Saturday, 14 April 2018

Dining at Morning Noon Night...

I have a confession – I used to dread dining at restaurants which serve small plates - after all, I have never been noted for my propensity to share food and it took me a while to become a convert to this style of dining. Nowadays however, I am a firm fan of small plates and sharing dishes, especially when I come across a place like Morning Noon Night where bold flavours abound and the only difficulty is choosing from the extensive menu. Morning Noon Night is the sister business to the popular Cow & Co Café in Liverpool and new Head Chef James Dodd has an impressive pedigree, having previously worked at the award winning Riverford Field Kitchen in Devon. James is behind the introduction of the new evening menu which showcases intriguing ingredients and global influences underpinned by a ‘farm to fork’ philosophy of locally sourced, often organic produce. 
Last weekend we went to sample the dinner menu at Morning Noon Night and I was eager to try the restaurant, which is only a short distance from my home. Liverpool has a thriving restaurant scene and it is good to see that this is now increasingly extending to the Wirral area too. I am all for this expansion as I love finding new places to dine in my locality. 


The interior design of Morning Noon Night has a rustic charm, with a light and airy dining room where farmhouse style tables are adorned with jugs of pretty flowers and chalkboard menus are propped up on the bar. It is laid back yet refined, basically everything I look for in a place to unwind over a few drinks or some food. 


We settled in at a cosy corner table where we sipped Prosecco and grazed on Sriracha devilled eggs, spicy Nduja toast and smoked almonds which set the scene with irresistible flavours.


Grilled aubergine, oregano, pangritata and feta was a favourite of mine with a Mediterranean vibrancy to the dish, while blackened spring onions with labneh, maftoul and nigella seeds was a Middle Eastern inspired delight and I loved the chunky maftoul and the freshness of the labneh.



Twice cooked chicken with Korean ketchup and black sesame was a sophisticated take on a chicken dish and from now on I only want Korean ketchup after tasting this!


Succulent coffee braised brisket with creamed white beans and sumac onion was a rich and hearty creation and the sweet zing of the sumac onions contrasted well with the almost smoky beef, which was incredible thanks to the coffee braising.


A hint of summer was provided by Jersey royals, purple sprouting broccoli, caper and raisin dressing, a dish which would be perfect for a barbecue. I loved the vibrant colours and bright flavours of this dish. 


It took me a while to appreciate the beauty of small plates and I like having the chance to order several different things rather than the restrictions of simply a starter, main and dessert. There is something so convivial about this way of eating too - perhaps I am finally learning to share food! 


After a refreshing cocktail of Prosecco with rhubarb liqueur, we moved on to dessert and what a treat was in store.


The homemade marmalade on toast ice cream was one of the best things I have ever eaten, with chunks of toast introducing a bitterness which created a riot of flavour with the tangy marmalade. We also shared the chocolate mousse with miso sesame and caramel which was intense and decadent, perfect for a chocolate lover.


The ambience at Morning Noon Night is so alluring, with a restful atmosphere and a stylish aesthetic which makes you want to linger. Open for brunch and lunch daily, the evening menu is well worth booking in for too, which is currently available Friday and Saturday evenings between 6pm and 11pm. I am delighted to have this place on my doorstep and I’m sure I will be stopping by again soon. 

Morning Noon Night
10 The Cross
Neston
CH64 9UB

 0151 208 8939



What do you all think, do you like sharing plates and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,

Camille

xo







Monday, 9 April 2018

Brunch with Santa Maluco x Bold St Coffee...

Going out for brunch is such a treat and something I do not do often enough, so I was delighted to hear that Santa Maluco have teamed up with Bold Street Coffee to serve a delicious brunch menu which is available until 3.30pm every day of the week. Bold Street Coffee have carved out a well-deserved reputation for some of the best coffee in Liverpool and their collaboration with Santa Maluco is great news. Santa Maluco is famous for its incredible wood-fired pizzas which are served in an all-you-can-eat rodizio style. The fact that brunch is now available here as well as pizza and cocktails only adds to its allure as a dining destination; we went along to sample the brunch this weekend and I can confirm it was delicious. We perused the menu over our coffees, a latte for me and a long black for my partner and the rich intensity of the coffee left me wishing that every coffee could taste this good. There is also mocha, hot chocolate, Yorkshire tea and a variety of loose leaf teas available on the brunch menu, just in case coffee is not your thing.


There was plenty to tempt us on the menu, including classics such as bacon sandwich on a brioche bun and scrambled eggs on toast, as well as healthy options including the Açaí bowl and Bircher muesli. As soon as I saw that smashed avocado on toast with chilli was an option, I had to order it as this is one of my favourite brunch dishes. Served on white toast, this tasty dish (which is also suitable for vegans) was perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of heat from the chilli flakes to give it a good zing.


