Harrington Road, Brunswick Dock, L3
Review by Lawrence Saunders
Liverpool is hardly lacking when it comes to trendy eateries, with a seemingly endless supply of stylish restaurants opening across the city on a regular basis. However when it comes to vegetarian and in particular, vegan offerings, Liverpool quite surprisingly lags far behind some its North West rivals including Manchester and Leeds.
With this in mind it was with much intrigue that my diner date and I headed along to Liverpool’s first vegan restaurant, GIVE Kitchen, to sample the menu.
Based in the distinctive surroundings of Brunswick Business Park, GIVE Kitchen was founded last year by Paul Hampson and Dario Curcillo who, through their GIVE2040 Foundation, want to give back to those in need by donating a fresh and nutritious meal to the homeless for every purchase made online, in store or at their restaurant.
After being shown to our table upstairs and conversing with our waitress for the evening, we were delighted to learn that the food at GIVE Kitchen is served whenever it’s ready to ensure the best possible flavour from the super fresh ingredients.
To start, my dining partner and I shared a small plate of Indonesian sweet soy mock duck and mango salsa with baby gem cups and a sesame seed dressing (£6.95). A complete novice when it comes to vegan food, I was impressed with both the flavour and texture of the ‘mock duck’, which I later learnt was made from a special wheat protein, and I defy anyone to be able to tell the difference between this vegan substitute and the real thing.
The fresh mango was a perfect foil for the tangy Indonesian seasoning on the mock duck – a dish that would surely not look out of place on any authentic oriental restaurant menu.
Now for the mains – I was immediately drawn to the Super protein cheese burger with sweet potato fries and onion rings (£9.50) – admittedly as it was the most recongisable item on the menu. Any suspicion I had that vegan food wouldn’t be filling was quickly dispelled when I set eyes on my towering burger. I ashamedly only managed to complete half of it by the time I’d demolished the three onion rings and generous helping of tasty sweet potato fries.
Continuing with the oriental theme of our starter, my partner plumped for Pad Thai with smoked tofu, Asian greens and buckwheat noodles (£9.95) for her main. Much like the mock duck, the tofu lent itself well to Asian cuisine and mixed nicely with the fresh vegetables and succulent noodles.
On the recommendation of our waitress we decided to share a dark chocolate and peanut butter brownie with candied lemon zest and citrus curd (£5.95) for dessert. The tangy citrus curd nicely offset the richness of the brownie, proving an inspired suggestion from our server.
My dinner date’s large Caffe Latte (£2.60) was an unexpected highlight of the evening. Made with organic oat milk, my partner was blown away with the artistry and effort that had clearly gone into the triple layered beverage which was an excellent bookend for the meal.
After three courses and a coffee in most restaurants I would be feeling just about ready to burst by this point. Whether it was the absence of meat, the fresh ingredients or the array of vegetables though, this time I was feeling sprightly enough to make it down the stairs and take a quick glance around GIVE’s wonderful on-site shop on our way out.
Driving home, I felt as though we’d only scratched the surface when it comes to vegan food and are already planning to head back to GIVE Kitchen in the near future to uncover more exciting creations.