Category Archives: Food

Take a cockroach, a lime and a dash of soy sauce………..

Etsu

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.
cockroach crunch

STAR EATERIE GOES SUPERNOVA

Nova Restaurant, Heswall.

I’VE always been a fan of science-fiction, from watching the early episodes of Star Trek to being transported to worlds of imagination by authors like Asimov, Bradbury and HG Wells.
So it was with great excitement, one day, while fishing with a pal that I thought I saw a series of orange-coloured, banana-shaped spacecraft shoot out of the murky waters of Crosby Marina.
It was only the next morning, having removed my beer goggles, that I realised we had made the story up later, in the Doric public house.
Not only that, I had actually phoned up the Daily Sport to report this phenomenon and the incident duly appeared under the headline “Spacemen hooked by eel angler”. They had also got a quote from “top UFO boffin”, Arnold West, who said that there had been singular sightings of these strange craft, but to find several together was “quite remarkable”.
Titter ye not, I got £30 for my flight of fancy.
Which brings us to Nova. A nova describes a star that flares brilliantly but briefly before fading back into the cosmic background; a bit like that geezer Joe whatsisname who won X-Factor a couple of years ago and then disappeared into a black hole.
It is also the name of Charlton Heston’s beautiful but brainless female companion in the 60s cult sci-fi movie Planet of the Apes.

The Nova restaurant burst to life at the start of the year, fuelled by the vision and passion of husband and wife Moyo and Jana Benson and backed by a private businessman.

Moyo, the artist in the kitchen, has Nigerian roots, whilst Jana hails from Slovakia. An exotic mix, to be sure, but one that doesn’t feel at all alien in the affluent commuter township of Heswall.
And unlike Heston’s beguiling-but-mute dalliance, this venue has substance as well as style.
That’s just as well, for opening a new restaurant in January, with firework smoke barely whisping away, an economic stranglehold throttling the country and a VAT hike on the horizon….it’s either brave or barmy.
Sadly on this particular Tuesday lunchtime, online business guru Felix Clarke and myself were the only diners to trouble waitress-cum-owner Jana.
This is grown up food though. Evidence of this was immediate. Sprinting after the menus were the amuses-bouche, complimentary spoons of delectable potato gnocchi and wild mushroom paste designed to put a smile on your chops. Also served gratis was home-made soda bread and balsamic vinegar: a couple of nice touches that you would expect at somewhere comfortable and established rather than the new kid on the block.

Nova is located off Heswall’s main drag where it is attempting to muscle in on some very strong local competition.

Moyo is classically-trained and has worked with Pierre Koffmann in the past and was more recently executive chef at Wirral fine-dining venue Hillbark. Who
Despite his roots, the menu is modern English, offering the likes of venison pudding, caramelised belly pork and pigeon beignet. No trace of Stargazy pie, rocket salad or Mars bars though.
Clarkey admired the polished and chic dining room, the wooden flooring, and stripe-fabric furniture, but the big man had a keener interest in the cuisine, ordering a colourful carrot soup (£4) which seemed to be slurped at the speed of light.
My venison scotch egg was a Big Bang of a starter. In fact it wouldn’t have looked out of place on a strange planetary landscape. A large, spherical object, nestling among striking white fried noodles and sitting in a pool of redcurrant jelly. Knifing through the outer layer of meat revealed a sunburst of dazzling yellow yoke that oozed into the jelly creating a rich, orange sauce. The cosmic combo danced a jig of delight on the taste buds.

Clarkey used to live in Wirral and ply his trade in Liverpool but has since moved out to Cheshire and is doing business with wallahs in Wrexham – truly another planet. But I guess it’s tough wherever you do business these days, even in leafy Heswall.

In the sci-fi movies in days gone by, the usual was nutritional pills, althoughat the international space station Mir it was borsch, sticky rice with sweet bean paste and zero-g burritos that kept the astronauts nourished.
But if ‘you’re thinking of taking a trip to the stars, assuming you have the squillions for a space leisure flight, be warned that certain items such as salt and pepper are only available in liquid form – in a weightless environment the grains would merely float off like gold-dust.
Anyway, to more down to Earth matters. Jana informed us that the Catch of the Day (£12) was flounder, freshly plundered from the Flintshire coast.

