There are many amazing things about the Wirral, like the multiple beaches and the fact people will still smile and say good morning to you even when your dog’s taking a turd on their drive.
That said, perfection is nothing but a construct and the Paradise Peninsula does have a handful of irksome traits too. The old biddies who glare at you like you you’re doing community service, simply for wearing The North Face and being under the age of 40, for instance.
Or worst of all, the lack of proximity to the Liverpool Deliveroo catchment zone.
The latter has never been too problematic, seeing as Liverpool is but a tunnel’s distance away. During recent months, however, with the world being the hot mess it currently is, times have been a bit trying on the old takeout front.
So, as you can imagine, when I caught wind of a new luxury takeaway service launching in Liverpool, that also delivers to the Wirral, St. Helens, and other surrounding areas thoroughbred Scousers would deem home of ‘the wool’, I was buzzin’.
Behold: Lay the Table – a delivery service on a mission to elevate the takeout experience by partnering with local restaurants of a certain calibre, serving freshly prepared food and ensuring presentation is never compromised in transit. ‘Premium dining at home’, they’re calling it.
Lay the Table recently partnering with Sapporo Teppanyaki for a pilot launch, road-testing the concept before rolling it out to a selection of other carefully curated restaurants.
What better excuse to treat my social bubble to something more swanky for our Friday night takeout than to put the new kid on the block through its paces?
As is customary when ordering from the Lay the Table website, I pre-ordered ahead to book my delivery slot. The process was slick and super easy to navigate, a luxury not always afforded by some of the online takeout apps/sites out there.
(Trying to decipher the Lu Ban at Home offering, as lovely as the food was, was like trying to crack the bloody Da Vinci Code!)
Lay the Table literally leaves no room for error and was bish-bash-boshed, booked and ordered in less than five minutes flat (inordinate amount of time examining everything on the menu beforehand not included).
The menu was small but understandably so during a pilot phase, I guess?
It features a selection of the usual sushi suspects (sashimi, maki and nigiri) alongside a five-strong list of Sake and a handful of desserts. We went for the omakase sharing platter, with 56 pieces of Sapporo’s most coveted sushi.
Three days later, our order arrived on time and with a great big smile on the face of our delivery guy, via a chilled van kitted out to keep the fresh food in pristine condition. Sushi complete with wasabi, ginger, edible flowers, and eco-friendly chopsticks to boot. Oh, I do love it when attention’s paid to the finishing touches.
What’s also worth noting is that what we laid on our table (pun intended) was a mirror image of what scrollers are being seduced with on social media. Ain’t no catfish here – just some top-quality sushi-grade fish that looks every bit as fancy on your dining table as it would around the Sapporo Teppanyaki grill.
I’m not here to wax lyrical about Sapporo sushi being great – y’all know that already – but I am here to tell you that Lay the Table did a sterling job of ferrying it ‘cross the Mersey to me.
Honestly, all food goes in one end and out the other in the same way doesn’t it, so why even care how your takeaway arrives or how it’s presented? Well because life’s all about enjoying the little luxuries and embracing our indulgences isn’t it?
If you haven’t learned that over the past 12 months then quite frankly, where have you been?
The USP of Lay the Table is going to be in its ability to make more high-brow menus available for home delivery and after eating four million Domino’s cookies over the past year, I’m down for that.
Now here’s a curveball for you before I go – I don’t like sushi, not one bit. Cannot stand the stuff.
So, you must be wondering: what does a non-sushi-eater eat at a sushi takeout soiree?
Some sort of sticky yakitori chicken skewers? (Try saying that fast ten times)
Udon noodle ramen perhaps?
Hell, even a microwave katsu from the local Sainsbury’s like the uncultured swine many of us are prepared to lower ourselves to when hangry?
Nope. All wrong.
The answer: a big old bowl of my ma’s corned beef hash.
Delivered straight to the door, in a tinfoil tray, by the chef herself.
I didn’t even decant my contrasting carb-fest out of said tinfoil tray. I scooped that steaming pile of edible home comfort straight into my gob, with minimal need for chewing and minimum fucks to give about the monstrous quantities of cheese and butter I know it’ll have been glued together with. De-licious.
Unfortunately for you, my mum’s corned beef hash isn’t currently available on the Lay the Table repertoire but hey it’s 2021, and stranger things have happened.