In 2018, artisan coffee house Peaberry Coffee House and Kitchen opened its second outlet at Royal Albert Dock Liverpool. The word on the streets of Liverpool is that this independent business is one of the city’s better options for lunch too, so we decided to head over and test things out.
The first café was launched back in early 2017 by husband and wife team Graeme and Clare Farrington, who specialise in wholesome freshly made food. The menu is diverse, and consists largely of locally sourced meat, fish, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes, while the space itself is charming and relaxed, packed with customers of all ages.
We begin with the black pudding and ham hash – highly recommended by our waiter, who incidentally, is a joy to interact with, hugely knowledgeable about each and every dish, as well as being reassuringly proud of them. And he’s completely right. A snip at just six pounds, this pot could easily fill your belly. It’s packed with lumps of gloriously-spiced black pudding and cooked potato, plus a perfectly cooked poached egg on top that coats everything with a single cut.
We follow this with the BBQ beef brioche – a brioche bun, containing sticky slivers of slow braised beef, plus some cheddar cheese and homemade mayo. The sauce is the star of the show. It’s made in-house, consisting of just six ingredients, but delivers a world-class taste. One minor gripe is that the whole thing rests in a pool of sauce, meaning it’s pretty damn messy if you try to eat it like a burger, so it’s best to use a knife and fork – although this method takes away from the experience somewhat. A little pot of sauce on the side to dip it in would work better, as it’s a shame not to be able to pick up and take an almighty bite.
No such issues with the halloumi and avocado ciabatta. An popular choice with vegetarians, this hefty option consists of lightly toasted ciabatta packed with fat chunks of fried halloumi and avocado, plus some harissa humus and lettuce – with some sweet potato fries on the side for good measure. It’s hearty without being heavy, and an inspired combination of textures and flavours.
Royal Albert Dock has a reputation as something of a tourist haunt, but with the likes of Peaberry moving in, things are certainly changing. Fiercely independent, without being too niche or too obvious, it’s a shining example of how the Dock can host both chain restaurants and exciting forward-thinking eateries like this.