This sounded like a much-needed healthy option for the big feller who relished the monster sized flat fish flanked by beetroot and potato croquettes. An appreciative noise akin to a pig snorkelling truffles accompanied the disappearance of the aquatic morsel whose only evidence of existence was a skeletal remain.

Meanwhile the second part of my set lunch menu (£15 for three courses) had also been delivered. A plate of braised ox cheek and mash with onion rings and gravy, just right for a cold February day. The meat was so tender it would have collapsed using a raw sausage never mind a knife.

I was told my consumption of the ox choice cut resembled that of a ruminating bovine.

A glass of house red Paul Bouchard (£4.25) was an ideal silky-smooth companion to this unpretentious melt-in-the-mouth mix of mash and meat.
The couple behind Nova say they are determined to stay true to the idea of locally sourced produce – too often a mantra that is merely paid lip service.
To be honest, this was enough for a lunch-time but in the interests of enlightening the reader it was only right to examine the dessert menu.
The home-made comfort dish of rice pudding appealed to cockney exile Clarke, while I took Jana’s recommendation and dissected a chocolate tart with a gorgeous, gooey interior.
Well, after all the space-age analogies, I’m bound to say that the gravitational pull of a return to this place is fairly strong. It will be interesting to see how it gets on.
In Liverpool city centre I think it would do a brisk trade at lunchtime, taking into account the attention to detail and love with which the food is prepared rather than churned out.
“That was proper food,” observed Clarke, “well presented, tasty, I’d definitely come back.”
On Sundays there is a set menu of two courses for £15 and three for £20 with the highlight being a roast chateaubriand to share.
The a la carte menu features sea bass, calves liver and a selection of grilled cuts.
The eating out trade, like many others, has suffered over the past few years and established businesses have been hit by discounting and cost-cutting.
Quality counts though and in that respect Nova should do well. By the way, this Nova is actually named after the Slovakian word for new.
Liverpool Confidential reviewers dine out unannounced and pick up their own bills.

Rating:

16/20

Breakdown:

9/10 food

4/5 service

3/5 atmosphere

MUM’S THE WORD AT PREGO

Prego, Liverpool 1, Italian.

PREGO. The word is Italian for welcome but the last time I heardanything like it, a shiver shimmied down my spine. Office phone trills, Wigan circa 1987, and I pick up.

“Hi, it’s Andrea”.
“Sorry, Andrea who?”
“You know, from the Market Tavern?”
Oh yeah, I knew. One of the barmaids. Married but accommodating. A.woman with “a pretty foot, a cherry lip, a bonny eye and a passing,pleasing tongue” to quote The Bard.
“What’s up babes?”
“It’s a mess.” Silence for a few seconds.
The pint-pulling pie-eater explains further, “Thing is, I’m preggo”.
I literally recoil with horror from the handset as braincells startcartwheeling. I know this local expression.
“Er, do you mean….? But you’re married, right?”
Cold sweat forms, adrenalin starts pulverising the body.
“Well, yeah, but you know he’s on the rigs, and has been for two months. Thatleaves, well, a few possibilities……..including you.” How reassuring.
After an unpleasant week or so it became clear it was a phantom pregnancydesigned to elicit cash from anyone mug enough to cough up. Needless tosay I changed my boozing venue.

It was about time. The jukebox was permanently stuck on The Final Countdownand the first Mrs Turnbull’s macabre presence occasionally haunted the place.

The unpleasant memory sprang to mind as I headed for the Liverpool One Pregoon a cold, slate-grey, November afternoon threatening an imminentdownpour.
I was dressed in naught a t-shirt but, hey, I’m from theNorth East ya kna? Anyone up there out on the town caught wearing acoat even in Arctic temperatures would be considered a wuss and thatincludes the women.
Just the kind of day for a plate of comfort food I mused, entering themodern, spacious Italian that has Chavasse Park as its front garden.
The menu is varied with a balance between pasta dishes and traditionalsouthern Italian fare created using a charcoal Josper oven, apparently the Rolls Royce of cookers.
It has recently been the place of choice for Sex and the City’s Kim Catrall, according to their publicity. A glamorous celebrity.
My companion, a dour looking man who had arrived hunched against thecold, set about the black coffees as if he had been up on an all night bender. Just tiredness, it transpired.
After a good gander at the menu I thought it would be a reasonable shout to try some of the Josper-inspired dishes – Antipasto Di Verdure – roasted Mediterranean vegetables with Calabrian virgin olive oil dressing(£8.95).
Meanwhile my lugubrious fellow diner chose crab and haddock fish cakes with aioli (£6.95).
While we were waiting for the starters, the helpful waitress arrivedwith good homemade bread and olive oil (£2.95) to whet the appetite.

