Sunday 26 February 2017

Be More Brunch at Neighbourhood...

Going out for brunch is one of my favourite things to do at the weekend; there is something truly indulgent about going to a restaurant for a delicious breakfast meal accompanied by plenty of Prosecco and it always gets a relaxing day off to a great start. I love Neighbourhood, this classy restaurant and bar is stylish with a hint of femininity to the interior design, which includes tiled walls, pastel pink seating, marble tables and neon signs. Located on the corner of Castle Street, this is the ideal place for brunch in Liverpool. 

I went along yesterday to enjoy the launch of Be More Brunch, a new bottomless brunch at Neighbourhood Liverpool. There was a great atmosphere and live music as we were treated to breakfast sandwiches of sausage and bacon served on golden brioche rolls. We chatted and sipped Prosecco as we decided what to order from the selection of main course brunch dishes, choosing from eggs benedict, avocado and eggs and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. I love eggs benedict, which I always see as a treat because it is not something I have very often. The hollandaise sauce was silky smooth and the eggs were poached to perfection, this was a tasty and well-presented brunch dish.

 Some of my companions at the table ordered the avocado and eggs which looked equally irresistible. I think going out for brunch is a good way to begin a day in the city, because there is so much to do close by. The tempting brunch dishes were served with bottomless Prosecco, seasonal cocktails and Bloody Marys.

This was a fun way to unwind and I think Be More Brunch will become popular quickly; I am pleased to see more restaurants catering to the brunch trend, because it was not long ago that it was more difficult to find places with a brunch menu. 

There was a laid-back atmosphere as we enjoyed live music, brunch and drinks, Neighbourhood excels as a sophisticated all-day dining venue with a casual and cool vibe which immediately makes you feel at home. 

62 Castle St, 
 L2 7LQ

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,



Thursday 23 February 2017

Dinner at Koukash...

It is always a pleasure to dine somewhere I have not been before and I recently went for dinner at Koukash*, located within the Doubletree Hilton Liverpool. The hotel is a stately building with flags fluttering outside, and the imposing grandeur reminds me of a hotel you might find in London or Paris.
We swept through the glass doors, away from the chilly night air and in to the plush surroundings of the restaurant. The first impression is one of understated refinement, with a large bar area which gives way to the restaurant space beyond, which has a modern and stylish feel. Horse racing ephemera is visible throughout and we took our seats in a comfortable booth with velvet seating.

We were dining from the chef''s monthly menu; I find the idea of offering a menu which changes monthly to be a good one, as you never need to become bored if you dine at the same place regularly. The menu is good value too, with two courses for £19.95 and three courses for £24.95 and there was a pleasing range of options available.
We sipped a bottle of chilled Borsari Inzolia, a refreshing Sicilian wine with peach notes, as we settled down to enjoy our starters. My tuna tartar, avocado, lime, sesame and crisp rice cracker was a light dish with ingredients which sat well together, the mild tuna was lifted by a zesty rush from the lime, while the rice cracker added texture.

My dining companion selected the ricotta mousse, served with aubergine, radish, lemon and chickpea wafer pancake, another good starter, with the creamy ricotta contrasting well with the earthy aubergine.
I am a big fan of stone bass, so for my main course I could not resist the pan fried stone bass, char sui pork, rice noodles, soy and chilli. The stone bass was tender and flaky and the char sui pork added a smoky quality to the dish, while the noodles were light and buttery with a slightly fiery taste from the chilli.

My dining companion ordered the homemade potato gnocchi, butternut squash, smoked almond and blue cheese.The blue cheese worked well with the smoked almonds while the gnocchi were satisfying and the butternut squash rounded off the dish with nutty sweetness. I must also mention that we ordered side dishes of skinny fries and hand cut chunky chips; you all know what a chip lover I am and these were some of the best chunky chips I have ever tasted, they were so thick cut and cooked until they were perfectly golden.

On to dessert and the dark chocolate pave with cookie dough ice cream was the perfect treat; the silky bitterness of the pave was amazing with the cookie dough ice cream, I would say this is a must for any chocolate lover!

The second dessert was equally tempting, freshly made raspberry doughnuts with vanilla custard and sherbet which took me back to the childhood memory of being treated to hot doughnuts in a paper bag at the fairground, I love the way food has the power to be so evocative of memories.
This was a real treat; the hot sugary doughnuts had an intense raspberry taste and the vanilla custard was light. A delicious surprise to this dish was the sherbet, which added a crackling texture reminiscent of popping candy.

We relaxed with a coffee before we were given a tour of the opulent hotel, which is an architectural gem full of elegant staircases, carved wood panels and polished marble.

I enjoyed dining at Koukash and I would return, the food was beautifully presented with sophisticated flavours and the attentive service and relaxed atmosphere were further plus points.

6 Sir Thomas St 
L1 6BR

What do you all think, do you like the sound of a menu which changes on a monthly basis 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,



*I was invited to review Koukash, this meal was complimentary. All opinions stated herein are my own and honest. 

Friday 17 February 2017

A preview of Wreckfish Bistro....

The chance to dine at a restaurant preview in a 19th Century building with no electricity, serving food cooked in an improvised kitchen using gas bottles sounds intriguing enough to begin with and when you also add chef Gary Usher to that mix, it is certain to be an amazing experience. 
Gary Usher is a chef restaurateur, celebrated for his inventive nature and passion which has seen him open three successful restaurants already, including Sticky Walnut in Chester, Burnt Truffle in Heswall and Hispi Bistro in Didsbury. He has won the respect of critics and food lovers alike for his culinary prowess and his ability to bring to life the vision of so many interesting restaurant concepts. 
His latest venture, Wreckfish Bistro, is located in Liverpool in a historic building which was once a watchmakers. Gary is hoping to open the restaurant permanently via crowdfunding and I was fortunate to attend a pop-up preview designed to give guests a flavour of what Wreckfish is all about. 

