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Food Confidential (Oct/Nov 2012)

Puschka resurrects old Heathcotes; Almost Famous Burgers set to sizzle in the Pool and make it like Madhur

Published on October 31st 2012.


Food Confidential (Oct/Nov 2012)

Opening #1: Puschka goes downtown
It's Halloween, and our thoughts turn to the ghosts of Liverpool restaurants past. Empty, forgotten shells where tea trays can be heard clattering in the night along with the effing and cussing of wailing sous chefs long departed. 

Places like, like... Simply Heathcotes. 

Confidential always had a soft spot for The Beetham Plaza restaurant. But in 2010, after 10 successful years, it fell out of favour– and business – when the bridge over The Strand was demolished, resulting in a lack of footfall, claimed its famous owner. 

Puschka's Glen And DougPuschka's Glen And DougNow, Liverpool Confidential hears that the cobwebs are being brushed away by one of the city's best loved names – Puschka. 

“We've acquired the old Heathcotes site,” they say. “Opening around mid November. Laid back, home cooked, loveliness.” 

Say no more, and Doug and Glen, the duo behind Puschka, didn't - except to indicate that it will be called "Home Canteen". 

But the pair know all about ghosts. Multi-award-winning Puschka in Rodney Street, sits directly opposite St Andrew's Church where William McKenzie, the gambling railway worker, is buried sitting in a chair after selling his soul to Satan. 

More importantly, they also know how to attract the faithful into a restaurant off the beaten track – and keep 'em coming back. 

It will be interesting to see, therefore, how Puschka's unique brand of style and substance goes down – downtown - where neighbours like Restaurant Bar and Grill, Piccolinos and San Carlo took over and dominated the scene at a time when Simply Heathcotes had it to themselves. 

It's all great news for the Beetham Plaza ghost town and anyone working down there. Here's to a bucketful of success. 


Almost Famous Burgers

Taking no notice of the 'no photography' notice

Opening #2: Almost Famous who?
ALMOST Famous Burgers are not even remotely famous in Liverpool, but there is a hiss, a spit and a sizzle in the air. This is all set to change. 

Earlier this year, the masses of Manchester were intrigued when an anonymous burger joint quietly opened a “pop-up” on one floor of an empty office block in the Northern Quarter. 

So intrigued were folk that they started to form a long line outside the unmarked entrance door. As word got around, so did the queues, until they went around the block. 

The wise said these were not good burgers, they were wicked, slutty, filthy burgers, the sort that you can only get in the United States of America, in places like In n Out. 

Back in Manchester, AFB's chief burgermeister, Beau Myers, was well placed to tell the difference – his mum and dad are from California and he'd done plenty of recces. These days, in the rainy city, Almost Famous Burgers are completely famous and a permanent weekend fixture. 

“We do burgers & booze & cocktails & specialise in giving people a good time you wont have rocked a burger like it” they claim, among a string of light expletives on their website which warns people not to take pictures of the “frickin” grub. 

After a grilling, an insider confirmed that this feast is moving to Liverpool. 

The date? Sometime in April. The location? Our lips are Seeled.


Tai Wu

Tai Wu

Opening #3: Eat to The Beat
TAI PAN is to open what will be the city's largest restaurant in Liverpool ONE. 

Arguably the company already holds that distinction with its Great Howard St premises which, size wise, rivals our two  football pitches. 

It brings a restaurant back to the location of one of the city's best known Chinese restaurants, The Golden Phoenix, which was demolished in 2009 to make way for the new Grosvenor development known as “The Beat”. 

The 22,000 sq ft unit will go under the 'Tai Wu' brand and will open next summer. But unlike its parent, and more like its Manchester sister, Tai Wu will serve Chinese, Italian and Indian buffet food.

Parent? Sister? Offspring rolls anyone?


Madhur Jaffrey's BibleMadhur Jaffrey's BibleMake it like Madhur
If you though Bogra Rizala was something to do with rolling a sly ciggie in a WC, then you are obviously not acquainted with Madhur Jaffrey's Ultimate Curry Bible.

Otherwise you would know that this is a sweet and sour chicken dish from Bangladesh, one of the hundreds of tempting and fantastic recipes collated from around the world in this indispensable kitchen volume.

If you've never any of the recipes, now is your chance, in a unique way.

Fonseca's restaurant in Stanley Street has started a Cook Book Club. It's already covered The Little Paris Kitchen by the fragrant Rachel Khoo and The Fabulous Baker Boys. Thus, it is time to see what the public can do with a bit of turmeric and garam masala. 

Next Monday (Nov 5) people are being invited to make and take their own dish,  from Madhur's UCB, to the restaurant. 

Cookbook ClubCookbook ClubThere's a fiver charge for all the overheads, but that's it. Just turn up with your food, with likeminded souls, discuss and eat. It's social, it's fun, you get to preen. Just like Come Dine With Me, except without the bad dress and furniture sense.

Take who you like, but don't take your nan, they supply that, and a drink, in the entrance price.

Next month it's the turn of Nigella's Christmas, which Aussie manager Jess Vance is particularly lo.oking forward to as she's never got to grips with turkey and stuffing before

But for November, to make sure 200 people don't turn up with the same lamb tikka masala, Fonseca's have helpfully provided a spreadsheet which you can fill in, alerting them to your culinary intentions. Visit their facebook page  for more info, or call 0151 255 0808.


And finally...
Camp & Furnace is staging its first vegetarian supper club next wek, on Weds November 7.

“By showcasing local, fresh produce and liaising closely with our suppliers we have created a lively menu with our take on classic combinations and modern twists," they say.

"The Furnace will be the perfect setting for our five course meal, good conversation and a glass of wine (or two) from our carefully selected wine list." Call 0151 708 2890 to book.

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

Andy MeliaOctober 31st 2012.

Good nooze about the old Heathcotes, but "Home Canteen"?? Jeeez, which marketing genius came up with that??

AnonymousOctober 31st 2012.

The reason Puschka works is because they don't have a load of marketing people all over it. Thank goodness

AnonymousOctober 31st 2012.

Great news, on two fronts. Not sure about the buffet!

Andy MeliaNovember 1st 2012.

Just picture the front of this gorgeous iconic building with a big sign saying 'Home Canteen'. Watch people flock in.

AnonymousNovember 1st 2012.

What London did 2 yrs ago, we follow now. All this trendy cobblers about rough food, canteens and shabby chic dining was quite trendy down there a while ago, with all the "Cool People" flocking to pay through the nose for it.

AnonymousNovember 1st 2012.

This is why the Camp n Furnace is such a turn off for many

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 1st 2012.

Spot on, read lots about it but can't shake off the mental image of something oh so trendy it aches. Terribly judgemental I know - sorry

AnonymousNovember 1st 2012.

What's wrong with a great quality vegetarian menu using local produce? Why is that a turn-off? Odd comment!

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2012.

It's vegetarian???? Even worse

Andy MeliaNovember 2nd 2012.

Ok. How about 'Twoschka'?

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2012.

How about "Chutzpah"?

StephNovember 4th 2012.

I'm a massive fan of Almost Famous and think it's great to see them expanding the empire, but reckon they may have a lot more competition on their hands seeing as they've got Salt Dog Slims on Seel Street with them.

KnowledgeableNovember 5th 2012.

Salt Dog Slims have, in fact, helped them to find premises in Liverpool

TownieNovember 6th 2012.

So hmmm ive fed all this info it my Spectrum 64k and it concludes it goin to at the top of Seel St somewhere. Watson my coat....

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

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

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