Surrounded by such a huge selection of bars and restaurants on the Liverpool food and drink scene means that groups and chains often struggle to make my shortlist. That said, when all such snobbery is put aside, I find that the city is awash with non-indies of calibre and quality that make them every bit as enticing. An excellent example of this? Individual Restaurants - a group that seems to have a knack for delivering hospitality experiences that even chain-snubbers like myself gravitate towards. Next to join my hit list from the Individual rabble? The Restaurant Bar & Grill.
Don’t get me wrong, The Restaurant Bar & Grill is by no means pretentious. It’s majestic and it’s sophisticated but in the kind of way that makes you feel special, not uncomfortable. Situated inside an old bank building, this restaurant is jaw-droppingly beautiful with a feature ceiling, island bar, ornate décor and sprawling interior, as well as wine bottles displayed from the front desk to open kitchen.
A lot of the enjoyable experience can be accredited to the staff who cater to your every whim but with a subtlety that you really appreciate. You know, the kind of hosts who will wait until your mouth isn’t stuffed full of salt ‘n’ pepper tofu (£8.75) before asking if you’re enjoying your starter.
In case you’re now wondering, I did enjoy my starter but I’ve got to be honest, it paled in comparison to my partner's. I’m talking about the cider and onion soup (£6.50) which comes served with a chunky slice of cheesy sourdough and what an absolute delight that combination of flavours was. Never did I think it was possible to get so excited about soup until I tried the thick, silky, golden liquid laced with a perfect balance of sweet onion, tangy cider and just the right amount of seasoning.
When it came to mains, I left my accomplice to her chicken escalope, probably because I was too distracted by the display of sticky teriyaki salmon (a daily special), garlic greens and roasted seasonal veg that was in front of me. The fillet of fish (£16) was fresh, tender and full of traditional Asian flavour while the rainbow of vegetables (£4.50) on the side were the perfect accompaniment. Portions are generous here so turn up hungry or risk missing out on the Malteser ice cream (£5.75) – a temptation neither of us could resist, despite clutching at our tightening waistbands.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If you’re looking for something a little special without having to splash out too much cash, The Restaurant Bar & Grill is a great option. The menu is all-encompassing, with something for absolutely everybody to thoroughly enjoy. And when you get there? Get the soup – that’s non-negotiable.