Alhambra Wine Bar
Cains Brewery, Stanhope Street, Liverpool
Review by Matthew Smith
Alhambra Wine Bar pays homage to continental culture at Liverpool’s latest vibrant indie hotspot, the former Cains Brewery.
Offering live music and authentic Spanish cuisine, the venue provides a perfect package of entertainment, food and drinks.
Having never been around the brewery area before, I was surprised by its bustling environment.
As my dining partner and I walked into the courtyard we noticed how well the wine bar fits in with its neighbouring independent start-ups which have made this part of Liverpool their home.
We entered the venue and were warmly greeted by owner Paula, who explained to us its concept and the different events that are scheduled. That night, live music was lined up.
After being shown to our seats outside we were offered drinks – a choice including a selection of more than 15 Mediterranean gins. My dining partner plumped for a Pink Grapefruit Gin (£6.50) whilst I went for a Coke.
As we both relaxed and listened to the music we were transported to sunny Spain.
One thing to note about Alhambra is the knowledge, service and attentive nature of our host Paula; we were really impressed with her depth of insight about the source of the ingredients.
Whilst we had a quick perusal of the beguiling menu she gave us a small bowl of bar snacks to munch on, which included Kikones (£2).
As a lover of the bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar combination, there was no way I was going to pass on the chance to try this dish, so my dining partner and I ordered the locally baked sourdough bread and oil (£2.85) with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to start.
The bread was thick, crusty and fresh and worked well with the olive oil and vinegar accompaniment. The serving offers great value for money with its generous portion size and quality.
Next was the main attraction – a range of sharing platters.
We were spoilt for choice with an impressive selection to choose from, including the meats and cheese platter (£8.95), paté platter (£11.95), five meat platter (£19.95) and fish platter (£23.95).
We were helped along the way by Paula as she explained the inspiration for each dish and its Spanish ingredients.
With this in mind, my dining partner and I ordered the meats and cheese option.
The board included Monte Enebro, which was a lemony and mild goats cheese; the sweet aroma of the Manchego Semi Cured Cheese, a smooth and fresh honey-coated cheese which was my dining partner’s favourite; as well as Chorizo and Salchichon which had a slightly spicy kick, the latter of which was my personal favourite.
This platter was the best part of the meal and although we only ordered two dishes between us it was more than enough to share.
Alhambra Wine Bar is a hidden gem in Liverpool’s growing Baltic Triangle and one that appeals to a wide range of people, including those who wouldn’t normally venture to this area of the city.
We both agreed we’d be back to sample more Spanish charcuterie and live music and, if Alhambra’s social media posts are anything to go by, it looks like it’s always a fantastic night out.
With very generous portion sizes relative to other Liverpool eateries and great value for money, the only thing missing from our delightful Mediterranean-themed evening was the Spanish sun!