March 2012 Academy RestaurantPosted: 02/02/2012
I’m very pleased to announce that Scousetro Club for March will take place at The Academy restaurant in the Liverpool community college. Set amidst the backdrop of Liverpool’s historic RopeWalks area, The restaurant is located in the college’s Duke Street facility. It offers a mouth-watering selection of both British and European cuisine ranging from contemporary combinations, to traditional favourites displaying a modern twist.
The Academy Restaurant is run by a dedicated team of staff, and highly motivated students who are developing professional skills ready for employment in the catering and hospitality industry. Dishes are expertly prepared using the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients by our young chefs of the future.
For the fantastic price of £21 Academy will be offering us a five course tasting menu.
I was approaching the second Scousetro Club with some trepidation, the first event had been great fun and a success, but I was somewhat worried by beginners luck. Scousetro Club can certainly run as a one-off, but its continued success was and, in some ways, still is an unanswered question. However I was pleased with the number of bookings, twenty-eight of us took our seats, hoping the The Academy restaurants menu could live up to its promise and quite excellent price.
On arrival we had been greeted with glass of Denbies, an excellent english sparkling wine, and an interesting and tasty tipple. I’ve felt with both of these events that pre dinner drinks is always a bit more reserved than the meal, but once seats were taken with various mixed tables everyone seemed much more relaxed. Conversation was freely flowing as was the wine, which came from a matched wine list put together by Chris the food and beverage manager.
At this point I must apologise for the shonky photos, my main photographic technique involves hopefully waving my iPhone at a dish and seeing what comes back. Thus the following pics aren’t great, but hopefully will give you an idea of the food we had.
Three small lime scallops arrived with a chilli and melon salsa, soft and sweet if ever so slightly over done (I’m really being very picky). A pleasant sharpness from the lime and melon accompanied by a light touch of chilli made for a good dish. It’s all too easy, as I’ve seen so many times before, to over do the chilli and loose the scallop but this was the faintest of background notes.
Second course, the spiced dahl soup was fragrant, warm and comforting as with the first course the level of spicing was excellent neither overpowering or disappearing. Tasty little spinach tortellini punctuated the dish with flavour and the smoked ham parfait added texture and a hint of ham as it broke down amongst the soup.
Next up was a confit salmon and pea puree with poached egg, this dish lacked the same attention to detail as the previous courses, with the fish being a bit dry and over cooked. I thought it also lacked a touch of balance, with the peas being too heavy and over powering. It was beautifully presented, but needed greater care and attention with regards to cooking.
The main course, was perfectly cooked aromatic duck breast, soft and pink in the centre, accompanied by a lovely fondant slice and glazed onions and a not so good pear. To be fair the pear was nicely cooked, but for a dish that relies on rich, meat and juicy flavours I found the pear too watery and it washed the other flavours away.
Our dessert was a mango and white chocolate parfait, some Scousetro Club members thought it was not set enough there was a bit a variance between plates, mine was fine but others were melting much more quickly. Served with a lovely roast plum, crunch tuile biscuit and a beautiful vanilla syrup, it was a delight and probably my favourite dish of the night. However I have quite a sweet tooth.
At the end of the evening everyone was full of praise for the work put in by Chris and the team. The most popular dishes being the dahl soup and the duck. Everyone left happy and we are all looking forward to next months Scousetro Club.