Wagamama, Speke

When I saw the email inviting me along to the opening of Wagamama in Speke, I honestly let out a little cheer. I love Wagamama. Absolutely love it. It’s such a firm favourite that I often get Wagamama takeaway when I’m away with work because you know it’s always going to be good.

As soon as I arrived (earlier than everyone else, no shame in my game) I was offered a G&T. Ideal. Once everyone else had arrived, we were given some Haiku dice and a fantastic lady whose name I have forgotten (I’m so sorry!) talked us through the history of haikus and encouraged us to write our own.

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I ate all those edamame

And so on to the food. Between four of us we had nine starters, four mains, four desserts and four pots of tea. It was amazing. The brilliant thing was that the chefs and brilliant staff encouraged us to try everything which meant that I cheated on my beloved chicken katsu and got to find a new favourite. Hint- they are all my favourite. Here are the highlights:

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Bang bang cauliflower

This was amazing! The marinade was spicy but the cauli really balanced the flavour to make it incredibly moreish.

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Tama squid

Crispy fried squid balls, drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise and finished with aonori and bonito flakes- it moves! This was a standout, I would never have tried this ordinarily and it is honestly amazing.

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Beef tataki (at the back)

Lightly seared, marinated steak, thinly sliced and served with chilled- I love rare steak so this was amazing and the ponzu mayo was delicious.

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Duck gyoza- one missing, Becky Eat Liverpool snaffled it!

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Bao for days

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Classic chilli squid

It was a feast. And so in an attempt to be more restrained (boo!) we only ordered one main each.

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Raisukaree (at the front) with yaki soba (at the back)

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Duck donburi

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Teriyaki soba with sirloin steak

This is my absolute standout of the evening. Just look how perfectly that steak is cooked!

What was weird but brilliant was, in spite of how much we had eaten, everybody was really excited for dessert. I think this speaks volumes about how fresh and light the food was (and not to how gluttonous we are!), you didn’t have that uncomfortable, post-Chinese  takeaway feeling.

And finally, dessert. I don’t often get desserts in pan-Asian restaurants because I’m always slightly disappointed but unsurprisingly, the desserts in Wagamama didn’t disappoint.

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White chocolate and ginger cheesecake

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Why have I never had this before?! I don’t love banana or salted caramel yet I ate this in about two spoonfuls. It was brilliant.

All in all it was a brilliant evening and I know that next time I visit, I’ll make sure to try something different and not stick to the old favourites.

Wagamama is open now at New Mersey Retail Park (ie. Speke)- you can find the full menu here.

Lovely links

FoodieLiverpoolEats Instagram

FoodieLiverpoolEats Twitter

 

 

The Florist, Liverpool

As I’m sure you know, the most Instagrammable bar/restaurant in Liverpool held its launch party on Saturday and we were lucky enough to be invited along to The Florist. 

Situated in the Old Blind School on Hardman Street, rubbing shoulders with the fantastic Oktopus and longtime favourite Buyers Club, The Florist offers not only a fantastic aesthetic but delicious cocktails, an amazing roast and lovely staff.

The millennial pink design lends itself well to the Instragrammers, Vloggers and Bloggers who were invited along on Saturday and Sunday, but don’t be fooled into thinking The Florist is all style and no substance. The cocktails are well designed, somehow delicate and robust (that’s code for strong) and the use of fresh flowers (am I meant to eat them? Because I did) in not only the drinks but the food too continue the floral experience.

Budvar tanks

Just enough Budvar…

The Florist Liverpool

The Florist Liverpool cocktails

The Florist Liverpool dining room

Gorgeous dining room

I was worried that the food at The Florist just wouldn’t live up to high expectations, but I needn’t have. We had the lamb and beef, with a side of cauliflower cheese (natch) and it was honestly excellent. Yorkshire puddings the size of your face, rich gravy and a nice healthy serving of golden roast potatoes, it’s definitely up there as one of the best roasts in Liverpool.

