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The Credit Munch: The London Carriageworks

That's right. We do the Wall Street shuffle on Hope Street for under a tenner a head

Published on January 14th 2010.

The Credit Munch: The London Carriageworks

The economy: Who could believe that the London Carriage Works is popping up in this section? It's expensive, right? It's exclusive, right? Not if you know what you're doing...

An eye on the markets? In every sense. After it was observed by the Hope Street people that a sit-down soup and sandwich in city centre chain operation was setting people back at least six quid - and if you wanted a burger, ditto, you would be talking the £7-£9 mark - the LCW decided to go the extra mile by launching “The Wall Street on Hope Street”. This translates as a two course menu of fresh LCW soup and a very posh sandwich - pastrami on rye,or halloumi – for £9.50, or the sandwiches with salad for as little as £5.50. But there's plenty more besides at prices that won't make your wallet crash . And it's not just at lunchtime either. As part of the LCW Light Menu, it is served up till 10pm most nights. So far, so good, for a multi-award winning restaurant.

In real terms: For the weight watcher and the wallet watcher, there's char-grilled breast of chicken with lemon and rosemary served with chestnut mushrooms, courgettes, salad leaves and shoots,croutons and a wholegrain mustard and honey dressing (£9). This was an excellent concoction of locally reared free range chicken whose flavour shone through as brightly as the sunshine into those massive Carriageworks windows. Plentiful hunks of meat, and plenty of crunchy everything else, including new season watercress from over the water and warm artisan breads to mop up the dressing.

Who knows for sure who Mr Reeve is, but his fish and chips (£9.50) was a delight to behold, right from the copper pan, filled with chunky capers, which formed a fresh and feisty tartare relish, to the scorching hot, crackling Cains

batter that was as light as air. If you could get the fresh, gleaming haddock it encased like this every day, you would never eat anything else. And the chips were flavourful solid, parboiled Spuntas (you may know them better as Cypruses) grown locally just for the Carriage Works.

Going over budget? Afraid so. The bread and butter terrine with its fired glaze and Seville marmalade ice cream was an extra that the fish and chip lover could ill afford, so they had it anyway. A treat, like the rest of the event.

The outlook: In the big bright smart dining area, enjoying service from a winsome, highly knowledgeable staff that includes Scottish Barry among a large proportion of locals, and observing Hope Street on a sunny day, what more could you ask for? Amazing value, given the venue and its reputation.

The interest rate: Likely to be high. Expect to see eyebrows raised as canny college types, graduation gatherings, clerics and clerical workers enjoy a can-do lunch at the Carriage Works. For first timers, or those who haven't been since the old days, it's a good taster, in every sense.

One for the expense account? No need. At this rate, even Mr Jacqui Smith can afford to reach into his own pocket, so to speak.

*London Carriage Works, 40 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9DA 0151 709 3000

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beef drippingApril 7th 2009.

my lad! And whilst you're about it, where are the scraps and pea-wet?

jonjoeApril 7th 2009.

Marris Pipers, now there's a chip making spud. Just cut em chunky and make sue the oil is hot.

Flowery TatsApril 7th 2009.

Cypruses make the best chips. As do various French varieties which at least have flavour. No potato in this country has flavour. We are all fecking doomed

Cheap as chipsApril 7th 2009.

Looking at that fish is doing terrible things to my chances of avoiding type 2 diabetes. But what the hell.

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