Rebecca Fry finds out if the move from Pan Asian to Pizza was a good one
When I first heard that Miyagi on Allerton Road would be closing, I was completely gutted to be honest. The sleek and intimate Pan-Asian restaurant was home to some of my all-time favourite dishes including a crispy chilli beef taco made with a nori seaweed shell, as well as an interactive campfire pud that involved toasting your own cookies and marshmallows over a mini DIY fire pit.
white pizza with crisp slices of new potatoes and rosemary was everything you’d expect for double carb situation
‘Mr M’ was a much loved institution, but in April this year the owners announced that they’d be pursuing a new concept in the form of Little White Lies - I’m guessing that just meant they fancied a change.
When it comes to ‘concepts’ I tend to take some convincing, but with the same owners as my beloved Miyagi at the helm I was open to the idea their new place on one of South Liverpool’s busiest roads would be in good hands.
The entrance to Little White Lies is pretty unmissable, since the dark blue façade of Miyagi has been completely eradicated by a wall of white and a huge neon triangle framing the door. Like the front, the insides have been completely stripped back, the whole place now much whiter, brighter and fresher than its previous, more moody tenant. Whilst subtle touches of palm tree lounge chairs and hanging foliage give a nod to a Californian theme, there’s is still a familiar touch of Miyagi about the place in the gold accents, the stunning copper bar and the blue velvet bar stools.
A decent and inventive cocktail list is there too alongside a healthy range of spritzers and classic Italian drinks. We tried a mi amore (£6.50) and a basil grande (£7.50), both very pink, pretty-looking things but packing a welcome and refreshing punch of booze that I wasn’t quite expecting on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.
Any similarities end with the food as the inventive Asian plates have now made way for a small and select menu of Italian themed nibbles, pizza and pasta. We kept our cocktails company with a tricolour dip platter (£4.95) consisting of warm focaccia, breadsticks and a trio of dips emulating the colours of the Italian flag. Our favourite of the three was a fresh and vibrant spinach pesto, our least favourite, a tomato and olive caponata that was far too chunky for dunking purposes but a little more accessible with a fork.
Pizzas come in two sizes and on two different bases. We shrewdly went for the smaller of the two so we could order more of them and would advise you do the same. The tartufo (£5) - a white pizza with crisp slices of new potatoes and rosemary was everything you’d expect for double carb situation, utterly rich and indulgent, the creamy cheese making up for the otherwise lack of sauciness on the base. The marinara (£6), a tomato-based pizza with meatballs and generous shavings of parmesan, was equally as rich and was dripping in oil but had a hint of freshness from a couple of fresh tomatoes and a sprout of basil on the top.
In a last-ditch bid for something a little lighter we also tried some homemade lemon and basil pasta (£6.95). The tagliatelle was satisfyingly thick and stodgy and again came swimming in its own pool of butter. A hint of lemon and a tangle of fresh herbs just about cut through all the richness but it was an undeniably heavy meal punctuated with some fabulous drinks that took the edge off.
Little White Lies isn’t quite the destination restaurant that Miyagi once was but it’s a beautiful looking bar that I’m sure they’ll have no trouble filling. If you need a place offering something to soak up the booze, then a little pizza might do just the trick. At around £6 a go, it’s got to be one of the cheapest pizzas in the city and they’re more than worth the money- that’s no lie.
Little White Lies, 137-139 Allerton Rd, Liverpool, L18 2DD
Follow Rebecca on Twitter @Eatlvpl
All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, paid for by Confidential and completely independent of any commercial relationship. Venues are rated against the best examples of their type: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: Netflix and chill, 10-11: if you're passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: cooked by God him/herself.
Tricolour dips 6, lemon and basil pasta 6, meatball pizza 8, tartufo pizza 7.5
Scouse hospitality at its best
A rainy lunchtime but a cracking playlist