Camp & Furnace
I do love a specials board, the idea that something is a bit different, perhaps with a bit of extra effort. I have these dreamy images of a local supplier arriving at a restaurant’s back door clutching the freshest and highest quality produce. Be it rich dark steaks, fish plucked straight from the sea or crunchy veg still covered in soil, I imagine an excited chef picking the choicest elements for a vibrant dish or two. To be honest that doesn’t happen very often, indeed I feel the specials board sometimes can be a simple way of adding a couple of quid to the price of a meal.
Delifonseca, a long time favourite of mine, is renowned for its blackboard, to be fair it’s not all specials, but I do enjoy reading through to see whats on offer that day. Camp and Furnace, a really great bar/cafe/restaurant/hotel/venue, I’ve written about before, has a great black board, all be it rather small, with a few specials on it each day. It’s the specials that I’ve had there that really interest me. That’s not to say the normal menu isn’t good, it is, really good in fact. A great selection of sandwiches, including salt beef and confit duck, along side dishes of pulled pork, chorizo burger and many others. I like this menu because it’s different, not wildly different, but is strays far enough away from any other menus available around the city.
I’ve eaten a few times at C&F, and the three dishes I’ve liked the most are from the specials board, a fantastic dressed crab, full of crisp sharp flavours and sweet white meat came with brown crab on toast. It was a lovely dish, I was particularly pleased to see the brown meat being used, it easily carries the most flavour and is often discarded.
A roast garlic and chicken soup with sourdough, was a great light lunchtime meal, not too heavy and full of flavour. The sourdough was quite good, not the best I’ve tasted but quite good. I would say the soup was rather too salty, a gentler touch with the seasoning would have been nice.
Thirdly a piece of Sea Trout, with fantastic crispy skin, soft and moist in the centre it was very well cooked. The accompanying samphire and dill with a touch of garlic were great, and pickled cucumber stuffed with some smoked trout all danced around in my mouth, fragrant, sharp, sweet.
C&F is not only an interesting venue to go, it’s a great place to eat. It doesn’t really fall into the category of restaurant it more casual than that and last orders for food is 8pm. The menu is also suitably different, with plenty of dishes that you couldn’t find else where in the city. This is vibrant, original and reasonably priced food, it’s a new favourite of mine.
- Camp Furnace, Launch Night and First Impressions (liverpoolfoodblog.co.uk)