Bottomless brunch is a concept that has become about as stale as the dry bread rolls that typically get chucked into the middle of the table. It's been done over and over again, so to stand out in the crowd and offer something fresh and exciting is a real challenge... A challenge that has definitely been smashed by the NYL Restaurant and Bar on Liverpool’s North John Street.
Situated in the former Royal Insurance Building, the restaurant already has aesthetic on side. On the fringe of the city’s financial district, the venue is synonymously grand and distinctively reminiscent of 1950s Manhattan. I guess it’s no coincidence, then, that NYL aims to bring a taste of the New York melting pot of food and culture to little old Liverpool.
Menus are laced with homages to the Big Apple and don’t think for one second that this stops at the brunch offering. As we sat down at our booth, I was chuffed to see so much of The City That Never Sleeps; from waffles and pancake stacks to the Manhattan meatball sub and an authentic Reuben bagel, it certainly got me feeling nostalgic for New York. Oh, and hungry too.
Thankfully, my hunger was quickly curbed by an alluring buffet spread which you’re free to feast from during the 90-minute sitting. We took advantage of pastries, charcuterie, cheese and a big ol’ bowl of granola, yoghurt and fresh fruit for balance. All pretty standard brunch ingredients, but elevated with a slab of glistening fresh honeycomb, homemade popcorn brownies and fresh artisan bread which trumped dry rolls by a country mile.
While we nibbled our way through those, we also made our selections from the bottomless booze list. Again, standard selections of prosecco and beer had the bases covered but then a list of 3 local gin and tonics brought that something extra special. Highlights were the rose petal Liverpool Gin with hibiscus tonic and the Valencian orange gin paired with a pink rhubarb tonic. There's also an array of soft drinks, fresh juices and fruit smoothies if you prefer a sober affair.
Our glasses were topped up with ample generosity. In fact, I don’t think they went dry for more than five minutes at a time, so if you find yourself hesitant about the £35 price tag, you can be safe knowing you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck. On top of flowing drinks and your pick of the buffet, the cost also covers a main dish from the menu. We were spoilt for choice – totally torn between the NYL muffin, the breakfast pizzas, the pancakes… In the end, we both went for the Anti Fry Up; a vegan-friendly take on the classic English breakfast. Think crispy hash browns, bubbling hot baked beans, tasty vegan sausage, fresh kale, tomato, hummus and warm toast – a winning combo.
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On the website, NYL Restaurant and Bar promises “service with a personality” and we definitely got that and then some. If you fancy a hearty brunch, some sophisticated tipple and excellent service all to a soundtrack of live music, book yourself in for bottomless brunch pronto.
Bottomless brunch costs £35 per person and is available on Saturdays from 12pm - 3pm at NYL Restaurant & Bar, The Royal Insurance Building, 1 North John Street, Liverpool, L2 5QW.