From a Bootle jerk to Masterchef scouse, here's what's we've been tasting for YOU
Jerk Chicken (£6) - Absolute Jerk
Caribbean cafes a-plenty in Smithdown, Lodge Lane and beyond, but in the north of the city the word jerk has traditionally held rather different connotations - until now.
Absolute Jerk opened in Bootle last month, a modest and bright corner cafe with a menu to match. But the twist is in the jerk - that fiery gravy which here, made by chef Gary to a strict Jamaican recipe enlivens everything it touches including an impressive scouse every Wednesday.
*3-4 Parrs Corner, Marsh Lane, Bootle L20 5AD.
Persian Fish Taco (£7.50) - The Pen Factory
Two days are never the same at the Pen and chef Tom Gill is a dab hand at turning out inventive dishes. Here there's eastern promise a-plenty as this grilled fish dish is dressed up with sweet potatoes, hummus, yoghurt, sumac and pomegranate
Sumac is a tangy, lemony spice often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking. Try using it in salads instead of lemon juice or to season grilled meat and fish.
*13 Hope Street, L1 9BQ.
Malmo eggs with smoked bacon, chive and sausage (£7) - Malmo:Mat
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Whether it’s poached, fried or scrambled here at the Scandi-inspired Malmo:Mat Kaffe you’re in for a rather refreshing take on breakfast - any time of day.
Beans mean anything but Heinz, homemade herb and tomato beans which are full of punch. Just the thing to go with meaty, artful slices of sausage and crispy rashers of smoky bacon. Make a posh butty with the “artisan” bread.
*65-67 Hanover St, L1 3DY.
Godfather Pizza (£15 - whole 16in - or £3 a slice) - Crazy Pedro's
That bit where Marlon Brando is playing with the grandkids and suddenly he grips his chest and falls headlong into the flowerbed, done for after a lifetime of pizza. Well that.
Revenge might be a dish best served cold but here it's bubbling away in Crazy Pedro’s March special - The Godfather Part 1.Inspired by good and hearty Italian cuisine, The Godfather Part 1 combines spicy meatballs, tomato ragu, parmesan shavings, rocket and garlic oil. What could possibly go wrong?
*25 Parr Street, L1 4LN.
Mushroom Arancini (£5.50) - Monkey Grinder
If you are going to try one thing down "The Lane" make it a plate of these delectable morsels. Crack the crunch and reveal lovey mushroom risotto and creamy cheese. Precisely the partner for that bottle of vino collapso you couldn't keep your hands off.
*28 Lark Lane, Liverpool L17 8US.
Chicken and Stornoway black pudding terrine with shallot and Black Lodge beer chutney (£7), Oktopus
Tucked down the side of a hidden courtyard at the top of the city centre it's easy to forget Oktopus is there, but to do would be a mistake. This lovely little restaurant continually comes up with new ideas and this one is a winner on the eye as well as the mouth.
Read more: Restaurant review: Oktopus
*Hardman's Yard, 24 Hardman Street, L1 9BX.
Wild Mushroom Rarebit (£5.50) - Dia + Noche
Here's another cracking way with mushrooms, this time from the nearly new venue last known as Mister Miyagi's. A fat handful of fungi is mixed into a a smoked applewood cheese sauce made with stout and mustard and lashed onto good, thick sourdough. A promising start and deffo worth stopping for if you're peckish and passing that way.
*77 Bold Street, L1 4EZ.
Scouse (one of five courses in a £55 set menu) - Röski
"Anton Piotrowski's take on scouse," writes critic Gerry Corner, "is taken apart and reassembled like never before. A shallow round tower whose roof is a tile of crisped fermented turnip sprinkled with parsley dust, covering a layer of smoked vegetables, and then the real alchemy, involving locally bred beef brisket, which ages for a hundred days and takes a long hot bath before being chopped up and mixed up with Norwegian spices and caramelised onion and served with a heavy beef knuckle marrow gravy. Sound good? Of course it bloody is."
Or in other words, just like your ma never used to make.
*16 Rodney Street, L1 2TE.