Roast lamb

Tasty roast lamb

The Florist roast beef

Delicious roast beef

Cauliflower cheese

Heaven aka cauliflower cheese

And to top it off, there was actual an actual floristry lesson where I made a jam jar posie and I couldn’t be more proud!

Posie

Such pride!

The Florist is open now, serving a range of delicious cocktails and culinary delights, including a selection of vegan, dairy free and non-gluten dishes.

Lovely links

The Florist Instagram

The Florist Twitter

FoodieLiverpoolEats Instagram

FoodieLiverpoolEats Twitter

An evening Chez Mal

Having never visited the Malmaison in Liverpool, the FoodieLiverpool team were incredibly excited to be invited to a bloggers’ dinner for the relaunch of the hotel’s restaurant, Chez Mal.

The hotel itself is incredibly chic with the most amazing fire-feature, very Instagrammable!

We were welcomed with the Mal’s signature cocktail, the Ginger McCain. The Grand National themed cocktail is named after Redrum’s owner and, like the horse, it’s a winner! Two different rums, grenadine, Cointreau and ginger beer are served over ice with a piece of dehydrated pineapple and a dinky race card from Redrum’s first race win! It was so refreshing and definitely lethal but ever so slightly spiky, make sure you get a straw!

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The Ginger McCain

Once we were seated, the incredibly attentive waiters talked us through the range of starters we would be sampling from both the bar bites and à la carte menus; chicken liver parfait with truffle butter and toasted brioche, truffle arancini with truffle mayo, tiger prawns and mango salsa, Picanha beef with Chimichurri and scallops with celeriac and apple.

All of the dishes were absolutely delicious, the highlights for me were the arancini with truffle mayonnaise (I wish I had snaffled some to bring home!) and the scallops. Oh, the scallops. If you think you don’t like scallops then these are the ones to try, I promise you will love them! They were perfectly cooked with celeriac mash and apple, so amazing!

The starters were served with a beautiful South African Chenin, oaked for twelve months in French oak and oh so good!

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Seared scallops with celeriac, apple and Jerez dressing

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Truffle arancini with truffle mayonnaise

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Chicken liver parfait with winter fruit chutney and toasted brioche

And then, for the main event! The lovely waiters brought over a selection of mains for us to sample; lamb shank slow braised in Tempranillo, New York strip steak served with garlic bone marrow and the famous Mal Stack burger. What was really amazing was that the staff brought full sized versions of all of the dishes for us to take photos (no putting phones away at the dinner table here!) along with individual servings. Just look at the little sliders!

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Yorkshire Dales braised lamb shank in Tempranillo, root vegetables and baby shallots

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Fillet steak with roasted bone marrow and brioche herb crumb

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The Stack is Back!

The delicious mains were accompanied by a variety of incredible sides. Honourable mention goes to the glazed truffle mash which was truly epic. So epic in fact that there are no photos because it was demolished! The mains were served with a gorgeous Shiraz which matched the dishes perfectly.

And finally, on to dessert! I was pretty full at this point but managed to find room once I saw the beautiful cake stands! A selection of mini desserts including carrot cake, eclairs and brownies from the afternoon tea menu were served alongside fantastic slices of treacle tart and bites of chocolate pavé.

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Treacle tart and chocolate pavé from the à la carte menu

All of this was topped off with a Provence rosé. I don’t usually enjoy a dessert or rosé wine but it was a perfect match.

It was a brilliant night, the company was fantastic and the service was honestly phenomenal. Don’t be put off by thinking it is just a hotel restaurant, Chez Mal really is stunning and definitely worth the price. I’m already thinking of my next trip (hello Sunday Roast!)

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Outtakes! Lovely Becky (@eat_liverpool_) and Jack (@thescousediaries) getting that perfect shot!

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If you would like to invite the Foodie Liverpool Eats team down to your restaurant, bar or eatery in or around Liverpool feel free to email us now, foodieliverpooleats@gmail.com