Eating Out in…Merseyside

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This month we go searching for great places to eat in Merseyside with the help of Simon who writes at Northern Munkee Bites,

Over to Simon…

I am a Food Adventurer and my journeys often take me ‘off the beaten track’ to seek out new and exciting food experiences. I am fortunate to live in North West England which is a cultural hot bed of innovative eateries stirred by the diverse landscape of the rolling hills and bustling cities and the amazing blend of people, places and a certain Northern poetry.

This blog is inspired by those Food Adventurers who like to operate outside of the safety net of a big city environment where quality is sign-posted and well document. This blog takes me on an adventure to find ten Must-Visit Eateries in Merseyside that fall outside Liverpool City Centre. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy frequenting the vibrant city but there’s nothing more satisfying, for me, than discovering hidden gems and moments of foodie serendipity.

This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list or a ‘Top 10’ it’s my interpretation of food hotspots in Merseyside:

  • Hudson Smokehouse, St Helens
  • The Sinners Club, Burscough
  • Fraiche, Oxton
  • Spire, Wavertree
  • Da Piero, Irby
  • Gorge’Us, Spital
  • Bistrot Verite, Southport
  • Aubergine Café, West Kirby
  • Burnt Truffle, Heswall
  • Yiamas, Birkenhead

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Eatery: Hudson Smokehouse

Location: St Helens

Style: Louisiana/ New Orleans

Avg Price Per Head: £25 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: fantastic décor complimented by mood lighting and a Southern American mixtape to really set the tone; it’s also worth checking out the live music on a Saturday evening

Appeals to: messy eaters, big portion believers and American fanciers

Quick Review:

Hudson Smokehouse is a brilliant addition to St Helens and its menu boasts a wide range of Southwest inspired dishes paired with a wide range of drinks from around the world including an extensive bourbon selection. I love everything about this restaurant: the branding, the ambience, the menu, the food – it’s all great, plus it’s right on my doorstep. There aren’t enough great restaurants in St Helens but this is definitely a large leap in the right direction for the borough. This restaurant has received some bad reviews recently but I want to challenge them and this should definitely be on your hit list if you’re a Foodie in Merseyside.

 

Eatery: The Sinners Club 

Location: Burscough      2

Style: American Burger Bar

Avg Price Per Head: £25 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: this is a very unassuming establishment with stereotypical American adornments throughout that creates the perfect burger bar atmosphere

Appeals to: slow-cooked, fast-food lovers

Quick Review:

The Sinners Club isn’t somewhere you’d stumble across, even if you know where you’re going it’s not easy to find but when you do arrive in the secluded courtyard you’re in for a treat. The menu is simple but serves up a great selection of loaded burgers, embellished fries and a healthy range of beers from across the Pond.

 

Eatery: Fraiche

Location: Oxton, The Wirral

Style: Creative and Modern European Cuisine

Avg Price Per Head: £55 (four courses plus drinks)

Ambience: this is the height of the Food Adventure, the restaurant is tiny affording an intimate and exclusive experience

Appeals to: anyone who loves food, this is a real treat for the taste buds

Quick Review:
Marc Wilkinson has created Food Pornography with Fraiche. Although there are lots of examples of Wilkinson being ostentatious with his culinary skills, the menu offers a very earnest and modern twist on popular foods without being OTT. There will always be a certain level of pretence in Michelin starred cooking but here is an accessible luxury in our very own Merseyside.

Check out the top places to eat in Merseyside foodies100.co.uk

Eatery: Spire

Location: Wavertree

Style: Contemporary Cuisine

Avg Price Per Head: £25 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: the setup is simple and stylish allowing the Locke brothers’ food set the scene

Appeals to: fine food seekers with an eye on value, don’t let the reasonable menu pricing be an indicator of quality in this instance.

Quick Review:

Spire’s menu offers an ample selection of simple contemporary dishes. There isn’t a great deal of showmanship on the plate here and the brothers just allow the quality of the ingredients and accomplished cooking add the flair.

Eatery: Da Piero

Location: Irby, The Wirral

Style: Italian

Avg Price Per Head: £40 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: this doesn’t look much from the outside but you need to take that leap over the threshold for the fabulous Italian flavours held within; the space is small but this only builds to create an intimate eating experience

Appeals to: any Italian food-lover will be impressed here

Quick Review:

Da Piero’s use of fresh ingredients, herbs and oils in their dishes ensure that the Italian culture is evoked from insalata through to gelato. The dishes aren’t earth-shatteringly creative but they are fantastic and deliver on flavour every time.

