Last month, I received a VERY interesting invitation to a brand, swanking new establishment that was opening its doors in Liverpool city centre and last week it was FINALLY time to check it out. Barton Rouge has already fully established itself in Chester and Heswall in Cheshire, so I was very excited to go and try out some amazing grub at their new restaurant in the swanky Exchange Street in town. I dragged my friend Emily along for the ride (although, considering everything we’d heard about the restaurant, I’m not sure she was complaining about trying out the menu!)
After giving my name and being handed Liverpool themed wristbands that entitled us to complimentary food and drinks, we were shown to a lovely table right in the centre of the restaurant. There was a bit of confusion tracking down the drinks we ordered (gin and tonic for me, wine for Emily) but that was all resolved incredibly quickly and the staff were nothing but perfectly hospitable for the entire evening.
When we had our drinks and had settled down, servers started offering different canapés to us to nibble on. We tried one that was made up of potatoes in teensy weensy little poppadoms, which were little bites of happiness. They reminded me of the Chat Bombs you can get at Mowgli, which is NEVER a bad thing. We were also offered chicken tikka bites and the MOST phenomenal battered prawns that I have ever had the fortune of eating. I am still dreaming about those prawns. Eventually, a server brought us over a selection of different main dishes to feast on. I’m a bit funny about trying things that I’m not sure I’ll DEFINITELY like, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually loved both of the dishes offered and I’d probably order them for myself if I went back independently. Neither of the dishes was too spicy for my very mild palette, which was a relief – one being chicken based, a butter chicken curry, and the other a fried cheese curry, made up of paneer cheese. The cheese curry was phenomenal and definitely wouldn’t have been something that I’d personally have chosen to order. This was all coupled with basmati rice and naan bread perfectly fluffed and ready for sauce mopping.
The restaurant itself was an absolute delight. I loved the beautiful, stylistic decorations that adorned the place- it looked sophisticated and fit in perfectly with the surrounding Exchange restaurants (Fazenda and Stevie G’s own The Vincent just round the corner, I’ll have you know!) The service was fantastic, everyone was incredibly attentive and staff checked on us enough that we knew they cared but not so much that we were talking to them through a mouthful of curry. I’ll definitely be going back at some point to try out the rest of their menu, which I’ve heard is an absolute treat.
You can find Barton Rouge at 26 Exchange Street East, Liverpool, L2 3PH.