Saturday 26th May – 1884 Dock Street Kitchen, Hull
Part of our trip to Hull saw us needing somewhere local to eat out, and no matter what we’d been told, the Michelin Guide suggested there was one place worth going to, and that was 1884 Dock Street Kitchen. The fact that both John Robinson at White’s and Richard Lindsey at Rascill’s said it wasn’t bad was the tipping point that convinced us we had to give it a try.
We walked over from the apartment in Hull’s old town to see if we could get a pre-dinner drink at one of the cocktail bar/art gallery combinations on what used to be the old fruit warehouses (back when my Dad was a young man and needed a job as a German POW newly realeased into the wild he worked there). After a somewhat less than edifying saga that involved me spending 10 minutes stuck in a lift – don’t ask – we gave up on that and decided to go straight to 1884 and check out their bar.
The bar is a quite an impressive space, with large wooden tables in padded booths, and an interesting cocktail list. We started with a whisky sour for Lynne:
When it arrived, pretty promptly, it was a rather good one, not too much ice and lots of actual drink! I had a basil and elderflower smash which was a fresh tasting drink with a kick in the tail. Again not too much ice and plenty of the main ingredients.
The next round was a Queen Betsey, which was pretty damn good too! Sadly the ingredients elude my memory now so you’ll have to trust me on this one.
Our booked table was soon ready and so we were escorted through to the main body of the restaurant, where we had been alloted a table in the window overlooking the marina.
A glass of champagne and the chance to study the menu was much appreciated.
Rolls and butter were swiftly on the table and we made our choices from the menu. While our starters were prepared we were presented with a pair of prawn and crab blinis. They were a tad short on prawn to my tastes, but I like crab well enough (more than well enough) so they provided a tasty little morsel, and they helped absorb the cocktails!
When the starters arrived, we had scallops with cucumber gel and bacon, which proved an excellent combination, with very well-prepared raw scallop, although I wasn’t too sure about the cucumber:
The other starter was pigeon, a small, intricate dish, the pigeon itself so tender as to be more like wagyu beef or similar. It was a very auspicious start!
Mains were impressive too with some serious flavours on offer. I ordered lamb with fondant potatoes and onions and was more than happy with the resulting dish. The lamb was well cooked, and the fondant potato was soft and properly cooked and it went very well with the meat.
Lynne ordered the salmon, which came with a salt cod croquette and a lovely wild garlic puree. I have a well-established enthusiasm for salt cod croquettes, and this was a good one. The fish had properly cooked crispy skin, and the puree had a very nice depth to it.
The mains came with a batch of vegetables, most of them too green for Lynne:
And I ordered a side dish of roasted bone marrow. I’ve had a couple of servings of bone marrow recently but none as good as this. It was well-seasoned, soft, and scattered with crunchy crumbs of fat strewn over it. I could probably have eaten that on its own on top of some sourdough or something similar. It was the highlight of the meal for me.
We finished off with cheese on the grounds that dessert was just not possible. There was no way we could have managed anything more… Again, this is clearly an establishment that keeps its cheeses properly, serving it in the optimum condition. And it was fun to finally figure out that our waiter for the night, Matti, was a Finn.
With our meal we drank a bottle of De Martino Estate Carmenere 2015, which was a very successful choice, even with the fish.
I’m not suggesting 1884 is Michelin star territory but it is a damn good upper-end restaurant and when we return to Hull we’ll likely be going again! In fact I’m sure we will.