As somebody who starts to resemble a heavily pregnant manatee in labour after so much as a sniff of white bread or pasta, I do go through the odd gluten dodging phase. I undoubtedly feel better for it but what always pulls me back into the wonderful world of wheat is the pretty poor spread of ‘free from’ products in most of the eateries around me.
Supermarkets and independent health shops are definitely changing the game at the moment (Difatti gluten free gnocchi and Perkier! gluten free porridge is a must) but the restaurants and cafes in my regular haunts are still sadly lagging behind in my opinion. That was, until, the brains behind The Vincent Hotel & Cafe opened the brand new Vincent Asian Kitchen on Liverpool‘s bustling Bold Street!
Serving Asian bowl food realness in a casual conveyor belt-style, The Vincent Kitchen is quite a diversion from the brand’s typical approach. Part owned by one of the city’s most celebrated footballers, Steven Gerrard and one of the hottest hangouts for local celebrities and dolled up ‘Scousebirds’ alike, The Vincent brand has nurtured itself quite a swanky reputation.
Famed for it’s decedent sushi and smoking s’mores board, the expensive-but-worth-it-for-the-experience gaff can be found nestled in a corner of the city centre business district and on the Southport strip complete with award-winning hotel. Here, waiters are clad in bow ties & brogues and every morsel placed in front of you is truly photo worthy but take a trip up to Liverpool’s cultural quarter and it’s a whole other story. A story you just can’t put down.
If you’re on the look our for places to eat in Liverpool that offer something a bit different to quadruple stacked burgers and sweet potato fries, Bold Street always delivers. A popular little nook in the city, this cobbled street is one long stretch of international cuisine and alternative dining and the Vincent Kitchen is a very welcome addition.
The VK is all about bringing gluten free, wheat free, dairy free food to life and scrapping the usual bland and uninspiring suspects for something that makes you totally forget you’re chowing down on something hella healthy. It’s all about giving your taste buds the same royal treatment as your digestive system for a refreshing middle ground that will leave your mouthwatering every time.
Check, check, check – these guys tick all the boxes.
Loving both the city centre and Southport branches but not always prepared to splash out the best part of a hundred squid and brush our hair into presentable submission, my partner in dine and I just had to sink our teeth into The Vincent Kitchen ASAP.
The exterior is suitably on brand – a combination of black and silver that screams sophisticated simplicity; the interior kind of like a super posh Subway kitted out with bamboo coloured benches, stylish metallic motifs and invisible but definitely tangible chilled out vibes.
You walk through the minimal-chic seating area towards a counter on the back wall where you are lead from one end to another by a member of staff who fills a cardboard bowl with the produce of your picking. You can build your bespoke bowl or go for something off The VK menu.
To build your own, you start by selecting a base (rice, noodles etc etc), picking a protein (spiced chicken, lamb, fish cakes to name a few) and then top up your five-a-day with some vegetables (seasoned corn, sweet potato, butternut squash and so on). The whole lot is then doused in a generous helping of your choice of sauce, from Thai yellow to a sweet, sweet peanut satay.
If you love a garnish (and I do love a garnish) then you can also shake a little extra somethin’ somethin’ over your culinary creation from a choice of tasty toppings. We were both seriously impressed at the amount of flavour packed into what isn’t necessarily such a pretty plate (or bowl) of food. If you want restaurant standard scran on the go, The Vincent Kitchen is the one.
Behind the alter of Asian bowl food dreams is an array of sweet healthy treats including cocoa coconut protein balls and a tapioca and peanut butter chocolate pudding, some alcoholic beverages (wine, beer etc) and rows of colourful juices that the Instagram #FitFam would go gaga for.
We went for a strawberry, kiwi and kale juice (terrible idea) and the chocolate pud (unusual texture but great idea for sure). I can’t remember what the damage was but I know it was definitely reasonable for the chilled atmos, gorgeous surroundings and truly delicious food.
Good work, team Vincent – see you again soon!