As you can imagine, the imposing building has plenty of character and inside, exposed brickwork and flickering candlelight made for a charmingly rustic atmosphere while a long table dominated the open plan space, where we would all take our seats for dinner. Many of the items used for the Wreckfish pop-up have been borrowed from local businesses and it is this kind of generosity and camaraderie which I find so appealing about the hospitality industry. As we sipped our welcome champagne, we watched in fascination as Gary Usher and his team set to work prepping the meal in the improvised kitchen at the head of the room. It is not surprising that tables for the preview sold out within fifteen minutes; there is an energy and creativity about his style of cooking which makes you feel that you are witnessing something special and it felt exciting to be a part of the evening. 

We enjoyed a selection of rye bread, sourdough and focaccia before the first course was served, a velvety cauliflower soup with a robust earthy flavour. 

The second course of sea bass ceviche was superb, with a delicate, zesty flavour rounded off by tangy pomegranate, lime and crispy kale. 

It was akin to witnessing a theatre production or performance art, as flames filled the air while the next course was prepared. The grilled sea bream was flaky and tender, with a crispy top where it had been flamed which added an appealing smokiness to the dish, while the courgette spaghetti, taramasalta and parsley oil added fresh and spring like flavours to the plate. This was fish at its finest, a dish with a simplicity which allowed the individual flavours to shine. 

The next course of spice rolled venison, chocolate, prune purée, red cabbage and juniper was a bold and sophisticated dish which demonstrated perfectly why Mr. Usher is so renowned. I loved the way the bittersweet chocolate complemented the venison and the elements of this course worked so well together.

Rounding off the evening was an incredible chocolate tart served with hazelnut praline cream and a wedge of golden honeycomb, which took me straight back to childhood with a combination of crunchy, bubbly texture and a subtle sweetness which paired well with the silky and intense chocolate tart. 

We soaked up the ambience as we relaxed over coffee; I met some lovely people, which was a definite advantage to this communal style of dining, which led to a convivial atmosphere with everybody chatting over dinner. I had the chance to meet Gary Usher at the end of the meal, he was down to earth and charming and it was a pleasure to meet this talented chef in person.
This was an evening I will never forget for so many reasons, the food was outstanding and the ambience was warm and welcoming but also raw and dynamic, with a real sense of anticipation in the air throughout. I wish Gary and the team every success with opening Wreckfish permanently, which will be an excellent addition to the Liverpool restaurant scene. Follow Wreckfish Bistro on Twitter: @WreckfishBistro and Instagram: @wreckfish_bistro

What do you all think, do you like the sound of this unique dining experience 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,



Sunday 12 February 2017

Dinner at Scene Indian Street Kitchen...

Located in the Spinningfields area of Manchester, Scene Indian Street Kitchen* has a stylish and understated design aesthetic with soft lighting, dark wood and large windows overlooking the riverside terrace. The restaurant always has a relaxing feel to it, even when it is very busy, and I like watching the chefs at work in the open kitchen as they put the finishing touches to various dishes. I went to dine at Scene again last night and we settled at a table overlooking the terrace as we decided what to order and enjoyed a stack of poppadoms with an assortment of chutneys.

I like the variety on the menu at Scene and the samosa burgers are not to be missed while the Indo Chinese section offers a choice of fusion dishes and the superfood section offers a selection of healthy salads and juice shots. The array of dishes means that you can always find something intriguing to order, which you may not have tried before.

One word I associate with Scene is authentic, there is a genuine warmth to the restaurant and the menu is filled with dishes inspired by Indian street food classics which are often available on roadside stalls in bustling cities such as Mumbai. These dishes are hearty and filling and they combine a wealth of flavours; we decided on a dish I had not tried before to start with, gunpowder potatoes which are new potatoes cooked in a ‘gunpowder’ seasoning, a mix of spices which was well balanced with a fiery kick which complemented the crispy potatoes.

Our second starter of samosa chaat delivered a superb balance of sweet and savoury taste, with a combination of pastry with spiced potato and peas topped with chickpeas, tangy chutneys and yoghurt as well as a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. I could eat this every day, it is a satisfying dish and I can see why it is a popular street food. 

We moved on to our main courses, my paneer butter masala was delicately spiced with a generous amount of paneer and a rich, creamy sauce. I enjoy ordering a vegetarian Indian dish as I always find this allows the aromatic spices to shine. 

I can never resist cheese kulcha naan bread, which is stuffed with mild cheese and coriander before it is baked in the tandoor oven until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. 

 My dining companion selected the chicken lababdar, pieces of tender chicken in an onion and tomato sauce which had a subtle array of spices and a drizzle of cream. This was a winning dish with complex flavours which contrasted well with saffron lemon rice, which was bright and zesty.

Portions at Scene are generous and we had just enough room left to share a dessert of gulab jamun, a traditional Indian dessert which consists of sweet balls made from cream, semolina, pistachio, butter and cardamom which are dipped in a sweet saffron syrup. This was an indulgent dessert with just the right amount of sweetness and the gulab jamun were a treat with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Service was friendly and efficient as usual, at Scene the team are always ready to chat and I often end up learning new things about Indian cuisine from them which is a bonus! 

Scene Indian Street Kitchen
4 Left Bank
M3 3AN

Scene is one of my favourite places to dine in the area, I love Indian food and the dishes have a finesse to the flavours which is hard to beat. 
What do you all think, do you like this style of food 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,



*I was invited to review Scene Indian Street Kitchen, this meal was complimentary. All opinions stated herein are my own and honest.