Afternoon trees, duck donuts and windy bhajis
Lucky Liverpool. It’s been a busy few weeks for eating, meeting and greeting as we seem to have been hit by a giant wave of places that have just opened or about to open (read more here.) That means we’ve had to send our writing team far and wide to keep up with all that’s going on in the land of food and drink, to bring back news on the best dishes in town.
Here’s what they recommend you eat this month.
Afternoon Tree - The Brunch Club (sharers from £19 - £25)
Don’t be fooled by the name - as well as dishing up brilliant brekkies right up until 4pm, The Brunch Club has just launched a deli lover’s delight to keep the evenings in full flow.
The Duke Street bar - from the team behind Ghetto Golf and Birdies - had a major makeover in April, branching out with a woodlands-inspired interior and the launch of a brand new ‘Afternoon Tree’ menu. Co-owner Richard Rothwell says he wanted to create a memorable atmosphere for guests to enjoy, no matter what time of the day, and reckons that the tree idea came from a studio film set in America.
The culinary concept is proving a hit in our neck of the woods, but if finger sandwiches and cakes aren’t your thing, you can order a savoury version featuring a selection of cold meats, cheese, olives, bread, crackers and other nibbles. Pull up a chair in the sun and enjoy with a Brunch Club Spritz or a Gin Tree (yep, that’s a thing here too.) A tree-mendous summertime treat. Vicky Andrews
Brunch Club, 37-41 Duke St, Liverpool, L1 5AP
Peking Duck Doughnut - Yudonut at Aether (£6.50)
I’ve never met a doughnut I didn’t like, and the Chinese savoury doughnuts now being served in one of Liverpool’s swankiest cocktail lounges are no exception. Those little buns are much more substantial than you’d expect, a much sturdier counterpart than a traditional bao, and hold the fillings in a slightly sweet brioche-like fort. The duck doughnut comes with sweet and sticky hoisin and all the traditional toppings of fresh spring onion and cucumber. A side of crunchy Asian slaw with sesame turns this from one good mouthful to one very good plate of food. If duck isn’t your thing then try the hot and spicy beef edition, or the meat-free char siu seitan. Rebecca Fry
Aether, Liverpool One, 8 Kenyons Steps, Liverpool L1 3DF
Paneer Kadai with Onion, Broccoli & Kale Bhajis - Bundobust (£6.50 & £4.50)
I know I’m being greedy by technically choosing two dishes as my plate of the month, but we are currently living in the small plate revolution and this duo is worth breaking the rules for. First, we have Paneer Kadai - a soft Indian cheese steeped in a robust curry sauce brought to life with cinnamon, fenugreek, red pepper and tomato. It comes served with some warm ’n’ fluffy bhatura bread for scooping the traditional way and is a sterling example of authentic Indian street food. The non-melting cheese stands strong in its jacuzzi of spices and packs a real punch of flavour for a non-meat-based protein.
I just highly recommend anyone visiting Bold Street’s new kid on the block to pair their paneer with some veggie bhajis. You might just want to inform the Met Office beforehand because there could be some serious gusty winds occurring soon after…
Hearty chunks of white onion, broccoli and kale are smashed together in an unapologetically rustic cluster of fennel, chilli and crispy batter to create unadulterated bhaji heaven. I dunked mine into my curry (along with the tamarind and red pepper chutney they come with) and good grief, what a combination. That’s one way to boost your five-a-day, hey! Stephanie Whalley
Bundobust, First Floor, 17-19 Bold Street, L1 4DN
lovely little starter making an appearance this week - crispy guinea fowl terrine, apricot, caper and shallot dressing 💅 pic.twitter.com/8V8FAKRnwg
— WRECKFISH (@WreckfishBistro) June 19, 2019
Crispy Guinea Fowl - Wreckfish Bistro (£9)
I’m not really one for game and the word guinea fowl just makes me think of that painfully awkward scene in Notting Hill, so I don’t know what compelled me to order a crispy portion of it as a starter. But as one part of the Elite Bistro group, you know you’re on to a winner with whatever you order at Wreckfish, so this Sunday lunch I decided to go crazy and order something different – and my god I’m glad I did. Have you ever tried a grilled apricot? Neither had I until it arrived as an accompaniment to a crispy, tender slab of guinea fowl in a pool of shallot and caper dressing. And now I can’t stop thinking about them. The guinea fowl was excellent (the best I’ve ever tried) but to be honest, I’d order it again solely for the fruit. Does that make me a game bird? Megan Walsh
Wreckfish Bistro, Slater Street, Liverpool, L1 4BS