8 August 2008
123 Lordship Lane
East Dulwich, SE22
020 8693 7744
Liquorish hits gold
ONCE IT strips away its trendy weekend frock and drops the 100 mile-an-hour pace, Liquorish proves it has a whole lot more to offer than its market-leading drinks and champagne cocktails, writes David Yuill...
Having bounded onto East Dulwich's Lordship Lane as its first high-end cocktail bar with considerable vigour, it has since chopped and changed its guises to suit the unpredictable ED crowd.
And after some considerable toying with its menu, Liquorish could now have hit the nail on the head with its simple, good and affordable bit of grub.
While its vibrant weekend trade will dominate its takings, weeknights are a hidden gem. It successfully manages to transform its funky and packed to the brim weekend vibe into a rather pleasant, relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
With the lighting raised and the loud, modern and buoyant music replaced with something acoustic or a chilled Ibiza album you get a chance to appreciate the pleasant décor and the zany, Tate Modern-esque lightbulbs that hover above you.
The homely atmosphere and friendly staff bring an individual charm to the place that can easily be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the weekend.
As for the food - the concise and simple but comfortably varied menu offers a range of steaks, burgers, seafood and pasta with a host of quirky specials keeping the chef on his toes.
We shared the delicious marinated chicken skewers that were golden brown and wonderfully tender while we made our tough decisions for our mains.
My decision, in the end, was pretty straightforward. It was burger night; which makes any burger (beef, chicken or veggie) with chips and a drink (negotiable) available at just £6.50 - a bargain in anyone's eyes.
As a massive fan of the recently-retired Magdala burger from up the road and having to compete with specialist neighbours Gourmet Burger Kitchen - who plonked themselves right next door - Liquorish had it's work cut out to impress this keen carnivore.
The burger was too big to hold and was truly gorgeous. Its fresh meat, unmistakeably from local butcher William Rose, was cooked exactly how I asked, with a generous helping of melted cheese and bacon.
The chunky farmhouse chips, although pretty hard to get wrong, were lovely.
The delicate flower across the table opted for the smoked duck salad, having decided against anything too heavy.
While generally faultless with nothing tasting particularly out of place - there was nothing special about the salad as the plentiful duck struggled to stand out. Perfectly cooked and in fair-sized chunks, the rich meat was pleasant enough on its own - aside from the average salad.
I opted to try a glass of claret with the beefy main course and had my arm easily twisted when the helpful young waitress recommended my favourite tipple - an Argentinean Malbec (£3.80 a glass).
While a good burger and salad is potentially impossible to get too far wrong; one thing that is often overcomplicated is a good old apple crumble (pictured right).
Despite verging on the small side of the dessert world - this delicate little beauty passed the taste test with flying colours.
The crunchy and flavoursome apple combined brilliantly with the creamy custard that was brought alive by the wonderfully crumbly crumble.
With a beaming grin, my better half described the crumble as the highlight of her meal - until the fresh raspberry cosmopolitan arrived from the cocktail waiter - proving that something from the weekend always remains.
"Thank you, see you again soon?" was the familiar farewell from the bar. "Yes you will," began my reply - "But probably on a Wednesday - as that's half price steak night."
Chicken Skewers £4
Duck Salad £8
Bacon and Cheese beef burger with chips £8.50
New potatoes £3
Apple crumble £4.50
2 x small malbec £7.60
Fresh raspberry cosmopolitan £6
FOOD (1-5) 4
AMBIENCE (1-5) 3.5
PRICE VALUE (1-5) 3.5
DISABLED ACCESS YES
DISABLED TOILET NO
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