I also added a side of scrambled eggs and together this made such a hearty and satisfying dish.


My dining companion went for the BSC Breakfast bowl – fresh fruit salad with homemade granola, natural yoghurt and honey.


This bowl tasted as good as it looked and the homemade granola was irresistible, while the honey and fruit added sweetness. Along with a side of seeded granary toast with peanut butter, this made a comforting start to the afternoon.


Brunch at Santa Maluco was such a lovely way to spend Saturday afternoon and it left me wondering why we do not go out for brunch more often, as it set a relaxing tone for the rest of the day and left us feeling thoroughly recharged.

Santa Maluco 
 2 Castle Street,
 Liverpool
 L2 0NA



What do you all think, do you like going out for brunch and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post. 

Until next time,

Camille 

xo 


*I was a guest of Santa Maluco to sample the new brunch menu. This meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The new menu at Stanley's Bar and Grill...

Stanley’s Bar and Grill at Titanic Hotel in Liverpool unveiled their spring menu last week and I went along to a press dinner to sample some of the new dishes. We gathered at the bar for a round of welcome drinks, before taking our seats at a long table in the centre of the elegant dining space where lofty ceilings and exposed brick walls conjure up an air of New York cool. Classically trained in the French style of cooking, Executive Chef Bradley Lean has worked in kitchens all over the world from Toronto to Hong Kong and he has already put his own stamp on the cuisine at Stanley’s over the 18 months he has been at the helm. He talked us through the inspiration behind the new menu and how he has balanced traditional favourites with sophisticated creations and we nibbled on rosemary and oven dried cherry tomato focaccia with pressed olive oil as we deliberated over the menu. The range of tempting dishes include crispy cod cheeks with summer peas and tartare sauce and hearty classics such as char grilled steaks, beer battered fish and chips and the Titanic house steak burger.
I adore Indian cuisine and Bradley explained that the onion bhajis are his favourite starter on the new menu, so I decided to try them for myself. The bhajis were perfectly seasoned and the spiced cauliflower, golden raisins and mango added earthy and sweet flavour to this new take on this well-loved starter.



For the main course, I was drawn to the cannelloni of aubergine, which was served in a generous portion with a ragu of roast tomato and basil pesto which brought in the bold layers of flavour synonymous with Italian cuisine. A side order of crispy courgettes and parmesan rounded off this satisfying meal.


On to dessert and there were difficult decisions ahead, with choices including lemon treacle tart with lemon curd ice cream and sticky toffee pudding vying for our attention!


Crème brûlée is always a particular favourite of mine, so I could not resist the peanut butter crème brûlée with jam doughnuts. The brûlée topping cracked satisfyingly beneath my spoon, revealing the peanut butter layer which had a light texture and a delicately sweet flavour which paired well with the freshly made jam doughnuts.


Each course was paired with a cocktail and we enjoyed several throughout the evening, starting off with a refreshing aperitif of prosecco and limoncello. The show stopping flaming zombies were a particular highlight of the evening and they were strong and full of tropical taste and heady Venezuelan rum.


I also loved the Titanic update on a classic Cosmopolitan which blended gin, port and prosecco.


Stanley's Bar and Grill
Titanic Hotel
Stanley Dock,
Regent Road,
Liverpool,
L30AN



It was such an enjoyable evening at Stanley's Bar and Grill and the new menu was a roaring success, with a variety of dishes to appeal to all tastes. This is just the place for dinner and drinks in a stylish setting and dining here is always a pleasure. 

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Stanley's and which of these dishes or drinks would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post. 

Until next time,

Camille 

xo 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Supper Club at The Club House...

Grey skies and snow showers, the weather recently makes springtime feel far away so it was just the right timing last week to soak up the coastal ambience of The Club House* in Liverpool who were launching their supper club with a new food and cocktail menu. The Club House has a beach house style inspired by the Hamptons and walls lined with quirky ephemera, a sweeping staircase and a glittering chandelier conjure up a feeling of grandeur. A visit here is a great way to inject some sunshine in to the day even when winter is still clinging on stoically outside and the new supper club has a limited edition rotisserie menu which makes me dream of beach barbecues. There are plenty of mouth-watering dishes to choose from including meats cooked ‘low and slow’, deli boards and vegetarian options and we started the evening with a farmhouse loaf and chicken gravy; this is the perfect sharing dish and the crusty warm loaf was a treat with the rich gravy.


Camembert is hard to beat as a starter and the baked Camembert with honey, rosemary, skewered croutons and Braeburn apple wedges was a winner and the nutty cheese worked well with the tangy apple.


