Roast

January 2016

@roastcoffeeshop

Roast is an exciting new Independence coffeehouse in Crosby, Liverpool. It’s not just all about coffee though – they have breakfast and brunch covered too. My god do I love brunch!.

Opened in December 2015, Roast is warm and inviting, with comfy chairs and books and cake. I love the relaxing atmosphere here. The décor is wooden and modern but comfortable. Roast is very much in support of the local community with notices on the walls of upcoming Roast Book Clubs (I love this idea) and other community events.

My friend and I visited Roast on a cold Saturday afternoon in January. Although it was quite busy, we managed to nab the best comfy seats in the house, right next to the window (my fave place). Perfect for being extremely cosy whilst windy weather people watching.

The menu is slightly American style brunch theme, with loads of tasty dishes to choose from. They serve everything from brunch to pancakes and shakes here!! I was spoilt for choice (always a pleasure). After mucho deliberation, we both decided to go for “The Roast Benedict (£7.75) – Two free range poached eggs served on two toasted breakfast muffins with Lincolnshire sausage & streaky bacon topped with our delicious homemade hollandaise sauce”, not forgetting the customary cappuccino (£2.80 Large). It was absolutely delicious. It was hot, fresh and presented beautifully. Being the fusspot that I am, I asked for my eggs scrambled and they were perfectly creamy and fluffy. The Lincolnshire sausage was very tasty indeed, as was the streaky bacon (cooked to absolute perfection). My only comment – and this is a compliment (but maybe a request?) is that I would of really liked more sausage please (only got 1) and more bacon please (2 small slices). For the cost of the brunch, and me being a Hungry Horace – I could of easily munched down more.

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I was exceptionally impressed with the coffee and the way in which it was presented. It was like a work of art. It was a shame to spoil it by adding my 3 sugars. It tasted as good as it looks too.

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The service at Roast was very good. Although very busy, the staff were attentive, polite and very professional. I noticed they have good facilities for those visiting with little people and I was pleased to see two little chaps happily rooting through the kid’s books in the bookcase. I know my little monkeys would love the pancakes and shakes here (half term treat?)

I could of quite happily spent all afternoon at Roast with my friend and their fabulous coffee. I would also like to come here with a good book and eat cake all day. I really liked it and will defo be visiting again soon!

Roast also has free wifi.

 

****correction large cappuccino is £2.30 and not £2.80!!

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Il Forno

http://www.ilforno.co.uk

August 2015

Based on Liverpool’s street of most beautiful food (Duke Street), Il Forno is one of the very best Italian restaurants in our city. I have to start with the admission that Italian food has never been my favourite. I don’t dislike it but I wouldn’t say it has ever been my first choice – until now….

My man and I visited Il Forno on a sunny Sunday afternoon with baby J. The restaurant is light, spacious, immaculate and perfectly elegant. The décor is modern fine dining with lots of quirky Italian art. I loved the big pizza oven which looks like some sort of worshipping statue that would not look out of place in a museum. We received a very warm welcome and were seated immediately at the table of our choice (I am so fussy and ask for a near window seat every time). The restaurant was quiet at first but soon filled up. I was very pleased to see lots of families enjoying the Italian experience, always a good sign for us mums.

From the Antipasti menu I ordered “Gamberoni All’Aglio – Tiger prawns, pan fried in garlic, olive oil, chilli and tomato, served with toasted croutons – £9.25) to start. It was delicious. The prawns were large and juicy and the sauce was very herby, tomatoey and moreish, with the croutons adding the balance of texture. I ate every last bit. However, the highlight of my day (yes my day) came in the form of my other half’s antipasti. He ordered “Sformatino Di Melanzane – A flan of aubergine, ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes in a light pesto sauce – £6.95). Now I would never ever order aubergines, they are possibly the most boring watery vegetable on this earth. But dear lord this was delicious. I only had a small taste but it was incredible. The taste of the pesto and cheese delicately wrapping the fullness of the aubergine was out of this world. The tomatoes complimented it beautifully and I was disappointed that he ate it all and I never got to eat the rest of his starter (cheeky). It was that nice that we ended up googling the recipe and having it Jamie O style for tea that week and yes that too was delicious. Aubergines and I are now friends. I really love it when you eat something at a restaurant and it changes your mind about that food, well deserved compliments to the chef for that one.