As we picked at the bread it suddenly struck me that there had beensomething missing when I had entered the premises. I recalled a scenein Du Maurier’s story of The Birds when a character observed thatdespite the presence of countless winged creatures, there was astrange, disquieting silence. It wasn’t a flock of mad seagulls thatwas missing here but the unmistakable aroma of garlic, olive andtomatoes one associates with an Italian diner. That glorious whiff is a comforting signal that a busy kitchen is on the go.

The roasted vegetable dish was soon placed before me, a rumblingstomach awaiting. It comprised a medley of veg with aubergine the mostprominent example. I tucked in to discover an unpalatable mouthful – cold. In fact, stone cold.
I immediately summoned the waitress who said she would check with thekitchen. On her return she explained the dish was supposed to be served cold – so much for the benefits of the super charcoal oven.
For me personally, it was inedible and the menu should be much clearer on this point.
I’ve done roasted veg a lot of times but it’s never crossed the radarto leave it in the fridge for a few hours before dishing up. Bizarre. And£8.95? Blimey……
However, to give our waitress her due she didn’t even question myposition and straight away asked if I would like another starter. Thesort of situation some top places on Ramsay’s Best Restaurantprogramme fail to recognise when faced with an awkward customer, sofull marks there.
Meanwhile me laddie across the table was picking rather unenthusiastically at his food.
The fishcakes were unlike anything we had seen before. A strangemilky colour, an odd, odd springy, latex texture and lacking in any discernible flavour. Thiswasn’t going well.
And so to my replacement starter, foie gras pate with crostini andcaramelised red onions (£7.95), a great French delicacy. ChefJean-Joseph Clause is credited for creating and popularising pâté defoie gras in 1779. Chef Clause’s culinary genius was rewarded a giftof 20 pistols by King Louis XVI , and he obtained a patent for thedish in 1784

I’m afraid the version produced here is more likely to have had themaker shot. It is supposed to have a creamy, velvet texture, a rich andalluring delight. This reminded me of a block of pate found on anysupermarket shelf.

Things can only get better I guess and they did to some extent. Ishould point out that in terms of the main course we thought we would try thecurrent offer of £5.95 for any pasta dish.
This turned out to be good value for my Tagliatelle Italian Job(usually £10.95) which was a generous plateful of pasta, tiger prawns,saffron and roasted peppers.
The colourful crustaceans danced a jig of delight on the tastebuds,easily the highlight of the day.
My companion’s Linguine Putanesca (usually £7.95) was a combination ofolives, anchovies, garlic and chilli but lacked a bit of bite, he said. This had been “blitzed into an oily semi-smoothness, and the salty, chilli kick of properputanesca was completely absent,” he said.

At this point in the proceedings, a third diner, his friend, stepped into the frame. She ordered Entrecote Bosciaiola (£17.95),an aged 9oz Welsh sirloin, a cut she picked for its flavour above the more popular fillet. It came from that Josper oven in a good, deep and smokey pancetta and mushroom sauce that engulfed it and the plate.

The thick beef was the medium side of the requested medium rare until she reached the centre where some pink dawned. This was itself a somewhat manful task as all along the journey in she had described the flesh as chewy and tense. Maybe it hadn’t been hung long enough, she mused, or perhaps the creature it came from had met its maker “via a run-in with the Aberystwyth Taliban”.
Side orders of boulderous sauteed potatoes in lots of rosemary (£2.95) were soft rather than crunchy “boiled that had seen the flash of the saute pan,” she said. But they were more remarkable than the small bowl of mangetout, cauli florets and shards of carrot (£2.95).
We tucked into profiteroles (£4.95) with a creamy chocolate sauce and some ice cream. I also had a small, drinkable glass of Sangiovese (£3.95) from a very extensive wine list.
The lady ordered a warmed chocolate brownie (£4.25) which she described as perfectly baked “crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside”, but said it could have done with more actual chocolate and less sugar. A difficult-to-please woman, I noted, and not for the first time.