I can never resist the Club House houmous, which is made in house and has a rustic, chunky texture and a subtle chickpea flavour. This was topped with tangy blackened tomato salsa and crudités and toasted flatbreads rounded off the dish. 


I am a big fan of halloumi so I was immediately tempted by the rotisserie salad of grilled halloumi in Moroccan spices with bulgur wheat, apricots, chickpeas, pomegranate and toasted almonds. I don’t often order salads as I am usually drawn to something a little more indulgent, but this one was full of flavour and the pomegranate and apricot added sweetness while the mint and cucumber dressing added a summery quality. 


My dining companion went for the outdoor reared pork seasoned with rosemary and garlic sea salt. The ‘low and slow’ style of cooking made the pork very succulent and the accompaniments of skin on fries and honey and cider mustard complemented the dish.


There could be no question that we had to try the warm baked white chocolate chip cookie dough with salted caramel ice cream and toffee sauce – the soft cookie dough was served in a skillet and it made a decadent and fun treat to end the meal.


We also ordered sticky toffee pudding, it is no surprise that this timeless classic appears on most dessert menus and its appeal never fades. This was a delight, with rivers of toffee sauce over the sponge and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Since the new cocktail menu was also launching, we were lucky enough to be treated to four cocktails. The Miami Vice was a delicious blend of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri and its tropical taste made me yearn for summer. Peach Bellini is another favourite cocktail of mine, so I loved the Peach Melba Bellini blended with ice, which was so refreshing. The Strawberry and Pomegranate cooler topped with Old Mout cider and garnished with frozen fruit was equally inviting and the Pineapple and Coconut Mojito was a cooling blend which will be perfect to sip in the sunshine once the warmer weather finally arrives! 



The Club House
Chavasse Park,
 Liverpool One, 
Liverpool 
L2 9SQ



What do you all think, do you like the sound of a Supper Club and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,

Camille

xo


*I was a guest of The Club House for the launch of their Supper Club, this meal was complimentary. All opinions stated herein are my own and honest. 

Friday, 9 March 2018

Burgers and shakes at Almost Famous...

There are some restaurants which I have been meaning to visit for a while but somehow I never seem to get around to it and Almost Famous* is one such place. I have heard so much about over the years yet somehow I have never made it to dine there - I missed two recent launches of their new menu in Liverpool and Manchester due to other commitments, but I finally arranged to pop in to the Great Northern location of Almost Famous in Manchester last week to sample their new menu, thanks to my lovely pal Martin who is the General Manager there.


I love the vibe of Almost Famous, which sets a fun and relaxed tone with a décor featuring neon signs, bold artwork, cascading fairy lights and an eclectic playlist which gives the space a real buzz. It was busy when we arrived, with plenty of people tucking in to towering burgers and indulgent milkshakes to banish the winter chill outside.This is just the place if you feel like a casual dining experience and to get the evening underway, I ordered a boozy shake which came topped with lots of fresh cream and a Bourbon biscuit. My companion went for the equally decadent 'fudgin ridic' made with chocolate fudge and Oreos.


If you have not already guessed, Almost Famous are all about American diner style cuisine and sometimes there is nothing more appealing than to let your hair down and tuck in to a burger so big it is nearly impossible to hold. They tick all the boxes in this regard and the sheer scale of my partner’s choice of the Awesome HQ was a sight to behold – this huge creation consisted of a double cheeseburger topped with buttermilk fried chicken, halloumi, slaw, peri peri BBQ and bacon bacon mayo – phew. Silence fell as he enjoyed every bite and he confirmed this was one of the best burgers he had ever tasted, which I had already discerned from his silence as he dedicated himself to eating it.


I have something of a fixation with halloumi and you can always find a couple of blocks of it stacked in my fridge, so when I saw the Phok-Meat burger on the menu, I just had to try it. This vegetarian option did not disappoint, with deep fried halloumi tossed in smoky and sweet pho-king sauce topped with iceberg lettuce, red onion, jalapeno, smashed avocado, chipotle mayo and jalapeno mayo. This was a seriously tasty take on a vegetarian burger and there was a generous amount of halloumi, while the other toppings added heaps of flavour and I loved the subtly spicy chipotle mayo.


The loaded fries served at Almost Famous elevate the humble potato to something spectacular and an order of Phoenix Fries topped with bacon rain, JD maple glaze, shoestring onions, frazzle dust, chillies, bacon bacon mayo, redneck BBQ were full of flavour.


Meanwhile I opted for a classic side of Winning Fries, a mixture of skin-on and sweet potato fries  served in a generous portion.


Another side of Mac Balls - crispy coated mac n cheese balls served with bacon bacon mayo dip were the kind of treat which you can just carry on eating. I love mac n' cheese at the best of times, and coating it in breadcrumbs and frying it just makes it even more irresistible.


