Pork Lovers Tour

I make no bones about the fact that I think pork is the best meat out there. In my opinion it is far superior to beef, miles better than lamb and there's no question it's better than chicken. In fact, my sentiment towards pork entirely echo that of number one pork-lover Jay Rayner who states in his book The 10 (Food) Commandments 'that thou shall honour thy pig. Or anybody else’s pig for that matter. Because everything is improved by the application of a little pig'. He's not wrong.



But when it comes to knowing my Serrano from my Salchichón, my Chorizo from my Charcuterie, things start to get a bit muddled. Fortunately for me the EU and Interporc have funded the rather incredible sounding 'Pork Lovers Tour', a non-profit set up travelling cross-country to give the public information about all things pork. Spanish pork to be specific.

Inside the unmissable porky pink van (parked up in L1 at the moment) there's wall to wall information about the good stuff including the different parts of the animal, the different cuts of meat and the multitude of different curing processes.It turns out there's an awful lot you can do with pork beyond the usual pork-chop situation and there's a few nuggets of recipe inspiration on their website here.





Plus, no need to feel guilty as the van has reliably informed me that not only is Spanish pork sustainable and high welfare, it's not as bad for you as you might think.

If you fancy a taste of pork done the Spanish way or even just Spanish food in general then I recommend getting your fix in Liverpool at Neon Jamon, Salt House Tapas, Lunya or La Vina. 


Lomo Iberico de Bellota from Neon Jamon 
salud!
x

*This is a sponsored post but as always all opinions are honest and 100% my own! 
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Liverpool's New Food Markets

As you may well know by now I love a good food market, mostly because it means I don't have to decide where to go for dinner and I get to pick the best bits of each menu and combine them to make the ultimate dinner combo. This month my usual haunt the Baltic Market have been busy celebrating their 1st Birthday with a huge party, music and Fanta Lemon Slushes (10/10 lads). Following on from the fantastic success of the Baltic you might have heard that we now have two more places competing for food market glory and they've both conveniently opened up within a week of each other!




Fortunately (for me) I was very kindly invited down to the launch of both venues.
Here's the lowdown:

Grand Central Food Bazaar

Opened: 29th June 2018

Vibe: Twisting Gaudi-esque metalwork and a neon tie-dye colour scheme make this a completely unique space spread across several different levels. There's more of an upmarket theme than the Baltic with food served on proper plates with cutlery a bit like they do in Mackie Mayor.

Food: Whilst there's a few familiar faces here (including Izakaya and Picnic) there's a whole load of brand new traders for you to get your teeth stuck in to. Whilst I was sceptical about the presence of Mexican food on the menu of a coffee shop the Steak Tacos with Cheese and Chimichurri from Grindr were delicious.Our favourite dish of the night was unquestioningly the Sticky Beef and Pancakes from Funky Lemon- a crispy duck/ brisket hybrid that kept two noisy girls quiet for at least 10 minutes in silent satisfaction.We also had a wee taste of the Med from Barna with a plate of Fresh Charred Squid although for the size of the plate it was eye-wateringly expensive. Whilst I didn't love everything we tried (the less said about the Halloumi Fries the better),  on the whole the food was good and I've heard amazing things about the other vendors we didn't quite manage this time.

Price: As mentioned above some of the plates are not cheap, that squid was £12! Likewise with the Sticky Beef.  There are definitely more reasonable options about but don't expect a cheap night. 

Verdict: Whilst this place is definitely unusual I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited with the prospect of where they're heading and I'm absolutely thrilled the building has been given a new lease of life. 

Click here for more info.

Dockside Dining Club

Opened: 6th July 2018

Vibe: I'm reluctant to call anything 'Instagrammable' anymore since it turns out I'll whack just about anything up on the 'gram but this place is definitely Insta-friendly. Wooden palettes, chipboard tables, a view over the water and a baby pink and green colour palette give this place an LA feel that makes for very pretty pictures. 

Food: As above there's a mix of familiar faces and newbies in amongst the traders. Izakaya have got themselves a third home alongside Cowfish Smoke and Bold Street residents KO Grill. We tried a few Spanish nibbles from El Cupido that were a little disappointing (maybe teething issues?) but we enjoyed getting messy with a box of Flaming Chicken Nuggets from Clucking Delicious. The highlight on the food front was a Sausage Dinner, a huge box of sausages, chips, peas and curry sauce from The Lucky Fish Co although if we'd have had room we definitely would have gone for some pizza from Miami Slice too.

