Back in 2011 riots hit Liverpool. Cars were burned out and shop fronts stoved in and, to be frank, few people batted at eyelid. Until the unruly hordes threatened Myrtle Street. “Dear God, not Kimos,” read one such message of anguish, reeling at the prospect that everyone’s favourited neighbourhood Halal cafe might be destroyed.
Thankfully it survived to fight another day, falafel intact. Kimos would never claim to be offering cutting-edge cuisine, but it’s found a place in Liverpool hearts. Its liver has anyway – they can be sampled in Kebdah – one of the restaurant’s and cafe’s (there are two different Kimos outlets in Liverpool city centre) specialities.
With a couple of feet on different sides of the Med, Kimos offers a wide range of foods from Southern Europe and North Africa in informal and cheerful surroundings (the cafe on Myrtle Street) or informal and somewhat more stylish surroundings (the restaurant on Mount Pleasant – we can’t really tell the difference).
Drop in for quick bites from the takeaway-like menu or hang around longer for Greek, Turkish, Moroccan and even Arabian specialities. Head in for a full English breakfast, Ful Medames (think spicy baked beans), chicken kebab or fragrant middle-Eastern curry. You can even have a pizza if you want. This is fusion cooking with none of the pretentiousness.
There are kebabs and falafel, hummus and the usual things you’d expect to find on a Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean menu but there’s space for more interesting dishes too. The Mendy dishes offer moist, spiced meat with rice. Moorish grilled aubergine with stilton, honey and balsamic are an intriguing treat too.
Veggies love Kimos, so do students from the nearby University of Liverpool and Community College. And it’s about the cheapest food you can get in the city. Beware the chips, they’re worse than the sort you find at the bottom of a McDonald’s bag: frozen, tasteless and wholly unlovely, which is a shame.
Take note, Kimos is not licensed (try the mint tea or virgin cocktails instead). And make sure you take cash, otherwise it’s a trip to the nearby Tesco’s to request cashback.