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Food and drink round up (23/11/10)

Bem Brazil opens; Rioja jackpot at Tapas Tapas; Malmaison hits the hay and more

Published on December 2nd 2010.

Food and drink round up (23/11/10)

A close shave
ONCE you've seen one Brazilian, you've seen them all. No, not the words of x-rated publisher Richard Desmond but the mini-phenomenon sweeping the town known as churrascaria.

Churrascaria is not to be confused with a condition treated with antibiotics, rather it is the concept of Brazilian steakhouse brought to Liverpool last month with Viva Brazil in Castle Street. Click here.

Now, hot on the Cuban heels, we have Bem Brazil on Hanover Street.

Bem B and Viva B used to be one, now they are two. Word has it that there was a race between the now-rivals to see who got to open first in Liverpool.

Each has exactly the same concept of travelling waiters piling on the meat as you, er, pile it on from the all-you-can-eat buffet.

With prices ranging from £12.50 - £24.50 depending on how much meat sweats you can take, it's close call between the two novel establishments.

Bem Brazil, however, did feel it necessary to ply local media hacks and other guests with toothsome cocktails like the Chocco-loco, pictured, despite it being only Monday.

Doubtless the next day, many were suffering poor heads and blaming it on something that tasted like "one too many sly Baileys".

Down on the farm

MALMAISON, looking like a gigantic computer motherboard on the waterfront (which is still more appealing than the Neptune development) is very much open for business. As usual there are a number of sexy deals to lure you into its lovely Brasserie. This includes a top quality Early Bird Christmas feast from £15, if you really can't wait, from this week. Click here.

We may have to try this, for the turkey is free range and the sprouts, the desserts and the artisan cheeses are bound to be top notch. How do we know? Well the Mal staged a farmers market earlier in the month. That's right, a farmers market.

There we met many of the hotel's food suppliers, all picked by head chef Adam Townsley who, as you can see from our picture, isn't shy about displaying a comedy parsnip when ordered to by our photographer. The Mal prides itself on sourcing the best possible produce for its kitchen and many an edifying chat was had at this most unusual but public networking event.

Did we mention that this farmers market took place indoors, at night, upstairs in a function room, complete with wine, beer, braces of pheasants and strings of onions? Oh and huge bales of straw everywhere. Bet housekeeping were pleased about that one.

The eight amigos
IT'S food and wine matching, but not as you know it.

Downstairs at Tapas Tapas, in Back Colquitt St, and over in South Road, Waterloo, there is a promotion after our own bad hearts. They have partnered with Rioja people Campo Viejo in a fun night called ‘Viva el Vino’ running for the rest of the month.

Diners choose their wine first from a menu without selecting their food – and are then presented with a selection of dishes matched to their bottle, to create a dining experience a bit different.Tapas Tapas is the first restaurant in Liverpool to host the successful ‘Viva el Vino’ campaign, following its initial launch in London last October where, they say, it is becoming quite on trend.

Michael Gledhill, owner of Tapas Tapas, said: “Viva el Vino is a great way of getting people to really think about the wine and food they are enjoying and understand how a great wine can complement and lift the flavours of the dishes they eat.”

Diners are able to choose from two menus – one which offers food matched to Campo Viejo’s range of reds and the other, a degustation-style menu which pairs all of the Campo Viejo varieties to dishes of the chef’s choice. Vegetarian, pescatarian or Presbyterian, there is something for all of you.

We had the latter, which gave us eight wines to sample and as many dishes, for £30. This feast was quite an undertaking, but we managed. The stalwart of the supermarket Spanish section getting to show off its excellent colours.

In fact, we think this is a great way to go out for dinner (think first date, business meeting, or Friday night gathering) without actually having to think too hard.

And let's face it, after eight glasses of Navarra's finest, that's not something you'll be in any position to do.

Tokyo rising
IT'S getting to that time of year and there are 100 dodgy Christmas dinners waiting for you to take that party cracker off your plate so they can tip themselves there at the office bash.

So if turkey drummers are ten-a-penny, how about a tipping your hat to a bit of teppanyaki this year? Introducing the alternative Christmas menu at Sakura – which claims to be the largest teppanyaki restaurant in the north of England, located inside Walker House in Exchange Flags.

Like Sapporo in Duke St, Sakura arranges the seating around traditional teppanyaki grills hosted by theatrical chefs. Setting the woks on fire, as Hank Williams never sang.

Sakura's Xmas menu priced at just £25 consists of five courses and is available now.

Gold plated
CELEBRATIONS up at Sapporo Teppenyaki's sister restaurant Il Forno, also on Duke St. It has received the Independent Gold Award’ for the fourth time in the category of Italian Restaurant of the Year at the Pizza and Pasta Association awards in London.

“We are delighted,” said spokeslady Hazel Lui. “It's quite an achievement considering it is a national awards and we were the only Italian restaurant in Liverpool to win. “

These days, as we look around Liverpool, is there any other sort?

Lava bun and holy toast
MEANWHILE, Catalunyan favourite Lunya, in College Lane, is running Spanish classes for children on Sunday mornings.

For £15, you and your six-to-ten-year-old will get the following: Them: An hour's Spanish lesson with teacher Lynda Levy, and a soft drink. You: a chance to read the papers and a five course breakfast for one. Booking essential. Tel: 0151 706 9770

This is all assuming you aren't church-going - although with Nativity plays approaching, how impressed will their teacher be when your little one tells them they spent Sunday in a deli learning all about the baby cheeses?

Compiled by Angie Sammons

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CamboNovember 23rd 2010.

I like the sly Baileys gag best. Anyone know why I wasn't there?

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