Food Trends 2018: A guide for Liverpool
The new year brings with it new food and drink fads. 2017, in Liverpool at least, saw Mexican cuisine dominate as a new burrito bar popped up seemingly every month.
We’ve studied every list and consumed every industry expert view to bring you our round-up of what food and drink trends will be hotter than a habanero pepper in 2018.
Words by Lawrence Saunders
The humble taco is nothing new but 2018 is the year to expect interesting twists on the Mexican classic. Think breakfast tacos, dessert tacos, tacos with seaweed shells and even tacos without the shell.
Just in time for this food fad, American chain and king of the fast food taco, Taco Bell, looks set to open several branches here in the city next year.
Whilst the Mexican-inspired eatery isn’t exactly renowned for its authenticity Stateside, it’s supposedly super-tasty and kind to your bank balance.
Vegan Junk Food
If you thought a tofu salad was as exciting as vegan food could get then be prepared to learn a thing or two this year as vegan grub gets supersized.
Yes, we’re talking monster burgers, pizzas and chicken-less fried chicken. It’s vegan, but not as you know it.
The guys at Liverpool’s Down the Hatch are already on board with this particular movement, serving up a jackfruit and seitan-filled menu of ‘junk food’.
Subcontinent Street Food
This one’s all about Indian food but there’s no tikka masala or korma in sight. Instead expect plenty of the smoked, grilled and seared delicacies commonly found on the streets of Mumbai or Delhi.
It’s one anticipated food trend on this list that the people of Liverpool might already be well aware of thanks to local success story Mowgli.
Founded in 2014 by Nisha Katona, who gave up her job as a barrister to start the restaurant, Mowgli’s menu is based on the kind of food Indians eat at home and on their streets.
Industry experts are predicting 2018 will be a big 12 months for Middle Eastern cuisine.
The likes of pitta, hummus and falafel are now as commonplace in our kitchens as sliced white bread, ketchup and baked beans but this year will apparently see us delve deeper into the region’s foodie traditions.
Expect spices like cardamom, harissa and za’atar to become more prevalent as well as dishes like grilled halloumi, mansaf and kofta.
This one also seems to be another projected food trend that Liverpool is well placed to cash in on with eateries such as Bakchich and Fattoush in the city centre and Medjool Bistro on Lark Lane.
Meanwhile city street food operator Hafla Hafla has been sending Liverpool’s foodies into a frenzy with its spectacular halloumi fries which come with a variety of delightful toppings including bourbon and maple mayonnaise and crispy bacon bits.
Be Good to Your Gut
Admittedly this one doesn’t sound particularly exciting or tasty but looking after your digestive system is being tipped as a big craze for 2018.
We’re talking about fermented and pickled probiotic foods like kimchi, miso and kefir as well as everyday prebiotics like garlic and onions.
Kimchi is particularly nutritious – just one gram of the Korean side dish is said to contain hundreds of millions of immune system supporting lactic acid bacteria, as well as other vitamins, minerals and compounds.
Paul’s Kimchi Co, based at Static Gallery on Roscoe Lane, sells its very own jars of the oriental superfood (pictured above) so you can get a bona fide dose of the gut-boosting delicacy right here at home.
Young adults these days are just as likely to visit a 24-hour gym than the pub on a Saturday night and this health conscious conduct is expected to extend to drinks in 2018.
That means non-alcoholic ‘spirits’, botanical mixes and premium tonic waters are predicted to make a leap into the mainstream.
Us Liverpudlians are already well versed in the art of the booze-free beverages thanks to dry bar The Brink on Parr Street.
The community café and bar serves up an extensive range of ‘liquorless’ liquids but is yet to latch onto the latest trend for non-alcohol spirits.
London-based Seedlip claims to have solved the age-old dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’ with its distilled non-alcoholic botanical blend which, when paired with tonic water, is described as the perfect alternative to the classic ‘G & T’.
Japanese ‘Dude food’
Forget sushi and ramen noodles because 2018 will be the turn of indulgent and heavier Japanese dishes.
A combination of authentic Japanese pub-grub and the hearty ‘dude food’ enjoyed in southern US states, expect the likes of deep-fried tofu mixed with bold American flavours.
Here in Liverpool we’ve got our own scouse version of a traditional Japanese food and drink den in the shape of Izakaya which serves up heftier dishes like steak in sake and soy as well as chicken katsu curry with sticky rice and pickled vegetables.