[Liverpool, city centre] Spice Lounge
We’d popped over to the city to see the Glam Rock exhibition at the Tate and decided on a quick lunch at the Albert Dock, rather than somewhere further afield. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that lunch at the Albert Dock is going to be be shite. I know that’s what you’re thinking, cos that’s what I was thinking. Wrong! This turned out to be pretty decent.
They have four set menus available at lunchtimes. They all include pappadums, starter, main course, rice or naan and coffee at prices around the £8 - £10 mark.
Pappadums were straightforward affairs, as was the accompanying mango chutney and mint raita. However, the lime pickle was, I reckon, the best I’ve ever tasted – zingy from the lime, which included big chunks of softened flesh, there was also something else in there giving texture. Okra, maybe?
Peshwari kebab was a couple of chunks of tasty lamb, marinated in yoghurt and cumin and which the chef had managed not to overcook. I followed this with a rather disappointing mono-dimensional murgh makhani.
Between the two of us, I am the one “who knows a lot about food”. However, that does not mean I get the better of the ordering. Oh no. Quite often, it is my companion in life who makes the better pick. As today. And, as often the case with south asian restaurants, it’s the vegetarian dishes that make their mark. Rajma Galloti was a falafel like patty, of red kidney beans, ginger and chilli. Nicely fried and sprinkled with coriander, this was a good start. It was followed by an even better dish – gobi gulcha – a fairly dry dish of cauliflower, tomato, coriander, ginger and a goodly hit from chilli. I managed to scrounge a forkful and thought it was damn good.
We shared decent rice and a couple of breads that, although they were described as naan, were actually tandoori roti (and cooked to a good crispness round the edges).
Now, I’d be the first to accept that this is not top flight cooking and I’m sure locals will know of better places. But it is pretty good and worth a try if you’re on the waterfront for lunch.
(PS: Glam Rock exhibition was well worth the trip)
I've only been there once, and wasn't impressed - but that was some years ago now, so maybe I should give it another chance. My experience of the food was more like your main course than your companion's! We now have a branch of East z East in the Albert Dock, and that is a step up from the average British curry house - how does the Spice lounge compare to that (I think you've said that you've eaten at the Manchester one in the past)?
Thanks for the review though - we'll give it a go next time we're down there..