Facto-fermented Padrón peppers, a crisp tumble and eight types of garlic bread come to town
If there’s one thing the city of Liverpool has got in abundance - apart from kamikaze seagulls who are willing to risk their lives to commandeer your salt ’n’ pepper chips - it's fighting spirit. Proper northern grit that is as relentless as it is awe-inspiring. Liverpool sure gives you a lot to love about it and the next notch on that totem of admiration is how its food and drink scene is coming back from a global health and economic crisis with a burning vengeance. It’s not just Liverpool either - our neighbouring north westerly regions are also sticking two fingers up in the face of adversity and we’re proud as punch to be championing them.
As the hospitality scene begins to kick back into action once more, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, here are some burgeoning newcomers we think you should show some love to...
Where: 15 Caryl Street, L8 5SQ
When: Open now
Aloha needs no introduction as the city’s “only dedicated Tiki bar” and a landmark monument on any respectable night out on the lash in Liverpool. Earlier this year, Aloha closed the doors on its subterranean Colquitt Street venue, only to reappear last month on Caryl Street like some sort of majestic whack-a-mole. The new gaff brings with it everything we have always loved about Aloha and more, including a new cocktail ominously dubbed ‘The Walking Dead’: half Zombie, half Bloody Mary. This time round, the guys have also teamed up with The Baltic Pizza Company to offer a menu of pizzas (vegan slices to boot) and tasty bar morsels such as rustic fries with honey beer mustard sauce and Padrón peppers. Mahalo to Aloha making a comeback! Now where did we leave our leis…
Where: 12 Smithdown Place, L15 9EH
When: Open now
When Neon Jamon announced that it would be closing the doors on its Smithdown Place gaff, the city went into mass mourning. Whilst the grief over the loss of the former tapas joint will never be forgotten, foodies in and around the city are finding it much, much easier to move on with the introduction of its replacement, Berrington’s. A bistro-style restaurant that boasts a signature cooking concept which is already turning heads, fresh fish, grilled meats and charred vegetables are all cooked here over a dry oak wood fire, giving everything that bonfire smokiness that really gets the salivary glands going. Even the desserts have been given a good old smouldering, with grilled rhubarb looking to be a popular dish on the menu. Whole seabream, pork tomahawk and a 35oz salt-aged bone-in cote de boeuf are just a sample of what’s on offer for the carnivores amongst us but there’s plenty for non-meat-eaters too, including blood orange burrata and a chargrilled seitan steak. Read our recent review, here.
Where: 46 Castle Street, L2 7LA
When: Coming soon
Liverpool is like the tip of a Cornetto cone - it always manages to wedge in another little nugget of delight just when you thought there wasn’t possibly room for more. In this case, the miniature cone of solid chocolate at the end of our ice cream goes by the name of BoBo, an Iberian (AKA Spanish and Portuguese) all-day wine bar, tasca and charcuterie designed to bring a more contemporary approach to tapas and small plate snacking to the city. On the site which was formerly Veeno, amidst the hive of hedonistic activity that is Castle Street, BoBo is all about European cafe culture with a modern influence. Catering 'for all walks of life', expect sparkling sangria, plates of food which look like art installations, a list of fine wines as long as your arm, artisan coffee from a local roastery, oh, and something we’re particularly excited about… the Iberico ham and salted crisp tumble. What a time to be dining and drinking in the costa del Liverpool.
What: The Ivy
Where: The old Bank of Liverpool building, Water Street
This one is the tease that just keeps teasing as Liverpool has been promised a slice of The Ivy Collection for quite some time now but it seems the wheels are well and truly in motion. Still no date set in stone for launch but plans have been submitted for Liverpool’s instalment of The Ivy which features a grand central bar with a surrounding dining air bedecked in true Ivy style. No confirmation yet about whether it will sit under the Brasserie, Grill or Cafe arms of the Collection but the pending transformation of the 15,300 sq. ft. former bank building on Water Street remains eagerly anticipated. Watch this space.
Where: 5 City Walls, Chester, CH1 2JG
When: 3rd September 2020
Take a trip about half an hour out of Liverpool (in the right direction) and you’ll find yourself in Chester - home of the Chester walls (funnily enough) and plant-based, sustainable restaurant, Hypha. Hypha is a well-established venue but next month will introduce a brand new venture, Kōji, which will be the North West’s very first fermentation lab and workspace. With certified cicerone and beer boffin, Sam Watson at the helm, Kōji promises an unprecedented experience offering hands-on workshops and fermented produce for sale. We’re talking kombucha, miso and facto-fermented Padrón peppers - just some of the wares available, each designed to push boundaries and expand horizons for the intrepid culinary explorer. Move over, Dora, because we’re ready for an edible adventure.
Where: 74 Bold Street, L1 4HR
When: Coming soon
If, like a lot of us, you’re giving your health and wellbeing a bit of extra TLC at the moment, you’re going to be pleased to hear about Orgânico. Reared by the team behind popular Liverpool restaurants Bakchich and Kasbah, Orgânico is a brand new juice & smoothie bar and health-focused eatery serving breakfast, brunch and a main menu ’til late. The 50-seater venue will be teaming up with local, independent suppliers to fulfil its technicolour selection of buddha bowls, wraps, sandwiches, plant-based desserts, juices and smoothies. The menu here is being curated by Chef Sean Paul Redding - who has cooked for glitterati including none other than Paul McCartney - to drive change through diversifying ingredients and what can be created with them. All we can say is, if it’s good enough for Sir Paul, then it’s good enough for us.
What: Maggie Fu (Hanover Street)
Where: TBA, Hanover Street, L1
When: Coming soon
Maggie Fu needs no introduction. She’s a national treasure; she’s one of Liverpool’s leading ladies but she’s getting a twin sister and there are lots of people who are VERY excited about it, including us. Maggie Fu is a Pan-Asian restaurant serving up authentic Chinese food that already has widespread popularity under its belt. The Smithdown Road venue has been dishing out its divine king prawn pad Thai for many a year now but late-2020 brings with it the launch of Maggie Fu Hanover Street. The new restaurant will sit just on the cusp of Liverpool ONE, spanning two floors and 120 covers, manifesting a flagship venue for the family-run business. So, for those out and about shopping, that signature salt & pepper chicken and irresistible crispy shredded chilli beef will be so close you can taste it and no longer a bus ride away. This is the good (read: epic) news we all needed to hear right now.
What: Zara’s Hub
Where: 42 Childwall Abbey Road, L16 0JN
When: Open now
Heading back out of the city centre to L16 now, we present to you Zara’s Hub - a takeaway and dine-in eatery which takes the place of a recently renovated laundrette. The menu is pretty extensive and covers all those classic takeout cravings: pizzas, gourmet burgers, wraps, kebabs, calzones, halloumi fries and an 8-item list dedicated entirely to garlic bread. Bringing out the big guns now. If the Instagram account is anything to go by, it seems you’ll also be able to order yourself a rather sophisticated cocktail while you’re there too. Not sure we’ve ever had a doner kebab and an Espresso Martini under the same roof but hey, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. If you don’t fancy the trip there or you’re sticking strictly to those social isolation guns, you can order something from Zara’s hub online or via FoodHub and have it delivered straight to your doorstep.