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We ordered baby J a small portion of “Spaghetti al Pomodoro – Spaghetti with tomato, garlic and basil – £6.50” which he demolished happily, much to the delight of the waiters who were amused with the baba liking pasta. He (we) also had a cheesy garlic bread which was cooked to perfection, a generous serving, oozing with delicious cheese. I must apologise to Il Forno staff, again, for the almighty mess created by my hungry messy baby.

For our main course I opted for the “Insalata di Granchio e Mango con Riduzione di aceto Balsamico – Fresh crab, mango and mixed leaf salad with sweet balsamic dressing – £10.95”. It was beautiful. Fresh, plentiful and very well presented. The crab and mango complimented each other perfectly and the dressing was delicious. Paul had the “Petto di Pollo Alla Milanese – Pan fried chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs and served with spaghetti al pomodoro – £15.75”. I also tasted this (for purposes of writing the perfect blog of course) and this was also delicious. The chicken was juicy and well coated and the portion was well sized. We both cleared our plates.

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I loved eating at Il Forno and I cannot wait to go back. I highly recommend it. The service here is excellent. The staff are very friendly, warm and attentive and nothing is too much trouble. Eating out with a baby can sometimes be tricky but never here. The staff smiled and talked away to my little one, making me relax and enjoy my meal (and Pauls meal) even more so. I am looking forward to our next visit because I already know what I am having.

Host

 www.ho-st.co.uk

 May 2015

 I may be a little biased here but this is my favourite restaurant in the whole of Liverpool so just read on and go with the (Thai) flow.

Host is a 1950’s SOHO inspired Pan-Asian restaurant located on Liverpool’s iconic Hope Street.  The décor is retro, loud, colourful and comfortable.  The bench seating and stylish lighting create a fresh, modern dining experience.  My big Sis and I visited Host on a sunny Sunday afternoon for some pre-concert treats (I had been looking forward to this all week).  We were seated straight away at the table of our choice, right by the window, with a fabulous view overlooking Hope St.  Host has outdoor tables for al fresco dining (for when the summer finally does arrive) and car parking right outside (charged at normal rate for Liverpool City Centre).

The menu is made up of the most delicious selection of Thai, Chinese and Japanese dishes, a variety of nibbles, small plates, big plates, sides and desserts, there really is something for everyone.  Food here is like nowhere in Liverpool, fresh, healthy and fabulously exotic.  My Sis and I opted for several small plates between us as I wanted her to sample the Thai delights I have been raving on about.  And she was not disappointed.   Along with copious amounts of Havana Club white rum, between us we managed to consume Krupuk Shrimp Crackers (£2.75), Crispy Pork Belly with caramelised apple & miso butterscotch(£5.50), Teriyaki Beef Skewers with kimchi & sesame seeds (£7.00), Thai Fishcakes with cucumber & red onion salad (£5.75) and Hot & Sour Beef Salad with chilli jam & peanuts (£7.00).  It was absolutely beautiful as always. Very very fresh and flavoursome. The Fishcakes were the best I have ever tasted. We both agreed we could have eaten all that twice over and again. 

   
         The service was excellent, fast and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Families are welcome here too, with adequate space for prams etc.

