Morning Noon Night
The Cross, Neston
Review by Hannah Fowler | Small plates | £££ | 10 The Cross, Neston, CH64 9UB | 0151 208 8939
With new head chef James Dodd at the helm, Neston’s Morning Noon Night has launched an evening menu to complement its already popular ‘morning and noon’ offerings.
By day, the Wirral venue is the perfect breakfast and lunch spot, serving up eggs, sandwiches and sweet treats. By night, the space transforms into a tapas bar and restaurant, with small plates championing James’ ‘field to fork’ philosophy.
The interior seems to mimic this down to earth approach too. Think rustic tables and chairs, chalkboards and minimal furnishing. All in all it makes for a relaxing, informal restaurant, so it was no surprise to see other tables occupied with couples and groups unwinding with a bottle of wine or two.
As my dinner date and I browsed the main menu we each ordered an aperitif of orange clove gin (£7) and a dish from the starter snacks menu, recommended to us by our server.
The devilled eggs (£1 p/egg), perhaps best known as retro 70s party food, were given a modern, spicy twist thanks to the addition of sriracha sauce and were so moreish!
If you like your food hot then the Nduja toast (£2.50) will be right up your street. The spreadable pork salami was full of sweet and spicy flavours and worked perfectly slathered on crispy bread.
“By night, the space transforms into a tapas bar and restaurant, with small plates championing James’ ‘field to fork’ philosophy.”
Next up was the start of the small plates menu. I know there’s somewhat of a division of opinion on the small plate trend, but at Morning Noon Night it really works. With the menu content changing weekly it makes sense to offer small plates of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes. Plus, with some unique flavour combinations it gives diners a chance to experiment and try something a little out of your comfort zone.
Another common issue is just how small are the plates? There’s nothing worse than under-ordering and going home hungry! But rest assured as we ordered six plates which, as it turns out, was a little over ambitious, especially with the snacks beforehand.
The crispy duck kohlrabi ‘pancake’ (£9) with rhubarb ketchup, spring onion and cucumber was the first to arrive. As advertised, the duck was crispy and aromatic and the rhubarb ketchup gave the dish a fruity, tangy kick.
The dishes that followed were just as tasty. The caraway cabbage and ham hock (£6.50) was the perfect spring dish; it was fresh, light and the shredded ham was so tender.
As for the jersey royals and purple sprouting broccoli with caper and raisin dressing (£7.50), the best way I can describe it is as a rather posh potato salad. Simply delicious.
“The coffee added a deep, smoky flavour to the juicy meat which fell apart.”
In contrast, the fregola, crab, chilli butter and bottarga (£8) was a warming bowl of comfort food. I loved the fregola – a type of Sardinian pasta that resembles large cous cous – and paired with the sweetness of the crab and hints of chilli, I didn’t want the bowl to end.
The coffee braised brisket and creamed white beans with sumac onion (£8) was a standout moment of the meal. The coffee added a deep, smoky flavour to the juicy meat which fell apart so easily, while the beans were creamy and the perfect accompaniment to the tender beef.
Another favourite was the twice cooked chicken with Korean ketchup & black sesame (£6.50). The chicken was tender with a crisp, flavourful skin, and I loved the Asian influence in the sauce.
To finish off the feast we shared the chocolate mousse and sesame brittle with miso caramel (£6.50). The mousse was rich and decadent and the sesame brittle added a crunchy, nutty flavour. However the caramel infused with Japanese miso didn’t quite hit the mark for either of us.
Overall, Morning Noon Night certainly brings something a little different to the market town of Neston and serves up imaginative, delicious food that’s sure to get you talking.
The twice cooked chicken is a must try!