Price: It's a little cheaper here than in Grand Central-expect prices similar to those in the Baltic Market with maybe a slight mark-up for the location. 

Verdict: Since I'm firmly in the camp that the restaurant selection around the docks is usually pretty disappointing,  this place is a very welcome addition. Despite the inevitable arse-splinters from the chipboard seating, It'll be swarming with tourists during the summer months so get down early to bagsy yourself a good seat in the swish outdoor seating area. 

Click here for more info.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!
x



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5 Reasons to try Chilli Banana

When it comes to traditional Thai food in Liverpool it's hard to think of more than a handful of decent places. There are good some good family-friendly Thai options on the menu over at Yee Rah, and then there's Tiger Rock which will give you a whistle-stop street food tour of South East Asian cooking. But when it comes to naming destination Thai restaurants in Liverpool, Chilli Banana is the only one that springs to mind straight away.

Khao Soi- Curried Noodles in a Coconut Shell
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Just Wings

I'll admit I was a little sceptical when I was asked to review the new Just Wings restaurant on Aigburth Road. Having no prior knowledge of the name,  I had of course pre-preemptively googled them and found out that it was a takeaway, existing already in three locations- Crosby, Southport and St Helens.  Now as much as your gal here loves a take-away, I just wasn't sure how I'd go about a full review.

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Izakaya

I might be showing my age here but there wasn't always anywhere decent to eat on Castle Street. It used to be just another road in the blank, beige business district of my youth, a road I'd only go down on my way down to somewhere much more exciting (Burger King). Now that I'm a technically a grown up I've realised Castle St is not only beautiful, it's also home to some of the absolute best spots in the city. I'm talking about the likes of  my beloved Bacaro, Santa Maluco, Mowgli and Neighbourhood
Look carefully in between these giants and you'll find the tiny, unassuming and effortlessly chic Izakaya.


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Wagamama

If I started this post telling you how much of a Waga fan I've always been then I'd be lying. In truth, I'd only been once before a few years ago and I found the experience neither here nor there. However, with a new one having opened it's doors in the suburbs (Speke retail to you and me) I was invited down to try out the menu and I was fully interested to see what was on offer just a short drive from my front door.  In all honestly, I loved it. 

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Pieminister

Pi on Rose Lane is a little gem of a place. It's small, cramped, dark and completely back to basics on the restaurant front but it is always heaving. They serve craft ales, pints, bottled beer and pies...and that's it. The beauty is in the simplicity my friends, especially when they serve proper Pieminister pies.

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Alma de Cuba Summer Menu

When it comes to loving or hating the summer I am, like most things in my life, sitting firmly on the fence. Don't get me wrong, I love a good BBQ, it gives me perfect excuse to live on ice-cream for several months at a time and the summer months usually coincide with me having a rather long period of time off work.


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What we ate in...Bratislava and Vienna

I'm well aware that I've taken my sweet time getting this post up- you've all been on tenterhooks I'm sure. But life comes at you fast as they say and, aside from being one busy little bee, I was unsure whether to even post this one.

You see, I know you come here for the Liverpool based food inspo- the clue's in the name, but I do leave this side of the Mersey occasionally and often those posts go down well. You saw my trip to Madrid, right? Far be it for me to profess I know the ins and outs of where to eat in these places after only a few days there, but I like to share what we had in the hopes that some intrepid holiday planners like myself will find comfort knowing there is a decent place to get a doughnut cone in Hungary.


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'All You Can Pug' Brunch

What’s better than brunch? A brunch with pugs, of course!

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What's New, Liverpool? (Part 2)

If you saw the first edition of this post you'll know that new restaurants are sprouting up in Liverpool faster than you can tag your mates and say 'omg let's go here xx'.

In fact, just over two months since my original post there's now enough decent new places dotted about to warrant a second edition of 'What's New, Liverpool?'. 
So, In an act of unwarranted selflessness I've kindly rounded up the latest and most interesting openings for your consideration and linked them all underneath.*

Move aside Greggs because Liverpool now has their own Pieminister. Located on Bold Street, this place serves up proper, award-winning pies as well as soft-serve ice cream served in, er.. pies. It's actual pie madness in there. Plus they've got beer!


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Mackie Mayor

It probably won't surprise you that I don't tend to travel too far from Liverpool for food. But when the opportunity to head in to Manchester for an early evening diner arose I was secretly made up to get a chance to finally try out one of Manchester's newest food markets. 

