If you’re familiar with Liverpool, you’ll likely know The Shipping Forecast as one or all of the following: the place where Jonny Bongo (brains behind Bongo’s Bingo) rose to fame; the bar and subterranean music venue responsible for your hellish hangovers; or home of the most Instagrammed toilet graffiti in the city.
Don’t let that last one put you off though - The Shipping Forecast’s eye-catching walls have become a cult commodity over time and are neither a reflection of its moral standing nor its hygiene practices. Less of the toilet talk though - I wouldn’t want to put you off your dinner. Speaking of dinner, I recently toddled off to The Shipping Forecast for a bite to eat and had one helluva pleasant surprise. I’d had a mooch at the food menu beforehand and was expecting some decent bar-type bits that would scratch an itch but be forgotten before I’d even got back in the car. Well, I was wrong.
From the Chicken Society section, my bone-on chicken (£5.50) promised to be smoky, piquant and marinated with paprika, lemon, oregano and garlic... and it most definitely delivered. I enjoyed it with a side of chargrilled broccoli glazed generously with lemon butter and served alongside chunky triple-cooked chips and a jug of rich, luxurious gravy. My partner in dine went for a classic cheeseburger (£6.50); the tender beef patty was free of grease and gristle but full of flavour, while the tangy Barber’s cheddar was honest, proper cheese. So good, in fact, she dubbed the dish “at least a 12 out of 10.”
You can’t have chicken and chips or a cheeseburger and not finish off with something sweet and equally quintessentially British, can you? Or maybe that was just our excuse for a big old slice of apple pie (£5) with a scoop of hazelnut ice cream. Either way, the crunchy pastry crusted with cinnamon was a match made in heaven for the sharp fruit filling and rounded off with a silky, nutty ice cream from the gods.
We washed the lot down with a glass of Malbec from the pretty well-endowed wine list (which went beautifully with my spicy chicken) and a can of rhubarb soda. I love it when a bar or restaurant gives their non-alcoholic drinks menu some serious TLC, instead of just offering the usual suspects - that’s always a good measure.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If you want really good pub grub in casual surroundings, where you can either cosy up in a corner or dive into the thick of it around the bar, The Shipping Forecast is always a great idea. Whether you’re after a bit of burger magic or are sniffing around for a wholesome pud, you won’t be disappointed. Plus, if you love scouting for local beers and keeping one eye on the sports results then this place is a stellar triple threat.