It is good news when a slightly outlying area of a city is populated with great restaurants and this is true of Liverpool’s Smithdown Road which is home to several enticing eateries and cool bars, just outside the city centre. I love this area of the city for its vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere and Maggie Fu has been on my list of restaurants to try for a while, so it was high time when I finally went for dinner there recently. The menus offer a pleasing mix of Chinese and Japanese inspired dishes such as ramen, katsu curry and stir fried creations. We were warmly welcomed and seated straight away despite not having booked a table. Over a glass of wine for me and a Fanta for my designated driver, we perused the menu where the big bowl stir fried dishes caught my eye, before I settled on a sweet potato katsu curry for my main.
The restaurant was bustling with customers when we arrived, which was a promising sign on a weekday evening. I like the fun and bouncy energy of the space, which features an open-plan dining area flanked by an open kitchen and walls adorned with vibrant graphic art.
There are plenty of starters to choose from, so we ordered a selection to share. Spring rolls are a classic I can rarely resist and the crispy filo and generous amount of filling made these a winner.
Vegetable gyoza had a vibrant green colour and a delicate flavour and a steamed bun filled with tender roast chicken was an authentic treat paired with teriyaki sauce.
I would recommend ordering a selection of appetisers, as there are plenty of inviting options to try and it is enjoyable to start a meal with a variety of flavours.
We moved on to mains and my partner went for the three-meat ramen with curry broth, topped with wantons and chicken balls. This steaming bowl of ramen was heaped with succulent meat and the aromatic curry broth had a subtly spicy taste while crisp green vegetables, wantons and chicken balls added to the overall flavour. The ‘build your own ramen bowl’ section of the menu is genius, because you can customise your bowl choosing which noodles, broth and toppings you prefer. Be warned, the portion size means you need a healthy appetite to do justice to one of these!
My sweet potato katsu was everything a katsu curry should be – comforting and hearty, the sweet potato in golden panko crumb was enrobed in plenty of thick curry sauce, which initially tasted mild then rounded off with a pleasant kick of spice. The sticky rice was the stuff rice lover’s dreams are made of and this katsu more than delivered the goods, omitting the meat without missing out any flavour.
We added a side of salt and pepper chips to our order and the fries garnished with spices, onion, pepper and chilli were the perfect addition to the meal.
Excellent food, friendly service and reasonable prices are just some of the reasons to stop here for a bite to eat and it is always gratifying to see an independent place like this full of genuinely happy customers.
346 Smithdown Rd,
Do you like the sound of Maggie Fu and which of these dishes would you try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Until next time,