Take your pick from our list of credible edibles, tried - and compiled by - our independent critics


All the best restaurants have a signature dish and these beauties, from the newly opened Oktopus, could well make Hardman Yard venue a go-go-go. 

These moreish molluscs prompted our recent reviewer Pedro to wonder if there were any a “more perfect beer snack out there”.  

"Meaty, sweet, salty and encased in a light crumb-batter, they are served with red chilli and garlic to give something so mouthwatering, it should convert even the most shellfish-shy diner".

Feelgood factor 10/10

Oktopus Restaurant, Hardman Yard, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9AX.  07565 299879. 


Burgers, schmurgers… they had their big, sloppy, messy moment about five years ago but, a bit like the Kazimier Garden itself, you can’t keep a good thing buried for long. 

Introduce this meaty, beaty treat to some dry-as-a-bone, homemade skin on fries (£2.80) and wash it all down with a bottle of Wildwood Shiraz (£14). That’s a very passable dinner a deux for under £35 in one of the finest locations in town.

Feelgood factor 8/10.

Kazimier Garden, Seel Street, L1 4BE.


Many home cooks draw the line at aubergines, but prepared right they are crisp, they are lush and over the coals of a barbecue you’ll be coming back for more. 

Karinyarik is a rustic Turkish staple, showcasing the best of the Med. Half an aubergine, chargrilled and velvety, is stuffed with a rich minced lamb and tomato “ragu”. This version was delicious and well balanced. 

Feelgood factor 8/10

Eton Place, 57 South Road, Waterloo, L22 5PE. 0151 928 8282. Also in Woolton Road, L16.

 (main course on the fixe price summer menu, £19.95 for two courses, £24.95 for three)

The skin is seared crisp, the flesh is moist and moreish, the trout leaps from the plate on a layer of Anya potatoes. The waxy potato slices, in turn, nestle in a generous portion of pea and broadbean puree, a vivid, verdant setting appropriate to the season. A decadent splash of truffle oil adds a fragrant finish.

Feelgood factor 8/10

Malmaison Brasserie, William Jessop Way, L3 1QZ. Tel: 0151 363 3640.


It’s worth a trip up to Kensington to sample one of the city’s very few Ceylon/Keralan restaurants, in a bright, modern space, with a couple of nods to the old country/countries.

Lovers of non-meat food with a kick will be rewarded by the Dhal Curry, a thick, spicy yet delicate Sri Lankan effort. Mop it up with some leavened homemade parotta (£1.95) and then some more because at these prices (£3.95) it’s the dining bargain of the day.

Feelgood factor 7/10

Akshaya, 290A Kensington, Liverpool L7 2RN. Tel. 0151 261 0001.


We’ve featured ridiculously big breakfasts before and grown tired of them because, with some things, size isn't everything. 

This effort from HUS is a contender for the best full English in Liverpool. There is enough goodness on this plate, local this, local that, free range eggs and buttery sourdough, to set you up for the day and keep you loyal forever. The bangers are bang on, the beans are homebaked, the thick hash brown potatoes layered with love in the kitchen.

Feelgood factor 10/10

HUS, The Tempest Building, 66 Titherbarn Street, L12 2TD. 0151 958 1260


Dave Scott and Paddy Byrne’s inventive salads were one of the defining aspects of their Everyman  Bistro and so successful were they that the duo even wrote a cookbook about them.  

The Pen Factory keeps the faith, but now they are available by the box for a lunchtime takeout. 

Choose three (£4) or more (4.95) from a bright, colourful display at the bar which changes day to day. They include soy noodles, Chinese slaw and roasted Mediterranean veg, as well as classics such as Waldorf. Get some protein and EPA by adding some smoked mackerel for a couple of quid more. There really aren’t many takeaway lunch opportunities up that way and this will have you doing wheelies in your office chair.

Feelgood Factor 8/10.

Pen Factory, 13 Hope Street, L1 9BQ. 0151 709 7887


Talking of quick takeaway lunches, if you are passing and peckish and the Liverpool summer rain is sending chills down your spine, here’s a cure-all from this long established sandwich bar. 

You can stand a spoon up in Dory’s thick chicken broth, home made by the gaffer every day. And it is like no other we have ever tasted - in a good way.  Who knows what he throws into it, don't ask. If it doesn't save your soul at least you'll be warmly satisfied until teatime.

Feelgood factor 8/10

Dory’s, 2 Hardman St, Liverpool L1 9AX, 0151 709 9933


If you let the idea of this - described as a standout dish by our critic Gerry - put you off, you are a wuss. A tender and tasty porky filling is encased in the crispest crumb. A neat, homemade crunchy piccalilli on the side helps things along, as does a generous drop of punchy New Zealand pinot noir (£6.50, 250ml).

Feelgood factor 8/10

The Workshop,  47 Crosby Road North, L22 4QB.  Tel. 0151 329 2797. 

20170605 Beef Rendang Host


PAN Asian favourite HOST has largely moved over to the small plates model, which is a shame as the hidden depths to be found in a big bowl of its excellent Thai green curry (RIP) never lost punter pulling power.  Yeah well, it is what it is.

On our last visit, the beef rendang was left to provide practically all the cheer on HOST’s extensive “sharing” menu - and it did so in style.

This lovely Indonesian stew had lost none of its charm, here braised in coconut milk with a host of spices and aromatics including ginger and lemongass. But it’s not exactly massive so not only will you not want to share but you might want to double up and order two. Is that gauche?

Feelgood factor 7/10

HOST 31 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9HX. 0151 708 5831

*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.

Karniyarik Eton Place