Alma De Cuba, July 12th Scousetro Club

Scousetro Club returns in July for it’s 5th meal at Alma De Cuba, the perfect host for a vibrant exciting meal. Alma de Cuba, Liverpool’s most spectacular restaurant and bar; an island in the heart of the city, an independent spirit that leaves a lasting impression. Set inside the magnificent conversion of the former St. Peter’s Catholic church, Alma de Cuba is an eclectic mix of Cuban, Hispanic and Latin American influences that are enhanced with Liverpool’s great spirit.

The team at Alma have put together a fantastic menu for us, including both new dishes and Alma classics recreated and reimagined  especially for Scousetro Club. Alma’s head bar man, Josh, will be creating a special matched cocktail menu, paring the finest Latin American drinks with each course.

Review

What can I say about the 5th Scousetro Club at Alma De Cuba, well in short it was fantastic,  a great evening with wonderful food. The entire team at Alma worked tirelessly to put on this meal, with service running smoothly the whole night.

The Alma Dinning Room

Food on the whole was excellent, showing imagination and creativity, offering challenges to diners that go everyone involved with the dishes. Beef and chocolate was a combination that really split opinion, some loved it other weren’t as convinced, but this is exactly what Scousetro Club is about.

The remains of Tequila and sangrita, our first course.

One of several complimentary cocktails, a Copa Cobanga, rum with cherry marnier, fresh orange and condensed milk

Jerk Chicken and Coconut rice, our second course

Alma De Cuba really embrassed the concept of Scousetro, and again elevated expectations of diners with a skill full and imaginative menu. Everyone left feeling extremley possitive about the whole experience and very keen to return to the restaurant in the future.

One of the Samba girls

Seasame encrusted seared tuna with Solana Mojito

Ginger and Jasmine tea with Jasmine flower

Fillet of beef marinated in Malbec with pulled beef and chocolate. The beefs flavour and texture was perfect.

Alma really proved itself to be an excellent restaurant, pulling out all the stops for Scousetro Club. If you’re in Liverpool looking for a good meal then it has to be near the top of your list.

Pudding: Rum with smoke and chocolate orange fudge, chocolate biscotti, coffee sphere and a chocolate coffee spoon

Pudding: Rum with smoke and chocolate orange fudge, chocolate biscotti, coffee sphere and a chocolate coffee spoon

Head Chef Dave Critchley after a hard shift in the kitchen

 

Pictures Courtesy of Martin Henley
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June 2012 Caveau Liverpool

After a months break Scousetro Club returned in June with the best meal yet, Dave and the team at Caveau pulled out all the stops, serving an eight course menu for £34.50. The food, ambience and service all evening was fantastic, with all the Scousetro Clubbers having a great evening.

 39 diners took their seats for a really excellent meal, that started with garlic snails with bone marrow, a dish that set the scene for a true classic French menu, that along they way took in sweetbreads, quail and frogs legs.

Snails with bone barrow

 

Scallops with poached pears, very nice if a touch too sweet.

Scousetro Clubbers enjoying their meal

 

Frogs legs with aubergine caviar and squash puree, great flavours highlighting what is a very delicately flavoured meat.

 

Langoustine in court bullion, lovely soft flesh perfectly cooked, it took a good bit of work to extract all the tasty stuff.

Roasted Quail and Braised Endive, another lovely dish. After a bit of prodding and delicate knife work the best way to tackle the quail was with your fingers. The endive was lovely and delicate.

 

Chilled Chocolate Soufflés with Cherries. This was my favourite dish, a classic combination rich, sweet and sharp, I thought it was beautiful.

 

The final cheese course, Reblechon with Quails Egg in Brioche. A great way to round off the meal, soft fantastic cheese with a great accompaniments.

All in all this meal was very very good, everyone who attended had a great time and really enjoyed the food served. You may have noticed that I’m missing a photo, I completely forgot to take a picture of the sweetbreads course, thus if any Scousetro Clubbers out there have one they could e-mail to me I would be very grateful.

Caveau was a fantastic venue for Scousetro Club, a head chef and staff who really wanted to put on a show made this night what it was. I feel everyone who attended got to try a new restaurant, it’s certainly a venue they were all keen to return to. If you couldn’t make this meal, but still want to sample what Caveau has to offer it’s open Tuesday to Sunday, serving classic french food all year round.

 
Caveau Restaurant
59 Allerton Road
Liverpool
L25 7RE
 

April 2012 The Malmaison

So far Scousetro Club has been a huge success, after two fantastic meals at Lunya and Academy restaurant, I’m very pleased to announce that the meal for March will be hosted by The Malmaison. Sitting amongst Liverpool’s historic waterfront, The Malmaison Liverpool is a chic modern hotel, with excellent brasserie and luxurious rooms. The food at The Mal is centred around the very best of local produce,  prepared by the head chef Adam Townsley.

The menu is below

Review

This months Scousetro was a good night, hosted by The Mal and taking place in one of their private function rooms. For the first time at a Scousetro club meal we all sat round one large table, a bit like a giant board room. The Mal’s staff had made a great effort, the room looked excellent and it made for a lovely atmosphere.

Our first course proved to be the most popular of the night, sweet perfectly cooked scallops with a delicious risotto. It was a great start to the evening, a dish enjoyed by all and would hopefully set the tone for the rest of the courses.

Second course was homemade black pudding with smoked apple purée and sauce grabiche. This was the dish I was most looking forward to, I love a bit of black pudding and I was hoping for something special. The dish came out reeking of smoke, it boded well for the course as the smell wafted around the room. Unfortunately the flavours didn’t quite live up to the aromas, with the sauce and pudding lacking the the required flavour, a heavier dose of spice to the black pudding would have really lifted what was a reasonable dish.

Braised hogget, our main course, was full of flavour soft, tender and sweet, a touch over seasoned for my tastes but very well done. I was nice to have a slightly different meat than the usual suspects. The melt in the mouth bone marrow in the accompanying sauce punctuated the dish with delicate melting flavours. A greater amount of fennel would have brought a better balance to the dish, but we were all very happy with our mains.

Dessert consisted of a soft pistachio fondant, with sweet almost marzipan like texture, it was very good and the melted chocolate at the bottom of it made it all the better. It came with a white chocolate sorbet that was nice, but very sweet. Every time in my life when I’ve had sorbet I’ve always wished for ice cream, a good dose of animal fat to wrap everything up on your pallet is generally a good thing. Thus, although I did like the sorbet I think an ice cream would have lifted this dish.

On the whole the meal was well received, the the Scousetro Clubbers enjoyed the food served to them, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. I was disappointed, however, to find all our meal dishes on the main brasserie menu. The aim of Scousetro Club is to provide different food and I feel that the Malmaison didn’t embrace this to the full extent.