It is worth mentioning that Host also do an excellent specials board, always worth a look.  A couple of years ago, on my first ever visit to Host I had the most memorable dish ever.  It was from the Specials board – Pork Belly with Pineapple Salsa and Grapefruit Salad.  OMG, that dish alone started my Thai food love affair.  Whenever we eat out, I always try to choose something I have never had before to widen my circle of my taste.  I swear it was one of the nicest meals I have ever eaten.  I went on about it for weeks.  Even my man was jealous, his Sticky Chicken Noodles looked tasty and appetising but he was well making eyes at my plate.  The pork belly was cooked to perfection, deliciously crispy on top and succulent and meaty underneath. The grapefruit salad was fragrant, colourful and citrusy with elegant bursts of coriander coming through, all drizzled with sweet pineapple salsa. The combination of textures and flavours was perfection and it was a delight for my little scouse taste buds. I can still remember how it looked and tasted to this very day. Sadly this wonderful dish no longer features on the specials board but I live in hope (Host take note – Please please please may we have this back on the specials menu just for little old moi???).

Have a look at Host’s website, it has lots of features including great recipes to cook at home.  Host do a great Chop Chop Lunch deal too, weekdays from 12.00 – 4.00. Pick a big plate for just £6.   Well worth a try!

I could quite happily eat here for the rest of my life.

Enough said.

The Bottle and Glass – Rainford

@ChefandBrewer

January 2015

Open for over 190 years, the Bottle and Glass is located in Rainford, St Helens set in beautiful idyllic surroundings.  The pub is situated close to Sidings Lane Nature Reserve and Billinge Hill (Merseyside’s highest point), and it feels like we are miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  It is the perfect spot for a family Sunday lunch, a drive to the countryside somewhere picturesque and peaceful.  The outside of the pub is very welcoming, with lots of well-kept flora and greenery. Though it is a little too cold just now but during the warmer months this will be a lovely place for some al fresco dining.  Inside, the décor is very cosy and county pub traditional, with large tables and comfy dining seats (I liked the cushions).  We had pre-booked our table but arrived early and were very happy to be seated and served straight away.  The menu was excellent with a wide variety of choice, with a traditional and seasonal main menu that had so many tempting dishes it was hard to choose!  The Children’s menu was good, nice and varied for fussy little eaters like mine.

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For starters we (eventually) opted for the Butcher’s Sharing Platter (Hoisin duck, farmhouse paté, black pepper Yorkshire sausages and spicy crumbed chicken fillets.  Served with toasted bloomer bread, dough sticks, dressed salad garnish, ale chutney and wholegrain mustard – £10.99) and we were not disappointed.  Presented beautifully on a large wooden platter, with very generous portions.  The pate and bloomer bread were delicious and the sesame duck legs were so moreish and tasty.  I have to apologise here as I tucked right in before I took any pics (I was rather starving).  I also need to apologise to my other half as I ate most of the “sharing” platter all by myself.

For the mains I had Pan Fried Duck with Cherry Sauce (Duck breast with a black cherry & red wine sauce. Served with Dauphinoise potato and Savoy cabbage & bacon (£13.99) and it was beautiful.  The duck was cooked to perfection and the Dauphinoise potatoes were the perfect creamy and moreish accompaniment (though they weren’t as good as mine).  My other half had the Chicken Pie and said it was delicious.  The kids opted for their usual choice of Jacket potatoes and ham (boring) which they thoroughly enjoyed and cleared their plates (though the promise of ice cream for dessert assisted in that).  Baby J had his first ever big boys meal out and had the Ravioli with garlic bread and to our delights, he loved it.

Now you think after all that I would be too full for dessert.  Well I wasn’t.  I had the Chocolate Fudge Cake with ice cream (Served hot or cold to your liking, with double cream £4.59 – 3,000 000 calories).  And OMG it was de-lic-oius!!!!  Warm, light, moist chocolate sponge surrounded in chocolatey heavenly gooeyness, served with its best friend vanilla ice cream.  And this ice cream was good, very creamy and vanilla tasting and melting all over my cake.  This is what Sundays were made for.  Kids had ice cream (boring) and I can’t remember what my man had because I was so wrapped up in my own pud.

The service was excellent, the staff could not do enough for you.  They were informative, friendly and helpful.  Highchairs were available and brought to the table.  The kids were delighted with the colouring sheet and crayons provided and so was I as it kept them quiet for at least half a second.  There is a good-sized car park right outside. I would definitely recommend The Bottle and Glass.

