Saturday, 30 July 2016

Places to eat in Liverpool

I am an unabashed music fan, and have been so all my life. I try to expose myself to a variety of music, but will freely admit to a deep devotion to British rock music. My favourite band is The Beatles. I've had plenty arguments with people that the Beatles aren't that great or that influential etc, etc. Whatever. You people are just wrong. There's nothing else to it!

My recent trip to Liverpool was a Beatles Odyssey. A Magical Mystery Tour all of my very own. I wanted to see the whole shebang; the homes, the meeting place, the gig venues, the pub where stealthy pre-show beers were snuck. I had a super time, drinking in the sights, sounds and feel of the Beatles. Very memorable! I featured my photos of each member's childhood home in my July 2016 Favourites List here:

But what to eat? I discovered that Liverpool has a vibrant restaurant scene, and with only limited time to do so had to rely on research and inside knowledge from locals to pick some great places to feast the body after feasting the ears. 

60 Hope Street

Hope Street is famously known as the street of the two cathedrals; the huge red sandstone Anglican Cathedral at one end and the circular concrete and glass Catholic Cathedral the other. The beautiful buildings on the street house some lovely restaurants, bars and restaurants. 
60 Hope Street prides itself on its modern take on English and French cuisine and is in its 16th year. The restaurant is a gorgeous 3 floor converted Georgian house. I found the seasonal, local ingredients were thoughtfully used in dishes which were a delight for the palate and the eyes. The  delicate Brixham crab was innovatively paired with fried chicken skin (starter, £13.50). The generous belly of pork (only a starter!) was tender and fatty, served with a gently spiced and warming cauliflower puree and crunchy contrasting cockle "popcorn" (£8.95).

Our mains were an exquisite whole Dover Sole with a tangy, piquant, savoury blast of flavour in the form of caper and Southport potted shrimp butter and Jersey Royal potatoes, £28.50 and worth every penny, and a fillet of Brill with sea vegetables and dried dried tomato, asparagus and crab sauce (£21.95), perfectly cooked. We were too full after two course to manage desserts, but I am sure they would have been up to the same high standards.

60 Hope Street Restaurant
60 Hope St, Liverpool L1 9BZ

Neon Jamon, Berry Street

The first Neon Jamon is poetically located on Penny Lane (well, pretty much!). Sadly, that was not within easy travelling distance of my digs during my stay. As a result, I visited their new restaurant opened on Berry Street. I was told by my ultra polite waiter at Hope Street that Neon Jamon was "one of the very best in the city", which was backed up by a personal recommendation from a friend. 

Neon Jamon prides itself on serving authentic Catalunyan tapas made from the best ingredients, as you might find on a city break in Barcelona. A solid regular menu covering meat, vegetables, jamon, cheese and seafood is augmented by seasonal specials. There are old favourites like Albondigas and Padron peppers. But there are also new tapas dishes to discover like charred octopus and pork ribs. 

The cured meats selection here is superb; high quality and varied. The drinks selection covers beer, wine and cava (of course!), but we were particularly tempted by cava sangria, having discovered it in Barcelona. A lovely place for long lazy lunches or a lengthy evening with friends. 

Neon Jamon
Berry Street, Liverpool L1 9DF 
0151 709 4286 


This small unassuming restaurant is a hidden gem. Just off Liverpool's Strand, it is a little bit out of the way. Owned by David Abe, he and his Japanese father wanted to bring real Japanese food to Liverpool. Accordingly, the two senior chefs were drafted in from Japan and the menu, whilst featuring tempura, gyoza and other familiar dishes, has lots of variety and scope. When we visited, on a Friday night, it was full of Japanese people; tourists and residents, groups of friends and couples, who all appeared to genuinely enjoy themselves. Unsurprising as the restaurant won  Eat Japan's 2010 prize for The UK's greatest Japanese Restaurant.

As a self confessed sushi maniac, sushi was always going to feature liberally in our meal. I was not disappointed. 

