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Review: Browns Bar and Brasserie, Liverpool ONE

by Angela Johnson. Published Wed 14 Aug 2013 16:37

Snobby as it may sound, if you are after a setting in which to leisurely sip cocktails and natter in sophisticated surroundings at Liverpool ONE, then Browns is your latest 'safe bet'.

Opening its doors last month, Browns has given Liverpool ONE’s more discerning restaurant quarter (adjacent to Jamie’s Italian) a further uplift with its sophisticated décor and outdoor seating (enjoy it before winter returns!) Inside it is smooth dark wood and classic cream tones that ooze a classy welcome from every corner of the two-floored bar and brasserie.

Seated upstairs, preferable for diners wishing to avoid the noisier bar area, we were made exceedingly welcome by our waiter Jason who offered us a cocktail to kick off the evening’s enjoyment. We leapt at his recommendation of 'The Liverpool Limelight' containing a mix of coconut and strawberry liqueurs, topped up with champagne and garnished with a twist of lime. A much needed thirst-quencher as the recent heatwave raged on outside.

The menu is neat - not overly extensive - but with an impressive mix of ‘Classics’ such as Fish and Chips, steaks, burgers and pies through to a more adventurous daily Specials (Plats du Jour) which – on the Thursday we happened upon Browns – featured variations on fresh grilled Lobster.

To start, I went for the Duck and Parsley Terrine with rhubarb & tomato chutney and toasted cinnamon brioche (£7). Beautifully presented, the terrine was rich, smooth and utterly mouth-watering when combined with the chutney to excite the palate.

My friend opted for the King Prawn Cocktail (£6.50) Plump, juicy prawns in a marie-rose sauce with freshly grated horseradish and semi-dried cherry tomatoes and four diamonds of bread and butter. The presentation made the gem lettuce appear a work of art, standing on its end, inviting the diner to dive straight in. By the speed at which we scoffed our plates clean it was a sure sign the starters were a hit!

Likewise, savouring our Liverpool Limelight cocktails did not last long and we decided to match our mains with the Pinot Grigio Rosé, Antonio Rubini, Italy (£19.50) – Light, delicate fruity tones were another welcome refresher.

Won over by Jason’s detailed description of the Plat Du jour, I went for the whole Lobster (£20), cooked in creamy garlic and shallot broth served with fries and side salad. The healthy portion was pre-cracked, ready to dazzle the taste buds without any mess... divine!

My friend enjoyed a touch of the mediterranean with the Lamb, Feta and Mint Burger with tzatziki (£13) served with crisp seasoned chips, iceberg lettuce, sliced beef tomato and topped with crispy onion rings, served with Browns chunky house ketchup, mayonnaise and sliced dill pickle on the side. The meat was melt-in-the-mouth, he assured, but the onion rings being ‘too light’ was the only minor criticism. Neglecting to order side dishes, it was pleasing to find the individual portions plentiful and yet we had saved enough room for pudding.

Eyeing the dessert menu, I was tempted by the White Chocolate & Raspberry Blondie (£6) served with raspberry coulis and strawberry ice cream. Light and zesty, the soft spongy brownie was a little taste of Heaven. The Bread and Butter Pudding (£6) with vanilla ice cream reeled my friend in - and I couldn’t resist stealing a bite as the presentation and generous helping was simply too inviting! Creamy, soft and, as Goldilocks might have it; just right! Fantastic value, the puddings left a very pleasant taste in the mouth for the overall Browns experience.

Browns is definitely an establishment in which to linger over your food rather than have some place else to go. Unwilling to bid farewell to our fun, instead of coffee we opted for a final cocktail – Long Jerry Iced tea (£6.95) - Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Davna Cherry Vodka and Finlandia Lime Vodka shaken over ice with lemon juice then topped with Pepsi – a twist on the classic. Perhaps not the ideal 'after dinner' drink, it cut through the sugary coating left behind by pudding and woke us up before the journey home - for the best as the humid heat did not abate as the night wore on.

Quality dishes at affordable prices appear to be the Browns guarantee, but, without a teething trouble in sight, it was the splendid, speedy service and calm atmosphere at even the busiest periods that left a lasting impression.

Click rating **** Excellent. Brimming with sophistication, Browns kicks some other L1 eateries into a culinary cocked hat!

Visit www.browns-restaurants.co.uk/locations/liverpool for further information / to book a table.



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