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Food and booze round up

Any decent chippies left in Liverpool? Larging it with Michael Riemenschneider; nautical nice desserts and an NVQ to name drop

Published on January 14th 2010.

Food and booze round up

Baited breath
Nearly 100 fish and chip shops have been shortlisted for the National Fish and Chip Shop of the Year competition 2009.

Now in its 22nd year, the competition, which organised by the Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), recognises the quality, value and choice offered by fish and chip shops across the UK.

So down to the North West section and not a one coming close to the Mersey. Fosters Fish & Chips, Alderley Edge; Langley Friery, Middleton; Foz’s Fish Bar, Failsworth and Fiveways Fisheries, Stockport.

Where was our own Lobster Pot? This sorry state of affairs got us wondering if there are any really excellent chippies left in Liverpool. The Famous Blue Star in Walton is talked about by the misty eyed, Chris's in Rose Lane, Mossley Hill, is another name that used to set the salt and vinegar buds going. Tell us who batters everyone else on the takeaway fish and chip front here, and we'll all have a night out there. OK?

Frankby my dear....
Confidential spent the afternoon with Michael Riemenschneider last week to study the cut of his jib over at The Hillbark Hotel, in Frankby, Wirral.

Swiss-born Michael is a big lad, almost seven ft tall. The former chef at the one-time Michelin-starred Juniper in Altrincham, tells us how the closure, last year, with debts of £57,0000, left him shocked, bruised and hurt.

But he's seemingly bounced back. At 27, he's over here, or over there, depending on which side of the Mersey you are reading this, and big plans are afoot from the big footed one.

Many of Mr R's former kitchen staff are up for giving the old liquid nitrogen machines another go, and have jumped back on board to help run the fine dining and banqueting operations at what, up until now, has been known as Merseyside's favourite wedding venue.

Bang in the middle of Royden Park in a mock-Tudor hall that was moved there, brick by brick, he's already installed himself and a swishy new marble, French kitchen in the basement.

The Yellow Room is to be modernised, with its Swarowski nick-nacks, formal silver, crystal chandeliers and candelabras all going. From a wine list of 650 bottles, he tells us, you will be able to order any one by the glass. Blimey.

Chef has got his eye on any stray rabbits hopping by, and also plans a big vegetable garden in the extensive grounds to surprise and delight both the fine diner and the tired and emotional bridesmaid who finds herself tumbling into the carrot patch.

Do you like hospital food?
He's only been here five minutes, but Michael R tells us that talks are afoot in Liverpool for a national catering first: An NVQ with a name attached. This is to sort the butter from the marg when assessing a young chef's qualification. Did he/she achieve it in the local hospital kitchen? Or did they get it with a named chef?

So if you made your grade in the London Carriage Works you would be able to put “NVQ (Paul Askew)”. Or if gained in the Adlephi, you would be able to put something else.

MICRO REVIEW: Nautical but nice at the Maritime
The pull of the Albert Dock has been increasingly about tourists, but since Liverpool One opened up it has paved the way for people on foot take their lives in their hands and cross the ten-lane Wapping carriageway.

One of these is the dessert menu at The Maritime Dining Rooms which opened in August. Right at the top of the Maritime Museum, it's a huge barn of a place with good, attentive service. They do a modern, three course British menu under the watch of chef Nigel Paul Smith, where, at the Bluecoat Upstairs, he kept things simmering. Now he's been poached.

In between courses and fine wines you can admire the stunning view of the Neptune Development and remark how even at this height, you can no longer see the Three Graces, but it doesn't really matter because you were bored with them anyway after all these years and at least it doesn't look the bleedin' same any more. Etcetera.

Or you could remark on the super value meal deals like how a family of four can eat two courses each for £20.

This is only a daytime place at the moment, so good for lost afternoons. But a visit to its website reveals that the museum will be open until 8pm on Tuesday 20 October to celebrate the visit of the cruise liner Queen Mary II to Liverpool. Enjoy a special two course dinner menu at the Maritime Dining Rooms, with bookings taken until 8pm that day (ring 0151 478 4056), it says. Oh yes.

Recommendation: Try the blackberry fool in a bottle. Superdoodle.

World on a plate
The Yee Rah in Liverpool One is going 100% MSG FREE, so no more headaches. They say they want to create super foods which not only maintain the highest possible standards but some of the freshest produce around at a great affordable price.

The winter menu is also launched this week with everything from beef teriyaki and Mediterranean pasta bake. Other faces to the Yee Rah menu include, mussels, new and improved curries, create your own pizza, tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad, lamb kebab and Korean spiced duck breast to warm the cockles of your undecided heart.

Got any food and booze news? Email editorial@liverpoolconfidential.co.uk. Potentially, we'll use anything.

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

Brian SewellOctober 13th 2009.

Nik16 can't even speak or write English by the look of it, so what could she know about English chip shops? It looks like casual racism to me.

Cygneture dishOctober 13th 2009.

The Swan is not great. Think again.

