Monkey Grinder Tapas
Saturday Small Plates on Lark Lane
If you saw my trip to Madrid late last year then you'll know how enamoured I was by the food there. So much so that I've actively avoided eating in Spanish restaurants as I knew it just wouldn't be the same. That said, after a leisurely ramble up and down the ever-eccentric Lark Lane in search of food it was Monkey Grinder Tapas that stood out amongst the jumble of bars, restaurants and cafes. Exhausted from our 10 minute walk around Sefton Park, we pulled up a seat by the window, ordered some booze and got stuck in.
If you're wondering why it's called Monkey Grinder then I'm afraid I can't tell you. The decor is equally as unexpected as the name- an assortment of exposed brick, vintage portraits and a floor made from an old PE hall- a row of hanging Jamon the only sign of the Spaniards in sight. Despite the intriguing interior the restaurant was warm, cosy and homely and the staff were just as hospitable throughout.
We chose 3 plates each from the lunch menu (despite it being half 5 on a Saturday) which included 3 plates of tapas and a drink for £10.95. The dishes started strong with some super soft Calamari coated in salty breadcrumbs with a rich aioli. Equally good was the Crab Arancini with a sweet pimento salsa and spicy balls of Baby Chorizo swimming in a pool of sticky honey.
I enjoyed the plate of Salchichon Iberico de Bellota along with the Patatas Bravas- they were crisp, if a little salty for me but the Potato Croquettes were disappointing. Although they had the perfect silky soft texture I found the filling a little bland.
Satisfied with our mains but wanting to try more we ordered Churros with Chocolate Sauce and a Sticky Toffee Pudding. The Churros were a little to sugary for my taste and the chocolate sauce sadly too thick for dunking. On the other hand the Sticky Toffee Pud was an absolute dream- impossibly light, soft and sticky- a definite winner for me.
Overall there were some fantastic dishes on offer at Monkey Grinder. Did I love them all? Nope- but for £10.95 a head you can't argue with the value. Plus I've just been told they do a decent breakfast so I've got a reason to go back and give it another shot.