Mackie Mayor is an indoor food market, much like the Baltic only a bit (a lot) posher. It's actually inside a Grade 2 listed building so not only is it stunning inside, it's been happily returned to it's market roots.


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Spring Food and Drink Festival

If you're a long-time reader of Eat Liverpool (hi mum) you'll know the Liverpool Food and Drink festivals are one of the annual highlights of my calendar.

See: 5 Reasons to Love the LFDF or What we ate at the LFDF to get a  flavour of my affections...


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The Florist

Unsurprisingly, the number one name on everybody's lips at the moment is The Florist, and rightly so. This is the place e v e r y o n e and their nan is talking about, so much so, I thought I'd skip the talking and just show you around it instead.

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Emilys

If you're anything like me, you reacquaint youself with the contents of the drinks cabinet at even the faintest first glimmer of sunshine. So when the warm weather finally made it's grand re-appearance last weekend, I was delighted to find myself sitting in Emily's bar with a prosecco in hand, ready for a whole afternoon of fun in the sun.

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Mr Lau's

Dim Sum Delights at Mr Laus


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Yee Rah

Given it's location, sitting alongside some of the biggest food chains in the country,  you'd be forgiven for thinking that Yee Rah was one of many. Not so. Unlike it's sister restaurant, Chaopraya, there's only one Yee Rah and it's right here, slap bang in the middle of Liverpool One's hottest restaurant real estate. Looking out over Chevasse Park, the restaurant is a huge space with a fabulous glass front that make this place light, bright and airy even on the dullest of days.

Shots of prosecco, what could go wrong?
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What we ate in...Budapest

If you're scouting out places for a city break this summer then Budapest is an amazing place to go for a few days getaway. Not only is it pretty close (2 and a half hours from Liverpool or two episodes of Peaky Blinders, if that's how you measure time), it's also comparatively cheap, has loads of history, lots of sights and there's food and beer in almost every direction you look. 

I'm a compulsive planner* so already had in mind what I wanted to do and, more importantly, where we were going to eat before we'd even left John Lennon airport so if you're visiting soon and wanted to know what to eat in Budapest, here's a lil' overview of what we had.

* honestly, I made a mind-map- what a catch!


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Netflix and Food

Hungover? Tired? Avoiding the bleak, British weather? Whatever your ailment and whatever your excuse, staying in bed watching Netflix all day is one of the few great things you can choose to do as an adult. If you like watching food on screen as much as you love eating it and, like me, you're bored of looking at Gregg Wallace's face on endless episodes of Masterchef, then this is the post for you. Here's 5 of my fave-foodie-fixes I've watched and enjoyed on  Netflix recently.

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Liverpool vs. Hunger

As somebody who regularly enjoys eating out, cooking for friends and family and testing out new restaurants, I try to constantly remind myself how fortunate I am when it comes to food. Not everybody gets the luxury of choosing a restaurant they fancy for a mid-week dinner and, as my parents often like to remind me, when they were younger going out to eat was reserved only for very special occasions. Not only am I fortunate enough to be able to pay somebody else to cook my food for me, the fact that I have good food to eat on a daily basis sadly puts me in a small minority of people.

It’s easy to forget that there are countries across the world (our own included) where children go hungry on a daily basis and that's where Action Against Hunger come in. They work with 50 countries including the UK to lead the global fight against hunger. They believe ‘every child should have access to the basic nutritious food they need to survive, unlock their potential and build their own futures’. As someone who works with children on a daily basis, this is something that really resonates with me.

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Baking Bread

Get ready to carb-up because it's Real Bread Week this week which is a full 7 days dedicated to buying your loaves from independent bakeries and, if you dare, baking your own. Now, while I'm not quite convinced that the loaves I can pick up from the supermarket aren't 'real bread', I am fully on board with any campaign that encourages people to shop locally or make their food from scratch, myself included.

If you follow my escapades on my Insta stories you'll know I'm no stranger to cooking. But bread is something I never make at home for two, very important reasons:

-Bread takes time and I am very impatient.
-Bread takes a light, careful touch and I am a bit (a lot) clumsy.

Despite this, when I got a message from Helen from Country Mile Kitchen asking me if I fancied having a go at making my own bread, I put my fears behind me and headed down to St Helens with the lovely Suzanne from Foodie Liverpool to see if I'd be able to knock up a loaf worthy of the Artisane shop window.

We spent a full day measuring, mixing, kneading, resting and shaping our loaves, led by Helen our resident expert. 


