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Feb 29, 2012 12:22 AM

Any ideas for Liverpool?

Has anybody got any good foodie ideas for Liverpool? Anything from a good sandwich up to fine dining.

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  1. Panoramic is good for food and stunning for the view.

    60 Hope Street is lousy if you want a quiet chat with the love of your life but we rated the food quite highly.

    Spire was disappointing and not worth the best part of an hour driving there.

    London Carriage Works was OK but not somewhere I'd be in a rush to return to (visit was 2/09)

    No idea of more casual places - it's not the worth the schlep for casual.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters

      Delifonseca, Stanley Street. It's a deli/cafe/restaurant probably the tastiest food in the city. It's near to Moorfields train station. They have a larger place near Brunswick dark that is more formal.

      Italian Club, Bold Street. Casual Italian home style cooking, tasty authentic relaxed and good value.

      Leaf, bold street (the sign is a big L). Bar/Tea Room/Music Venue. Food is not amazing but they have a massive selection of loose leaf tea, and probably the best atmosphere of an venue in the city. I'd say this is a must. It's always busy, so try and go at a quieter time if you want to find a seat without a wait.

      Riverhill Restaurant, Talbot Road, Oxton, Wirral. Restaurant. This is a trip over the water to the wirral, it's just been taken over by Claire Lara, 2010 pro Masterchef Winner (this is a bit of a secret until they relaunch later next month) The best food I've eaten in a long time, and not even expensive. Not open for lunch except Sunday.

      I'd just like to say, by all means go to Panoramic for drinks and the amazing views, but the food has been awful the last couple of times. It's badly run and managed, and very overpriced.

    2. That's a very wide range of places you're looking at ... can you be more specific, otherwise I will be here all day making reccomendations? Also, have you searched on here, as there is quite a long thread about Liverpool places which will be worth looking at.

      Places worth going to include:

      Formal fine Dining:
      Ziba - not been for ages, but was always reliable and in a lovely dining room;
      London Carriage Works - I've not had a bad meal there, but it did get some inconsistent reviews for a while;
      60 Hope Street - they also have a less formal "bistro" downstairs which will probably have better accoustics than those experienced by Harters upstairs

      Less formal fine dining/bistro-type places:
      The Side Door - lovely room, good food and good value
      Puschka - one of my favourites, lovely room and people and good food

      Other British/European places
      San Carlo - mini Italian chain in the North, and a favourite with footballers, but does very good food.
      Italian Club - lunch and early evening only. Tavola Calda place with the feel of a cafe in Milan.
      Italian Club Fish - good fish dishes, a few meat and veggie ones. Good atmosphere. Both of these are run by the Crolla Italian-Scots family behind Valvona and Crolla in Edinburgh.
      Delifonseca - as someone else has recommended above, although I disagree that the Brunswick Dock branch is any more formal - it's just a cafe/bistro attached to the shop and is very informal.

      If you want to know more about other places and types of cuisine let us know, as there are plenty more, but this feels a bit like a scatter-gun approach ...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Theresa

        Blimey, some controversial stuff here, though at least the consensus is that Panoramic is for posers not foodies.

        Ditto San Carlo for me - all orange nation and pretension in my book - bizarrely the best Italian food I have had in a while was at Il Forno which is a bit of a soulless place, room wise, but food was solid and puddings very good if done by the in house pastry chef.

        Please dont go to Ziba - it started off mediocre and has gone alarmingly downhill from there.

        Delifonseca - agree its great - Dockside is not more formal room wise but the food seems a bit fancier - I much prefer the Stanley Street branch - it is a cosier environment ( if booking ask for a booth ) and they have the mutton curry on more often than at dockside.

        Of the formal gaffs 60 Hope still gets my vote as its in a lovely building and the room is nice, if noisy. Much prefer it to the Carriage works which is 'suits' heaven, only slightly less orange than San Carlo.

        I also like Etsu, an unpretentious Japanese place which is great value at lunch.

