I was fortunate enough to attend the recent launch of the new menu at Carpathia Restaurant*, located within the luxurious 30 James Street Hotel in Liverpool. Head Chef Gareth Mellor has really put his own stamp on the new menu and he is renowned for putting a modern twist on traditional dishes, which is unsurprising when you consider that he trained in several award – winning restaurants earlier in his career.
I was eager to dine here, not only because I have heard so many good things about Gareth’s food, but also because the views from Carpathia are some of the best in Liverpool and there is an expansive vista across much of the city skyline from the restaurant’s outdoor terrace, which is situated on the top floor of the building.
It was a sunny evening and we settled in at a table for two outside, where we soaked up the atmosphere while sipping French 75 cocktails which made the ideal start to our dining experience.
We went on to peruse the menu and I was happy to see a mix of dishes with a fine dining influence, alongside some more classic favourites. Gareth has been at 30 James Street & Carpathia for over 3 years now and he has really made this new menu his own, drawing on his many years of experience as a chef. This is far more than you would expect from a hotel restaurant, with impressive creations on the menu such as barbecue lobster with Café de Paris Hollandaise available and Gareth and his team source the best seasonal produce from as local a proximity as possible.
I opted for the malt butter & dressed crab pikelet for my starter – I really like the current trend for restaurants making their own crumpets and pikelets because it shows a chef's eye for attention to detail.
This made an accomplished starter with plenty of meaty crab on the pikelet – while dill oil and dressed young leaves rounded the dish off.
My dining companion went for the chicken & chorizo terrine, which was elegantly presented with toasted brioche and a tangy tomato chutney. A terrine is such a classic 'old - school' starter and it showcases a chef's eye for balanced flavours when it is done right like this.
There are plenty of meat and seafood options to choose from, but vegetarians can look forward to inventive plates such as roasted celery root, with Marmite and celeriac purée - which sounded appetising as I love anything involving Marmite!
The indoor dining section of Carpathia is also an elegant setting, useful to know for days when the Liverpool weather is a little too capricious for outdoor dining.
On to mains and my pan fried chicken with sautéed spinach, king mushroom, chicken jus and tarragon oil was another winner – again the plating was impressive and the chicken was cooked to retain its tenderness.
I was impressed by the portion sizes as I have often found that many hotels charge inflated prices for lacklustre portions - that is definitely not the case here.
The slow roast pork belly chosen by my dining companion was another refined creation and the subtlety of the other elements of garlic purée and port wine jus, allowed the pork to take centre stage without it being obscured by too many flavours.
When it comes to sides, you cannot go wrong with classic fries and we also ordered a portion of the ‘game crisps’ which were particularly tasty – crispy little lattices of potato, which paired perfectly with a glass of Malbec.
Rum baba is a dessert which is seen on menus far too rarely, so I was pleased to see it here and vanilla cream, Kraken rum and caramel sauce made this a polished example of an indulgent pudding!
I had already seen the barbecue strawberry pavlova with Chantilly cream and champagne on Gareth’s social media, so I simply had to order that and it did not disappoint - a tower of decadence with plenty of fresh strawberry bursting through the layers.
After relaxing with a coffee and taking in more of those exceptional views, it was time to head home. I was thoroughly impressed by the meal and the service was attentive and friendly. 30 James Street is overall an attractive dining destination in Liverpool city centre and Gareth is very much making the menu synonymous with his own refined culinary style.
30 James Street Hotel
30 James St
What do you all think, do you like dining in hotel restaurants 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,
*I was invited to sample the new menu at Carpathia, this meal was complimentary. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.
Thanks for sharing information.
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