Hatch

Best Part: The Walls containing the Restaurant

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So….. it wasn’t long ago (here in fact) that I was talking about our natural prejudice towards dining establishments that take over from previous dining establishments that we liked which notwithstanding we are able to overcome as we are big-hearted and like to give plucky up-and-comers a chance. I expressed concern about whoever was going to take over Panko‘s lease as we really dug Panko and were pretty bummed out when it closed. Well, here we are at Hatch, and it’s pretty much like a less Japanese, more Waffley version of Panko. The décor is the same, the waiting staff look very familiar, I’m pretty sure they’re owned by the same people. So well done, Hatch. You dodged a bullet there.

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Hatch, as I’m sure you’re aware, is another branch of Hatch, the popular hatch that gives you toasted sandwiches and stuff. They tried something like this before with Canteen, which was more sandwichey and then became non-Hatch affiliated. This time they’ve gone down a different path, one clearly stated on their window. Waffles! Burgers! Brunch! All fine and solid foodstuff, and no Japanese breadcrumbs in sight.

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There are still sandwiches, and mighty enticing ones. Between them and the burgers I had a hard time choosing so instead I went for bacon and waffles. It was the only savoury option on the waffle menu, although it did come with maple syrup. Is bacon inherently savoury? It is quite salty, but then so is salted caramel. Maybe bacon is able to adapt to it’s surroundings like a chameleon. Imagine if they made chameleon bacon. I wonder what that would taste like? Probably chicken bacon. Anyway, It was a beaut of a waffle, the bacon had that very thick almost solid crispiness that just drunk up the maple syrup. The waffle was probably better than a Birds Eye potato waffle, in fact definitely better. But the bacon was the star.

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As I was basically ordering a pudding for lunch, I got some chips to go with it. Funny story, my wife’s meal came with chips as well, but then it didn’t actually, but they realised their mistake and didn’t charge us for them, and the large bowl of chips was enough for both of us and otherwise we would have had too many chips. Not that they were bad chips. On the contrary, they were super excellent chips and I’ve eaten many chips in my time. In summary, great bacon and great chips, fairly awesome waffle.

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But that’s not all. My wife also ate food in addition to sharing my chips that were actually her chips. She ordered the vegan burger with a side of halloumi, but when the waiter deduced from her cheese order that Mrs Midweek lunch was far from being Vegan, she was offered a brioche bun to jazz up her burger. Now the filling was super – a well structured combination of vegetables rather than a soya splat. The halloumi made it even better. However, the playful brioche bun was not up to the job of holding it all together. In fact it fell apart and was all a bit messy. Still she was very happy overall.

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It would an excellent alternative brunch venue to Bills. My wife noted a board saying that you can book a party for 6+ people and benefit from a special menu. It is unclear whether there is a separate room for this but in any case she and her lady friends plan to try it out if only to investigate this secret menu.

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I really like Hatch, it’s a bit more laid back than most places in town, somewhere you can drop in and not have to spend too much and get some quality food quickly and not have to walk all the way across the park to get waffles. So whilst I do miss Panko I am very pleased with Hatch and will definitely be visiting again to try their Dirty Reuben, assuming it hasn’t changed into something else by then.

8.4/10

http://www.hatchstalbans.com/

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