        1. re: willowan

          That's sad about Ziba. Since it moved from it's original location it has had ups and downs (I loved it when it was on Berry St), but I didn't know it had gone so downhill - I have had a couple of good meals in the Racquet Club location, but I haven't been there for a while - maybe I should be careful about out of date recs.

          I've had really mixed experiences at Il Forno. (Same family as the Italian Clubs by the way). I've had one or two lovely meals and one or two stinkers. And yes, it is very corporate in the way they have designed it.

          I don't eat out as much as I used to at the moment, but one of my favourites in town is Salthouse Tapas.

          1. re: willowan

            "though at least the consensus is that Panoramic is for posers not foodies."

            Although I'd be one foody who would heartily disagree with your statement.

            Yes, we had a couple of quibbles about our meal but, without hesitation, I'd regard it as one of the better places in the northwest. Wish it was just down the road in Manchester - although if it was the view wouldnt be as stunning.

        2. North West Caterer reports that the Carluccio chain is to open in the Met Quarter later this month.

          Yes, it's a chain, so dedicated Chowhounds will scoff at the very idea of eating there. I'm not a Chowhound of any sort and am happy to say it's pretty decent food there. It'll be well worth a punt.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Harters

            That's interesting - I hope it's replacing the Cafe Rouge. I'd say it's quite a risky site though, as the Met Quarter has been getting quieter and quieter since the monster that is Liverpool One sucked all the shoppers away to the other end of Paradise St.

            I'm really glad - if nothing else other than because I'll be down there buying their gorgeous bread for our freezer.

          2. Hi there,
            Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Highlights of our trip were lunya, a Catalonian tapas and deli just off Hanover st, decent wine and quality ingredients. Leaf was fine to collapse into a sofa and enjoy a pot of tea and a piece of cake. Went to Panoramic for lunch and the view really is superb, set lunch was about £25 and the cooking was a bit amateurish and clumsy, not awful, just wouldn't reccomend paying dinner prices. Delifonseca was lively for a late breakfast, cool, good ingredients and very chilled out. Thanks again guys

            9 Replies
            1. re: danrushton

              My partner was in the city today and had the £25 lunch at Panoramic. Thought it was good food and very good value.

              Although it's only a few miles away, Liverpool isnt a city we really know at all, except for the major tourist sites around the Albert Dock and the Pier Head. She's suggested we get the train over and spend a couple of nights - effectively a 3 day visit. Side Door will be on the list for one dinner. And I like the write-up in the Good Food Guidefor Lunya in Liverpool 1 (although that might be more a lunch spot?)

              1. re: Harters

                Re Lunya - have been for lunch and for an evening. Preferred it for lunch, and it was better if ordered more adventurously ( if razor clams, etc count as adventurous ) than if played it safe ( in which case it was bog standard tapas.) Atmosphere was more tolerable during the day.

                Re Side door - chef ( Sean Millar ) has now uprooted to Pruno in Woolton village -


                Not been as yet, but a mate is a co owner so shouldn't really comment anyhow. Bit of a schlep from town but may be worth a look. Let me know if you go if its any cop.

                Just thought you should be aware, though. Would be interested to hear back as to how you get on at Side Door if you go as to be honest I stopped eating there when they moved to a 'two sittings' approach which I just find immensely irritating. I also thought the food went off just when they started appearing in the guides. That may in part be inverted snobbery on my part, but friends and colleagues had a similar view - it went from being inventive and genuinely great value to being pedestrian and business like. One example - from lovely bread to dull cheap bog standard bread - a small but significant sign in my book

                Have heard decent reports about Puschka recently, though never been a huge fan myself.

                As posted previously I like Etsu ( Japanese place near Cunard buildings ) - they seem to be reducing their opening hours ( open fewer lunchtimes ) and deserve some support. Had dinner there last Wednesday and it was excellent.

