There’s an air of excitement at Röski, a hum of something in the air. It’s partly a brilliant Jay Rayner review that’s seen phones ringing off the hook and Friday and Saturday nights booking up months ahead. “Use any excuse to eat here,” he said, and people have. But there’s more to it than that.
Anton Piotrowski and his partner Rose opened up their Rodney Street restaurant last year, pouring love and enthusiasm into every element.
Formerly the brilliant Pushka, it was already a great site, but Anton and Rose managed to put their own stamp on the place, and recruited a team of serious food and drink lovers to help them spread the love that little bit further.
The rave reviews have helped pack out the evenings, but at lunchtime it’s still possible to get a table without much notice. We booked in a couple of days ahead for a midweek lunch, and arrived to see a few tables spare.
There’s a crazily good value set menu for lunch, with three courses for £25, too good really to resist, but we also had some of the extra snacks too, as they were too good to resist.
You can tell the quality of a restaurant by its bread and butter, and Röski’s is excellent. Thick slabs of stretchy sourdough (good enough even to please my bread obsessed dining companions) were served with a quenelle each of homemade marmite and herb butters.
There was a playful retro twist with the best cheese and pineapple I’ve ever tasted, followed by Anton’s amazing red cabbage bolognese, which was singled out for praise on the Michelin Guide’s twitter account. It’s completely meat free and packed with rich flavours – it’s already earned its place on the evening tasting menu too.
My vegetarian main course was an outstanding root vegetable creation, served with melt in the mouth crisps and a delicate drizzle of herb infused oil.
Then came a palate cleanser of zingy refreshing yuzu sorbet, which made our tongues sing with joy.
It’s rare to find a pudding stealing the show on many menus, but Anton’s simply named carrot cake is simply outstanding. It’s the dish that he served when he won MasterChef: The Professionals in 2012, complete with chocolate soil and popping candy.
Fun, frivolous and absolutely delicious, it’s the best pudding I’ve tried in a very long time. It was the perfect end to an outstanding lunch, served by friendly, knowledgeable staff with love and care.
Jay Rayner was right, use any excuse to eat at Röski.
Rodney Street, L1 2TE Liverpool, 0151 708 8698, www.roskirestaurant.com