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Eat to the beat at East Village Arts Club

Where the burger volume goes up to 11 and a damned fine chilli

Written by . Published on September 24th 2013.


Eat to the beat at East Village Arts Club
 

UPDATED: Grab 2 for 1 burgers here



WOULDN'T it be ace - ace of spades in fact - if rock n roll venues employed rock n roll chefs in their kitchens? 

Ozzie Osbourne, for example. Now for all we know he might be the finest creator of mille feuilles that the world has ever known - when he's not biting the heads of bats and spluttering them out into the chipper. 

Or how about a bowl of “toad in the hole”, whipped up by everyone's favourite mom next-door, Courtney Love? 

Yum, yum, yum? No, no, no. 

But sometimes it works. Graham Tyson, who is in charge of the food operations at East Village Arts Club, is happy to cross the line. He's been around the music biz block a few times as frontman with Manchester band Kinky Retro, and touring and recording for years. 

1-East Village Arts Club-084Chef Graham Tyson

Now, however, he is singing a different tune altogether - as a pro chef. 

“Cooking is my rock n roll these days,” says Salford-born Tyson, a man who produces, genuinely, the finest chilli (£8) Liverpool Confidential has tasted in memory.

“I miss the music, but as passions go, creating food is just as good.” 

But never mind all that, let's talk about chilli, a c-word that has merited not a single mention on Confidential in its seven years. 

Chef Tyson's brooding bowl of chilli (main image, top) is a lifetime away from the dodgy mince staple of student bedsits. 


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In a dark and mysterious sauce, chuck steak is cooked at a dawdle. Yet this dish flies out of the kitchen like a rocket, propelled by insatiable demand and the long, fiery, roasted green chilli atop. Everybody raves about the chilli.

East Village Arts Club is owned by Mamaco Group which has Edinburgh Picturehouse, Manchester Ritz Ballroom and London's Jazz Cafe in its stable. However, there is little evidence of corporate culture on the ground here.

1-East Village Arts Club-019Mussel popcorn and BBQ chicken wings

Rather, founders David Laing and Archie McIntosh have been intimately involved in the £1.5m redevelopment of the crumbling Royal Institute on Colquitt Street, latterly the Masque. 

By day, shafts of sunlight flood through the 18th century windows, where Charles Dickens once lectured, bathing exposed brick, wooden floors and stripped down tables. The pair are keen that the "Bar and Kitchen" is seen as a destination in its own right and not just a burger and a band opp. 

Ah yes, burgers: East Village has doubled the volume to 11 on the new menu: nine involve beef or chicken and there are two veggie varieties, one vegan. 

1-East Village Arts Club-048Mac & Cheese

Tyson uses chuck and trim in the mix, and makes everything on site – the sauces, even the mayo, even the now-ubiquitous brioche rolls (bad year gets worse in sesame bun futures). 

If you are hard enough, try wrestling with the triple stacked Big Daddy (£15) which incorporates everything they can think of to put on a burger or three, including more of that chilli, smoked streaky bacon and emmental or cheddar. 

1-East Village Arts Club-051Portobello burger

You can, however, still enjoy an impact when you steer clear of a steer.

A chicken katsu burger (£7), and a veggie portobello mushroom version drenched in oozing blue cheese (£6) each hold their own in a bullish marketplace; as does “Sheepish”, a juicy lamb patty smothered in a sharp fennel, yoghurt and mint salsa (£7). 

From the mains, some authentic southern fried chicken (£7), complete with mash, creamy gravy and US style biscuit and corn could hold its pecker up in any Route 66 diner.

1-East Village Arts Club-045Southern Fried Chicken 

With BBQ pork ribs (£11) marinated for 24 hours in a zesty Portuguese sauce and a 28-day-aged rump steak, including sides for £12, it is no wonder that people are checking their bills – for undercharging – at least if TripAdvisor reports are to be believed. 

It's well worth singling out other hits in East Village's songbook such as the crisp n dry mussel popcorn appetiser (£3), the chicken wings (suicide, buffalo, BBQ, £4), and mac & cheese (£4) with bacon bubbling away in your own mini cast iron cauldron. 

1-East Village Arts Club-057SheepishNot forgetting their own baked New York cheesecake presented in a kilner jar with cherry jelly, cherry shake, toasted marshmallow and broken fudge (£5). 

Yet Chef Tyson is still keen to twirl a mic when he's not twirling a spatula. 

“I wouldn't mind doing a sing-off now and again in the restaurant, when it's quiet,” he says. 

He may have a job. East Village Arts Club has already established itself as a music and arts venue. 

It may only be a matter of time before it's also known as the Eat Village Arts Club.


Details

East Village Arts Club Bar and Kitchen,

90 Seel Street

Liverpool, L1 4BH

Tel: 0151 559 3773.

Serving food noon-10pm/Sun-Thurs and noon-11pm/Fri-Sat.

1-East Village Arts Club-072Big Daddy

1-East Village Arts Club-126

1-East Village Arts Club-133Pix: Angie Sammons

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Julie ByrneSeptember 25th 2013.

We have been eating here for a while now, usually a Friday after work. The food is fantastic, staff are really nice and friendly. I just hope they bring back the Sunday roasts!

Iain ScottSeptember 25th 2013.

4.50 for a pint of rubbish lager I heard.

Burger kingOctober 1st 2013.

Lovely food in here and lovely service with a smile from the wee Irish girl. You can also get something to eat in here when everyone else has shut.

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Latest Rants

Prof. Chucklebutty

This sounds like it will be a very popular event. Although personally, I would prefer my dinner…

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Knowlegeable

Please refer to the sentence up the top about one or two glaring omissions...

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Anonymous

Leaf, Leaf and more Leaf probably the best brekkie place in all liverpool, and second in my opinon…

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Tracy Ryan

I feel ill. The history of the building will be entirely lost.

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