AnonymousOctober 13th 2009.

byrnes stuart road walto everything bis cooked and battered in front of you includin scallops and fishcakes the fish is fresh hake cod and haddock and the batter not to greasy the key to good fish is slightly undercood wet and flaky

DigOctober 13th 2009.

Any man tempted by Nadia's offer be warned. I took her out once. I thought I was being thoughtful taking her to a Liverpool match, then the St.Petersburg restaurant then to see a Beatles tribute band then on for drinks in The Revolution. A bit of Russian and a bit of Scouse culture I thought. Lovely lady but built like a shotputter and when I mentioned The Red Army and Lennon she got very upset and battered me.

Fay KtanOctober 13th 2009.

Nik16 I would go to an English Chip shop but the nearest one to our house is on the Costa del Mar

Peter PanOctober 13th 2009.

I am sure scrittipolitti has a view on this. Couching it in his "special" way.

AnonymousOctober 13th 2009.

I thought this was supposed to be a debate about chip shops. Mike's gets my vote

Ar EckaslikeOctober 13th 2009.

So no kudos for the Swan in Southport? Poor auld Marcus Wareing will be crying into his hot fat. It's his fave by a mile, apparently (or about 230 miles these days).

Dr StrukovOctober 13th 2009.

That's nothing, I took a young Russian lady called Nadia, down to my local chippy to get a portion of our great traditional dish, before heading back to her place. Sadly when we got there, her batter was rancid. I'll never go down there again.

Fryer TuckOctober 13th 2009.

The best two chippies I know hereabouts are actually in Birkenhead but it's worth travelling: 'Giorgio's' in Park Road North and 'Johnny's' (est. 1966) on Conway Street. Fresh fish, small menus of unpretentious traditional fare and excellent jockeys make other chippies pale into insignificance,

DigOctober 13th 2009.

Well I would of took her to see the real Beatles but apparently they're not touring any more. How do you know we never went dogging? I enjoy giving my hairy little cocker spaniel some fresh air now and again. Yes Nikolai, I'm to blame. Why? I don't know, just thought I'd go along with it.

VladimirOctober 13th 2009.

How revolting

StephOctober 13th 2009.

Two Flowers chippy on Stanley Road is the best for miles.The chips are freshly cooked and there are loads of them!Not too sure on the fish, but they look pretty big when i've seen them, and Yanny is always good to wind up or have a laugh with.

AnonymousOctober 13th 2009.


Hilda OgdenOctober 13th 2009.

"A Beatles tribute band"? Flipping heck Dig, you really know how to treat a lady! Was the betting shop shut? I suppose at least you didn't take her dogging.

John TiradeOctober 13th 2009.

Went to Steve's in Aigburth Vale last Friday and found a short and curly in my mushy peas.

AnonymousOctober 13th 2009.

Mikes is good

Monty CarloOctober 13th 2009.

MontY Carlo! Get it right lad!

Silver SandsOctober 13th 2009.

The Monty Carlo had a cabaret for the queue, a good view of the local children at 3.00am climbing on and vandalising cars parked outside.

Ay!Carmala!October 13th 2009.

I would venture to suggest that most Liverpool chippies are downright awful.Burnes's (?) on Bedford Rd, Walton L4 being the exception.

NikolaiOctober 13th 2009.

Dig! Are you the reason that the St. Petersburg is closing?

Catholic FridayOctober 13th 2009.

I also think the key to good fish is not to wrap it up in paper as it makes the batter start to steam and fall flat. Anyone know anywhere who offers "open" chips and fish these days

adamOctober 13th 2009.

Good Chippy? Lings chippy on Windsor street, Toxteth, not only has the worlds strangest opening hours (Mon-Fri 16.30 - 19.00) but does the best Fish and chips in the area. I have been in Liverpool for two years and been to Lobster Pot in town plus others and all have not been as good as Lings. It is also run by a small crew of female staff who ensure the place is spotless and everything is fresh!!

Papageno ( I have a magic flute for you to blow)October 13th 2009.

Hey Nadia, buongiorno bellisimo, you coma my cheepy shop an I put a my nice Peroni in your batter, non c'è problema, make it good for you. I got big the scallops an plenty vinegar. Qual'è il tuo numero di telefono? Posso pagare con carta di credito?

NadiaOctober 13th 2009.

In united kingdom where I make new life there is no place I find to eat good food like Minsk. Mans I find are small like seafood, which is winkle to me and I laugh in face of one eye. To me, your dish of fish and chips is pitiful. If rich man wants to take hot Russian lady to good place of fine eating, Nadia is here with excellent supply of fresh batter

Nik16October 13th 2009.

u shud go to an english chip shop for proper gud fish n chips cuz none of the Chinese can do it or there Greeks. No body can teach them the cooking ways

Circuit judgeOctober 13th 2009.

It's a while since I've picked up a loosie in L8

AnonymousOctober 13th 2009.

Speaking of chips in Toxteth, does anyone remember the Monte Carlo on the corner of Windsor Street where you could buy a "loosey" at four in the morning

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