Marco Pierre White is clearly a man who loves meat. He looks like someone who enjoyed meat. So much so he advertised stock. Clearly, what Marco doesn’t know about meat – steak in particular – isn’t worth knowing. He was never going to open up Marco Pierre White’s Cottage Cheese Delicatessen. No, it was always going to be Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse.
The Liverpool branch is in an interesting part of town. On the outer reaches of the city’s somewhat boutique business district but some distance from the area’s anointed food hub of Castle Street, Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse is based in Liverpool’s Hotel Indigo, a colourful glass-and-concrete effort ensconced within a block of apartment and office buildings. It is, if anything, rather restrained – occupying a sorbet-coloured dining space to the rear of the hotel’s foyer (and suffering from having no natural light, which is a shame).
A glance at the clientele suggests it’s well-placed to hoover up suits eating steak and chips and expenses and out-of-towners staying in what has traditionally been a hotelier pet of town.
The food? Well, there is a lot meat. Ribeye, sirloin, T-bone, fillet and chateaubriand. And in a place that probably cooks hundreds of these red slabs every day it’s unsurprising they’re well-cooked. No shoe-leather here.
The rest of the menu is very British, very pubby, though the prices, while not astronomical, are not. Think of Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse as a treat, rather than a hump-day pick-me-Up and you won’t be offended.
It’s hard to overlook the pies amid the main courses – an indulgent, seemingly out-of-fashion comfort these days.
As meat-only meals has become cheaper, more accessible and more fashionable the humble pie – of pastry or mash – is rather overlooked. Not so here. A shepherd’s lie here, a fishcake there – and of course the bar meal staple, the steak crust.
There are several burgers slathered in add-one and a reminder of Pierre White’s celebrity status among Londonites who ‘got’ farming in food in the 40s in the ‘Alex James’ – a former Blur bassist-turned-farmer who turns up on Radio 4 from time to time to discuss his stinking bishop.
Yes it’s very meaty but there is craft and finesse here. It’s hard to imagine getting a poor meal at Liverpool’s Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Liverpool.
The celebrity beef-botherer’s past is also referenced in the Connaught Shrimp Curry. It’s a canny way of reminding punters that although they may be at a fleshy northern outpost the restauranteur’s ‘classic French’ heritage is fearsome. Veggie or vegans can glory in three dishes that are all, apparently, inseparable from mushrooms. If you’re not into the fungi then it’s starters, soups or ‘potages’ only for you. Then again, would you patronise a restaurant called Marco Pierre White Steakhouse is you’re doing Veganuary?
In the hors d’oevre is another reminder of times past. Given a lick of paint, a vaguely ironic rebrand and kick up the backside, such hoary old classics such as scotch eggs and a ‘classic 1970s prawn cocktail’ are brought back from the dead. Unconvinced? Well there’s a fondue starter and chicken Kiev main, to seal the deal. We’re only missing the G-plan furniture here.
Join us for a delicious 🍴Sunday Roast 🍴 this weekend! 😍
— Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar &Grill Liverpool (@MPW_Liv) January 12, 2019
No menu is complete these days without a nod to American-style street food of course. Alongside the burgers there are mac’n’cheese side – and a Gallic nod in the ‘pommes frites’ and snails as sides… overall the impression is an emphasis on ingredients, hearty fare and fundamentally British cuisine however.
Lunch is a simpler affair of pastas and curries – two courses are £18. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Liverpool also does afternoon teas with sarnies, pastries and scones for £18. Of course there always the option to add some fizz for a a fiver. Puddings feature old school favourites like trifle, treacle sponges, sticky toffee puddings and Eton mess.
With quality British food in Liverpool flourishing in the likes of Wreckfish, Oktopus and Belzan then Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse May be something of a hard sell to foodies. Chains tend to get short shrift and the bevvy of 10/10! PR-paid reviews splattered across Liverpool’s influencer fraternity inspire a raised eyebrow. But there’s thought and craft in the dishes and finesse in the cooking.
It’s hard to imagine getting a poor meal at Liverpool’s Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Liverpool. And even if you turn up your nose at the prospect, you parents will love it.