A proverbial game of two halves really. poor showing initially but therestaurant managing to pull back a consolation goal or two later on.

The non-pasta menu looks most appealing with lobster, chateaubriand andtornado rossini all featuring to show off the skills of the Josper.
So all in all, service good, decent atmosphere but thosestarters – oh, dear, I’m not a celebrity, get me out of here!

The good, the bad and the bubbly

Staple diet

Cottage Loaf, Thurstaston

The Wirral part of Deeside is a poem, an aroma, an ululating soundscape, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. A rolling down, triassic cliffs and the crunch of beach shale underfoot at half-light. A Sunday stroll then,  a tranquil aperitif to the main event; the panto. Aladdin’s not my cup of tea but with a gaggle of children in tow, the boozer and watching the match is not really an option. Talking of tea, the beckoning cold had induced a need for a pitstop and some warming up. The nearby Cottage Loaf at Thurstaston, all lights, tinsel and glitter, seemed an appropriate watering hole. Inevitably, a birdlike squawk for food emerged like a creature waking from hibernation. I ordered some soup and plates of chips. This is when things began to go downhill. The pub was fairly busy, full of families, chatter, clinking glasses and clacking plates but still such a simple order couldn’t go awry could it? Sadly, yes. The order was taken down wrong and took more than 30 minutes to rectify. When the food did arrive I just managed to prevent Kate, four years 10 months, from devouring a staple which had garnished a pot of tomato sauce. Unusually, I couldn’t be bothered to complain but some free chatter amongst our crowd brought the manageress bubbling over offering profuse apologies. I just said fine, forget it. However, I did remark privately that were this America then a refund would have been offered immediately, no questions asked.  Maybe Miss Bubbly’s radar is exceptional or she just has good customer service skills for an instant later she reappeared clutching a full refund in her hand. Not such a pantomime after all. Well done Cottage Loaf.

Sunday lunch? More like a dog’s dinner…..

The Square Bottle
Foregate Street
Chester

By Barry Turnbull

I’m not sure which was the most horrific experience. The Crown Plaza, Liverpool, fleecing me of
£5.60 for half a lager and a glass of soda last week or my Sunday lunch at a JD Wetherspoon’s pub in Chester.
Both were were memorable – but for all the wrong reasons.
I was in the Wetherspoon’s in Moreton earlier this year and enjoyed ham, egg and chips for
a more than reasonable £1.29. These days it’s £4.40. But you wouldn’t know that from visiting
the company’s website – all traces of pricing have been removed and replaced with a food
calorie count.
In the past the site trumpeted offers like 2 for 1 and various meals for £2.99. Clearly, as the recession has bitten ever deep into profits the company has upped prices at a time when
more people than ever are cost conscious. Strange.
So, The Square Bottle in Chester city centre. A bargain basement lunch was on the agenda
after a stint using my daughter’s pushchair as a dodgem amongst the teeming crowds at
Cheshire Oaks shopping outlet.
First impressions were not good. The tables were littered with plates and glasses whilst menus were scattered like leaves in an autumn gale..
The reason became clear, there were just two overwrought staff on duty behind the bar. I eventually managed to place an order 20 minutes after entering the premises.
I sat down with the kids next to a table where a down-at-heel sort of chap was tackling his macerated roast with the enthusiasm of a neanderthal ripping a wild pig to shreds.
This, I realised, was not going to be an afternoon of fine dining. Oh my prophetic soul!
The food arrived. My roast pork dinner (£6.99 with a free drink) came on a platter accompanied by two tiny bowls containing apple sauce and gravy.
For a start, there wasn’t enough gravy which would have helped ameliorate this stunningly mundane dish. The broccoli had been severely punished, boiled remorseslessly until any hint of flavour or nutrition had disappeared. The peas too were turning a shade of white after presumably receiving a similar pummeling.
The Yorkshire puds were nothing like my gran used to make. Limp and floppy, probably
microwaved. The pork resembled a boil in the bag affair. A black piece of stuffing looked and tasted like lead shot.
I scoffed it along with the glass of Merlot merely to stave off hunger pangs.
My son Matthew chewed on an unappetising cheese and tomato toastie (£3.39) that
had been plonked down whole. It was saddled with a very meagre selection of chips –
I imagine  portions have also taken a beating in the effort to maintain margins.
Kate, 4, also had a few chips (£2.10) and a tub of ice cream that wouldn’t have filled a gnat never mind a growing child.
Overworked staff, no care in the kitchen, rising prices – it’s not what made Wetherspoon’s a high street success a couple of years ago.
Maybe founder Tim Martin should do an Undercover Boss style operation.
Unpleasant.  
Eddie Gershon, Wetherspoon’s pr supremo, told me: “Wetherspoon has more than 100 different menu versions due to regionality and pricepoint – that’s why the prices aren’t on the website. There’s no cover-up of pricing – over 90% of our pubs have Sweet Chilli Noodles or Ham & Eggs at £3.25, . Prices have risen slightly in the last 12 months, but under the rate of food inflation.”

