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Sunday Dinners: The Fly In The Loaf

Brought to you by two ex-Everyman Bistro veterans, Hardman St just got a bit brighter

Written by . Published on February 15th 2013.

Sunday Dinners: The Fly In The Loaf

Where this time?
Fly In The Loaf 13 Hardman Street, L1 9AS. 0151 708 0817.

Hardman Street on a Sunday? 
Admittedly, the morning after the Saturday night before is not the time to catch Hardman Street at its most appealing. Even at 1.30pm, it looks like the urban highway equivalent of a hangover: gloomy, dishevelled and smelling faintly of sick. Fear not, a treat awaits...

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What's so special?

Step off the street and you enter another country. France, by the look of things – families with well behaved children who appear to be having fun without the aid of an xbox; a brace of sixtysomething women; a runaway toddler doing a fair impression of a stumbling drunk; young couples smiling at each other. And there's still room for the usual congregations of middle-aged men who barely register a frown at the good-natured hubbub.

Even if you forego the opportunity to feed your face and nourish your soul with their rather splendid roast dinner, you should try The Fly at this time for the craic and a general air of loveliness which comes from the old-fashioned wood panelling, the old-fashioned friendly welcome and an uncommonly civilised vibe.

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What's on the table?
One course roast dinner, £7.95. Two courses, £9.95. Three courses £12.95. Kid size main course, £4.

Perhaps mindful of the damage to brain function incurred over the course of the weekend (say, for example, punters have suddenly found themselves unable to remember what a roast dinner is), there's a  handy explanation of the concept in the window.

“The Sunday Roast,” reads a notice, “is a traditional British main meal served on Sundays.” You don't say. Well, actually, they do. And it goes on, in some detail. 

Indeed, one suspects the dumbo's guide is aimed at attracting the tourist dollar - a further clue being the sign directing visitors to the “Rest Room”, although, frankly, if you can't bring yourself to contemplate the word “toilets”, you deserve to wet your pants. 

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Where do we begin?
From the two-course menu came strips of calamari, breaded and dipped into a gently lemony mayo could have been absolutely rubbery but were, instead,, absolutely luvverly.

And a perfectly smooth slab of creamy, home-made, pork farmhouse pate, so large it could almost have filled in for one of those nicked paving stones off Hope Street the other week. With plenty of granary toast to trowel it on to,  it was zinged up by a spiced, soaked raisin chutney. 

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The main event

Lamb leg, in the form of two meaty hunks, tender and brimming with good taste (how often do you get to say that on Hardman Street, girls?), and a fine wodge of moist, free range, bone-in chicken breast, which proved that showing compassion to our fellow creatures brings its reward.

Aberdeen Angus topside, from the Scotch Beef Shop, was carved on the thin side, quite possibly with its junior recipient in mind. Being topside, there was a little less fatty marbling and thus a little less flavour, but the goodness in the rich, beefy gravy went a long way to compensate, not to mention the Yorkshire pudding...

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Did we mention Yorkshire puddings?
No sign of cutting corners with disappointing Aunt Bessie here, rather a home-cooked puffy crater of titanic proportions. With a slight crunch, this was a paragon among puddings.

Big, lots of them, "whatever is in season". Golden, soft and gooey with that just-out-of the-oven appeal.

Scrumptiously sweet carrot and swede, fashionably bashed rather than mashed, either that or their arm got tired; broccoli,and plenty of frozen garden peas making up the numbers. Still, nowt wrong with that.

Fly In The Loaf Liverpool %2837%29Free range chiccken breast

Anything else?
Mint sauce of the jar variety (but, hey, where are you going to find fresh mint growing at this time of year?). A soft and moreish herby stuffing with the chicken. There's also pork with apple sauce among the roast options sometimes.

What if you don’t like Sunday roasts or are a veggie?
There is a nut roast with all the same trimmings. The wider menu includes things like nachos and melted Cheddar and a falafel and spinach burger. Flesh eaters might be drawn to Southport potted shrimps or Lakes gammon steak with a free range egg.

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Child friendly?

The kids all seemed very friendly, and The Fly welcomes them with open arms with the one stipulation that everybody in the group is eating. The scaled-down roast is fabulous value and would satisfy most full-sized humans.

Alternatively, there is a child's menu from which the nine-year-old among us had a sizeable chunk of freshly battered fish chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce that, for £4.95, were everything they should have been.

Proof of the pudding
Basically a chocolate brownie and ice cream or sticky toffee pudding. Again, both are baked on the premises, the latter in a loaf tin in which there are certainly none of the eponymous flies, just lashings of toothsome, hot, hot caramel. Oh yes.

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Something to wash it all down with?

You could do a lot worse than a pint of Okell's MPA. Velvety and light, its smooth maltiness and dainty citrus aroma make it the perfect foil for this fare. At 3.6 ABV it will keep its head and so will you, for a while.

Who does all this?
Lovingly constructed by Lyn Jordan and Lesley Lee, Everyman Bistro kitchen veterans of 20 years each.

Aha, now it all begins to make sense.

Catch their cooking Tuesday to Saturday at The Fly from noon to 7pm and from noon-5pm on Sunday. But don't leave it till late on Sunday. Last week they ran out at 4pm.

Flying colours.

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

Edward BarrettFebruary 15th 2013.

One of the best-run pubs in Liverpool - though I've never eaten there. My mouth's watering now!

EditorialFebruary 15th 2013.

It has evolved into a superb pub, Ed. We ate there by accident after the chef didn't show up at the bar we originally had in mind (Sunday slackers eh?).

Darth FormbyFebruary 15th 2013.

I'll be trying one of those as soon as possible. I agree about the stupid sign for the toilets though. Also, people who say 'tummy'(usually pronouncing the u as an e) because the word 'stomach' is too vulgar, should be waterboarded.

Pub GoerFebruary 15th 2013.

Good pub but I wish it was Adults only.
I hate to see kids in a Bar.
I want to enjoy my beer & food in Adult company without the scene of kids running about.
There's a McDonalds down the road.
Inconsiderate Parents...... they think they're modern.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 15th 2013.

Then you should try Okell's two other pubs in Liverpool, Rigby's and The Lady of Mann. They make families with children most unwelcome in there

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2013.

Then you should try Okell's two other pubs in Liverpool, Rigby's and The Lady of Mann. They make families with children most unwelcome in there

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2013.

Don't tell us....you've got twins?

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2013.

This place is owned by an off shore company which does not pay tax in the UK.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 18th 2013.

prove it

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2013.

So is everywhere else somewhere down the line. These are not 'offshore' They are Manx.

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2013.

This place is owned by an off shore company which does not pay tax in the UK !!!!

TripedFebruary 16th 2013.

The Isle of Man is a tax haven. Everybody knows that.

They aren't even in the European Union or NHS!

Manxman.February 16th 2013.

For Gods sake you moaning mimmies, it's the Isle of Man, there are problems there with unemployment and the same other problems we have here. Glad to know that Okells think Liverpool is worth investing in, go and lie down in a darken room until you can think of something positive to say. P.S. Are you on Benefits?

AnonymousFebruary 16th 2013.

Manxman. Take your mum for a dickie back ride.

Iain ScottFebruary 16th 2013.

Well said manxman

AnonymousJune 24th 2013.

Have been to The 'Fly' a few time lately for Sunday Lunch and on all occasions the place was empty except for two tables and also, they only had Beef or Chicken on the menu - - we wanted the Lamb and Pork that was advertised. I must say that the sweets were absolutely good. On all occasions we visited at 1.30PM. Empty!

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