Tag Archives: lobster

Four Day Tea Tour of Manchester

During the traumatic week that The Cooktwit was left marooned and had to fend for himself with a five day breakfast blitz of Manchester (see here) he also had to endure eating out straight after work for his tea as well. These things are sent to try us, but you’ll be pleased to know I gave it a good go. I deliberately chose either quirky, relatively new, or just plain different from my normal fayre.

If you’re canny Monday night in Manchester can yield a few bargains. I figured the 50% off food deal at Tariff and Dale, hip new pizza joint in the Northern Quarter would be a good start. And indeed it was. £9.60 all in for a rather fine Outstanding Brewery IPA, a rather generous plate of hot Njuda sausage and chilli pizza and a rather fine tublet of slaw. The pizza was a belter, typified by the rather fine ‘leoparding’ around the edge, ensuring the excellent dough base had been ‘caught’ at just the right time. I ate downstairs in the ubiquitous, NQ, industrialised decor. A thoroughly pleasant teatime feast.

Pizza and slaw
Pizza and slaw
More pizza with leoparding.
More pizza with leoparding.

Tuesday, it was over to another new, Northern Quarter outfit. This time Yard and Coop. It’s modus operandi is to ply the locals in buttermilk fried chicken. I’ve become fairly addicted to this stuff via streetfood favourites Mumma Schnitzel, so I was quite looking forward to compare. I had two decent chunks of boneless thigh. It comes with a much darker (and hence different tasting) crumb than Mummas, but it was nonetheless rather good. The chicken beautifully succulent. I had a couple of sides, a bean salad with creme fraiche which was rather good and a spicy slaw which was not. There was no mayo in it, so it was curiously dry, livening up only when a kick of spice became apparent. Had a corking vanilla milkshake with it. All in around £14. Loved the place, anywhere with a cartoon fox on the wall and some chicken coops to sit in has to be good right?

Chicken and milkshake
Chicken and milkshake
More yardage and the comedy fox
More yardage and the comedy fox

Sticking to the Northern Quarter I then nipped into El Capo for some Mexican tapas (via a rather splendid Seven Brothers Pale ale and a mojito at Beef and Pudding!). I can’t really tell you much about the decor. It was so dark down there I had to use my iphone torch to see the menu! That said I enjoyed the food. I had three plates, balls, heart and cheesy fritters. All really good actually. The cows heart with chilli was particularly good. Subtle liver taste and texture. The meatballs were massive. I imagined that size they would be too dry, but they weren’t. The cheesy fritters provided a lovely contrast to the other two spicy dishes. All in with a Shipyard IPA £18.

Heart balls and fritters. It's dark so apologies for the crap pics!
Heart balls and fritters. It’s dark so apologies for the crap pics!

A final touch of indulgence. Nipped into Hawksmoor (review here) for a lobster roll and chips. Slushed down with a Buxton IPA it was my biggest expenditure at £27.50, but Ye gods it was good. I recommend all to do this at least once! A lightly toasted brioche elongated roll (hot dog roll?) came stuffed with luscious chunks of sweet, garlic buttered lobster and a dish of buttery béarnaise sauce. I have waxed lyrically at the triple cooked chips before. Given it was sixish I had the exquisite restaurant to myself, I felt like a Lord! Forty five minutes of pure bliss.

Decadence, a lobbie roll
Decadence, a lobbie roll

The Flame came back Friday so it was back to a comforting salad for tea! Only kidding, we actually treated ourselves to a chippy tea. Rather good though I say so myself. Top week had by all. Spent a few bob but it was worth it. The new boys on the Manchester block delivered. Plenty more to come……..

http://www.tariffanddale.com   http://www.elcaponq.co.uk  www.yardandcoop.com   http://www.thehawksmoor.com

Liberty Tavern – Woolton, Liverpool

“A touch of real Americana in Woolton Rimmer!”

