Here's July's round up of credible edibles to check out
JAM DOUGHNUTS, THE WILD LOAF (£2)
You may have sampled Wild Loaf’s delicious sourdough in some of the better restaurants around the Hope St area, including new favourite Oktopus and The Pen Factory.
But y'know, man cannot live on bread alone so cue these babies for a bit the sweet stuff.
They are there for the two-quid taking on the counter of the enticing bakery shop in the courtyard next to The Buyers Club on Hardman Street.
Fat, sticky and unashamedly addictive, you might say they the ultimate jammy bastards.
Feelgood factor: 9/10
The Wild Loaf Bakery, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9AX. 07757 416077.
MENAI STRAIT OYSTERS, PETIT PARLE (THREE FOR £5.40)
These natives from the Menai Strait were as fresh as the morning tide, according to out critic Gerry Corner when he recently raved about Petit Parle, the bijou downtown French place. Properly prepared and served in the shell with salt and lemon wedges, shallot vinegar and a bottle of Tabasco to hand, they were Luscious and full flavoured.
“I’ll be amazed if there are better oysters to be had in Liverpool,” he said. Ooer.
Feelgood factor 10/10
Petit Parle, 44 Fenwick Street, L2 7NB. Tel. 07393 552639.
FISH FINGER BUTTY, THREE PIGGIES ALEHOUSE AND CANTEEN (£10)
Few people can deny the sheer get-in-my-belly delight of a post-pub fish finger butty constructed from the finest ingredients known to Iceland: four or five of Bird’s Eye’s best on white sliced with dollops of squeezy-bottle ketchup. But if a restaurant presents you with those same ingredients? Time to walk.
But it can still be worth the risk. And these breadcrumbed beauties with their tangy tartare dressing, soft floury bun and accompanying chips and minted mushy peas will deliver the comfort food sensation you crave without leaving that “I’ve got all this stuff in the freezer” feeling.
Feelgood factor 7/10
Three Piggies Alehouse and Canteen, 77-79 Allerton Road, L18 2DA. 0151 722 6510.
GOAN VEGETABLE CURRY, LEAF ON BOLD STREET, (£9.25)
The long established Bold Street favourite continues to bustle all hours of the day and night, despite plenty of imitators. A confident kitchen turning out good-for-you food is always going to keep ‘em coming back for more. Take this gently spiced creamy coconut creation packed with aubergine, sweet potato, green peppers and, probably, whatever they’ve got to hand. If the lack of protein is your worry, then they’ll add chicken for another quid.
Yet with a steamed heap of coriander rice and a couple of bits of bread stuff to mop it all up, it won’t weigh you down and will keep you going till dinner/cocktail time. Unless you are a greedy get, that is.
Feelgood factor 7/10.
Leaf on Bold Street, 65-67 Bold St, L1 4EZ. 0151 707 7747.
HATCHOS, DOWN THE HATCH (£7.50)
From veggie old to veggie new and this great colourful dish from Duke Street’s newest restaurant that combines junk and kindness to animals. Loaded with just enough melty cheese, stickily sweet marinaded jack fruit, salsa and jalapenos, these divine triangles are “bubbled like poppadoms and coloured like American tan tights”, according to Damon Fairclough in his review.
He went on: “They are crispy but biteable too – they don’t shatter like a bag of Doritos. And they’re super-fresh, clearly lifted straight from the fryer, and the portion is perfectly sized. In Down the Hatch terminology, this is "big junk" – but not super-sized.”
Feelgood factor 9/10.
Down the Hatch, Basement, 62 Duke Street, Liverpool L1 5AA. 0151 708 0860.
CRAB & SAMPHIRE RISOTTO, THE PEN FACTORY, £6.50 (£3.25 on weeknight offer)
This smooth and silky bowlful is a textbook example of risotto presented to perfection. Here we have meaty crustacea in arborio, golden and garnished with salty samphire to give it a tsunami of ocean flavours. Then there's the parmesan shavings for all that natural umami. Oh aye, we like our Japanese adjectives.
Right now the Pen Factory has a deal on food which is all half price after 8pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This means that last week we were able to sit in that garden, below our office, the one that causes us such angst in the daytime when it appears that the whole world, bar us, is leading the flaneurial life and fill our boots for just £16 when the long day was done.
A very decent bottle of Malbec (£18) helped things along no end meaning that two of us wined and dined like kings - and not at early bird stupid o’clock - for under £35.
Genki factor: 9/10.
The Pen Factory, 13 Hope Street, L1 9BQ. 0151 709 7887.
FLAT IRON STEAK (£10), COWSHED.
Of course all this prowling up and down the Ropewalks doing the right thing is all very well, but if it’s flesh you crave (no not that sort) then check out Cowshed, the newest steak house at the top of town.
The menu is tiny, yet only good things are being murmured about their very reasonably priced, well seasoned steaks.
Our critic Pedro Cotzier had this to say: “The flat iron and a seared ribeye were both intensely smoky on their exterior, but both cooked and rested to a pink perfection.”
He raved about the chips, the buttery carrots and a big bouncy bottle of Malbec (£15) too.
On our way.
Feelgood factor 8/10
Cowshed 104 Seel Street, Liverpool, L1 4BL. 0151 708 7580.
Please note: All scored Confidential reviews are paid for by the company, never the venue or a PR outfit. Critics dine unannounced and their opinions are completely independent of any commercial relationships.