Review: Castle Street Townhouse

Ever since the much anticipated grand opening of Liverpool’s Castle Street Townhouse last year, the classy venue has become somewhat a favourite for the YB team, especially for ‘working’ bottomless brunches, or post-work Friday night cocktails. Therefore, when we were asked to sample the new dinner menu, it was a bit of a no-brainer really. By Andrew Wright.

Castle Street Townhouse is a self-proclaimed ‘all day dining and drinking destination’ and this was certainly reflected with the clientele present when we arrived just before 7pm on a Friday evening. There were couples enjoying a romantic meal, groups of friends grabbing a bite to eat and a few cocktails before hitting the town, and professionals (with their ties a little loose) from the nearby commercial district sampling a couple of well-earned beverages after a busy working week.

The primary factor that has always appealed to us and makes Castle Street Townhouse such an endearing venue is the atmosphere. The style is effortlessly cool, achieved through subtle decor choices and a welcoming layout. Furthermore, any hints of pretentiousness oft found in venues of a similar ilk, are absent, leading to a friendly, relaxed environment. The staff are warm, knowledgeable and attentive, happy to talk through the menu and recommend dishes. This all combines to make Castle Street Townhouse a perfect destination to while away a couple of hours.

But the star of the show on our visit was the food. Wow, the food! We chose from the all-day brunch and dinner menu. My dining partner, predictably, opted for the chicken liver parfait with toasted rye bread and house chutney. Owing to her being a serial selector of parfait when it comes to starters, she was well placed to extol the virtues of this particular dish. The parfait was reassuringly comforting and wholesome, and was complemented beautifully by crusty bread and sweet chutney. The other issue when choosing this dish is a regularly overlooked problem; the bread to parfait ratio. OK, not really a ‘problem’ but nonetheless frustrating when you find yourself with half a pot of pate left over and no bread left to spread it on. Thankfully, this wasn’t an issue, so we can all move on! I chose the buretta, a type of cheese similar in appearance to a poached egg and not dissimilar in taste to mozarella. It was served with walnut, pear, honey and truffle oil. I had never tried truffle oil, but it was a nice accompaniment to the pear and walnuts. The dish was light and tasty, but was incredibly indulgent and served beautifully. The starters polished off at an alarmingly rapid pace, it was time for the main course.

On eBay (other auction sites are available) £55 will buy you a signed John Travolta poster, a doughnut making machine and a garden tool bag, or it could get you Castle Street Townhouse’s signature Chateaubriand dish. Though £55 could be seen as a tad steep for a main course, it is a sharing plate, and taking into account steak-lovers can sometimes pay £20 for a good rib-eye, and also considering how mouth-wateringly beautiful this dish was, it was well worth it. Feeling terribly uncouth and unsophisticated, we didn’t actually know what a chateaubriand was. Our server was happy to educate us, and explained that it was a large steak cut, cut from the thickest part of a fillet of beef, the tenderloin. After being further informed that it would also be served with a salad, thrice cooked chips and two sauces (a béarnaise and a blue cheese), we were sold.

As the mountain of food arrived, the task of finishing this meal became a daunting one. We gave it a good go though. My erudite dining partner eloquently declared ‘Oh my God, that was the fittest meal I ever had’. In truth, it was stunning. The steak (of which there was plentiful) was served medium, the knife gliding through each piece. The meat was melt-in-the mouth delicious, proving succulent, tender and flavoursome, and was complemented by the duo of sauces. The common bedfellow of a good steak is chips. And, without sounding like a M&S advert, these were not just any old chips. They were boiled, baked and then fried, meaning they stayed soft and fluffy on the inside and were deliciously crispy on the outside. We proudly managed to finish every morsel, but not without regrettably having to forfeit a dessert, owing to the fact that our shirt buttons were now popping.

As we headed out, leaving behind those draining the last of their post-work drinks before heading home and those just starting their Friday night on the tiles, we were fit to burst but very satisfied. Castle Street Townhouse had provided us with another dining experience, had lived up to its billing as a top foodie haven from brunch through to dinner, and, more importantly, had further cemented itself as one of our favourite city centre venues.








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