They say there’s no such thing as a free dinner, but when the pay off is to hear all about the launch of Bistro 1847’s Kickstarter appeal to launch a new venue in Liverpool, I can’t say I mind so much.
Joining a host of fellow bloggers, general foodies and Bistro 1847’s regulars, I sat down to a sumptuous three-and-a-bit course meal to hear all about owner Damien Davenport’s vision for a third venue in Liverpool. In the same way Bistro 1847 has brought a new style of vegetarian dining to Manchester and Birmingham, Damien and his team hope to do the same with Liverpool. There’s more over on Bistro 1847’s Kickstarter page as well as options to pledge as little or as much as you like.
So, what would a Bistro 1847 in Liverpool get our fine Liverpudlian brothers and sisters? Well, I’ve already been to Bistro 1847 Birmingham a few times and sampled some of their fine dishes (I actually went back a couple of days after this event with some friends too), but to launch Bistro 1847’s Kickstarter we were treated to a proper celebratory feast.
Up first were some pre-starters, consisting of: pea puree with basil jam and grapefruit in a pastry case; pickled mushroom and chargrilled cucumber; and beetroot soup, coconut creme with dark chocolate. The mushroom and cucumber had an almost sushi style to it but my favourite was the beetroot soup. I like beetroot anyway but this was a warm soup which was hearty, yet not too thick which was an interesting contrast. It also had none of the earthiness you sometimes get with beetroot but a lovely texture which alongside the coconut creme was just lovely.
Our starter was chargrilled asparagus and salted baby turnips – and 63degree poached egg if you hadn’t opted for the vegan meal, which I had…we got more salted baby turnips, which were like the vegan equivalent of scallops in my mind and pretty tasty. The asparagus was from Evesham and was lovely.
The main course worried me a bit when we were told what it was; confit tomato, ratatouille, red pepper jus, burnt aubergine puree, polenta hash brown and chard red onion. One thing I’m really not keen on is raw or kinda-raw tomato, it’s usually only ever a garnish so I can pick it out, however as the star of the show I wasn’t overly sure I was going to like this dish. Thankfully, all the things I dislike about raw tomatoes had been cooked away enough for this something you could still cut into but not too sweet and fleshy a tomato. The polenta hash browns were a lovely texture and the red pepper jus was a nice sauce for them.
Our pre-dessert was probably my favourite dish of the evening; a poppyseed crisp with banana custard, peach rhubarb and micro-coriander. This had a lovely combination of textures with a sweetness to the poppyseed crisp, along with a creaminess from the custard and the delicacy of the rhubarb. I would have been quite happy to eat a plate of these for pudding.
Before our dessert was served, Bistro 1847 owner Damien Davenport came over to introduce himself to our table (which was made up of a few fellow bloggers and a couple of Bistro 1847’s regulars). He talked about why he set up Bistro 1847 and his vision for expansion – first Liverpool, but also cookery school to train staff and offer classes for customers, which sounded pretty cool.
I know strawberries and cream are a British institution, but for me a pudding is not a pudding is it’s primarily fruit. However this twist on a classic with apricot and thyme jam, tofu almond creme and cube coated strawberries was actually pretty nice – and vegan to boot! The slight tang from the apricot and thyme jam complemented the creme nicely and the strawberries gave it a bit of bite.
Overall it was a lovely evening and great to hear about the planned expansion for Bistro 1847. If you’re a fan of the brand and want to support the Kickstarter, the link is below. They’re offering a number of different rewards, from branded aprons to tickets to the Liverpool opening night and a special seven-course tasting menu.
Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of Bistro 1847 to celebrate the launch of their kickstarter. I wasn’t obliged to write anything about the event but I wanted to – mainly because their Kickstarter URL sounds like a Back to the Future BBC spin off series.