The Second of the Series
Quisine’s Spotlight Series takes an inside look at the food and beverage industry by speaking with the folks who know it best – restaurant owners, chefs and managers. Join us every week as we get the inside scoop on the best restaurants in your neck of the woods. From food trend predictions to death-row dinners, we tackle it all…
For the second interview in the series, we spoke to Hayley, the general manager at HUS Liverpool. This Swedish bar and eatery is housed inside the Tempest building on Tithebarn Street and boasts a stunning rooftop bar. HUS is the Swedish word for ‘house’, and we can assure you that you will feel right at home at this cool spot! This space is somewhere you can eat, drink and socialise while drinking everything from coffee to cocktails in a stylised, Scandinavian setting. Oh and, their food is absolutely amazing too – we’re talking real Swedish meatballs, Danish fish cakes and slow-roasted pork belly with gooseberry and elderflower jam…
Our chat with Hayley from HUS on Tithebarn Street
1. Tell us about a funny experience you had in the restaurant.
We’ve just built a new team of staff which is amazing because everyone is so motivated and passionate. It’s been great for the business to have fresh, newly-trained faces on the floor. Recently, a member of our team decided to tackle our glassware by cleaning and polishing everything in sight. What they didn’t realise was that the glasswasher was slowly filling up more and more with bubbles… Long story short, we ended up with a foam party behind the bar for a day. We couldn’t stop laughing but there’s not an inch of floor that isn’t sparkling clean now!
2. What made you choose this line of work? What inspires you?
I originally started collecting glasses part-time when I was at university. Eventually I got on to cocktail making and really enjoyed creating different flavours and combinations. I got into mixology for a while and loved being able to create an experience for people through what we served and the atmosphere created. From then on I loved hosting events and creating drinks menus, making the whole customer experience from top to bottom – from the furniture to french martinis!
3. What do you feel your restaurant adds to the city dining scene?
The Liverpool restaurant scene is incredible, and so diverse – I love how quickly it’s growing and how fast it changes. Areas of Liverpool that were before pretty much empty are now bursting with people which is just amazing. HUS has changed a lot this past year, with a brand new team being put into place and a lot of new things in the pipeline. We’ve got some great menus and we are doing things that nobody else does, which I think is important when Liverpool has so much to offer. We also have a range of areas – a restaurant floor, an atrium, a basement space and a roof top, all with their own feel. It’s the combination of all these things that makes us stay fresh as an eclectic unit focused on quality and experience.
4. What has been the biggest business challenge for your restaurant?
One of our biggest problems is that we want to do everything! Having the different areas and a great management team in place means we are able to do things that just weren’t possible before – like, putting on different types of events, switching up the menus and so on. At the minute we are playing around, trying things out and seeing what works best but our biggest challenge is being patient. We’re planning things for the future that we want to get started on right now!
5. Where do you see the future of dining out or the restaurant scene in general?
Can we say in space? That’s surely the future! Dinner on the moon – if that isn’t available in the future then we have all failed for sure.
6. Is there a dish on your menu that you’re most proud of and is there a story behind it?
We’re definitely proud of everything on our menus – it’s like being asked to pick your favourite child! A lot of time and effort has gone into all our menus and we take a lot of pride in what we serve. We just launched a brand new afternoon tea called the Hygge Lykke which I’m especially proud of. It’s about creating an atmosphere and an experience – ‘a coziness of the soul’ (but with prosecco and unlimited chocolate fondue, naturally…). It’s a very simple concept but we just wanted something that would inspire people to take some time for themselves and each other. We don’t allot an amount of time per booking and people are encouraged to stay as long as they like, with books or board games from our library. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with the important people in your life, without smartphones or social media. Just take some time to catch up and take stock of what’s important (which, we think, is yourself, others, and lots of chocolate).
7. What are your food trend predictions for the coming years?
I think people are starting to opt for healthier alternatives and be more conscious about where their food has come from and what goes into their meals. People don’t necessarily want the usual anymore and are starting to ask for more – especially in Liverpool because there’s so much choice. You have to find the balance between making good choices for yourself and your environment and also understanding the importance of indulging and treating yourself. I like to think we offer a good selection of both. Proper, good ingredients that make real food. I’m hoping the next food trend will be local foods, good produce from local suppliers that aren’t just preservatives on a plate. There are so many fantastic local suppliers that it just seems crazy not to use them! We put a lot of effort into supporting local business and the community, so it’s definitely something very close to our hearts.
8. If you could sit down for a meal at your restaurant with any two people in the world, who would you choose and why?
I’d love to give a really cool and sophisticated answer and say Darwin and Einstein or Lise Meitner and Marie Curie… But, if we’re being honest, I would answer Joey and Chandler from Friends! I love eating with people that love eating like Joey does (and you know you wouldn’t be sharing food) and Chandler is just hilarious. If we’re getting really fussy, can I please have season three Joey and Chandler?
9. You’re on death row and your time has nearly come. What’s your last meal going to be and why?
How could you possibly choose? Everything! Is that an option? If not, then it would have to be a roast dinner. If my mum isn’t available to cook it (or has disowned because of my crimes) then I’d have our fondue roast dinner with big fluffy yorkshire puds, buttery veg and unlimited gravy. Maybe I could put off the inevitable if I just keep eating the gravy for a few years?
Feeling like you need a fondue roast dinner with a Nordic Negroni immediately?
Of course you are…. Next time you’re eating out in Liverpool city centre, HUS on on Tithebarn Street should be top of your list.
Join us for the next installment of Quisine’s Spotlight Series to get insider information on the coolest restaurants and pubs near you.