Apologies for the lack of pics but I was too busy eating.

I had to be rolled out, a la Violet Beauregarde off Willy Wonka.

violet

Mojoes – Crosby

@MojoesBar

January 2015

Mojoes is a beach themed breakfast/lunch cafe close to Crosby village.  From the outside in, the beach theme is cool, especially so because its January and practically snowing.  With surfboard lighting and decking outside, Mojoes deserves to be on Bondi. It was a shame I was in a scarf and duffle coat and not my shorts and flip-flops.

The menu was also slightly beach themed, with nutritious smoothies, shakes crepes, paninis and more.  Perfect for this time of year when everybody is slimming.

We visited Mojoes on a busy Friday morning and parked in the pay and display (inexpensive and loads of spaces) 2 mins walk away.  We sat on a comfy leather couch, perfect for a gossip and a bit of people watching.  The atmosphere is very chilled, the music too.  Easily accessible for prams and high chairs available.  Thumbs up from Baby J even though he was asleep :).

My cappuccino was frothy and perfect.  My Danish pastry (my breakfast) was huge.  Both reasonably priced too.

The service was relaxed and friendly.  I shall be returning in the summer for a smoothie and a seat outside.

Another reason I can’t wait for summer.

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Moose Coffee – Crosby

http://www.moosecoffee.co.uk

January 2015

Founded in 2002, Moose Coffee is inspired by the breakfast & brunch diners of NYC and Canada.  Moose is located in Crosby (also Liverpool city centre and now Manchester) with 2 hour parking more or less outside (we drove up and down for literally 5 mins and a space became free).  The decor is quirky (big Moose) with traditional seating.  The tables are very spacious (we were in a Booth) and most importantly, the baby’s car seat fitted on the seat next to me perfectly.  The atmosphere is relaxed, people of all ages enjoying good food and you just cant help peeking at people’s food when its brought out.  The huge menu hosts a delicious variety of American and Canadian breakfast delights, it’s very hard to choose.  I spent a good half hour drooling over the wide selection.  I was majorly impressed.  Finally something fabulous for the most important meal of the day.

After many deliberations, I opted for the One-Eyed Moose (creamy scrambled eggs on toast) (£5.50) with the Moose side of 3 rashers of streaky bacon (£2.00) and naturally, a cappuccino (£2.30).  I wasnt disappointed, it was delicious.  Like breakfast should be on a cold morning in January.  The toast was blond, thick and fluffy.  The eggs were light and cooked to perfection and particularly enjoyed by Baby J.   The bacon was lovely and I could have eaten 3 times the amount I ordered.  My sis ordered a Moose Club sandwich (£7.20) and bloody hell it looked good.  Layers of perfected toast filled with club deliciousness, served with a Moose salad accompaniment.  I am having this on my next visit.

I did have a couple of small issues with the service, we felt like we were left waiting a bit, I know it was busy but there was plenty of staff.  And when I asked for a sauce I was told they didn’t serve it and  I felt naughty for asking.  Nothing major though and I would definitely return and I ‘m looking forward to it.

I would also recommend it.  Kids will love this too, even fussy ones like mine.

One eyed Moose with a side order of streaky bacon

One eyed Moose with a side order of streaky bacon

Moose Club

Moose Club

All about moi

Hello and welcome to my very first blog.

My name is Maria, I am a 30 (something) lover of all things food. I live in North Liverpool with my man and 3 beautiful (crazy) children (aged 7, 6 & 1).

I love food. I love dining out. I love writing. I love Liverpool.

Here I will share with you my dining experiences, good or (hopefully not) bad. Whether it be a quick coffee with the girls (gossip time), a family Sunday lunch (hectic) or a romantic meal for two (beautiful), I promise to give you my honest opinions with a little of my real life humour on the side. I am no food critic nor any sort of expert, I just tell it how it is.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and find them insightful when trying to find your own perfect place to eat, drink and enjoy Liverpool.

May all your meals be delicious x

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