Wild and stormy night in New Brighton

Turners
New Brighton seafront
THE moaning wind buffeted and battered the seafront like some unhinged ghost train careering out of control.
Clouds blotted out the moonlight and, as I looked up from under my hood, pellets of steely rain hit my face like the lash.
It was a hellish night, a mix of King Lear’s blasted heath and the torture endured by trawlermen riding the mid-Atlantic rollers. Welcome to New Brighton! Thankfully we only had to brave the squall for the short distance from the car to the entrance of Turner’s Restaurant and Bar.
Preconceived plans had been literally blown away by the foul weather, so a visit to the city was postponed in favour of a venue closer to home.
Now we had been down this particular road before, New Brighton not exactly being renowned for its gourmet dining, but optimistically had the notion that there must be more on offer than flaccid chips and a tiddler ensconced in a torrent of batter.
Turner’s is in the Queens Royal Hotel building situated next to the grotesque eyesore that was once the resort’s Ritz – the Grand Hotel. This dereliction on a prime site is a striking emblem of the once-bustling resort’s decay.
Inside, the restaurant is made up of a large room with a bar at one end and a separate smoking/library area. The decor is reminiscent of a granny’s parlour, walls festooned with framed pictures and also garnished with decorations at the moment; a tip of the hat to the looming festivities.
The menu is varied with a reasonable selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. My starter was king prawns (pounds 4.45), presented standing to attention around a sea of storm-tossed salad and, although the dearly departed crustaceans were succulent enough, they would have benefited from a piquant sauce.
My dining companion preferred pate au maison (pounds 2.95) and seemed to relish each mouthful, her lips and tongue engaged in some sort of torpid pas de deux of appreciation, like a ruminating bovine.
To accompany the meal I had chosen a bottle of Sancerre (pounds 12.75), although it appeared the waitress was a little perplexed by this and a staff discussion I could not but help overhearing included something about it being “the pink one”. I awaited its arrival with interest but instead of the rose I was anticipating sending back, it was actually the correct bottle.
It was zestful, citrussy with a tantalising melon perfume, a typical Loire Valley sauvignon blanc that just fell short of matching the coquettish appeal of some New Zealand counterparts. A perfect ally for the prawns, it was later overpowered by a tangy main course.
The wine list was not extensive but with examples priced from pounds 8.50 appeared to be present value for money.
For the main course my cutlery took aim at a plate of duck a l’orange (pounds 11.50) which was imaginatively presented with portions of fowl fanned out in some sort of symbiotic nod to the orange wedges they nestled under. The meat was tender if a tad overdone while the sauce lacked body, comporting itself rather more like a gravy, which is not to my particular taste.
My companion was immersed in a dish of salmon and prawns (pounds 9.50) languishing in a butter sauce but occasional vocal emissions resembling some sort of rapturous crooning seemed to indicate all was well. Despite this mysterious melody the dish began to recede from view and this was no mean feat for my petite partner, consisting as it did of two imposing fillets of fish accompanied by a shoal of prawns.
Each meal also came with a side dish of sprouts, cauliflower, carrots and a boiled potato lacquered in butter which were perfectly fine. The encore was ice cream (pounds 1.75), a light dessert being preferred, bearing in mind what had preceded.
There were a number of other diners but those closest to us seem to have been offered a Christmas menu and, as that was not passed our way, I cannot tell what it consisted of.

