Madre of all things Mexican, at the Atlantic Pavilion, Royal Albert Dock

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The Dock’s impressive range of restaurants now includes Madre, a collaboration from the founders of Liverpool favourites Belzan and Volpi and London’s popular Breddos Tacos. His & Hers had an invite to party Mexican style. So we put on our glad rags and set off in style. Madre provides a range of tacos on the lunchtime menu with Iberico pork al pastor, Jalisco style shrimp and beef short rib birria. In the evening it is all about  sharing dishes including half a pig’s head chicharron, butterflied sea-bass, divorcioados and hogget barbacoa. You can enjoy drinks from margaritas to craft beers and natural wines with an eclectic evening soundtrack in the background.

WORDS: Jean Hill

Madre, meaning ‘mother’ in Spanish, is inspired by the food culture of Mexico City. Championing local and sustainable produce with a fun take on family dining, there is a large welcoming, outside courtyard. Think ahead to a warm spring day, and imagine lounging with tacos and tequila, with a fond companion by your side. Large neon signs will indicate the entrance, in the Dock’s Anchor Courtyard.

Madre 1

The venue is split over two floors with a 48-cover restaurant on the mezzanine level and casual dining area downstairs. The restaurant will serve lunch through to dinner and a late-night snack selection at the weekends, when the restaurant will be open until late.

Downstairs there will be a variety of Mexican inspired snacks, tacos and tostadas, whilst upstairs, larger plates will be on offer, perfect for sharing with friends. The menu includes vegan, vegetarian and gluten free choices, with all dishes designed to be accessible and fun.

We enjoyed some subtly spicy food, served in pairs: Pork Al Pastor spit roast marinated pork, pineapple, chile de arbol, and salsa verde Hongos con chipotle. We relished tortillas, salsa, rice & slow cooked Contramar style sea bass a la talla. The slow cooked chicken, achiote, orange, habanero, with pickled red onions was fine, but not a show stopper. Steak and bone marrow are also on the menu. We sampled raw fish, with a satisfyingly tender, sharp flavour. We really enjoyed the battered fish, the batter was light and fine in texture, yet packed an in-depth flavour. The intention, very much, is to provide authentic Mexican food rather than Tex Mex. It works for me.

The drinks list is designed by the award-winning team behind Belzan and Volpi, comprising a stellar list of Margaritas, craft beers, and natural wines. A large feature bar will take centre stage downstairs, a place to pull up a chair for a post-work drink with friends or pre-dinner cocktails. Weekend guests can enjoy DJ sets and live music until 2am. New additions to Anchor Courtyard will set it on the map of Liverpool’s drinking and dining destinations for 2020.

It is quite an intimate informal space on the mezzanine level. The service is excellent, and the staff take the time to discuss choices. Comes recommended.


Related read: The Royal Albert Dock is a winter wonderland with magical plans afoot for Christmas 2019

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