Haycock & Tailbar brings a touch of class to Leicester.
Leicester City Centre. A typical British City perhaps, with champagne bars sitting side-by-side with 'Chicken Cottage' and Lloyds bars. There's something for everyone!
What's been lacking here though is something a little... well, different. Special perhaps. The guys behind new venue Haycock & Tailbar already have a nice establishment in the City, a kind of localsied Mahiki if you will, a successful club called Hakamu. They also have venues in Northampton that have done well for them, so they know what they're doing.
Anyway, on the same road as a library, a kebab shop and a Zizzi's lies a mysterious black door with only a doorbell and nothing else. No, this isn't one of those places you see in Soho, this is Leicester's newest, fine dining and cocktail bar.
In we go, down some steps and it's dark, with some cool lighting and plenty of people sat in their own booths. The waiting staff were super-friendly and very, very knowledgeable about the huge options available on the menu. The cocktail menu that is. "What's your favourite spirit sir..?" I was asked, before being presented with a range of options that my palette would enjoy. I don't remember specifically what I had, but it involved smoke and it involved rum and it was bloody nice.
Food-wise, this place knocks your Chicken Cottage and Zizzi's out of the park. Crocodile, meal worm croquettes, Reindeer, Muflon, Zebra... it's all here! With tasty side options to go, and the option to essentially 'cook your own meat' on a black rock grill, you can ensure your meat is done just how you like it.
Our starters were generously portioned and the desserts were perfect.
The atmosphere here is hard to describe. It's cool, but we kind of felt like there should be pole dancers in a corner and the option to play cards - it's kind of dark and intimate and it just conjured up those images for us.
Overall, the service was faultless, the meat was great (although a bit of guidance on how one should actually cook crocodile would have been useful) and the ambience was cool. The smokey cocktails were spot on too, and we immediately went to get a smoker so we can have a dabble around at home too (more on that soon).
Haycock and Tailbar can be found in both Leicester and Northampton. See haycockandtailbar.co.uk for more details.