Naturally, we’d heard the rumours. Tales of epic flavour, sensual delight, and tremendous portions. But nothing prepared us for the sheer joy of Hickory@home. Perhaps we’ve been in lockdown a little too long, but this is a meal SO FABULOUS, it feels almost as if you’re having a sexual experience. You know, in a good way …
Running in virtual foodie circles as we drunkenly do, we know Hickory has an outstanding reputation. But finally we can attest to the fact it is deservedly so.
Even before our dazzling four courses + sides + cheeky bottle of rose are hand delivered, we’re utterly impressed with the service. The communication, ease, and undeniable loveliness of team Hickory make this a real delight.
Though of course the real excitement begins with the lighting of candles, the playing of soft music, and the setting of yet another splendiferous table.
Isaac switches on the oven, bless him, while I take great pleasure in a cork popping. Much like a starter’s pistol, it means: ANDDDD THEY’RE OFFFF!!
It’s a rosé [ unusual for us ] and from Chile, a country that has never yet let us down when it comes to vino. And oh my, this is really rather lovely. Why don’t we drink rosé more often??? We muse, in between exceedingly large “sips.”
Soon, thanks to Isaac and his silicone oven gloves, the smell of Hickory Cornbread circulates throughout our Georgian home. Seriously, is there a more satisfying aroma than bread baking? Correct answer: No Social Bitches, absolutely not.
This simple joy is followed by the even greater pleasure of consuming it. With or without a knob of butter, it’s heaven-sent, and yes, rather sensual. Woof!
We’re also diving into a faultless Smoked pancetta caesar salad. It’s bursting with flavour and generous amounts of anchovies, croutons, and large Parmesan shavings. Then there’s the wonderfully sharp, creamy dressing. Ooh la la!
It’s a simple dish, but the taste is incredible. So fresh, and so much zing. It’s also having a wonderful affect on the rosé. Suddenly we’re getting notes of strawberry – though Isaac insists rhubarb – making this lovely wine taste even better.
But in our excitement, we’ve forgotten the nibbles-to-start. Embarrassing! So, topping up and circling back, we discover the delights of Sweetcorn & coriander cakes, especially once plunged into a tantalising lime mayonnaise.
Even better are the Jalopeno & mozzarella bites. A delicate hint of breadcrumb, followed by soft, gooey cheese, and finally a satisfying burst of heat. All in all a perfect pleasure, we say, pretending to light a cigarette. And how nice to have the use of jalopeno so accurately judged!
Back on track, but wondering how the wine is disappearing quite so quickly, next we ooh and ahh over the six gorgeous pieces of Buttermilk Chicken now warming in the oven. They smell incredible, look incredible, and – spoiler alert – taste incredible.
Just seventeen minutes from roasting dish to spectacular table, the chicken is utterly sublime. Beautifully tender, it has the perfect amounts of oil and crunch, so that it feels lush, indulgent, but never too heavy.
We’re also very impressed with the quantity. Normal people could easily turn this gorgeous meal into dinner for four. Though of course, why would you?
And let’s not forget the scrumptious sides: Charred Sweetcorn roasted in butter, cue breathless sigh of pleasure; a heavenly Truffle baked mac n cheese, which is somehow both light, and offers maximum flavour; plus a fiery, but refreshing Red Cabbage slaw with smoked chilli oil.
In short, utterly marvellous! This is a main course that works on EVERY level. Not only is it fine dining at its finest, it’s also the kind of comfort food which makes this mad, mad world feel so much better.
Even more impressive, we’re reaching a feeling other people describe as: full?? So it seems we’ll be requiring a cup of a tea and lie down [ read: cheeky bottle of Pinot noir ] before even attempting our delicious finale: Warm Banana bread with caramelised pear, banana chips & banoffee ice cream.
When we do finally tackle this wonderful dish – which again, could have fed four – we’re not disappointed. Though now we definitely CANNOT manage another bite.
Our overall verdict: Dining @ Home is a delicate balancing act, with us foodies insisting on meals that dazzle and satisfy; offer artistry and comfort; and yet are incredibly simple to prepare. Somehow Hickory achieves all of this and so much more, the food is absolutely stunning.
And so, like those lucky diners before us, we will happily tell tales of epic flavour, sensual delight, and tremendous portions. Thank you Team Hickory, we are spent!
Reviewed March 2021
Delivering: Friday / Saturday Dinner
£33 – £40 per person
Wine pairings also available