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Restaurant review: Bacchus of beyond

Fat Git, our restaurant critic cabbie, takes the boss's daughter out for a Greek at the Bacchus Taverna. Now read on

Published on January 14th 2010.

Restaurant review: Bacchus of beyond

YOU would think my life is an easy one: Sitting on Lime Street Station all day, bimbling around the Big Dig six times when people from Manchester get in, and taking gorgeous birds from Hollyoaks on nice long runs to Chester.

“Mmm, I love that salty taste, poppet,” she murmured, holding a big specimen. “I could swallow this whole.” I stirred in my chair.

But it's a bit more complicated than that. When four students get in, you know you are knackered. All sitting there divvying up their ten pences. Drive past the Blue Angel and expect to be on the bones of your rounded posterior for a fortnight.

So when I went into Barry's Taxis to pay the settle the other day, I was in no mood for anything heavy. I had things on my mind, like advertising a weekabout collar, and where to go on my next review for this lot. They'd been on the blower, nagging, when I'd been trying to get some kip.

More importantly, who to take. I looked out of the window and I could see Cousin Tony sitting in the back of the cab. He's even been banned from the Roger Phillips phone-ins now for driving them nuts about his compo claim with the council. Takes some doing that.

Then Caroline came bursting in. Caroline is Barry's eldest and really, really posh. Entirely unlike him. He sent her to the poshest school he could and now she takes the calls and works the set. So they all call her Radio Caroline. She's about 6ft tall and a bit weird. Always wears black and if she doesn't like your star sign, you get all the crap jobs. She thinks I'm Aquarius and that's the way it's staying.

“Ooh helloo, sweetie,” she drawled, swishing back her red hair . “I see you've been busy. When are you going to take me out on one of your dinners, yaah.?”

I looked at her and had to admit she was a bit fit. It was also obvious to anyone that she was keen, and I could tell it was for more than a bag of Cheesy Wotsits.

Twenty minutes later we were sitting knocking back Galliga red wine (£16.50) in the Bacchus Taverna.

They say Caroline likes to be treated like a lady, but she was getting a bit of rough today, in a glass. She didn't seem to mind, though. She was too busy flirting with the waiter. It was Adam this, Adam that. Asking him where he came from and batting her eyes. Egypt, it turned out, after an elaborate guessing game. Dead efficient though – and a Sagittarius.

He brought a big bowl of olives (£3.50), some good, garlicky hoummous (£4) and Doafora Cria (£6.50) More hoummous, taramasalata, tzatziki, feta and psarosalata. All home-made and all the better for it.

Now I have been on incapacity benefit for 15 years, but I make sure I don't skimp on life's little luxuries. Therefore I always buy good olives. These were the best I've had in years. Big and fleshy and full of character. A bit like me.

“Mmm, I love that salty taste, poppet,” she murmured, holding a big specimen. “I could swallow this whole.” I stirred in my chair.

Adam then plonked down the best looking Greek salad I've seen since I was in Thassos years ago. It was six quid but it was huge, masses of crisp lettuce, huge ripe tomatoes and loads of feta cheese. Gorgeous, and not out of a bag.

Speaking of plonk, this was the Bacchus Taverna and Bacchus is the god of drinking. But even he would have drawn the line at this stuff, so we got another one in. “Make it Chateauneuf du Pape, darling,” (£24.50) she told Adam as she swept off, like a warrior queen, to the bogs. I could see who was going to be in charge of the command centre tonight. And I didn't mean Barry's radio.

By the time she came back I couldn't think straight any more. Maybe Bacchus was playing tricks. Caroline was telling me that she liked Lesbos best of all, and had I ever been there. Bloody hell.

Then the main courses turned up. Special fish kebabs (£16.50) for the Lady and Kleftiko Psito (£13.50) for King Rank.

Hers was pieces of halibut, swordfish and salmon, chargrilled with courgettes, green peppers and onions, sprinked with herbs and lemon. Class.

Mine was a big roast shoulder of Welsh lamb on the bone Very tasty, very tender and getting through it, like the rest of the night, was going to be a manful task. There were side dishes of rice, roast potatoes and green beans which were a little too soft for Caroline. “I prefer them firmer,” she said.

