Restaurant Review - Maritime Dining Rooms; Liverpool

I do so like a challenge, so following a text from me saying how good my Sunday lunch was a mate sent the challenge back that he "Expected the Jay Rayner style review soon"... So with apologies to my favourite restaurant critic.

The Maritime Dining Rooms at the Liverpool Maritime Museum could easy be yet another National Trust style "tea and bun emporium" with tacky links to the latest displays and a creeping sense of lavender impregnation. 

Almost hidden on the third floor of the converted dock building, the best seats are those either looking at the iconic Three Graces, only recently spoilt by the black monstrosity of a new build, put up with all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer through an Old Master, or the Albert Dock, surprisingly busy with a range of sailing boats, narrow boats and the occasional giant swan pedalo.

With unfussy, pleasant efficiency the table is taken and menu arrives, only tea as I've a run tonight, and the roast beef is ordered. 

And arrives, no fuss, no condiments - rapidly sorted with a small pot of English mustard, of the type made 24h beforehand with double the recommended amount of mustard.  Hot, but flavoursome, with a viscosity that drapes over the beef like a velvet curtains in a Rubens painting.

The beef is just the right side of pink, thickly cut with well cooked darkened edges. It is appropriately resistant to the knife, textured like beef should be looking like a cross between slowly setting lava and well cut marble.  Robust flavours hold up well against the mustard, the onion marmalade adding body and a slight cut to the rich gravy. The roast potatoes are as they should be, crunchy and brittle on the outside, encrustations of roast potato on the sharp edges braking off at the merest touch, and under the thick layer the innards are steamingly yielding.  The quenelle (are they still called that?) of mashed, buttery swede adds smooth to the crunch and the perfect bitterness of the broccoli.

If the meat on a Sunday roast is the masterpiece, then the Yorkshire pudding is the cartoon.  Sharp edges, soft and succulent bottom (Rubens would be proud), absorbing the last of the gravy, meat bits and remaining encrustations of potato like a luscious edible mop.

Perfection on a plate? I'm not really qualified to say, but it works for me, and for £10 it is very hard to think of anything better.

TTFN I've a five mile run this evening



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