Chester’s h y p h a will reopen in September with a new tasting menu
Following a soft launch, the Michelin guide-accredited restaurant, h y p h a, in Chester will reopen its doors on Thursday 3rd September.
Over the recent lockdown period, the innovative plant-based restaurant spent time developing its menu in order to ‘push produce boundaries.’ Now diners can enjoy exciting vegan dishes on the a la carte menu, or a multi-course ‘Season’s Story’ tasting menu featuring the likes of ‘Minestrone Disguised as Ramen’ and ‘2020 Beetroot on Canvas.’
New dining experiences to really open people’s eyes to the possibilities of plant-based cooking
h y p h a opened in February 2019 on Chester’s City Walls and was immediately included in the following Michelin Guide, as well as winning Opentable ‘Diner’s Choice’ award in 2020.
In addition to the new menu, the restaurant has also introduced its first dedicated fermentation lab and retail space, ‘k o j i.’ Headed up by certified cicerone or ‘beer sommelier’ Sam Watson, guests will learn some of the secrets behind successful fermentation with a series of masterclasses. They will also be able to purchase fermented products that feature on the h y p h a menu, such as kombuchas and miso. (We visited in February and were so blown away by their incredible pineapple tepache and beetroot ginger kefir we actually forgot to order any wine).
Owner Nicholas Friar said: “It has been an uncertain time for everyone these past few months but I’m confident we’re set to return stronger than ever. We’ve used the time to develop our vision for the restaurant, pushing the parameters of sustainability and plant-based dining.”
h y p h a describes itself as ‘produce focused dining using sustainable food systems’ and is a highly ethical, environmentally responsible vegan business which focuses on low/no waste, organic high quality local produce, foraging and ultimate seasonality. Maximum flavours are provided thanks to a number of techniques including drying, fermenting and grilling leading to some intense, original (and really, really delicious) dishes you are unlikely to find anywhere else.
“I’m hugely passionate about the importance of fresh produce and the significance this has on a dish, but I will only work with suppliers who share our sustainable philosophies,” adds Friar. “Having been an issue that has been neglected for years by the industry, something I’ve enjoyed most throughout lockdown is connecting with local suppliers to develop ideas, which will take everything we do here at h y p h a to the next level. An example is Malpas-based fruit and veg supplier Veg and Petals, who will be solely supplying us from now on. This means that we can literally grow ingredients based on future menus and ensure that only ingredients that will be used are grown, reducing our environmental impact.”
Due to the presence of animal fats in bank notes, h y p h a is a cashless restaurant.
So what made them decide to add a fermentation lab? “k o j i is a concept that I’ve wanted to explore for a while, offering a space to share the principles of fermentation and the fruits of our labour,” says Nicholas. “With Sam on board, we’re looking forward to not only offering workshops but also exploring new dining experiences to really open people’s eyes to the possibilities of plant-based cooking.”
h y p h a & k o j i will open to the public on Thursday 3rd September. Reservations are now available up to three months in advance. To book, please click here.
h y p h a, 5 City Walls, Chester CH1 2JG