Monday, 30 May 2016


Moose Coffee have been operating in the North West for some time now and the success of their
American/Canadian diner breakfast experience has led to the opening of Moose and Moonshine on Liverpool's trendy Hope Street. With tickets booked for the Philharmonic hall just a few doors down, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go and try out their preview menu to see if that passion for producing a great North American brunch could be transferred to an evening offering.   

It was another fantastically sunny day in Liverpool when we arrived at Moose and Moonshine so there was already groups of diners taking advantage of the outside seating areas. Walking through the door we were greeted by the friendly host who allowed us to pick our table. We sat by the windows along the far end of dining area hoping to catch a bit of that sunshine. Moose and Moonshine is quite small inside but this give everything quite an intimate feel. Star lights twinkle in the ceiling, leather seating and wooden tables all seem to work together to create an environment that does resemble an eatery you would see on a TV show from across the pond.

After ordering our wine (points to the server who had a great knowledge of them all!) we noticed a table had become free outside. We asked our server if we could move outside and she was more than happy to assist. I work in a service environment anyway so I was more than happy to carry our things to the table but she kept asking if she could help. I'm sure it was annoying that we wanted to move but you wouldn't be able to tell it by face and manner. All the staff during our visit were friendly and helpful. As for that wine, do choose the Italian Pehhcora Pecorino if it's still on the menu. It was so crispy and fruity and perfect for enjoying in the sunshine.

Onto the food now and as Moose and Moonshine is a poutinerie it would be rude not to sample to poutine! Now in the UK the thought of chips and gravy takes you to a dodgy chippy at 2am after a night on the ale but this is a more sophisticated affair. The chips were delicious with crispy outsides and fluffy insides whilst scattered over the top were delicious chunks of mozzarella resembling soft cheese curd and crispy spring onions. Poured over the top of this was an amazing 3 meat gravy that made the cheese curd go all soft and gooey. The only thing that was missing was a round of bread to mop up every last drop (I can't help it I''m Northern!).

I decided to try the miso salmon. I'll tell you this now, this was the best salmon dish I have ever eaten in a restaurant. Not only did it look pretty (I'd love to know where those bowls are from!) but the salmon has cooked to perfection. With a crispy skin, it was so pink, soft and flaky, each bite melted in my mouth. The earthy bed of puy lentils were the perfect match for the sweet garlic spinach and sun blushed tomatoes. The golden beets were tender and added another layer of texture to the dish whilst the whole plate had that underlying taste of the miso glaze which is hard to describe. I suppose it's that elusive Umami flavor that Asian dishes strive for. Perfection!

This was turning into an amazing meal so we couldn't leave without trying the desserts. I went for the lime creme brulee with coconut macaroons. This was a dish of two halves. The creme brulee definitely had that crisp sugar top that snapped as I broke through it into the smooth custard. It was nice; I just didn't get that lime flavor until after a few spoonfuls. What saves the dessert from being a disappointment were the macaroons. If they're made in house then there is a talented baker at Moose and Moonshine somewhere as they were incredible. Soft and buttery, they crumbled into my mouth as a bit through them. Delicious, just needs more lime!

The second dessert on the other hand was an outright winner. It was a white chocolate and basil panna cotta served with a mixed berry compote and balsamic glaze. Now, this sounded like something I'd see getting made on Masterchef and turn my nose up at as it sounds too weird but it's actually genius. There is something about the sharp sweetness of the balsamic with the more subtle flavors of the white chocolate and basil of the panna cotta that just works. It's hard to describe it but it's amazing. The intense fruity compote acts as a palette cleanser so that you can enjoy this incredible combination each and every time you take a mouthful. Amazing!

After such an amazing feast and with the sun disappearing behind the architecture of Hope Street, it was time to finish our wine and head off to our concert. This may of just been a preview menu but if it's a sign of things to come then Moose and Moonshine are on to a winner. I can't wait to see what other treats appear on the menu when it's launched in full very soon. 

Keep your eye on their website here and next time you are up by the Philharmonic I urge you to book yourself a table. The food is outstanding, wine refreshing and the staff, friendly and very knowledgeable of the food on offer. Moose and Moonshine, shining bright like the sun outside and the twinkling stars in it's ceiling!

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