Marc Waddington checks out the latest venture from the pair behind Puschka
I ONCE reviewed Liverpool’s Puschka making the claim that, for me, it was the best restaurant in Liverpool. And when you’re lucky enough to eat in so many of the city’s eateries, and the quality is so high across the board, then it really is no small matter to be considered the one that stands out in such distinguished company.
Glen and Doug, the owners, turned the lovely old former Georgian townhouse on Rodney Street into one of the most talked- about restaurants in the North west.
But, ambitious pair that they are, they were not intending to rest on their laurels, and so have recently undertaken a new venture which, while it would struggle to be better, is certainly bigger.
The duo have decided to go down a slightly different road with Home.
The name gives a clue that the experiment is a venture away from the sophistication and artfulness of Puschka’s menus and a move towards food that is more comforting.
Most will know the location of the Home Canteen as the former Simply Heathcote’s restaurant, at Beetham Plaza. For some time now, the glass-fronted building has been empty, but recently the Puschka pair took it on, and, after some touching-up of the interior, it is now open.
Its restaurant is surprisingly big inside, compared to how it appears from the outside. A great staircase rises up to a private dining room (The Home Office), and the ceilings are high. But there is still a feeling of intimacy, despite the vastness of the space.
While the menus don’t reflect Puschka’s so much, there are still the trademarks that remind you who’s behind the place.
The paper menus on the table in front of you double up as place mats, and the table water comes with the signature slice of cucumber, rather than lemon.
It’s a rare day that I’ll choose, rather than have a starter and main to have a main and dessert, but for whatever reason that was the way it was to be on this occasion. Not that the starters weren’t inviting – the black pudding with apple hash and egg nearly swung it.
For my main course, I chose the free range chicken (£13). The meat was tender and juicy, not dry as it sometimes ends up when I attempt it, and came served with a beautiful, wholesome sage and onion stuffing and great little pigs in blankets and fine roast potatoes that I noticed my girlfriend eyeing with interest.