Tuesday, 14 April 2015


My quest to hunt out the best new places to eat in Liverpool continues with a visit to a tapas style restaurant with a twist. Whilst the city might be a little saturated with Spanish eateries, Roja Pinchos is (as it's name suggests) serving pinchos - small plates served on bread and skewered to hold it together. It sounded different so we thought we'd give them a try!

 Located just on the edge of China town and nestled amongst the other shops and food outlets on Berry Street in the city centre we entered Roja Pinchos on a quiet Tuesday afternoon. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed, more like cafe/bar rather than a fancy restaurant making it ideal for an informal gathering with friends.

Now the concept of Roja Pinchos is simple. There are two price points for the pinchos, £1.50 for small sticks and £3 for large sticks (at time of writing). There are no menus as they constantly  change the pinchos on offer so hot and cold offerings were rattled off to us by our server. This was quite baffling as the extensive list is quite hard to remember which meant in the end we were forced to ask for him to pick us a selection, telling him what we didn't like rather than selecting what we would like ourselves. A chalk board with a list of the days pinchos would be a great idea so that customers could tailor their choices more.

That's not to say what we were presented with was not tasty, in fact it was most delicious. Some of the pinchos were simple and effective such as the prawn and chorizo skewer or the chorizo and cheese skewer. They both did what they said on the tin. Some such the chicken, mayo and (I think pistachio) bowl were a lot more interesting and it was great to discuss with my dining companion what it was we were actually eating whilst sharing everything out between us. This is at least one good point about having a lack of menu to choose from, you can end up trying things that you may not of ordered yourself otherwise!

Some of the other pinchos however were clearly a cut above the rest. Firstly I shall talk about the Patatas Bravas which for me is the go too dish for any tapas style restaurant. If they can't get the Patatas right then it doesn't bode well for the rest of the food but I'm pleased to confirm that they were delicious. Crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside potato squares covered in just the right amount of slightly spiced tomato sauce they were spot on. Make sure you order a bowl as your starting pointing for the rest of your pinchos choices. Bravo to the Bravas!

Next in the line up of yummy pinchos was this delicious minty lamb. That alone is a tasty combination however Roja Pinchos have paired it up with a dribble of honey and a sprinkling of pistachios. The sweetness of the honey and the crunch of the nuts together with the minty yoghurt all came together into a little mouthful of fabulousness. I could of eaten a whole lamb chop like this it was that good. That's the problem with pinchos though, you always end up wanting a little bit more of the good stuff. If you are told that this in the line up when you visit, make it a priority to order some.

The meaty treats don't end just yet. Next up we have this chicken skewer. Slightly overcooked at the ends however the main bulk of it was beautifully soft and moist. What rescues it from being just an OK pinchos to a great one is the curried mayo which is served with it. Not curry in the blow your head off sense of the cuisine but more of a cooling, muted hint of spice. We both likened it to that of coronation chicken which is a flavor that I absolutely adore. If they make it themselves they really should consider bottling and selling it. I'd certainly buy a jar or five! If it's bought in then I'd like to know where from please!

For the truly carnivorous of you out there then there was some steak on offer during out visit. For me, it was slightly overcooked however I do like my steak mooing. My dining buddy on the other hand said it was perfect for her so I suppose I should take her views into account too (even though they are wrong!). What I enjoyed was the crispy greens underneath. I think it was rocket but it tasted very much like crispy seaweed which is always a favorite of mine when I visit an Asian restaurant. I could of quite happily ate a whole bowl of that whilst she enjoyed the steak!

Onto the next plate (yes, we may of beehe rn a pair of little piggies but it's nearly over I promise!). This one was a double header of chicken and chorizo. A classic combination which is always a winner in my eyes and Roja Pinchos have got it down. The second which was a creamy mushroom pinchos was ranked number 2 of the day by us both. The beautifully fried quail egg bursts its golden yolk all over the soft mushroom mountain underneath as you cut through it and it creates a bite of heaven. This pinchos is a winner and one that they need to serve everyday in my eyes! It was however not the overall champion of the day.

No, that belongs to these little masterpieces. Little bacon and moist chicken croquettes that oozed a delicious cheesy filling into your mouth with every bite. They were like little mini garlic-less Kiev's and we both fell in love with them instantly. Everything about them just worked together to create a pure piece of pinchos heaven. This is defiantly the top dish and I would hope that they are on the menu everyday so that everyone gets a chance to try them. Make sure you keep your ears open for these when the pinchos list is given to you and make sure you order at list two bowls worth!

There were more options. The sausage and quail egg which we tried didn't really work and was more like two components on a piece or bread and the pork pinchos was overcooked and so thin it might of well not of been there. These were small blips in what was a parade of delicious treats. Once your stuffed, your pinchos skewers which have been collecting in a small glass are counted and hey presto; your bill is calculated. We spent about £40 on the food but if you want to save a few pennies then keep an eye out on their social media for special offers. I've seen £15 pinchos on Sundays and 2 for 1 gins being offered so it's well worth checking their accounts regularly!

After all those pinchos there was no room for the churros on offer for dessert so off we popped to continue our evening with full bellies and smiles on our faces as we felt like we had made a cracking dinner decision. Roja Pinchos is a fab place for you to grab a few nibbles before a night out. The pinchos are on the whole a hit and there is a little something for everyone so all your friends and family are going to find something that they will love. Just make sure you come with an empty belly and a good memory. 

Looking for something a bit unique in Liverpool then Roja Pinchos the place to be for perfect pinchos!

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