After two years of searching for the perfect city centre location, founder of Indian eatery, Barton Rouge, Amit Kamur has finally settled on a brand new ‘cosmopolitan postcode’. It comes on Liverpool’s Exchange Street East, right in the heart of the bustling commercial district, not far from the Vincent Cafe, Neighbourhood and Salthouse Bacaro. Last night’s launch party oozed finesse in the signature Barton Rouge style – plenty of pizzazz with it’s plush velvet seating and modern light installations but still totally personable and intimate.
The sister Heswall restaurant is actually my go-to take out joint because a) I live two minutes around the corner, b) the food is consistently impeccable and c) you definitely feel like you’re being a bit kinder to your cholesterol levels. One of the main mantras behind the Barton Rouge brand is to take the typical notions of greasy Indian takeaways that are 60% edible 40% oil, banish them into oblivion and replace them instead with something much closer to the helm of fine dining.
We kicked off proceedings with a welcome drink – my poison of choice was a classic G&T – and a handful of canape samples from the menu. I’m told the Liverpool menu has a few exclusive dishes on there so I’ll be interested to have a closer inspection and try something new next time I’m there. I’m also looking forward to sampling the specialty cocktails which have been designed to perfectly compliment the traditional Old Delhi dishes.
One of the canapes being swooped around the swanky mezzanine bar was something that looked very similar to the infamous Mowgli Yoghurt Chat Bomb. A crispy, bitesize poppadom bowl filled with potato, pomegranate, mint and bhelpuri, so different to little Mowgli but still inspired I bet. There were also tandoori tiger prawns on offer but as you’ll know from my time at Panoramic34, prawns really ain’t my bag so I stuck to the delicious tikka chicken chunks instead. Each a unique take on popular street food cuisine.
After whetting our appetites and admiring the industrial-come-boutique decor, Abby and I headed downstairs to the restaurant where we serendipitously plonked ourselves down at a table for four with the lovely Steph and her other half, Danny.
The structure of the event meant a set menu was being served up to the packed out restaurant and if the audible ‘noms’ were anything to do by, it went down a storm. It certainly did on our table where we tucked into a butter chicken curry, paneer (Indian cheese) in an aromatic tomato sauce, fragrant basmati rice and the fluffiest naan bread you ever did mop your plate with.
As Will.I.Am would say, I knew the night was going to be a good night so now I’ll just resume my status as a longstanding Barton Rouge fan, now with another base to get my fix!