She was toying with her fish. “Have some, I'm not very hungry, yaah.”

I didn't need telling twice. I scoffed the lot and very nice it was too. The fish was as fresh and meaty as the company.

“You see, Fat Git...” she lowered her eyes. “You are much more than an overweight cabbie with a love of fine dining to me,” she whispered. “I've liked you for ages, yaah, in a special way.” She faltered: “Is, is there anyone else?”

Bloody hell, she was serious. What did she see in me? I'd go along with it, like. All sorts of questions raced through my head: Could this be the one? Would Barry kill me? And did she know I had Scorpio rising?

I couldn't drive so a Jack Daniels later, to warm things up, I texted Tony who was still in the Fairway, to come and give us a lift back to her place.

Caroline gazed at me adoringly as he drove up.

“Alright! Fucking hell, you must be Pauline,” sniggered Tony opening the door.

“He's told me all about Valentine's night. I had tears in me eyes. But tell the truth. How did you end up sitting on a snooker ball? ”

Rating: 15/20
Breakdown: 7/10 Food
4/5 Service
4/5 Ambience
Address: Bacchus Taverna
14 Waterloo Road
L3 7BB
0151 255 1661

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

Vi AcorahApril 4th 2008.

He needs to stiffen his resolve

OliveApril 4th 2008.

That Caroline wants to be careful swallowing it whole - she might choke!

Aggie of AbercrombieApril 4th 2008.

I like that picture of the hummus with the olive on top. Did Fat Git get to sink his teeth into that olive or did Radio Caroline swallow it before he had chance?

Cock-eyedApril 4th 2008.

When you couldn't think straight any more, Fat Git, did the room take on that jaunty angle in that picture?

Lord StreetApril 4th 2008.

Great heavens! What a coincidence! Only the other evening I was twiddling my knob listening to the wireless when I tuned-in to Mr. Hoagy Carmichael singing a song of his that exhorted the listener to "Spend an Evening in Caroline"! 'Saucy old goat' quoth I!

MammariesApril 4th 2008.

I used to have to do a lot of knob twiddling listening to Radio Caroline...

GordoApril 4th 2008.

Was that shoulder of lamb radioactive?

London RoadApril 4th 2008.

Did the meat fall off Fat Git's bone?

A. E. ScousemanApril 4th 2008.

Aye, but Fat Git, did she get Afelia Stifado?

InterestedApril 4th 2008.

Has Fat Git ever given a ride to any of our civic leaders and if so, what, if anything, can he report?

Debbie McGeeApril 4th 2008.

Didn't she marry the millionaire Paul?

Alex HigginsApril 4th 2008.

Go for it. And the snooker ball.

HarryApril 4th 2008.

This is all Greek to me.

Reality checkApril 4th 2008.

To "Mystified": The Mr Daniels you wonder about is clearly the husband of Pauline.

Even more soApril 4th 2008.

Since Fat Git appears to be getting nowhere with the ladies, why does'nt he offer to take out Councillor Bradley for dinner? That would be a rivetting read.

Joe BaxiApril 4th 2008.

Dear Mr. Git, I would be absolutely fascinated to know how and when, exactly, the Austin FX-4 Taximeter Cabriolet mutated into the Fairway ‘Joe’. Yours sincerely, J. Baxi (Mr.)

mystifiedApril 4th 2008.

Who is this Mr Daniels he mentions while texting cousin Tony? Is he another character? It all sounds very suspicious to me - was Fat Git trying for a menage a trois?

Recovering alcoholicApril 4th 2008.

I have read this review and it is very difficult for me, especially at the end, to not want to pour an entire bottle of JD down my neck. I would certainly be forbidden to visit a place called the Bacchus Taverna by She Who Must Be Obeyed. These days, there is no booze in the house and consequently I am now regarding my teenage daughter's bottle of Sally Hansen nail varnish remover in an entirely inappropriate way.Advice please.

anxiousApril 4th 2008.

who is pauline daniels then?

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