As most of the student population of Liverpool will know by now, East Village Arts Club (or ‘Evac’ as we’ve been hearing a lot lately) is one of the most popular venues in the city for club nights and gigs. What you may not know is that their Arts Club Kitchen has one of the most exciting and budget friendly menus around. Described as where “New Orleans meets New York for a true taste of Americana” LSRadio thought it was only right to try out the new food menu (and obviously the new range of cocktails) to let you guys know whether it’s worth the hype!
Firstly, it’s probably worth mentioning that whilst the restaurant itself is classy and sophisticated (ooh Duck Egg Blue), there is a real bohemian vibe about the place. You don’t need to need to drag out your one nice shirt to head out for dinner or pretend you have a trust fund to get a half decent meal; yes, we’re talking to you Lark Lane. Just turn up, grab a Raspberry-Jam Mojito (seriously) and sit in one of the comfy armchairs by the window.
(NB from Sunday to Thursday their new Jam Junkie cocktails are on special offer at only £3.50!)
The food at Arts Club kitchen can be whatever you want. Their vibrant range of street food / small plates means you can grab a snack or quick lunch from between three and five quid. Or like us, if you’re sick of the old student favourite ‘PastaPesto’, get a combination of them for dinner.
We’ll probably get the bad-apple out of the way first and warn you to not bother with the mac & cheese. Not because there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s tiny – and let’s be honest, you can have mac & cheese anywhere. For the same amount of money you could try something like the BBQ Chicken Wings or the Crispy Deep Fried Calamari, both are a decent size and a little more colourful than the mac & cheese. The one you HAVE to try though is the Mussel Popcorn. Honestly. With chili mayo dipping sauce, this mouth-watering wild card is a bargain at £3.
Although when you see the Burgers and Mains that are on offer you are more likely to go for one of these. Especially when you find out that all the Burgers are offered at 2 for 1 for students.
2 for 1.
A good one is the Chicken Katsu Burger with Daicon Pickle, which throws an interesting twist on the usually bland chicken burger. However our favourite by far is the Django ’66 which is described as “a seasoned patty with green chillies, topped off with home made steak chilli, sour cream and emmental cheese”. When they say steak chilli they quite literally mean it; they have replaced the mince with juicy steak strips. Ohemgee.
(NB There is a tasty selection of vegetarian and vegan options if half a cow in a bun doesn’t tickle your taste-buds)
If you’re feeling a bit flash -or like me, you only eat out when your Gran sends you ten quid- then go for one of the mains…like the BBQ Pork Ribs. In good ol’ American fashion the dish seems to be supersized. So. Much. Meat. Although along with the sweet corn on the side, the zesty lime BBQ sauce (not kidding) should help you climb your way back to ‘five a day’. If you’re not quite hungry enough for the ribs try one of the other tasty mains like the Serrano Salad or the Southern Fried Chicken. And don’t forget to wash it all down with another cocktail, we recommend the [AC] Smash.
The best thing about having dinner at the Arts Club Kitchen is that once you realise just how much you can get for so little, you will probably stay to try every Jam Junkie on the menu. There are far worse ways to spend an evening than relaxing in a hip, city centre venue listening to indie classics. And before you know it, it’s time for Chibuku in the Theatre. Call us old-fashioned but dinner and a show sounds pretty good to us. Thanks ‘EVAC’.
/ Hannah Colson