Gorg'Us

Eatery: Gorge’Us Tea Rooms

Location: Spital, The Wirral

Style: Afternoon Tea

Avg Price Per Head: £15 (one course plus drinks)

Ambience: set in a beautiful conurbation, Gorge’Us is everything you’d want in a tea room: flowery table cloths, delicate mismatched crockery and furniture and a friendly atmosphere.

Appeals to: gluten-free foodies and sweet treat salivators

Quick Review:
You might be forgiven for thinking the Afternoon Tea revolution is waning but I’d challenge that notion: it’s not waning it’s developing. Gorge’Us is testament to that with owner Ceri committing to make at least half of the things on her menu GF. The food is excellent and the atmosphere makes this venue the perfect slow afternoon with company.

 

Eatery: Bistrot Verite

Location: Birkdale Village, Southport

Style: French Cuisine

Avg Price Per Head: £30 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: this rustic French restaurant has a warm and welcoming atmosphere with an intimate feel created by the dimly lit, charming surroundings

Appeals to: Francophiles and food fanatics with frugal streak – it’s hard to find food of this quality for less than £30 a head

Quick Review:
There’s a reason that the French renowned for their cooking – it’s bloody marvellous! Marc Verite has created a hidden gem in his Bistrot by creating a wonderfully simple menu with the finest French dishes that taste as if they were cooked under the bells of Notre Dame.

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Eatery: Aubergine Cafe

Location: West Kirby, The Wirral

Style: Light Bites

Avg Price Per Head: £15 (one course plus drinks)

Ambience: Aubergine Café definitely fits the bill of being ‘off the beaten’ track but it’s well worth seeking out. The ambience is cheery, quaint and quirky with high quality food being the theme throughout

Appeals to: flaneurs, people-watchers and fine diners

Quick Review:

In my opinion the sign of a good eatery is the ability to make a good sandwich; now you might think, ‘where’s the skill in that?’ but that’s my point – if you can impress me with a sandwich then the rest of the menu will be superb! There’s no pretence here but this is surely up there with the best cafes in the region.

 

Eatery: Burnt Truffle

Location: Heswall, The Wirral

Style: Modern Cuisine

Avg Price Per Head: £45 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: from its exterior appeal alone you may walk passed Burnt Truffle without noticing it with its modest frontage; the ambience created inside echoes this modesty with the excellent food stealing any limelight on offer

Appeals to: food adventurers, food followers and food fanatics

Quick Review:
This is Chef Gary Usher’s second venue and, by all accounts, another roaring success. The well-to-do village of Heswall is the perfect setting for a restaurant of such simple class and grace. Burnt Truffle rises through the throng of other high quality restaurants in the proximity like a sunflower escaping a bed of thorns. The menu demonstrates Usher’s skill and pairing precision with well married flavour combinations cooked with care. This is a must-visit if you’re in the North West.

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Eatery: Yiamas Greek Taverna

Location: Birkenhead, The Wirral

Style: Greek

Avg Price Per Head: £25 (two courses plus drinks)

Ambience: now, if SuBo has taught me anything (and she has) it’s that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Yiamas is set in a less than salubrious part of The Wirral and it’s exterior needs some urgent attention; however if you can crunch your way through the broken glass and discarded Kestrel cans then you’re in for a treat

Appeals to: surreptitious supper searchers with a nose for great food

Quick Review:

Greek food is up there as one of my favourite cuisines; it’s fresh, it’s indulgent and it’s full of refreshing flavours. Yiamas offers a fantastic example of how Greek food should taste. Despite the potentially uninviting appearance I believe that Yiamas serves some of the best Kleftiko I’ve had outside of the Hellenic isles. I’d urge you to be a proper Food Adventurer and try this.

So that concludes my taste buds’ tour of Merseyside.

Thanks to Simon for this great post, you can check out his blog Northern Munkee for more Food Adventures, or find him on Twitter and Instagram

If you have a favourite area to eat in and would like to share with us get in touch at foodies100@fleaenterprises.com

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Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the list of nice places.
    Hmm, I can’t decide what I want to start with. The burgers or Greek cuisine.
    I checked out the ratings of the restaurants on http://www.alltheviews.com/
    I guess I’ll visit first Greek Taverna.
    Hope it’s a good choice.
    Regards,
    Max

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