I was in Liverpool last week with work and wasn’t supposed to finish till about 3pm. Luck was on my side, my meeting finished at 12 noon and I had some time to spare before my train back. It was a Friday afternoon, I had a few hours on my hand, and I was in Liverpool – I sure was going to make the most of it! Ayeesha, a friend of mine suggested that I should go try this gem of a restaurant called The London Carriage Works on Hope Street and that’s exactly what I did. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
The London Carriage Works is an award winning restaurant by Chef Paul Askew who, The Times once described as a’ chef destined for the heights of Michelin’. This restaurant well renowned for the use of fresh and local produce and that definitely showed in the dishes we sampled – they even have a page on their website listing a few of these local suppliers.
Seb and I rocked up at about 12 noon without a reservation and we were swiftly seated without any issues. The interiors of this restaurant is modern contemporary with a few shards of floor to ceiling glass taking centre stage. It’s simple, elegant and doesn’t take away from the pièce de résistance which ofcourse is the beautiful food. They had a special January lunch menu and I couldn’t resist trying some of the dishes on offer. This special menu was really good value for money as well with two courses for £17.50 and three courses for only £22.50.
I asked our waitress about the quirky name of this restaurant and ofcourse there was a story. The London Carriage Works apparently acquired its name, when during renovation works the original company name became apparent in the stonework of the building. The building built in 1866 was home to a coach and carriage builders called the London Carriage Works – that made a lot more sense. I am a sucker for a good story and I was hooked!
We started with some olives for the table and these organic beauties were just that – beautiful.
For our starter, we sampled the braised pork belly with cauliflower puree and apple salad. I love pork belly but its so difficult to get just right, but this dish was absolutely perfect. The cauliflower puree and the apple shreds albeit simple, perfectly compliments the pork.
It was so good, Seb couldn’t resist licking this plate clean! Can’t take that boy anywhere!
I ordered the roasted free range Whitchurch chicken breast with fondant potato, crispy haggis, tender stem broccoli and chicken veloute for my main.
The chicken was moist and well flavoured, the fondant potato was beautifully done but the stand out ingredient was the crispy haggis. It was a superstar in its own right on this plate and brought this dish together perfectly. I could have easily devoured up a plate full of the crispy haggis if given an option.
Seb was so impressed with his pork starter that he ordered the roast loin of Wirral Tan House Farm pork served with mulled red cabbage, parsnip puree, braised onions and baby leeks for his main. Again it was perfection on a plate. The mulled red cabbage perfectly complimented the pork and the braised onions added a subtle hint of sweetness to this dish. If I was being picky, I would note that the pork was slightly too dry but then again, I am not that picky. 🙂
Seb is a terrible photographer – he can’t take a good photo even if his life depended on it. I thought I would try changing this while we waited for our pudding. After a few attempts, he managed to click a really good close up of the flower vase on our table. Job well done Sebby!
And then pudding arrived.
The chocolate bread and butter terrine with vanilla ice cream was exactly what we needed after all that meat. It was surprisingly light and oh so good! I love the portion sizes at this restaurant, it’s not too small but it’s not too big either, you leave satisfied with your meal.
The food at The London Carriage Works is spot on – amazingly good food with some seriously intense flavour made from fresh local produce. To add to that, the service is unobtrusive and the food is really good value for money – what more could you ask for? I left impressed and would definitely go back to try some of the dishes on the a la carte menu. If the lunch menu was anything to go by, I am certain that I am in for a treat.