A few weeks ago my husband and I went for a mini break to Liverpool and enjoyed a few days of shopping and exploring the city and on our first night, we dined at pan-asian restaurant on Hope Street known as HOST. HOST is fast becoming a popular haunt for Liverpudlians with a taste of Asian cuisine and as fans of Thai and Japanese food, my husband and I were keen to see what was on offer.
The restaurant's interior is minimalist, yet elegant and in previous literature, many have said it has a 'SOHO vibe'. On first glance, I would say this place definitely has a hint of 'hipster' to it, but it gives this restaurant character and for a big city with heaps of culinary competition, character as well as the food helps set this restaurant apart.
When I first read HOST's menu, I was really impressed with the extensive options for those with special dietary requests. They cater for vegans, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarians and of course pan-asian loving carnivores. On top on this, I was also excited to see things on the menu I've never heard of or tried before. As a vegetarian, this is often really difficult to come by in restaurants as many restauranteurs seem to take the 'easy/lazy' approach with vegetarian cooking. Not only does the restaurant have fantastic food options, the beverage menu was also plentiful with different types of mocktails, cocktails, soft drinks, wines and alcohol.
For starters, my husband ordered the Thai Lamb Massaman Baked Dumplings and I ordered Tempura Vegetables with a pickled plum dipping sauce. Both dishes were served very quickly and elegantly dished up. My husband loved his baked dumplings and I was equally impressed with my Tempura. The batter was really light, not greasy and had the perfect crunch while the vegetables were perfectly cooked. Both of us easily finished our plates and eagerly awaited our main dishes.
For our main dishes, my husband chose the Crisp Fried Fillet of Sea Bass with tender stem broccoli and soy beans in vietnamese hot & sour sauce and I opted for the Cranberry and Pistachio Tofu with Chili Stir fry - a dish I've never tried before and something that instantly jumped out at me on the menu as being an innovative and inspiring vegetarian dish.
When our mains arrived, we were both met with mixed opinions. My husband enjoyed his sea bass but thought it was a bit too overcooked and not the best dish of the night, while I loved my pistachio tofu and I was left wanting more of it. In fact, it was probably one the best veggie dishes I have had in awhile and if someone has a recipe, I'd happily eat this once a week if I could.
Overall both of us thoroughly enjoyed our visit to HOST* and would recommend it to anyone visiting or those who live in Liverpool who are looking for something a little bit different for their foodie adventures. The prices are affordable, the staff are lovely and although it's a bit of town, it's worth visiting the restaurant and also seeing the magnificent Anglican Cathedral across the road lit up on a night.
Do you like Pan-asian food?