Dostana, Woolton Village

As somebody who lives in the suburbs, I’m always really excited to discover places to eat and drink which mean that I don’t have to schlep into town. Don’t get me wrong, I love going into town but sometimes I just like to stay closer to home, especially if the weather is “changeable” (ie. rubbish) like it has been recently. I’m fairly sure this is an age thing and my desire to feel snug!

With this in mind, we ventured down to Dostana in Woolton Village on a particularly autumn-y Sunday to try their new, street-food menu. Spoiler alert: it’s fab!

Not only does Dostana fulfil my love of Indian food, it also hits another love which is sharing food and small plates. I’m the opposite of a Joey (doesn’t share food), I love to share, my gluttony means I get to try all the foods and avoid the inevitable food envy that often prevails! I’m also terribly indecisive (again, gluttony) so ordering half the menu is the only sensible option!

The first thing to say about Dostana is how incredibly friendly everyone who works there is. Mubs, the manager, told me that dostana means friendship and you really get a sense of family in the restaurant. It’s been family run for 30 years and, whilst the menu may have changed, that family friendly is still ingrained.

So, on to the food. The new street food menu is brilliant and really affords you the chance to try lots of different things.

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The onion chutney is delicious!

Does anybody else fill up on poppadoms and chutneys before everything else arrives?! Always the way, like eating all my popcorn before the film starts!Photo 17-10-2018, 17 15 39The chingri chop is a majestic Indian prawn cocktail with massive butterflied prawns marinated with chilli and masala and coated in a herby bread crumb.

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Chili cheese toast

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A spiced lamb and peas mini slider, the keema pau was my favourite dish of the evening.

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Dostana is absolutely fantastic and you should head down there immediately, especially if you’re local. They are also doing a brilliant Halloween menu, Christmas day menu (curry for Christmas? Yes!) and a Mumbai breakfast which looks brilliant, that’s next on our list!

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- foodieliverpooleats@gmail.com

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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.

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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.

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Bread baking with Country Mile Kitchen

According to research (a quick Google search), 99% of households in the UK buy bread every week and for a long time, I was in that weird 1%. Not because I am carb-phobic, far from it, I love bread. I love bread so much that I didn’t trust myself to have any in the house lest I eat an entire loaf with a full pat of butter. In fact, I have only just allowed my boyfriend to buy us a toaster because toast is my absolute weakness. Bread to me is the ultimate comfort food and I have always been envious of friends who can just knock up a quick loaf- I am a terrible baker with no patience whatsoever, I can count on two hands the number of times I have attempted to bake a cake and count on one the times I have been successful!

I was overjoyed, therefore, to receive and email from Helen at Country Mile Kitchen, inviting me to try her full day bread baking course. Joined by the lovely Becky from EatLiverpool, off we went to try and find our inner Paul Hollywood.

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Helen is a fantastic teacher who made the art of bread making seem incredibly easy, She talked us through hydration levels, different types of flour and shaping, as well as making us a delicious veggie lunch.

We made three types of bread; a white farmhouse loaf, a pain de campagne and a five strand plaited wholemeal (so professional looking!).

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Mixing

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Proving

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So professional!

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Plaited loaf pre-bake

Genuinely delighted with how they look!

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The baked plaited loaves

Not only was there bread, Helen also taught us how to make some tasty teatime treats including the best white choc chip cookies I have ever eaten. I have made these since and they are honestly so easy and so delicious.

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White chocolate and cranberry cookies

 

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Feeling incredibly proud, I left armed with three bags of bread and a determination to master the art of bread baking!

Country Mile Kitchen: Helen runs a variety of classes and will happily tailor the class to suit your group. Helen also offers a bread subscription service where she will hand deliver your bread straight to your front door (within a mile). All you need to do if arm yourself with butter and you’re good to go!

Lunch at Spitroast

I love trying new places, especially ones which are close to home, so I was delighted to be asked down to Spitroast, Smithdown Road for lunch on Monday.

Firstly, I just want to say how amazingly friendly the staff are. They are fab and attentive, and keen to recommend their favourite dishes which is incredibly helpful when you’re as indecisive as I am in front of a delicious-looking menu.

Chicken and pesto ciabatta

Spitroast do a lunch menu which includes some tasty sounding dishes including chicken and avocado wraps, superfood salads (which I saw coming out the kitchen and they look fab) and chicken and pesto ciabatta. We decided to go halfsies and share the chicken and pesto ciabatta along with the chicken, broccoli and forest mushroom pasta, and a side of chips.

Chicken, broccoli and forestmushroom pasta

What’s great about Spitroast is you can see the chickens in their rotisserie oven (round and round chicken if you will) and, not to sound too much like a Sainsbury’s ad, you really can taste the difference between this and another cheeky chicken restaurant. The ciabatta was really delicious, the pesto tasted homemade and they weren’t shy with the chicken, hurrah!

My favourite though was the pasta. It was rich without being cloying, the broccoli was proper al dente (yay!) and again, there was loads of chicken. It’s one of those dishes that I could probably eat every day and not get fed up with it. We also dumped half of the peri peri chips (😍) into the pasta bowl to mop up the rest of the sauce, we didn’t want it to go to waste!

