We might love our Full English breakfasts and our Sunday roasts here in Liverpool but we sure know how to get innovative with our international cuisine too. Hell, there isn’t much we wouldn’t sacrifice for a big bowl of Scouse with a bread & butter mop on the side but you certainly don’t need to rack up any air miles to get a taste of the Orient right here on Scouse soil.
With the sad, sad news of our beloved Bold Street Miyagi bidding sayonara to the Liverpool independents scene, we find our silver lining in the arrival of Tiger Rock Hawker Food to North John Street. The second edition to the Smithdown Road restaurant, Tiger Rock serves up Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Laotian delicacies to the table and I was more than happy to go and sample the goods at the launch party this week.
Me being me, I was already fairly ofay with the menu(s) before I even got there after doing a bit of rooting around pre-party so I can divulge the following details: the main menu is split into 4 parts – Small Plates, Small Bowls, Salads & Greens and Sides with prices ranging from £3.50 to £8.50. All of the S’s. Every dish on these menus is designed to be eaten tapas/sharer style so you can order as much or as little as you want. Be like me and order 100 things and blow half your monthly wages and spend the night in a food coma, or exercise a bit of willpower and order as you go.
At the shindig I sampled some chicken satay skewers which I literally could not get enough of, a teeny tub of hot & spicy rice, some grilled seabass with a tasty Thai sauce and chunky spring rolls with hoi sin drizzle. If the celebratory canapes are anything to go by, you’re in for a treat people. I’m chomping at the bit to get back and try out the Rendang Kentang (Malaysian beef curry with baked potato) and the Laksa Mee (Singaporean chicken coconut curry noodle soup).
As well as delicious-sounding dessert including Apple Spring Rolls and Mango Stick Rice Pudding, Tiger Rock also offers a ‘Cubs Menu’. Aside from being hella bloody cute, this is also quite the innovation if you ask me. It’s not often you find an Asian restaurant that caters specifically for tiny tastebuds so it’s nice to see big kids’ favourites such as Chicken Satay and Fried Rice tailored to them.
I believe the North John Street menu will be directly mirroring the Smithdown Road menu but each will have unique specials so be sure to check ‘em both out. Whatever you go for, make sure you leave space for something special off the Drinks menus because we’re talking a Bellini bar featuring an Amaretto Sour Bellini, an extensive wine collection and a whole repertoire of gins.
So all in all – more casual and intimate than other East Asian eateries in the city but with the kind of charm and character that will keep you coming back time and time again. The attention to detail on the canape trays speaks volumes about the day-to-day edibles and as for that décor, daaaaaamn Tiger Rock sure has style. Good work, guys.