Ripponden has a new restaurant and it’s increíble. I say new but that’s only partially correct, it’s name Hito meaning Milestone in Spanish was the name of this pretty little eatery prior to it’s transformation to a Spanish Tapas Restaurant and whilst the establishment remains in the hands of the previous owners the decor and style of food is dramatic in change.
Of course Ripponden is no stranger to Spanish Tapas having been once home to one of our favourites El Gato Negro, who now reside in Manchester, and whilst it may be gone the eagle eyed amongst us may recognise a similarity in some of the dishes as well as a few of the very talented chefs at Hito who had previously been a part of the black cat journey.
A buzzing Hito on a Friday night is a mixture of dinners enjoying the most pleasurable sharing way of eating, together with those simply meeting for drinks in this ideally placed centrally located venue.
I suppose the beauty of Tapas is that choosing is less of an issue, you just choose everything! and that’s exactly what it felt like, our list read something like:
Roasted Cauliflower raisin & pine nut dressing, goats cheese
Tenderstem Broccoli almonds, garlic
Patatas Bravas paprika aioli
Cod Rojo Mojo grilled spring onion
Gambas smoked garlic, paprika
XL Plancha Prawns chorizo, tomato
Picante Chorizo Mayador cider
Lamb Kebabs, chickpea & mint
Galician Rump Steak 8oz, Sobrasada Butte
Spanish Cured Meats Serrano, Salchichon, Chorizo de Vela, Chorizo Iberico Bellota
Duck & Paprika Pancetta butternut
Clearly with a list that extensive there’s every chance we’re going to run out of words to detail the awesomeness of the choice we made to feed the four us, so instead I’ll talk about my absolute favourites and in my opinion dishes of the night.
The simplicity but absolute addictiveness of Padron Peppers makes it a dish thats almost law in tapas terms, the risk of knowing the occasional ‘hot one’ may bless your lips add’s to the excitement, deep fried peppers with a sprinkling of sea salt, that’s all it takes to get me excited.
Mojo Rojo translated becomes red sauce, the Canarian creation is made with a base of red peppers and bread with cumin giving another layer of flavour, serve that with an outstandingly well cooked and fresh piece of Cod and you have a dish of magnificence.
The tapas dish that always excites me the most is Chorizo, the time and effort that goes into making a chorizo tapas dish is phenomenal, even before the chef gets his hands on the perfect cooking chorizo (not the solid stuff you find in the supermarket) the processes have been immense and that’s before you start cooking it in cider which in it’s self has gone through a minimum 6 month process, The chef is keen to express his desire to source the very best, and given his previous experience in a restaurant that now dons a bib gourmand he’s clearly got the pedigree.
If I use the car park at Hito’s sister restaurant The Fleece, close by in Barkisland, as a barometer you would guess not, it’s completely packed all day long and so the question is how does a restaurant like Hito survive when weekend trade is so key to its survival?
If you haven’t already guessed Hito is a strong recommendation, it’s cosy bustling atmosphere provides the perfect arena to share lots of amazingly good Spanish indulgence. It’s on my doorstep and for that I am very very grateful!