The joy of peri peri chips

It’s a well known fact that lunch/dinner stomach and dessert stomach are totally separate so we managed to find some room when we saw the dessert menu. As a lunchtime treat, we decided to share the Nutella cheesecake for dessert. Firstly, that is a massive swipe of Nutella (yaaaaaas!) and the cheesecake was equal as tasty, with a proper base to topping ratio (I love a biscuity base).

Look at that swipe of Nutella… homemade Nutella cheesecake

As an important aside, my guests for lunch were one of my bestest friends, Olivia, and her gorgeous four month old baby boy. She wanted me to let you know that the baby changing facilities are the best she has encountered!

Spitroast is open for lunch and dinner and you can even get takeaway! I’ve been thinking about my next visit ever since, I can’t wait to go back and try even more of the menu! (menu pics below!)

Links:

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If you would like invite the FoodieLiverpoolEats team to your restaurant, feel free to pop an email over to foodieliverpooleats@gmail.com

Our Kitchen, Liverpool

My diet during December could be referred to as “drunken unattended child at a birthday party”. I eat far too much sugar, drink far too much booze and push both my liver and pancreas to the limit. So, when we were invited down to try the new and expanded menu at Our Kitchen, I could hear my arteries breathing a sigh of relief.

Founded only a year ago by Tara Maguire, Our Kitchen is already expanding, keen to continue catering for the influx of guests it has seen over the past twelve months. The food is fresh, wholesome and completely delicious. And in this case, healthy is definitely not a synonym for boring. The food is rich without being cloying and the variety of dishes on the menu will cater to even the most picky of customers (which we certainly are not!).

Our Kitchen does a great small plate selection, with three small plates for £12.95, along with sharing platters and Buddah bowls. We started with some hummus whilst we perused the menu and it was really delicious, dressed with chickpeas and a really nice, chunky consistency, not too homogeneously smooth like some shop bought hummuses.

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Our Kitchen Hummus

We ordered seven small plates between three of us, along with some nachos to share (eyes way bigger than tummies!). The menu provides  a range of veggie, fish and meat dishes, all of which sound delicious. Our seven included mac and cheese (absolutely massive!), spicy bean burgers, fishcakes, halloumi skewers with rainbow rice (I love rice and was so happy to see it on a menu), a meatball sub, and scallops with black pudding and bacon (something I will always order if it is on the menu). The standouts were definitely the fishcakes, hummus and the bean burgers.

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Our Kitchen mac and cheese with sundried tomato

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Our Kitchen mini spicy bean burgers

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Our Kitchen oriental seasoned salmon fishcakes, coriander lime & chilli dip

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Our Kitchen halloumi skewers with rainbow rice

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Our Kitchen mini Italian meatball sub

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Our Kitchen scallops, black pudding and crispy bacon on pea purée

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Our Kitchen nachos (look at them!)

If you’re in town over the Christmas period and looking for somewhere new and different to try, I’d really recommend trying Our Kitchen. Not only is the food fantastic but the staff are really lovely and you will probably leave feeling slightly more virtuous!

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And finally, takeaway raw carrot cake!

 

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- foodieliverpooleats@gmail.com

Our Kitchen, Liverpool

Liverpool Ice Festival

With only four weeks to go until Christmas (four weeks!! How did that happen?!) the festive spirit is definitely in the air Chez FoodieLiverpoolEats. I’ve been listening to my Christmas playlist since the beginning of November and I’m itching to get the Christmas decorations out of the loft. I absolutely love a Christmas activity so when I found out that the Ice Festival was back, I recruited some friends for a Saturday of fun!

The first thing to mention is that if you go to the ice bar, and I recommend that you do, you get a fabulous poncho which makes you look like a jacket potato. As incredibly mature adults (apparently) we found that particularly amusing and kept them on all day so if you saw four 30 years olds walking through town on Saturday afternoon dressed in tinfoil, it was definitely us!

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Jacket potato vibes!

The Ice Bar this year has an Enchanted Forest theme and the frozen sculptures, some of which took up to 200 hours to carve, are amazingly intricate.

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The Ice Bar

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The Tree of Truth- inspired by Rome’s Mouth of Truth

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Seating area- lovely place to hold a meeting!

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Modelled on the throne from The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the ice throne provides a great photo opportunity

But there’s more! This year’s ice skating rink is 25% bigger and the 100ft ice slide has an extra lane for even more icy fun! The ice slide was brilliant and the views are spectacular. I’d insert a picture here but I didn’t take one, we were too busy running back up to the top to slide down again!

Ice festival

Not only are the activities great but the Christmas market stalls are fantastic. The smell of mulled wine is in the air and there’s melted chocolate all around. The Après Lodge had a great DJ and was really busy, a fantastic chill out area for when you need a little rest from all the fun!

Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival runs through Christmas and New Year until 7 January.

Enjoy!

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

Ice Festival Liverpool