Hull’s newest independent restaurant, The Hispanist, located in Paragon Arcade opened its doors this past week. We were lucky enough to pop in and sample a few dishes from this truly unique Hispanic restaurant (the regions first!) and see a behind the scenes of the making of their already highly-coveted tacos.
The Corn Tortilla
Firstly, the heirloom corn is bought in from Oaxaca, Mexico. When it arrives into the expert hands of Nick, the corn is first rinsed and cooked for half an hour in an alkaline solution containing 1% calcium hydroxide per kilo of corn. This helps to break down the outer skin of the corn ready for milling.
The corn is then left to soak in the solution for 7-8 hours. After this long process, the corn is drained and rinsed again, this time being ran through the chef’s fingers to remove some of the outer skins from the corn. However, Nick notes that he is careful to not remove all of the skin, as it works as a natural lubricant which ensures the softness of the tortillas.
After this lengthy dedicated process, the corn is ready for the mill. This mill has been shipped from Mexico, so that not only the ingredients are authentic but its methods and equipment are too!
The corn is then ground through the mill in order to create the soft corn dough, which is also known as masa. Masa can be used for making corn tortillas, gorditas, tamales and many other specialist Hispanic dishes.
(The real ta-da! the moment captured above) The ‘masa’ or corn dough, is pressed into tortilla shapes, and then cooked ready for the tacos. There is something about the imperfect shape of these that really bring about the authenticity of The Hispanist. The tortillas are not pre-cut or shop bought, they are made with an abundance of love and care.
Taco de Suadero
Nick served up The Hispanist’s Taco de Suadero using the tortillas we just watched him make from scratch. This tasty taco includes beef brisket, salsa guajillo, white onion and coriander. The restaurant offers food which is designed to be picked, passed and shared. Eaten with knives, forks, and fingers. Therefore, encouraging a sense of communication and togetherness through a truly Hispanic way to dine.
This dish is absolutely designed to be eaten with your hands, no matter how messy it may get it is the only way to dig into these tacos.
Next up was the beautiful evening menu dish Presa Ibérica. This dish features Iberico pork which takes centre stage alongside chimichurri butter and chicharrón. Chicharrón is usually made using fried pig skin, sometimes also known as cracklings or pork skin. With the addition of seasoning, they are then deep-fried. This made an interesting pairing with the pork itself, adding a unique texture to the dish.
The Hispanist also offers a unique selection of drinks sourced from Hispanic countries for a perfect pairing with the Hispanic food options. Including a range of wine, beer and cider.
Alongside these bottled imports, The Hispanist also offer a refreshing cocktail menu. Including the Mezcal Mule, a classic margarita or an intriguing Kalimotxo.
We are definitely looking forward to visiting the restaurant again to sample more of the menu! With genuine traditional methods and recipes straight from Spain and Latin America. You can’t go wrong with The Hispanist.