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What's New, Liverpool?

What's New, Liverpool?

(Post title to be sung to the tune of Tom Jones' What's New Pussycat, of course)


2017 was a busy year with more new restaurant and bar openings that I can possibly recall. I'd love to recount each and every of of them but I only started this blog in the Summer and, well, I haven't got the time to trace back beyond that. So what's happening this year? We're only 2 months in and already we have bars, cafes and restaurants popping up all over the place. Fantastic news for the Liverpool food scene but not so great for my bank account (sorry, Santander). 

If you're wondering what's new this month and what we've got coming up this year then grab yourself a cuppa' and read on.


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Almost Famous- New Menu Launch

The Feed Me & Tell Me I'm Pretty Party

It's a complete matter of opinion whether you think the Wonka-style burger creations at Almost Famous are fantastic or ludicrous. I'm a firm believer that they are both insane and delicious and we drop in for dinner more often than I'd care to admit. Whilst I've heard accusations that their burger inventions are more style over substance, I absolutely believe they taste as good as they look. In an attempt to prove it to you, I once brought my American cousins here and they claimed it was the best burger they'd ever eaten. Granted, they're from the Mid West, but it still takes some doing to convince two born and bred American boys that your burgers are the bomb.

Crucial kitchen roll for spillages
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Silk Rd

Take a little walk down by the Liver Buildings today and you just might stumble upon Liverpool's latest addition to the tapas circle- Silk Rd. Tucked off in a little square behind Oh Me Oh My, Silk Road's vibrant new restaurant offers a haven for sun-seekers escaping the miserable February weather. Sit with a drink in hand, watch the rain drip down the huge glass walls and choose from a menu designed to whisk you off to anywhere in the world.

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Dinner with Dad- Yukti ISF

I have many things to thank my dad for. Raising me, helping me with my homework, taking me on holiday and many, many years of being my taxi to and from various events (even now that I'm 26). But mostly, for raising me to appreciate good food and drink. As a rather fussy child he was the first person to make me eat a pizza, we were in Orlando and I was starving so I scoffed it down and never looked back. Likewise, in my later years I've picked up his insatiable red wine habit alongside his passion for a bit of spice. 

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5 Reasons to Roast at Maray

Sound the alarms, whip out the confetti and crack open the Buckfast because one of Liverpool’s best restaurants has sacked off their signature small plates and have started serving up a roast dinner on a Sunday. That’s right- I’m talking about the Maray x Roast Dinner situation and you can get your hands on one every weekend at the Allerton Road Branch. I selflessly went to test it out for you on day numbero uno and can happily confirm it's every bit as good as it looks. Still not convinced? I have put together a very scientific* list of reasons you should definitely get yourself booked in to try it.

He should know he's not allowed to eat until after the photo by now...
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Weekend Walks (& where to eat afterwards)

Despite being completely gym-phobic I still need a reason to get out of bed on the weekends and there's nothing quite like a brisk winter walk for getting your cheeks nice and rosy and working up a good appetite for dinner. We are pretty fortunate on either side of the Mersey to have some gorgeous walks right on our doorstep so I've pulled together a list of my favourites. More importantly, I've included some ideas for where to eat afterwards. After all, you'll have earned it!**

**** 15 minutes of complaining and taking boomerangs still counts as a walk. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.  

1. Sefton Park
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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.

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Heavenly Desserts

Brunch at Liverpool's Newest Dessert Bar

I'm one of those people that always says I don't have a sweet tooth as I'm mindlessly chomping my way through box upon box of malteasers and claiming I'd 'much rather have a starter'. 
In reality, I am compelled to consume a sweet treat after almost every meal (breakfast included) and I almost never say no to a dessert menu. With that in mind, along with the fact that I have completely vetoed the January diet this year, I went down to road-test some of the celestial offerings at Heavenly Desserts

It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!


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Liverpool Restaurants- January Offers

Let’s be honest- January is a bleak time. What is usually pegged as a month of reinvention, clean slates and new beginnings is actually a cold, grim affair where we must return to work, bleary eyed, knackered and completely skint.  So desolate is the month of January that the powers that be have even christened the third Monday of the month ‘Blue Monday’ and declared it to be the most depressing day of the entire year. Nice. In my opinion, this is no time to start depriving ourselves of everything we enjoy- it’s a time for comfort food, friends, family and good times. 


If you haven't yet had the Maray Disco Cauli then this is the time!

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