Review: The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen

We visited The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen recently, when we popped in for a pint and a sandwich and found a nice place for a stop-off – far from the madding crowds but central enough to be a pleasant stop-off.

So, as we do, we went back for an unfussy evening meal and a good pint of bitter. And we found a relaxed, open, calming environment that serves a really good pint of bitter. Things are promising and the service is friendly and attentive. We pick our table, and then we get to pick between a dimpled glass and a straight one for our pint of Lancaster Blond (the Liverpool Organic Bitter was off). There’s a good selection of bottled beers from around the world too – and Addlestones cloudy cider if you’re that way inclined.

The menu is a good mix of hearty British fare that’s making something of a comeback in gastropub-style eateries: potted shrimps and ham hock for starters at around a fiver; ploughman’s and game pie and braised oxtail at around a tenner for mains, though there are more prosaic pizzas available at around six quid.

We go for a ham hock with carrot and celery on toasted brioche, some bitter leaves and a citrus marmalade that’s an intriguing addition to the salty, fatty ham but is too sweet for it in the end. Still, it’s an interesting mix and with a more bittersweet accompaniment would have been superb.

Our partner’s main was a simple pizza of tomato mozzarella and basil. It arrived at the sort of temperature that suggested it had been waiting around for a bit and without any herbs in it at all. In place of the promised basil were a few wilted leaves of roquette. As it result it was pretty bland and uninspired but – meh – it’s a pizza for a fiver eh?

We had higher hopes for our fish pie, which looked promising – it arrived in an iron skillet with a small pot of peas – and apparently included mustard mash and prawns, salmon, haddock and cod. However, there’s no mention of the stringy celery that was by far the most common ingredient.

The sauce was tasty but thin, and had split. There wasn’t much potato on top and the amount of fish in it was, frankly, embarrassing. We found one half of a small prawn and absolutely no salmon. There were small flakes of fish but they were so few and far between that we felt cheated.

We felt disappointed too, because we’d liked The Hub up until that point. Maybe they had an off-day, maybe the dish isn’t a strong point – but it was not a meal to inspire a return visit for the food.

We would return, however, for the choice of beer and for the warm welcome and the chilled Casartelli building ambience. Maybe next time we’ll just stick to the beer and sandwiches though.

The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen
12 Hanover Street, Liverpool

  • http://www.davebrownlee.com dave brownlee

    Looks like they’ve had an off month.
    I was there and had the lasagne and a friend the fish pie. Lasagne comes in the same tiny portion skillet with a smear of mash. Hardly any meat inside and friends fish pie like yours was bereft of aquatic life. Was very jealous of other friends fish & chips which was a good size.
    Would go again for the atmosphere, service and range of drinks but wouldn’t recommend it for the food.

  • Marmalade

    Went with a friend one eveing after work. We both ordered steaks, we were both disappointed. Over cooked steak that was tepid at beast, and bernaise sauce that was more like mayonaise. Loved the atmosphere though, but may stick with their beers and butties though!

  • Elaine

    I went for lunch with my partner. As already said nice atmosphere with a good selection of beers. I was drinking. Looking at the menu everything was fat laden and I chose what I thought would be a healthy option of linguine and prawns. It did mention chilli oil but I wasnt expecting it to be swimming in it (and butter) when it was bought out of the kitchen. The amount of oil/butter had made the pasta so slimy I couldnt eat it. In my opinion it was a nice simple tasty meal that had been destroyed. Even his fish and chips were overcooked. Wouldnt eat there again

  • LesleySwash

    Slow, slow, slow. 45 min wait for a table, another 15 mins to order a drink. Food came nearly an hour after ordering….and was Luke warm and thrown together (all arriving at different times also) staff seemed like they didn’t want to be there, and it was obvious why!

    My advise…unless you literally don’t mind spending a tragic 4 hours on a mediocre meal experience, steer well clear!

  • El Cid

    Very disapppointing. Slow, untrained bar-staff was just a portent of what was to come. The menu trumpets ‘good old British pub grub’, but Gastro-pub this isn’t. You’d eat better in BHS cafeteria.
    The waitress made a point of asking us four how we’d like our burgers: we opted for 3 medium-rare, and one rare. The four grey, dry lumps of meat that came were as much as surprise therefore, as a disappointement. Thank God there was ketchup on the table else they’d have been unchewable. The accompanying chips were similarly dry and looked and tasted like they’d been lying in an oven for a couple of hours.

    We visited at 5:30 on a weekday evening, not busy at all. If a bar can’t even get burger and chips right, well …

    I shan’t be eating there again. Even if it supposed to be ‘cheap..

