gave the salad substance, the endive wasn’t bitter, the asparagus was fresh, and the maple nuts added crunch and sweetness.

“Pickled mushroom and endive salad: pickled shimeji mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, grilled endive, shaved asparagus, pickled blueberries and grapes, mâche, salty maple herb nuts, grapefruit espuma vinaigrette”

The beef Wellington tartare has to be one of the better beef tartares that we’ve ever had.  Each and every bite was perfectly seasoned.  Topped with a very thin crisp, the beef tartare was also topped with chicken liver mousse and sautéed mushrooms.  If that wasn’t enough, there were duck prosciutto chips as well.  We loved the combination of the mushrooms and the raw beef and the chicken liver was easy to set aside if you aren’t a fan, but it made for a divine combination!

“Beef Wellington tartare: AAA beef tartare, mousse de volaille, duck prosciutto, sautéed wild mushrooms”

Scallops are sometimes a hit and miss, they’re often overcooked but in the scallop fish and chips at Hopkins, the scallop was perfectly seared on the outside and succulent on the inside.  The scallop was paired perfectly with the sweet polenta which had a nice crust on the outside.  The slaw of apple and fennel added a bright and fresh taste and the truffled potato velouté was simply delicious!

“Scallop fish and chips: seared scallop, crispy popcorn polenta, fennel and apple slaw, tartar sauce, truffled potato velouté, corn crumble”

A generous amount of sweet lobster sat on Quebec asparagus which lay in a pool of lobster bisque.   If that wasn’t enough, there was a crisp lobster risotto chip for a little added decadence and crunch.  The lobster was poached perfectly and the asparagus still had some bite.   As we finished our lobster and asparagus, a basket of grilled bread appeared, perfect for dipping into the remaining bisque!

“Lobster a l’americaine: butter poached lobster, lobster bisque, seasonal vegetable, lobster risotto chip”

The roasted vegetable platter sounds simple but it was anything but!  Various vegetables, from radishes, to zucchini, to mushrooms, to brussel sprouts, and squash were all perfectly cooked and seasoned.  They were served with two different vegetable purées along with a black bread crumble which looked like the earth in a vegetable garden.  The crumble really added something special to the dish and we loved it.

“Roasted vegetable garden: and assortment of seasonal vegetables and unique preparations served with black bread crumble”

Our last main dish was the rack of lamb with sweetbreads.  The lamb was cooked perfectly until pink in the centre and the sweetbreads were breaded and fried.  The confit onion mascarpone was heavenly and worked well with the sweet, charred cipollini onions.  The sweet potatoes were sliced and grilled, and the pickled red onion provided balance to the flavours on the plate.

“NZ Rack of Lamb: seared rack of lamb, lamb sweetbreads, confit onion mascarpone, shallot soubise, charred cipollini, pickled red onion, sweet potato fondant, scallion ash”

The dessert course fell short for us. But after such a marvellous meal, we’ll let it slide! The deconstructed carrot cake was broken down into a not so spiced cookie, grilled halloumi cheese, carrot purée and mascarpone.  We would have rather a slice of good ol’ fashioned carrot cake, but that’s just us!  There was also a chocolate fondant which didn’t really stand out for us.

“Chocolate Fondant”

“Deconstructed Carrot Cake”

Hopkins is without question one of the best meals we’ve had this year!  We were so enamoured with our dinner, that the mediocre dessert was merely a hiccup in our evening.  Chef Liam Hopkins and Nicolina Servello have created a beautiful space, with amazing food.  Make sure to visit Hopkins, we’re sure that you’ll love it as much as we did!

Our Rating: Always on Thursdays

https://www.restauranthopkins.com/

SaHopkins Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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