We also ordered some Blasts  (Boneless buttermilk fried chicken pieces) smothered in delicious Pho-King (hot teriyaki) sauce, which made the ideal side dish to share. 


It was time for dessert and while I was too full to contemplate it, my dining companion enjoyed an ice cream cookie sandwich, vanilla ice cream sandwiched between chewy chocolate chip cookies and topped with salted caramel and cookie dust. It was quite a creation, just perfect for a sweet tooth and there was easily enough to share between two. 


The food was delicious and the vibe was fun, this was a perfect laid-back evening and I enjoyed finally dining at Almost Famous!


Almost Famous 
Unit 2 
Great Northern 
Peter Street
Manchester
M3 4EJ

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Almost Famous and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,

Camille 

xo


*I was a guest of Almost Famous, this meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Sampling Pothecary Gin...

It feels like winter is dragging on forever, so if like me you are ready for a little dose of springtime then I have just the drink to recommend to you. I was recently sent a bottle of the award winning Pothecary Gin to try and I can honestly say I have never tried such a delicious gin before. Last weekend when the sun was shining (a little!) I mixed up some gin & tonics with Pothecary Gin and I ventured outside to take photographs of them before we settled down to enjoy the drinks. I garnished the gin and tonics with ice cubes, blueberries and pink grapefruit and they tasted so refreshing - I was transported to the heat of summer as I sipped my drink.


I love when the Snowdrops begin to bloom as these are usually the first sign that spring is on its way. I thought the Pothecary Gin looked really pretty photographed with the Snowdrops as a background. Pothecary Gin is made by Lukasz Dwornik and Martin Jennings, two friends united by a passion for gin which inspired them to create their own.


Pothecary won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards and it is no wonder, considering that the blend includes botanicals such as Provencal Lavender, Anatolian mulberries and Tilia flowers as well as Juniper from Bulgaria and Sicilian lemon.


This is a gin with real character and plenty of flavour, it has a taste unlike any other gin and the bottle has a lovely vintage feel to the design, which means you can display it with pride as part of your drinks collection. I will be saving the rest of the gin for when the warmer weather comes around so that I can sip a Pothecary Gin and Tonic in the sunshine!


When Lukasz and Martin first started making their gin, they bought a 35-litre copper still and they began making the gin in the spare room of Martin's house! This has been an incredible journey and it is great to see something which started off as an idea between friends flourish in to such a successful and growing gin brand.


The fact that Pothecary Gin contains so many unusual botanicals is what gives it such a rare quality of flavour and I never thought that I would sample a gin which contains lavender but I love it.


Thank you so much to the team at Pothecary Gin for sending this bottle to me. It is such a treat to enjoy a gin of this taste and quality and you can order Pothecary Gin from their website:



What do you all think, do you like the sound of Pothecary Gin and are you looking forward to sipping a Gin & Tonic in spring? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,

Camille 

xo

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Healthy snacking with Hippeas...


I have to admit that sometimes when I am having a busy week, eating well slips to the bottom of the agenda and I find myself realising that I have not eaten anything for hours. This is ironic of course considering that I am a food writer and I love food, but I enjoy eating more when I have good company to share a meal with, so during the day I do not always make a priority of eating. With this in mind, I am always happy to hear about tasty and filling snacks which I can easily carry in my handbag for those moments when hunger rears its head. I was recently sent a box of Hippeas to try and they are just the thing when it comes to healthy snacking on the go and they come in several tasty varieties including 'cheese & love', 'far out fajita' and 'sweet & smokin'.


Hippeas are organic, gluten free and suitable for vegans too. I was kindly sent a big box to try, food is my favourite delivery to receive in the post! They are tasty and surprisingly filling too. 


Hippeas are the perfect snack for those busy days as they are so easy to carry around with you and the flavours are appetising. I tried all three varieties over the weekend, and they were the ideal treat when I settled down with a coffee (or a glass of wine!) and a magazine. 


These would a great accompaniment to a light lunch of a salad or sandwich and they are perfect to share with a friend while watching a movie. It is nice to have the enjoyment of a savoury snack without the high fat and calories in most packets of crisps and Hippeas come in at 90 calories per bag which is not bad.


For every bag of Hippeas sold, they donate to Farm Africa. They are high in fibre, a source of protein and free from trans-fats and MSG. I think these will be a regular fixture in my bag for those busy days and my favourite flavour has to be the far out fajita which are slightly spicy. Made from chickpeas and with the philosophy of tasting good and doing good, these are a snacking winner.




Check out Hippeas here:

www.hippeas.com

What do you all think, do you like the sound of Hippeas and which of the flavours would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.

Until next time,

Camille

xo