  • Alwyn

    We went there last weekend and ordered the five lite bites for £15.

    This included, pork pie, potato skins, duck spring rolls, barbecue ribs, lamb kebabs and something else I can’t qute remember.

    We went early Saturday afternoon and I must say the food was enjoyable, the ribs especially were unlike any other I’d tasted and came ready roasted.

    The Pork Pie was especially nice, coming gently warmed with a small salad and relish.

    I’d recommend it and will definitely visit there again.

  • http://liverpoolrestaurantreviews.co.uk Sid

    I have to agree with your comments about the food, I went there a few weeks ago and some dishes were Ok and other weren’t. It ambiance inside was nice enough, but it makes me think that before opening they went to the the local outfitters and bought the gastro pub theme pack, it all felt a bit contrived. As you said quite accurately beer good, food not so good.

  • Ellis

    Went tonight, probably the blandest meal i’ve had in my life. Indistinguishable meat in the game pie, totally overcooked and the serving of it on a wooden board with a little jar of peas and mash on top was totally illogical. Should have gone to Lunya.

  • El Cid

    With Salt House just across the road I’m amazed anybody even goes in this pleace to eat.

  • chris

    very dissapointed. went with sister, had bottle of wine when glasses came one was full of lipstick, returned the glass only to get another one with food on the edge. complained this time to the waitress. she said that the manager had been informed, finally, got a clean glass.we was going to walk out only are meals arrived. The manager did not come over to us at all to apologize will not go again and would not recommend to anyone.

  • Claire

    Hi. My partner and I visited the Hub after it opened and really enjoyed it, so I wasn’t surprised when he said that was where he would like to go for his birthday.

    We just got home and I’m livid. We had booked a table and were put right next to the front door on a table that was sticky and smelt of stale beer. We asked to move and sat by the window, but this table was also dirty and there were lumps of what looked like mashed potato on the menus.

    The gormless waiter came across and took our drinks order. He was carrying a bottle of cleaning spray and a cloth and we had to ask him to clean the table before he walked away.

    We had 3 ‘light bites’ in stead of 2 starters, on the waiters recommendation. The potato skins were cold, and were really just a baked potato with sloppy melted cheese poured over and cold bits of bacon. There was one spring roll in the portion of duck spring rolls (note the plural) cut in half. The ribs were good though, I’ll give them that.

    I had fish pie for main; watery and sloppy, too much dill. My boyfriend had fish and chips. The fish was a nuclear yellow colour with a dye that stained his fingers. We thought it may be turmeric?

    We weren’t offered more drinks when our food came and our glasses were bone dry. There were staff standing around looking bored.

    The people at the next table had to wait for their food a lit longer than us. Their waiter threw their food at them and they had to go and find their own cutlery and condiments.

    My pie also came in s boiling hot little pan with absolutely no accompaniment. Not even a few peas! It was pathetic! We were laughing about it.

    The staff were rude and thick, when the girlcame across to take our plates away she mumbled something about was our food ok. I said that it was ok. She seemed to want me to justify why I wasn’t doing cart wheels over my pathetic fish pie. I explained about the two dirty tables, the cold over priced starters and the fact that no one had bothered to take another drink order. I also added that if they’d bothered to ask after a couple if minutes how the food was, I would have happily told them. She wandered of and we saw her tell another member of staff, before she came back and said she would deduct our drinks (one pint of guiness and one glass of cider) off our bill.

    The hub is a dump, it’s dirty and the staff at mcdonalds have more charisma. We will NEVER go back. It nearly ruined the day, but we went across the road to bistro franc for dessert and a bottle of red wind which was lovely.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com David

    You know, of course, that The Hub is owned by the Bistro Franc people? Still, consistency is obviously an issue here.

  • linda owens

    wen the hub on saturday 22nd october 2011for my daughters 21st the staff were excellent .they could.nt do enough for us they served up 24 starters and 24 main meals piping hot and we did,nt have one complaint . the ambience and atmosphere was very good and i would not hesitate to celebrate there again

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com Robin

    Glad to hear it – let’s hope they’ve sorted things out on the food front.

  • Grumpy

    It was good but has really deteriorated the last year. A few months ago colleagues had a leaving do there, based on past experience. The service was poor, understaffed for a busy place. The food was at best second rate. The veggie option had a noticeable lack of ingredients. Same with the deserts; Eton mess without the fruit!
    Visited a week ago and was not impressed. Service was good, but then it wasn’t busy. The food was not very hot and the miserly portion of chips was a layer of sad re-heats.

    Would not recommend it anymore.