The Nasu Dengaku dish of fried aubergine which is later topped in red miso and then grilled (£5.95) was a creamy, umami filled dream (we are wondering whether its glory can be re-created at home and how...). Yakitori skewers were marinaded and grilled to perfection. This is a great little restaurant, informal and welcoming, run with love and a genuine passion for food. 
25 The Strand, Central, Liverpool L2 0XJ
0151 236 7530
Honourable mentions:

With only a long weekend to spare, I was never going to manage to get to all of Liverpool's great restaurants. If I had longer, I would have loved to have tried the following, having heard great things about them and received them as recommendations:


London Carriage Works

Mowgli's Street Food

The Art School

These recommendations represent Snigdha's honest opinions. Snigdha has not received any incentive, financial or otherwise for this list.  Snigdha and Him Indoors paid in full at each of these recommended restaurants. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

July 2016 Favourites List

Visiting Liverpool on a Beatles pilgrimage was a lot of fun. I went on a surprise trip organised by Him Indoors, my long suffering partner and hubby. It was a treat for me, as he knows how much I love the Beatles. Whilst I knew some of the story of the Beatles, I did not realise how humble their beginnings truly were. Seeing their childhood homes, schools, and stomping ground was fascinating, eye opening and touching.

Also fascinating was, that despite conquering the world and having global superstardom of a kind which was rarely attained in the 1960s, they remained grounded by Liverpool. They continued to live in the city, maintaining their friendships and family relationships.

The Beatles were the first big band to obviously come from “The North”. Back in a time when the only accents heard on British television were generally upper/middle class southern accents, they were a breath of fresh air. They provided inspiration to young people all around the country that ordinary people with talent could make it. Their cheeky charm and ready wit made them likeable and accessible.

Many places in the Beatles’ Liverpool featured in their songs, as did characters from their local area, both real and imagined. Somehow, seeing the places brings the songs to life just a little bit more.

Last month, I reflected on the 400th Anniversary of the passing of William Shakespeare, the father of English literate. So it seems appropriate this month to reflect on the greatest band of all time, England’s very own Beatles. Their songs are so well known, and they are so much a part of our culture, it is easy to overlook how important, influential and how damn good they actually were.

So I’m sharing my pictures of the Beatles’ homes in Liverpool. And I ask you to rediscover their greatness by revisiting their music.

On to this month’s favourite things…

Arnold Grove, George Harrison's childhood home


What's good for the goose, right? Some lovely ideas for using gooseberries this Summer. Sour, sharp, sweet, delicious! 

Here's some fresh inspiration for your barbeque cooking - Beef picanha with lemon verbena herby chimmichurri.

Marinaded beef steak in a soft taco... traditional Mexican cooking.

Forthlin Road, Paul McCartney's childhood home

A fancy spicy lamb chops with gravy? Mr Todiwala, that sounds ace!…/recip…/parsee-style_lamb_cutlet_13755

Gently cooked sea bass in a coconut and chilli sauce, Brazilian style from the brilliant Diana Henry: 

New potatoes, especially Jersey Royals are a Summer treat! Here is a Spanish style pork chop recipe with garlic, paprika, fennel seeds and parsley with some anchovy stuffed olives:

Mendips, John Lennon's childhood home (with Aunt Mimi)

Blue plaque for John at Mendips

Nepalese Cardamom chicken recipe from Karen Burns Booth:

5 Summer recipes from Nigel Slater: Roast chicken, mango and ginger salad, Roast lamb with za’atar and broad bean freekeh, Roast courgette, herb labneh, Pistachio and lemon thyme biscuits (for serving with ripe soft cherries), Chilled rice, apricot compote and sesame:

Wholegrain pearled farro in a salad with courgette ribbons and toasted hazlenuts:

Admiral Street, Ringo Starr's 2nd childhood home

Articles/Know How:

Review of Cyrus Todiwala's new cookbook. Be brave with spice, you won't regret it!




Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.