Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Fraiche is the only restaurant in Merseyside that holds a Michelin star, living in Liverpool naturally put this restaurant on my hit list. Securing a reservation however has not been easy, so when I spotted a tweet by chef-patron Marc Wilkinson saying a table had now become available for March I pounced on it and secured the booking for Saturday 9th March. 

Fraiche is very understated from the outside but the minute you spot the quirky door handle you just know this is going to be an interesting place. Inside is an intimate and very comfortable dining room with interesting pieces of art adorning the walls.

This is the first restaurant I had visited in over three months as I had put myself on a healthy eating plan after the Christmas gluttony and pre holiday diet . During this time I had read many debates around using cameras in restaurants and was a little worried about this, as Fraiche has a very intimate dining room I thought it best to check with the restaurant.

Front of house and restaurant manager James Campbell was only too pleased for me to take photographs, he took a real interest in the fact that I blog and asked what other restaurants I had visited. This was very refreshing it shows how confident Marc is about his restaurant, this immediately put me at ease and made for a very comfortable dining experience.

Before being seated we were given a bowl of spiced pecan nuts to nibble whilst perusing the wine list , James offered some help and asked us what we like and chose a lovely red for us this was fantastic full bodied and mellow just what we like.

I love eating taster menu's they nearly always contain something you've never tried or would not normally order and there's always a few other courses not mentioned on the menu. I love the surprise element of creative quirky and unexpected combinations it just makes the whole dining experience memorable.

Once seated we kicked of with a couple of Amuse Bouches, the first of which was made at the table using liquid nitrogen, cucumber and lime granita, apple and mint which added a nice touch of theatre and the smell of cucumber that came wafting over in a nitrogen cloud was beautiful.

James making the first of the Amuse Bouches

The second of the amuse bouches was Quails egg, celeriac, chive and smoked butter served on a bed of smouldering hay ash.

Pink fir apple, coffee, montgomery

The bread selection was fantastic and probably the best I've had in any restaurant and what more it arrived in two separate servings ! first up cheese, five nut, mixed seed, granary & treacle.

Seared Scallop, Apple, Kohlrabi

Second serving Organic Oat, Tomato, Mushroom and Black Olive. with a choice of two butters unsalted Goats butter, and a Cows butter with Hawaiian pink sea salt.

The main courses are without doubt some of the best eaten, each mouthful was divine. When asked by James what our particular favourite was me and my partner both chose the fish dish ( wild Cornish brill ) now neither of us order fish often we prefer meat dishes but god this dish was truly great, I never knew you could get such a deep savoury flavour from white fish.


Dexter rib eye of beef, shallot and artichoke

Pre desert - Lemongrass panna cotta, sour cherry foam, dehydrated grapes

Pear textures, ginger and caramelised milk, popping candy.

Fizzy grapes -  the grapes go in an air compression unit and then when they're exposed to air they burst and the fizz is created.


Roast white chocolate mousse, coffee meringue, and passion fruit textures.

Before seated we were given the choice to end the meal with salt or sugar, essentially desert or cheese board , we both chose desert and we loved it but next time we visit we will definitely try the cheese board , James wheeled a most impressive cheese trolley to other diners which must have had around 30 cheeses to choose from.
James described each one with such knowledge we could have listened to him all night, very impressive !
Our dining experience at Fraiche was fantastic, everything from the food to the service was top notch. The crockery and glassware stylish, the music and ambiance just right. will we return? will we recommend ? you bet we will.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Easy Chicken Kiev

I love chicken Kiev it's real comfort food,served simply with buttered mash and greens.
Try cutting it on the diagonal and suddenly you have a dish smart enough to serve at a dinner party !

Preparation time : 20 minutes, plus freezing
Cooking time : 30-40 minutes
Oven temp : 190C (375F) Gas mark 5

This recipe serves four people

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, crushed
grated rind of 1 lemon
125g/ 40z butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
25g plain flour
1 egg
125g / 40z fresh white bread crumbs
salt and pepper


1 Beat the chicken breast flat with a rolling pin or the base of a pan. Mix together the garlic, lemon rind, butter, parsley , salt & pepper to form a paste. Spread the butter evenly over the chicken breast and carefully roll up. Secure with string or cling film.

2 Freeze for 15 minutes, or until the butter is firm. Coat the chicken in the flour,dip in the beaten egg and coat in the bread crumbs, pressing firmly to make sure they stick. return to the freezer for a further 15 minutes.

3 Bake the chicken in a preheated oven, 190c/ (375f) Gas mark 5, for 30-40 minutes or until the outside is golden and crisp and the chicken is cooked right through.