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136, Queen's Drive
Tel: 0151 722 3845
Tue. 30th May 2000
My cousin Jan, and husband Malcolm, had seen off their son to France for a week, and invited us to join them at Owen's. As it was a very pleasant evening, and Jan lives within half a mile of the place, we decided to walk there.
On arrival, at about 7:50, the restaurant was about half-full, and the pianist was just starting. By the time we were seated, he had been joined by a bass guitarist.
We had a round of drinks while we studied the menu and wine list. The staff were friendly and approachable.
Jan started with Salmon Fishcakes, Marg decided on the Melon filled with "Boozy Fruits", Malcolm had Mushrooms, and I had the Goat's Cheese Saladette with Fennel and Citrus.
As we're all such close friends and relatives, we each tried some of everyone else's:
The verdict was that all four starters were very good, but that the Salmon Fishcakes were simply excellent. The Goat's Cheese came second - not too piquante, but still flavoursome.
We had selected a bottle of Chardonnay to start, and a bottle of Masi Amarone for the main course.
For main courses, Malcolm and I just had to go for the "Five Spice Duck". Marg had Monkfish Tempura in a tomato sauce, and Jan, a true Roman, had the Liver and Sweet Bacon.
Again, we all tried each other's dishes. Again all the dishes were very good, but the verdict was that the Duck - succulent pieces seared on a skewer, was the star - we were fighting for the remains of the vegetables and garlic bread to wipe up the sauce!
After Marg had tried Jan's Liver, she resolved to re-introduce it into her repertoire at home.
The presentation of the dishes was also worthy of mention, and the portion sizes were just right - so for the first time in a while, we all felt we had room for dessert.
Two Crepes with Bananas an one chocolate pudding were delivered after the coffee!!! When we commented on the timing, we were presented with a handful of chocolates, presumably to tide us over until the desserts appeared.
Coffee was average, but the desserts were excellent.
All through the evening, the musicians played "easy listening" style music - very appropriate, and very pleasant.
In total, the four of us paid £173 - including tip and that bottle of Amarone (£26).
Verdict: This is somewhere we will all return to again and again. A really good experience.
Sandro, Marg, Jan & Malcolm