                Please do report back on your trip,

                1. re: willowan

                  Thanks for the heads-up on the Side Door. When we started eating our way through the Good Food Guide entries (within a 60 minute drive time of North Cheshire), we had it on our list. But we got to a point where we just didnt want the schlep unless it was a high scorer in the Guide and it slid off the list. Sample dinner menu they have on the website looks just my sort of food

                  1. re: willowan

                    Etsu just got a stonking review from Chris Pople. Going to try to nip over for dinner soonish.


                  2. re: Harters

                    Actually, I think Salt House Tapas is much better than Lunya - very good cooking and imaginative dishes. Lunya may have improved since we went there in its relatively early days, but, while I loved some dishes, others were poor (including the razor clams).

                    They are both quite different, so it might be an idea to do a comparison if you have the time. My only reservation about Salt House Tapas is that on busy nights the noise is unbearable - there is background music, which isn't very loud, but people's voices literally bounce off the walls. From what Willowan says, it sounds like Lunya may have a similar acoustic problem - so it may be an idea to visit Liverpool midweek - say Wednesday to Friday, as weekends are very hectic.

                    If the chef has changed at The Side Door, I would love to know what it's like now. It's not much to go by, but at the Hope St festival last weekend, I had really good roast beef roll with horseradish mayo and the hake and chips was great - perfectly cooked.

                    And yes, Puschka is very good, but it's been some years since I've been.

                    One place I've never eaten at, but keep meaning to, is the cafe at the Anglican Cathedral. It has had good reports for years, and the stuff on their stall at the Hope St Festival looked very good indeed. It is in the perfect location for a lunch stop if you are doing the tourist trail.

                    1. re: Theresa

                      Interesting on the tapas front, as I went to Salt House and was disappointed - perfectly okay, but nothing amazing. This was last year so would be interesting to go back and see if it has improved since that experience.

                      I'm pleasantly surprised to hear Puschka is still open. I went there for what I remember being a good meal getting on for 10 years ago now. However, back then I was a poor student, so it would be good to re-visit and see if it is still as good now that I'm a bit older (and hopefully more discerning ;-)

                      1. re: Sharmila

                        That's strange, because I went a few times from when it opened (2or 3 years ago?) until just under a year ago, and it was always really good. the only complaint I had was that their side salads, while very good, were really expensive for the quantity you got. Maybe it was a bad night - but they had seemed so consistent.

                        1. re: Theresa

                          Okay, so it looks like we are agreed !
                          Harters you must visit midweek, referee on the War of the Tapas places ( personally I think Salt House is waaaay too noisy to eat but nice for an after work drink ), check out Side Door and maybe visit Puschka too ;-)

                          Anyone been anywhere new though ?

                          1. re: willowan

                            Now I just thought you Scousers liked the noise :-)

                            I think the worst I've experienced anywhere was at 60 Hope Street (although Albert's in South Manchester runs a close second)

                2. I ask, with some trepidation, what the restaurant at the Malmaison is like. The one in Manchester isnt too shabby and I have my fingers crossed that there's a reasonable group quality standard.

                  Reason for asking is my partner's trawl of the web has thrown up a bargain one night dinner, bed & brekkie deal , which is now booked.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Harters

                    I've only been once, and it was ages ago - when they had just opened. I can't remember much, except that I came away thinking that it was one of those places which thought that they were better than they were. It wasn't bad, just a bit disappointing, and I put it down to teething problems in a new kitchen. It may well have improved, and they had great cocktails ...

                    1. re: Theresa

                      Thanks. I'll not raise Mrs H's expectations, then. :-0

                      1. re: Harters

                        I know you don't drink, but if you make sure she gets a couple of stiff cocktails down her neck before the meal, she may not care ;o)

                          1. re: Harters

                            This is just a bit off topic, but I've been searching the boards for info on Belgium, including Ostend, Bruges and Diksmuide. I saw that the only mention of Diksmuide was in a post you made a couple of years ago. I'm going to post on the Europe board in a minute, so if you've got any recommendations for places to eat, please do visit that board. I'm raising it here, as I'm (maybe wrongly) assuming it's a board you don't check on a regular basis.