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Smuggler's Cove at Liverpool's Albert Dock

by Lucy Wright. Published Fri 10 Jul 2015 14:00, last updated: 08/07/15

A few weeks ago, my parents and I went for a meal at Smuggler’s Cove on the Albert Dock. Arriving on a Monday evening, the place wasn’t packed busy, but there also wasn’t an abundance of empty tables. We were seated immediately without a wait and the staff were great: throughout our whole meal they checked up on us and made sure everything was good for us. They offered a very warm welcome to us and made the atmosphere very relaxed for diners.

The restaurant does have a strong pirate-theme throughout, however I must admit I expected it to be much less tasteful and to be slightly tacky. While the theme is slightly whimsical it has been pulled off perfectly so the place still feels like a classy restaurant and not a kid’s indoor play area. The high walls are filled with portraits and there are large ‘rum barrels’ used as tables. There are glass boxes fitted into the walls that are full of bottles of rum and other bottles. Even the toilets have cute cartoons of pirate men and pirate women outside.

We ordered our drinks – I had a peach and pineapple mojito, which was really good but maybe had a little bit too much mint in it as I had to pull some out. My mum had the Pinot Grigio which was really good and my dad was ecstatic to find out that they had a few real ales on.

The menus are already on the table when you sit down, and are folded to look like a map sealed with a wax mark. The menu is not lacking, and the largest part is the selection of starters and the option for a deli board to share. We decided to have the calamari, pork chipolatas and chicken wings.

All three were delicious, and the wings were my favourite – coated in a salt and pepper batter. The presentation of the food keeps in with the pirate theme as the chipolatas came in a skull-shaped bowl and the wings come in a treasure chest.

After a small wait, our second meals came. For the main courses I had Ribeye Steak with cheesy chips (so classy of me), while my parents both had the hanging kebabs, my dad had beef and my mum had lamb. All food was delicious and looked perfectly presented, with the hanging kebabs being a specialty dish and looking the best.

Following this we shared chocolate fudge cake and the banana and coconut kebab for dessert; and while both were great we couldn’t manage to finish them, as we were so full.

The best part of Smuggler’s Cove in my opinion was the live music they had. The piano was in front of the bar and they had a man playing and singing a range of different songs; from Adele to the Beatles to Beyonce to Elton John to Ed Sheeran, but all in a slower piano version.

Halfway through our meal this guy started joking around with the other staff and began to play One Direction, The Lion King, and Barbie Girl. Basically every song he played had me singing along and I loved it.

All in all, Smuggler’s Cove is very well presented and has a great atmosphere to join with the great food. 4.5/5.



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