Twinkling exterior
Twinkling exterior

Like ‘Padstein’, it would seem Woolton has fallen under the spell of a celebrity chef. I have waxed with credit regarding my audit of The Elephant Bakehouse (see here) but noticed at the time that there was another emporium lurking round the back. It turns out Liberty Tavern is also linked with brunching, LFC supporter Simon Rimmer.

Interior
Interior

Despite the tight parking, (Sainsbury’s had locked off their bit!) it was a pleasing sight as myself and The Flame ran gleefully towards the twinkling lights that greet the hungry hordes. The arching, eagle logo leaving one in no doubt as to the fayre on offer. This is pure American diner. Not that The Flame noticed! She quickly turned into a rather forlorn soul on realising that pretty much everything on offer was deep fried! She normally goes for the healthier end of a menu leaving The Cooktwit to plunder the dirtier side of things!

The menu
The menu

It’s a smart place though. Deceptively capacious, it’s full to the brim with lavish banquettes and large, rustic tables. After being greeted in the heaving bar area our maître led us through the back via a myriad of offshoot rooms. We were eventually settled on a tidy twosome table high up on a mezzanine at the back. It offered a splendid view of proceedings though being early evening we were a little off the pace compared to some of the more thriving parts of the scheme. That’s not to say it was quiet. A booming PA ensured we were kept up to speed with US diner tunes. A natty Bad Company track had me tapping though.

Our waiter Chris kept us topped up with Founders IPA and tap water before presenting us with the huge menu. It’s a bold document is this. Black on white, the cooktwit peeps had no trouble reading even the small print. Mind you it still takes some reading as there are dishes splashed all over the place coupled with a variety of fonts. Burgers and kids to the right, sharers and starts roughly to the left. As stated earlier, the deep fried element of the offer had seriously impaired The Flame’s enthusiasm. I managed to convince her to go for the lobster and steak as the main event with a couple of tacos sliders to start.

The menu
The menu

The three sliders arrived in good time. One king prawn, one fried chicken and one chilli. In fairness they were very good (£8.50). All featured a pickled bit for tang. The winner though was the chilli. Assuming this was a sample of the Texas chilli that you can have as a main, I can heartily recommend for next time.

The sliders and cheesecake
The sliders and cheesecake

Then Chris asked us to make room on our ample table. We dutifully pushed aside the ecutriments that we had slowly built up during our short time of pleasant chat. Then it arrived. A giant metal pan swallowed our top. It contained an impressive list of ingredients, to wit, 1 x one and half pound lobster, halved, with claws removed, 1 x 10oz New York strip steak, rare, 2 x metallic tins of beautifully cooked, skin on chips, I x boat of béarnaise sauce, 1 x boat of peppercorn sauce, 1 x skillet of ‘mac and cheese (with grated parmesan) and a set of stout tooling. The tooling was used to crush said claws and extricate more goodness, All in all a fine offer, though it was £25 each! (£50 in total)

The main event, lobster and steak
The main event, lobster and steak

As much as I love lobster, I rarely have it. I have to say it was a right pain to eat. The Flame looked on as I grappled with the instruments of torture to extract a couple of spoons of seafood. Have to say mixed in with the buttery béarnaise it was pretty lovely. The chips were a revelation and the steak (a bit too rare for me) was decent enough. The mac and cheese was an unexpected star. We hadn’t knowingly ordered it, but nonetheless it went down as a worthy accompaniment. Mixed in with spring onion, topped with grilled parmesan it really was good.

I completed the deal with a very acceptable baked cheesecake, complete with lemon curd dollop, coulis and kiddies whipped ice cream. Sorted.

Coffees to finish, we then parted £74 lighter with a hairy trek down the M62 to come. It was thoroughly enjoyed. The food, ambience and the staff all first rate. I’m not sure it’s a cosy twosome kinda place. Definitely recommend it for a big party of mates or for bringing the family early doors. He knows what he’s doing young Simon. All his gaffs are decent. This one fits in nicely……..if you like things deep fried……what’s not to like?

Liberty Tavern
1 Woolton Street,
Liverpool,
Merseyside L25 5NH

Phone:0151 909 4909

http://www.libertytavern.co.uk/