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Restaurant review: Noble House

Picasso at the Tate gets Gordo going with virile and red blooded talk

Written by . Published on September 20th 2010.


Restaurant review: Noble House

THE Noble House appeared one day in the same way that the TARDIS appears; nobody particularly spotted what was happening. It was another restaurant opening in Liverpool and, more than likely, it was either a copy of the Restaurant Bar and Grill, a Chinese (given that its name is taken from a James Clavell book) or a YAFI (Yet Another Fucking Italian, ed).

Dance with her in the kitchen, take her on the stairs. Make her feel the way the woman in Picasso’s piece must have done when he painted her.
Alive.
Because you’re a long time fucking dead mate

Gordo walked in one Bank Holiday Monday with his pal, Peachy, having visited the rather stunning Picasso: Peace and Freedom exhibition in the equally excellent Tate Liverpool.

Forget all the political bullshit, find Woman in an Armchair No1 (The Polish Cloak). Look her deeply in the eyes. You will discover everything you want to know about Picasso there. You will also, as a man, realise that all you need to know about women has been captured by The Grand Old Painter in a few simple brush strokes. Go, look into them and fall deeply in love. These eyes are your lovers, your wife’s. Take her home and hold her for a long time; tell her how much you love her, that she is the most important thing in your life. Dance with her in the kitchen, take her on the stairs. Make her feel the way the woman in Picasso’s piece must have done when he painted her.

Alive.

Because you’re a long time fucking dead mate.

In the meantime, let’s get back to the restaurant. Walking in around tea time, Gordo’s spirits lifted; this was something different. Passing through a smart, dark foyer, you are decanted into a room of size and grandeur, in a way that buildings were laid out when men made livings out of wind, sail and wits. You chanced a lot to make money in those days and spent it with a big pair of balls when you got back. Which results in rooms like this which put a smile on your face when you walk into them.

The designer has delivered a masculine room that mirrors what Liverpool is and was all about; being bold. With a good manly bar over to the right, an open kitchen opposite and big bench booths on the opposite wall, there is something for everyone. Even a communal bench table that must sit 16 easily in the middle of the room.

Gordo is welcomed by one of the North West’s best hosts, Rob Preston, a man who, along with Tim Bacon over a decade ago, delivered the Living Rooms to Manchester and Liverpool, re-defining the dining and bar scene in both cities. Gordo has eaten excellent racks of lamb in both establishments down the years.

The menu here is New York Meat Packing District. Cool, cool, cool. It reminded Gordo of the TriBeca Bar and Grill over there. Packed with an atmosphere of sawdust, ketchup, beer and burgers. With lobsters and steaks thrown in.

Here in New York’s sister port, we are treated to a menu with similar testosterone. The blackboard has daily specials, with fresh fish, chef’s one-offs and a charcuterie table.

Breakfast is served from 7:30am till ten; from midday till five you can nip in for sandwiches and burgers, though Gordo would be pissed off if he was refused one of the burgers in the evening.

Peachy’s Half Pounder (£8.95) was a monster with cheese, served with proper ‘slaw in a jar, and that spicy sweetcorn relish. The chips are big bruisers, tamed by a correct cooking technique.

Gordo’s starter was off the blackboard, a Thai-influenced salad of crayfish and avocado shot through with lime, chilli sliced in the diagonal and coriander, fresh as sea spray. Sorry, can’t remember what it was.

Wine? There is everything here, from magnums of Dom Perignon for idiots (£330) to Chateau Musar, served from the most wonderful wine “machine” Gordo has ever seen, by the glass, which is what he drank (more info). Sorry again, can’t find the price but it’s £43.95 by the bottle. The list is arguably the best in Liverpool, but ask for the years; Rob is naughty by not publishing them, particularly the Old World stuff that isn’t worth the money if they don't have age on them, and the good years at that.

Peachy, by the way, had an excellently executed risotto of slow roasted shallot with semi-dried vine tomatoes, cherry mozzarella and baby herbs (£6.95). The chef, John Tamila, isn’t shy when it comes to the portions.

Gordo ordered a Harmony Farm 10oz Rib-eye (£18.95); Rob and John have spent some time on sourcing, offering two different herds, the other being Cumbrian Fell beef, the ‘house’ steak slightly cheaper at £14.95. The Harmony farm is exceptional stuff, cooked perfectly as ordered and garnished in a manly fashion that concentrates the beefiness of the whole piece. A delight.

Sides. Well done this chef for serving broccoli £2.95) properly. That is, with a tangy hollandaise sauce. Sorry John, your broccoli was slightly too soft, but another good little example of a chef who is using his bonce.

Puddings were a baked American toffee apple cheesecake (£5.95), which was obscene and great fun, whilst the citrus tart (£6.75) stood its ground.

The Noble House stands out on its own; it has great character, a staff who are on top of their game and a feel of being somewhere a little bit special. A place for people who know what they want.

Well done Rob and the team, keep this polished. The only disappointment for Gordo was that de Niro wasn’t sat at the bar eating salt beef on rye.

And fellas, once you have finished on the stairs, bring her here. Every real man knows how important it is to give the feminine side an airing.


Rating: 17/20
Breakdown: 7/10 food
5/5 serivice
5/5 ambience
Address: Noble House
Heywood Building
5 Brunswick Street
Liverpool
L2 OUU
0151 236 5346

Liverpool Confidential reviewers turn up unannounced and pick up their own bills

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Dave ThackerayJuly 14th 2010.

Gordo, you're spellbinding, my man. With the exception of Giles Coren I rarely bother doffing my eyes at restaurant reviews but I'm more than happy to make an exception whenever your pixels come into view.Keep it up - and keep them coming. Especially the ladies, you saucy (but eminently refined) old bugger!

AnonymousJuly 14th 2010.

Peachy has got at least one decent bap there

Phil McCrackenJuly 14th 2010.

A fine piece of writing Gordo but I have eaten there a couple of times and found it over priced with a dull menu and shocking service. Colleagues agree. I don't intend to go back. Wander around the corner and try Merchants - much better on all counts.

Darth FormbyJuly 14th 2010.

On the strength of this review, I went to Noble house and ordered three burgers. Two quarter pounders, and one half pounder. Yes I had company!The half pounder is two quarters on the same bun. I prefer my burgers cooked on a high heat and these were not, although the buns were slightly burnt. Three burgers were pink (which would put most people off) and one was much older than the others. I pointed this out, but there was no offer to compensate, just.. 'Ill tell them'The chips were almost burnt on the outside and too firm at the centre. They were limp and greasy, made from cheap white spuds, and came ready salted! In fact there was a serious amount of salt in general. The coleslaw was cloying after the first fork. The sweetcorn/sweet chilli and coriander relish is going in my act, but only at a barbeque. The staff have that annoying habit of trying to stitch extras to you by mentioning them as if they are free. Not going back.

Secret SquireelJuly 14th 2010.

I loved the little poem above! So true!

NikolaiJuly 14th 2010.

Yes, I can't get decent borshch anywhere these days.

Liverpool WagJuly 14th 2010.

It's all down to the size of the hands actually. You know what they say, big hands...big feet

The Man on the Garston OmnibusJuly 14th 2010.

Tell us more about the lady!

Hairy JoeJuly 14th 2010.

That is a very good bit of writing, Gordo, you romantic old bugger.

Steak FritzJuly 14th 2010.

Nice review, Gordo, although it is widely accepted that the bigger the steak, the smaller the penis

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