Salt House Tapas, Liverpool
This a recent opening, and it's great. It's in the old Church House Building on the corner of Hanover St and Paradise St - so on the edge of Liverpool One.
The menu isn't huge, which is probably a good thing, but has some quite unusual dishes on it, along with charcuterie and some of the classics. There were six of us, so we were able to give the menu a good going over. There wasn't a single disappointing dish, and all were very well executed. Dishes worth a special mention include:
scallops, peas and crispy Serrano ham;
deep fried goats cheese with honey and thyme;
roasted butternut squash, goats curd, rocket and spiced almond crumbs;
lamb cutlets with mint salsa;
pork belly woth quince, butter beans and spinach;
morcilla with apples, sage and cider
Salads are interesting (and delicious), but we felt the portions could do with being bigger for the price - the only thing we thought was a bit of a rip off.
We also had some of the more bog-standards dishes, like tortilla and meatballs, and they were fab too.
It's not cheap by Liverpool standards - we ended up paying about £37 a head including tip - but that did include quite a bit of wine, so without wine it would probably have been £25 or less.
The restaurant is on two levels - with a mezzanine looking over the main room and bar. As it was also lacking in soft furnishings, I thought it was going to be an accoustic nightmare - with the trend for stripped back dinings rooms, with tiled or wooden floors, no curtains and hard chairs, I have got tired of having to shout at the person I'm eating with because other people's voices are bouncing off the walls. But it wasn't a problem there - it was buzzy without being too loud.
Service was really friendly and competant (although the woman who showed us to our table, and who I think was front of house for the evening, could have done with taking the rod out of her backside ...).
Definitely worth a try.
Finally made it here for a pre-theatre quick fix. I thought it was great, and already looking forward to returning and giving the menu a proper work out.
The building and the room are lovely. Busy without being deafening. I am kicking myself for not buying one of the empty industrial sized olive tins they use for flowers at the bargain price of £2 (presumably people had been nicking them!)
(a huge, moist) tortilla
Pan con tomate
(buttery, generous) hand carved Iberico
Sauteed baby chorizo with honey (the combo of sweet and fiery was a mouthfest)
Fish finger sliders (not exactly traditional tapas fare but a fine invention nevertheless)
Confit duck with kale and sweet potato and fried egg (they didn't have a lot left so we were very kindly comped this)
Servings are all big. The menu reads interestingly. The old faves are all there but I've also got my eye on Stornoway black pudding with potato and capers, earl grey crema catalana, cured sardines et al.
Service was ace. We said we needed to be out in 45 mins so they rushed our order through, which was most appreciated.