Sheldrake’s restaurant

AFLIGHT of birds, silhouetted against the pink-blush dusk sky over the Dee estuary, resembled rising smoke.
It was like watching a slow moving picture show, the sound track provided by two dogs barking a duet in the distance.
A faint breeze tickled a nearby collection of flowers, encouraging the petals to dance a strange, silent salsa on their stalks.
The city had been left behind barely an hour before and the contrast to this bucolic scene was stark. The area is revered for its wildlife; birds such as pink foot geese, oystercatchers, spoonbills, redshanks and birds of prey abound.
After watching the flock we spotted drift off,it was time to head for nearby Sheldrake’s, the restaurant on the beach at Heswall.
It transpired that the timing could not have been worse. After a considerable period on the market it has now been sold and is due to receive a complete makeover, including interiors, furniture and food. Perhaps this will require a return visit,because at the time I was not aware of the change in circumstances.
On entering the premises,I was immediately thrown back in time by a conversation I heard at a table where three diners were in debate. I recall as a junior reporter being assigned the crucial task of answering the readers’ telephone hot line to the editor’s office.
The idea – not new then or now – was to encourage readers to ring up with their stories, the added bonus being a chat with the boss who almost invariably had something else better to do.
It had been sold to me as a vital piece of community work that could yield untold benefits and even scoops. Alas, there were no deep throats but plenty of crackpots. There were mind numbing appeals for lost dogs, a request for an umbrella repairer and most bizarrely a chap who nonchalantly enquired: “How do you make an eggnog?” These thoughts passed through my mind swiftly as I heard one of the diners utter this selfsame question.
We were then seated close to a window affording panoramic views of the river and Welsh hills and orders were taken. My starter of smoked salmon timbale (pounds 6.50) was like an orange big top, masking inside an acrobatic array of crunchy salad accompaniments.
A sideshow of bread and butter was also presented.
My dining companion was lured towards the nouveau-style black pudding (pounds 4.50) which appeared to contained a rich harvest of offal. This was ho overed up in no- time, a rapturous expression telling its own tale.
I chose the house speciality, chicken Sheldrake (pounds 10.95),for my main course; a mistake, in hindsight,as it clashed with the starter, containing, as it did, smoked salmon.
The chicken fillet was a colossus, stuffed with salmon and cream cheese and capped by a delicious diaphonous sauce. A selection of fresh vegetables cowered in deference.
My partner’s Cajun chicken(pounds 9.95) was wedded to a piquant sauce suffused with chilli and garlic. Chips and a Greek salad were bridesmaids to the tart and expressive fillets.
A half bottle of white burgundy (Maon Villages pounds 7.95) was an elegant companion for my meal, the Chardonnay grape providing understatement and balance without the depth or complexity of Maon’s illustrious neighbours, Mersault or Montrachet. Needless to say,it was clearly not a harmonious match for Cajun chicken – a fact blithely ignored by my escort who glugged it back like fizzyade anyway.
The two boys, aged four and five, attacked sausage and chips, wielding the knives and forks like weapons of mini destruction.
The restaurant is pretty laid-back offering the prized window tables along with others more intimate. Dining as the sun goes down is the optimum time to vist and,in warm weather, the terrace is a place to watch the world go by.
New owner Helen Demetrios,a former finance manager,promises big changes to give Sheldrake’s a more contemporary feel.
“I was really taken with the location, which is a fabulous spot,and my family who work in the restaurant business persuaded me to buy.
“We will be open seven days a week, with a bistro at lunchtime and up-market during the evening. We are also starting barbecues this week and carrying out a refurbishment. New furniture will enable people to sit out on the patio.
“A new head chef David Owen is on board and we are looking at creating a more exciting, Mediterranean-stylemenu.”
I gazed wistfully out of the window, watching the sun slipping away, much like my chances of retreating peacefully to the study at home with a bottle of Riesling to watch the golf.
Sheldrake’s,Banks Road, Lower Heswall Tel 0151-342 1556 Smoking: Yes,in the bistro, not in the restaurant.
Children: Welcome anytimeDisabled access: YesDecor: Dated but about to receive a makeoverService: Perfunctory Value for money: ReasonableMENUSmoked salmon timbale Black pudding Chicken Sheldrake Cajun chicken Sausage and chips (x2) Soft drinks (x2) Half bottle of Maon Villages Glass of house redTotal …………. pounds 53.15