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Restaurant review - Nova Restaurant, Heswall, Wirral

PUBLISHED: 00:00 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 10:29 27 May 2016

Lamb sweetbreads, broad beans, quinoa, wild garlic flowers

Lamb sweetbreads, broad beans, quinoa, wild garlic flowers

not Archant

This Heswall restaurant creates stunning food for a surprisingly low price, writes Rebekka O’Grady

Nova Restaurant, 68 Pensby Road, Heswall, WirralNova Restaurant, 68 Pensby Road, Heswall, Wirral

Nova is a destination restaurant in Heswall’s dining scene. Its innovative food has been attracting diners from around the Wirral and wider Cheshire area since it opened five years ago. Owned by chef Moyo Benson and his wife, Jana, the classy neighbourhood restaurant is tucked away on Pensby Road, nestled between shops and small businesses.

I decided to visit with my companion for Sunday lunch, which was two courses for £15 or three for £20. After our complimentary homemade bread and vegetarian haggis canapes, I opted for a starter of cecina, blackberry, ricotta and rocket.

The cecina, which is Spanish for cured meat, was flavorsome and the slight saltiness complimented the tartness of the berries and creamy cheese. My companion had chosen the day’s special: salmon with goats’ cheese, beetroot and radish. I was impressed by the presentation of the dish, it was almost too pretty to tuck into.

Crab salad, avocado, cucumber, smoked mackerelCrab salad, avocado, cucumber, smoked mackerel

For mains, we both had the roast rack of lamb - the perfect dish for a Sunday afternoon. Four tender chops were served with an array of seasonal vegetables, a separate bowl of crispy-yet-fluffy roast potatoes and a hearty sized Yorkshire pudding.

The vegetables alone were delicious, and coming from a committed meat-eater, I could happily go vegetarian if Moyo cooked for me every day. However, if that was the case, I would also be missing out on the beautifully cooked lamb which was succulent and pink, drizzled with a rosemary jus. The whole dish was sensational. I don’t think a crumb was left on either plate.

Moyo’s past experience and training shines through his food. Classically trained by the renowned chef Piere Koffman at the three Michelin star La Tante Claire in London, he then continued his career working for Leith’s Catering - catering for up to 1,000 guests at Stirling Castle. He also gained two Rosettes from scratch at two hotels before going on to achieve his dream of opening his own restaurant.

If the first two courses were to go by, I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to see what dessert had in store. Anything that says ‘chocolate’ and ‘honeycomb’ on a menu grabs my attention, so I knew that the chocolate ganache, ice cream and honeycomb dessert was the one for me.

This was another beautifully presented dish: the unusual rosemary ice cream added a savoury element to the rich yet light ganache. Chunks of delectable honeycomb with chopped strawberries and a zesty lime gel completed this perfect course.

It’s quite staggering how modestly priced Moyo and Jana’s dishes are. This is high quality food. A two course and one three course meal plus two glasses of wine and coffee with petit fours came to a total of £52. Taking into account the friendly and attentive service, it’s a recipe for continued success. I’ll certainly be back.

Nova Restaurant, 68 Pensby Road, Heswall, Wirral, CH60 7RE

Tel: 0151 342 9959, www.novarestaurant.co.uk

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