Restaurant review

Madre, Liverpool: ‘It made me feel at home’ – restaurant review | Food

WWith the lockdown eased, I figured I would start my adventures all over again by dining out in Liverpool. It might not be the obvious choice for most people, but my dad is a Scouser, and since he can’t speak anymore, there’s something about landing on Merseyside, the way the people are there simply and the rhythms of their dialect that suddenly makes me feel at home. Even the receptionist at the Pullman who spoke to me through the hotel’s breakfast hours was like a hug.

An hour later, through Albert Dock to the taqueria Madre, I see a man in his 70s celebrating his daughter’s birthday with his family and staring in puzzlement at a table loaded with tuna tostadas and baja cod tacos. His spitting sounds sounded so familiar – it sounded like my dad’s when we tried to get him past the Toby Carvery. Of course, as I get older, too, I can’t decide what words were heard in my living room in the 1980s and what Bobby Grant was actually pestering Damian and Barry in Brookside, because those characters for a while felt like a close family. , too much.

The grilled red prawns with Madre shell with jalapeño pepper are accompanied by a “touch of butter at the bottom of the plate”.

Billions have been spent on revamping and rebuilding the city, and the restaurant scene is increasingly vibrant. In fact, a day that includes lunch at Pilgrim on Duke Street, dinner at Belzan on Smithdown Road, with a scooter around Harvey Nichols in the Liverpool One Mall is quite possibly my favorite leisure day. But I never make foodies rush to visit the city, because it has a mysterious and unexplored quality that makes foreigners squint and say, “Is it nice out there?” Oh good? And are there restaurants? then pass the gastronomic pubs of the Ribble Valley or the more widely publicized Michelin seals from Ancoats in Manchester.

And that’s fine with me, because that means I’ll be the first in line for a table at Luke French and Stacey Sherwood-French’s last business, Nama, in the new GPO food hall to the new Development of the shift. It also means that I can have a table all summer long in Madre’s sunny courtyard and drink their potent ‘green wasp’ margaritas made with Tequila Tapatio, cucumber, coriander, habanero and agave. While Liverpool, like the rest of the country, has recently reopened, initially for outdoor drinking only, I have heard that Madre is thriving, albeit more as a bar than a restaurant. In the coming months, however, they may need to attract diners, as on the Wednesday I went, now that we can finally eat inside, the tables in this Grade I listed building were relatively empty.

Right now Madre is more like a loud bar with a nod to bottles of Valentina Hot Sauce on every table, but the menu is no less ambitious, just as you would expect from the people behind Belzan and the now closed Volpi get into a collaboration with the folks at Breddos Tacos in London.

Madre's baja cod tacos.
Madre’s Baja Cod Tacos: “Most definitely decent. “

Tuna tostada, for example, is a fearsome black plate of sashimi-grade tuna loin marinated midnight in soy, mirin, agave, and habanero, then garnished with mashed avocado. and coarsely chopped large slices of green pepper. On the menu it sounds intriguing, but on the table it needs a more delicate balance, because they are fine fish bombarded with noise. The Baja fish tacos are certainly prettier, with tempura Atlantic cod perched on a subtle jalapeño and salsa aioli; after a good sip of this hot sauce, they are most definitely decent.

A large sharing plate of barbecue roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower arrives in salsa matcha butter with scallion and feta. The cauliflower is semi-hard, which makes me think the kitchen might have a day off, but we move, without being discouraged, to a large sharing bowl of peeled shrimp on a bed of sweet mango and of radishes and nageons in emerald jalapeño and roasted garlic butter. That buttered sheet of goodness at the bottom of the plate is the most delicious thing we eat all night; the refried bean side, meanwhile, is finely pulped and a bit forgettable.

Barbecued sweet potatoes and roasted Madre cauliflower arrive in matcha salsa butter with scallion and feta.
Madre’s BBQ roasted sweet potatoes and butter roasted cauliflower in matcha salsa with spring onion and feta.

At this point, I abandon all plans for dinner and order two amazing Café Madre cocktails, made with popcorn flavored vodka, Patron XO café, Nixta liqueur, and espresso. I have a strict rule of one with all espresso based martinis because one is always delicious and transforms in the evening, two always strike me as a good idea but it’s really one too many so ‘after three, there is a risk that at the end of the night you will prepare a coup d’etat in a distant land.

As we leave, the yard is in full swing with people laughing, drinking and being together. Right now, Madre is a go-to cocktail bar where food has taken precedence. But it’s fun, it’s really open and it makes a lot of, a lot of Liverpudlians happy. And, right now, it’s about as good as it gets.

Madre 6 Atlantic Pavilion Albert Dock, Liverpool L3, 0151-709 4152. Open all week, 12 noon to 10:30 pm. From £ 25 to £ 30 per person for three courses, plus drinks and service.

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This article was last modified on June 7, 2021. Nixta is a corn liqueur, not a coffee liqueur as stated in an earlier version.

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