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Food and drink round up (Dec 9)

Back from The Brink, risotto at the Radisson and Christmas cocktails to go Crazy for

Written by . Published on December 9th 2011.

Food and drink round up (Dec 9)

Best for fish and chips....
Liverpool Confidential was the first to bring you news of The Brink's opening in September. A social enterprise in Parr Street, it is staffed by and intended to serve recovering addicts of one shape or another.

Well, we are addicts of fish and chips and, after spying it on the menu, it was time to go out on the batter, so to speak.

The Brink is doing brisk business by day and by night – with a performance by Squeeze's Chris Difford earlier this month.

Its non-alcohol policy has brought it wide media coverage and a wide fan base.

On the tools in the kitchen is Tom Gill, former head chef in the Everyman Bistro. And while there was no bigger fan of the Bistro than Confidential, they never had a chipper.

Here, the fish and chips (£6.95) is something to seek out and possibly the best in town: a slab of thick, shimmering hake, on this occasion, wore the lightest crunchy coat. The fashion on menus to describe chips as “proper chips” inevitably means they let you down but there is no silly artifice at The Brink and these were as proper as you like. Mushy peas, excellent.

It was washed down with a tangy lemon and ginger shot in sparkly water which went extraordinarily well with it

For the trip, we met up with one of our best recovering alcoholic chums (jourrnalists, it comes with the territory). After gregariously proclaiming that we had brought him to a “centre for failures”, he found The Brink as soothing and engaging as his chai tea (from an extensive list) and vowed to return.

Or as he was heard to sing as he left: “There's a plaice for us....”.

Best for ....risotto
Filini at the Radisson on Old Hall Street, invited us to take a look at its new winter menu this week. Additions to the Italianesque offerings include artichoke soup and supreme of chicken cacciatore with crispy semolina. 

If a kitchen can't do a proper risotto, get your coat and get out.

Dscf0193Sea bassThere are several on this menu and although not offered as a starter, we asked if we could have a dainty portrion of the wild mushroom version to begin and it was duly delivered. A creamy, fungi-filled experience that was expertly cooked, it really is a reason to stop by and order the full hit. Sea bass, piled on a cake of the world's fluffiest potato, left room for another good reason to stop by: their chocolate fondant, an erupting volcano of dark, heady cocoa matter.

Filini also offers a two course (£19.95) and a three course (£21.95) Rapido menu.

What caught our eye was the very reasonable two course “Lightning Lunch” for £6.95 comprising pastas and salads and more.

It seems there is such a thing as a free lunch and if this hasn't arrived within 15 minutes, it's on the house.

Keep the waiter distracted and you never know.

Sugar and spice
COME Christmas night, there you are sitting on the couch with your Aunty Elsie. She is down to the dregs of that bottle of Bailey's and singing Patsy Cline's Crazy. You are wondering if The Brink is open on Boxing Day.

The festive season brings out an urge to drink toothsome alcoholic drinks, often laden with cream and sugar. Egg Flip anyone?

So Chameleon in Wood Street has obliged this year with a Spiced Rum Eggnog martini.

Chameleon Eggnog Martini Tom Rowlandson
Fresh, home-made Chameleon recipe eggnog includes beaten eggs, vanilla sugar, milk and nutmeg, shaken with spiced gold rum, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, and served straight up into a chilled martini glass and topped with grated chocolate.

The use of eggs makes for a creamy, frothy texture, but the majority of pre-prepared eggnog actually contains virtually no egg because of the risk of salmonella.  

Take Elsie and introduce her to this chap: Tom Rowlandson. He says you can have it either straight up or tall over ice. That should send her a bit Crazy.

More tea vicar?
Waterfront pan-Asian restaurant Matou has also created a selection of festive cocktails for when you fall out of Chameleon.

Here are two recipes.

Matou’s Snowball:

Hazelnut liqueur (12.5ml)

Amaretto (12.5 ml)

Kahlua (12.5ml)

Bailey’s (12.5ml)

Bacardi (12.5ml)

Blend all the ingredients together with ice and serve in a tumbler for a creamy, warming drink that’s sure to hit the spot.

Snowball %26#38%3B Blue ChristmasSnowball and Blue Christmas 

Blue Christmas:

Pineapple juice (37.5ml)

Coconut creme (25ml)

Blue Curacao (2 tsp)

Vodka (12.5ml)

Archers  (25 ml)

Shake all the ingredients together and serve over ice. Garnish with red cherries and lime peel for a bit of festive colour.

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AnonymousDecember 14th 2011.

Fish and chips has been flying out of The Brink since this.

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