I find it incredibly humbling when our independent operators show us how resilient and dedicated they are by innovating and stepping up their offering with exciting new products and experiences, especially at a time like this. And that’s exactly what those brilliant boys at Hypha and Kōji have just done.
Hypha is such a unique restaurant. The fact that they are wholly plant based seems to pale into insignificance a little – the quality and sustainability of their menus is definitely the highlight here – a view shared by the good people at Michelin, who have recommended them in their 2020 guide.
So throughout lockdown, owner / driver Nik got busy with developing his already successful and much-loved concept into something we can all enjoy at home – as well as in his lovely restaurant.
Kōji (a filamentous fungus used in Japan to saccharify rice, sweet potato, and barley in the making of sake, soy sauce and miso) took shape in the form of a fermentation lab up on the rows next door to Hypha, and is now set to become a complete online retailer for nationwide delivery or local collection.
You’ll be able to get your hands on some pretty awesome products produced on-site, including Cauliflower Leaf Kimchi, Hungarian Sauerkraut, Hawthorn Ketchup, Alpine Strawberry Jam, Pickled Marrow, Romanesco Giardiniera, Lemon & Marigold Oil, Zesty Cep Seasoning Salt, Smoked Kale Katsuobushi, Hot Sauces, Cordials, Kefir Water and Kombucha.
And thats not all – you will also be able to buy fermentation kits for those who fancy a bit of fermentation DIY but don’t worry, full guided instructions will also be available as well as a brand new Youtube channel demonstrating dishes from the restaurant and cooking ideas for products bought from Kōji – and if ever there was the perfect example for a new Autumn / Winter / lockdown hobby, then this has to be it.
So if you’re feeling like its time to turn over a page on your diet and try something new, sustainable and wholesome – then this is a great place to start. I knew so little about food sustainability until recently (Nik is an awesome teacher), but now I get it, and it looks like I’m just about to learn a lot more with the imminent launch of Koji and Hypha’s new Fermentation Masterclasses, what a fabulous gift to buy the food lover in your life this Christmas. Its hyper-local, super-healthy and suitably educational.
Meanwhile, Hypha continues to operate at their usual high standard and have now shifted their focus to the Seasons Story, moving away from their Ala Carte menu. We enjoyed their Autumn Story recently and were blown away – click here find out why we gave it a glowing review.
Hypha have also joined the Chester Gift Card scheme, so if you decide to buy someone the Gift of Chester this Christmas, then they can decide to spend it with Hypha and Kōji, and that would be the best gift ever.