Beetham Plaza, Liverpool
I once watched a Japanese TV gameshow where contestants were invited to consume live cockroaches marinated in lime and soy sauce along with deep fried snakes eyes. The torment etched on the faces of those taking part was matched only by those watching the stomach-churning food fest. It put me off Sushi – but not for life. However each visit to a Japanese eaterie brings back the memory of that horror show; the crunch of a decapitated insect followed by a grim gargle.The rising sun was nowhere to be seen as I headed to Etsu, one of Liverpool’s finest, in something akin to a monsoon with raindrops bouncing off the street like pebbles. The downpour was soon forgotten thanks to a warm welcome in this chic and modern restaurant close to Liverpool’s bustling waterfront.
An extensive menu needed some examining so my dining companion and I sipped on a glass of throat-warming saki to lubricate our palates.
To start with we opted for the chef’s special mix, a kingsized shoal of fishy dishes. A deep fried sea bass infused with soy sauce, danced, wheeled and right-turned on the tastebuds while seared scallops provided a merry accompaniment.
Following this delightful selection came the Sashimi platter, a kaleidoscope of colours and flavours again featuring a range of marine morsels accompanied by rice salad.
We also shared a tempura mix starring king prawns in a light, crispy batter. The dishes were pleasing on the eye, generous and delicious. A world away from battered cockroach and serpents peepers.