Review: The Vincent café & cocktail bar

You know how it goes. You wait years for a good restaurant in the commercial district and then three turn up at once! Hot on the heels of Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill and NYL at Aloft Liverpool, comes The Vincent Café & Cocktail Bar
– a joint venture between businessman Paul Adams and Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard.

Set within Exchange Flags, on the site of the former Sakura restaurant, The Vincent Café and Cocktail Bar is a standalone version of the restaurant in Paul’s Southport-based Vincent Hotel and, like its predecessor, sushi is a key
feature of the menu.

As a big sushi fan and with a distinct shortage of sushi restaurants within the city, this was a major plus for
me. However, those people who don’t find the prospect of eating raw fish too appealing can still try out the delicacy as ‘Gringo’ sushi – a meat alternative to the seafood staple – is also available.

Though intending to stick with the original, after perusing the menu online earlier in the day, curiosity got the better of my dining partner and I so it was with the Gringo sushi that we started our evening.

I opted for the chilli beef option (£5 for four pieces), on the basis that, with my Chinese takeaway favourite, I had a good chance of liking it. Slightly more adventurous, my friend chose the roasted crispy duck and mango (£5.50 for four pieces). Both dishes were delicious but the duck was a particular highlight, with generous slices of duck and chunky mango given a tasty twist with tempura batter served on sticky sushi rice.

I could quite happily have dined on Gringo sushi all night, with the sausage and bacon tempura and chicken and lemongrass maki looking particularly intriguing but, having already made a mental note to come back and do just
that, I decided to explore a bit more of the menu on this occasion and I’m pleased I did.

My main course, the glazed duck breast with caramelised chicory, beetroot and pulled leg spring roll (£18) was a delicious choice with the mix of flavours complimenting each other much more than you might expect. The juicy beetroot worked perfectly with the Chinese-style spring roll while the duck melted in the mouth and caramelised
chicory was deliciously sweet and sticky.

My friend chose the monkfish curry with ginger, almond, chilli jasmine rise and cucumber yoghurt (£14.50).  With generous chunks of monkfish and a fresh and zingy flavour this beautifully presented dish was certainly a winner in
her eyes.

To round off our meal my friend chose the cheese board (£9.50) which included biscuits, chutney, grapes and salted almonds – as well, of course, as a varied selection of cheeses. I, on the other hand, embraced my inner child and opted for the flaming smores board (£8).

A fabulously gimmicky dessert, it comes with a live flame for toasting marshmallows, biscuits, ice cream and – best of all – caramel and chocolate dips.

While Bold Street may have the monopoly on boho eateries in the city centre, if it’s a more high end dining
experience you’re after the commercial district is fast becoming the place to be and, despite being the newcomer on the block, The Vincent is already one of its stars.

About Author: Christine Toner