St James Street, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, L1 0AB
By Lawrence Saunders | Small plates & cocktails | £££ | 0151 706 8148
Perched on the edge of the Baltic Triangle opposite the Church of St Vincent de Paul, Siren is probably best known to readers as a trendy brunch spot come hip wedding venue.
So with news reaching YM Liverpool HQ that owners Jeni and Natalie had launched an evening food menu, I was keen to check out the newest addition to their versatile offering.
My wife and I arrived at the impressive glass-fronted building which Siren shares with The Women’s Organisation on an early spring evening to be met by the affable Natalie.
Seated at our table, it was easy to see why this is a such popular spot for couples tying the knot – vast floor-to-ceiling windows allow masses of natural light to flood in whilst clusters of fairy lights help produce an effortlessly atmospheric setting.
We weren’t there to exchange vows again though so it was time to order some drinks.
Having left my car on Jamaica Street, I’d intended to stick to non-alcoholic refreshments and drive us home, but after browsing the cocktail menu that plan was sidelined.
Soon sipping a refreshing pineapple and ginger mojito (£7.50), I knew I’d made the right choice.
Made with spiced rum, pineapple juice, ginger, mint, lime and gomme, it was a naturally sweet and pleasantly peppery start to proceedings.
My darling bride, who had not for the first time agreed to act as designated driver, went for a Fentimans Cherry Cola (£2.50).
Food-wise Natalie suggested two or three small plates each from the succinct set of eight options.
We settled on a quartet of dishes with the mandatory side order of halloumi fries (£3.95).
“The fresh and vibrant dish was taken to another level by the ingenious addition of an authentic international flavour.”
First to arrive was our flat iron steak (£7.50), sandwiched between a pile of straw fries and a miso hollandaise sauce.
The silky brunch condiment and its Japanese twist delightfully complemented the juicy meat and super skinny chips.
Whilst savouring my final mouthful, a plate of tenderstem broccoli (£5.95) mixed with baked feta, lemon and almond dukkah appeared.
This fresh and vibrant dish was, like its predecessor, taken to another level by the ingenious addition of an authentic international flavour.
Originating from Egypt, dukkah is a fusion of nuts, herbs, seeds and spices which, together here with roasted almonds, provided a bold, earthy taste and crunchy texture.
Cocktail number two, Strawberry Fields (£7.50), which wedded together white wine, vanilla vodka, strawberry, gomme and basil was right up my street – a sweet delight I could have drank all night.
Back to the grub, and although small plate three came with a rather ‘cheffy’ title, a food degree wasn’t required to appreciate ‘hot smoked salmon with confit fennel and salsa verde’ (£7.50).
The distinct flavour of the fennel bulb skilfully complemented the chunky fish fillet, crispy skin and herb dressing.
Whilst the next seafood creation was, this time, more street food than Michelin star it was no less tasty, and featured coconut prawns (£6.95) with chilli, lime and curry mayo.
In the midst of this small plate procession, I almost forgot Natalie had deposited our portion of halloumi fries, complete with green tahini sauce.
The cheesy fingers were more than adequate, but the accompanying dip – a tad more cultured than the classic chip shop condiment I know and love – was genuinely magnificent.
Dessert was an exemplary affogato (£4.95) for me, and a decadent chocolate brownie (£5.50) with honeycomb and vanilla ice cream for my date.
Based on this stellar showing, it’s surely a matter of time before Siren becomes one of the Baltic’s go-to evening eateries.
Visit our Instagram profile (@ym_liverpool) for more food photos from the night.