What will be hot on Liverpool’s thriving food and drink scene in 2016?
Gone are the days when the only food around at midnight was a takeaway kebab.
Now you can feast in Liverpool hotspots while sipping cocktails until the early hours, thanks to the emergence of late night bar menus.
New York has been filling its nocturnal foodies with everything from sushi to tacos for some time, and now it’s catching on here.
KYO above Bold Street’s Miyagi and Blind Tiger’s dim sum offering helped start the trend locally and the latest is Maray’s after-hours ‘Trouvaille’, welcoming guests until 2am if they ring the buzzer.
Seaweed is gearing up to be big across the board and that includes food, as it boasts calcium, micro nutrients and plenty more goodness.
Expect to see it replacing the likes of kale and cabbage as a side dish or stand-alone salad as this environmentally friendly and über sustainable food explodes in popularity.
The superfood has already become a hit in the capital with distributors and restaurants realising it’s now a menu must-have.
Liverpool’s Japanese restaurant Etsu serves two salads containing seaweed but the food will no doubt be appearing in more eateries soon.
Adding to the mix
Liverpool bars have been shaken up by cocktails but will they take on 2016’s twists?
A craze for house-carbonated concoctions is said to be bubbling away from Chicago to San Francisco, and last October’s London Cocktail Week saw renowned mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana – aka Mr Lyan – team up with SodaStream to add fizz to bespoke beverages.
Adding tea infusions to mixtures is also causing a stir, with hints of oolong, Earl Grey, rooibos and matcha making appearances.
The likes of Jackknife in America’s hip Portland is among those adding depth to drinks through the method. Fancy a brew?
Vinyl cafes and classic board games in bars brought nostalgia in 2015, but which blast from the past will be next?
Maybe Writing on the Wall is onto something as its 2016 festival theme delves into comics, or will the inaugural Liverpool Gaming Festival in March be a sign of the future when it couples consoles with cuisine?
Essentially just a stock made from slowly cooked roasted bones, bone broth was the drink of choice for supermodels at New York Fashion Week last year and is now on sale in various trendy spots across London.
One such haunt is Bone Tea based in Notting Hill, serving takeaway cups of the hot drink which has caught on due to its high levels of vitamins, minerals, proteins, collagen and keratin.
Craft cider has been around for just as long as the more high profile beer creations, but 2016 could see its emergence as a key competitor in this continually thriving market.
Currently bars and pubs across Liverpool include an offering alongside their wider array of beers. For instance, you can sample Sandford Orchard – Devon Red Cider on tap at BrewDog or head to the Ship & Mitre on Dale Street for a drop of Orpens Irish Cider.
The apple-based alcohol could be upping its presence in the months ahead though.
Aloha to Poke
Set for ‘big things’ in 2016, Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a Hawaiian food consisting of marinated cubed raw fish that provides an almost endless possibility of flavours and textures.
Served on-the-go or as a light meal that’s set to usurp Sushi and is branded the ‘new sashimi’, Poke is becoming increasingly popular in the US and is now emerging in London.
This healthy hit of tropical tasting fresh food is lining up to take the culinary world by storm this year, so it must be a matter of time before Poke makes it to Liverpool.
Gold medal grub
When you think of Brazilian food, you’re likely to expect copious amounts of meat.
With the Rio Olympics approaching though, 2016 is anticipated to be the year when authenticity will shine through in Brazilian cuisine served here in the UK.
Taking inspiration from Spain and Portugal; fruit, rice, curries and street food such as Coxinha, Pao de Queijo and Pastel are among its highlights.
Liverpool is already home to Brazilian restaurants including Bem Brasil, Viva Brazil and Fazenda, so we’ll look forward to seeing how hearty dishes and a wealth of natural ingredients will be further embraced in the year ahead.
Best thing since sliced bread
Could the success of a cereal cafe in London have helped pave the way for other typically breakfast-based foods to become the headline act on menus?
With nutritionists accepting that carbs are good, a new foodie trend is emerging in the States and it’s the best thing since sliced bread – in fact it’s toasted sliced bread!
Gourmet toast is coming topped with anything from honey and nuts to avocado and anchovies to make a meal. Can it really become a trend? If cereal can, why not!
New Asian sensation
Chinese food is a regular sight across Liverpool and the globe with Japanese becoming the same, but it’s Korean cuisine that’s next in line to be the ‘it’ Asian offering.
Kimchi, a staple of Korean food, has won over critics for its stomach-settling and antibacterial qualities but it barely scratches the surface of this food that’s set to hit the mainstream.
Already a smash in London, Korea’s serving is less greasy than Chinese, not as spicy as Thai and lighter than Indian curries, so it surely won’t be long before we see some delights in Liverpool.
The popularity of craft beer shows no sign of slowing down and 2016 will see the drink appear increasingly on both our bar and restaurant menus.
Beer cocktails are expected to become more commonplace alongside beer inspired desserts.
In fact, here in Liverpool, Bold Street’s recently opened pizza joint Crust has created its own indulgent ‘Birramisu’ (pictured) which substitutes the classic tiramisu’s coffee for chocolate ale.
Food and drink enthusiasts have been preparing their pallets for an expected return of the wine bar.
A refreshed format offering more chances to enjoy varieties by the glass within unpretentious surroundings is on the horizon.
Bringing a changing chalk board wine list, relaxed décor with tables big enough for groups, and an accompanying wine shop, the launch of Buyers Club’s bar (pictured) in late 2015 showed Liverpool had cottoned on early.
Move over goji berries – the humble fry up staple, black pudding has been hailed as 2016’s hottest superfood thanks to its high levels of iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Who’d have thought it?
A break from steak
If 2015 spoilt Liverpool diners for choice with mammoth meat portions then 2016 will be happy for herbivores.
The arrival of The Allotment, a plant-based fine dine restaurant on Smithdown Road, provided a meat and dairy-free start to the year that’s set to last far beyond ‘Veganuary’.
Meanwhile GIVE Kitchen is preparing its new year vegan eatery launch on Brunswick Dock.
A new Bold Street vegetarian restaurant and juice bar could complete a hat-trick in 2016 courtesy of Your Yoga Studio, with a “top chef and nutritionist” said to be developing the menu.