I have been visiting the Hillside for many years and it is a place steeped in memories for me. It is a charming little pub/ restaurant in the quaint Georgian village of Hillsborough. It has been trading since 1752 which is some going and is popular for its open fires in winter and beer garden in the summer. What’s not to like? It has recently undergone a massive renovation and Mr.Eating Ideas and myself were extremely keen to see the changes for ourselves.
After poring over the menu for a while, I opted for the walnut coated brie with wild blackberry & raisin jam (£6.95). This was delicious with a crunchy coating surrounding the oozing melted brie. Thankfully it came with a lovely side salad which cut through the richness of the deep fried melted cheese! Mr. Eating Ideas chose the Dundrum Bay mussels with chorizo, chilli tomato broth, served with warm bread. Unlike me, he is a massive fan of mussels and always heads straight for them when they are on the menu. The tomato broth wasn’t to his taste as he personally prefers a creamy sauce with mussels but he tucked into the dish with gusto and declared himself very happy with his choice.
For my main course, I did something very unusual for me and ordered steak. I’m not sure why but it just jumped off the menu at me. I chose the 8 oz chargrilled 28 day dry aged rump (£17.95), which came served with roasted cherry tomatoes, chips and garlic flat cap mushrooms, all served with a tasty peppercorn sauce. While I am not much of a steak eater, I loved this. It was tender and tasty and the garlic mushrooms worked perfectly with it. I really liked the roasted tomatoes and who doesn’t like chips with steak? All in all, this worked very well for me. Mr. Eating Ideas opted for the Cherry Valley duck breast (£17.95). This was pan-seared in a honey glaze with duck fat chunky chips, apple puree and a selection of seasonal vegetables. This was declared to be be very tasty and extremely tender. High praise indeed from a man who generally grunts his appreciation for food!
We decided to share a dessert and agreed on the salted caramel cheesecake with vanilla bean ice-cream. A delicious taste of something sweet to round off the meal. Everything was washed down with a few glasses of Caviller de Diablo Privada Reserva by Concha y Toro, a rather nice Chilean cabernet.
I must say that we both thoroughly enjoyed our meal in the Hillside. It was great to see how beautifully the place has been renovated and even better to see that is has lost nothing of its rustic charm. It’s definitely well worth a visit. You can find out more about the bar and restaurant here.
To WIN 2 tickets to the annual game dinner in the Hillside Restaurant, click here.