SevenStreets spent the best New Year ever at a hush-hush Voodoo night at the Egg Cafe on 31 December 1999. And, as a matter of fact, we did party like it was 1999. And then went home and watched ultra-depressing Mike Leigh masterpiece Naked with a few friends. But that’s a different story.
Ever since, the Egg has been a frequent destination for an inexpensive and enjoyable meal in wonderful surroundings in the city centre, especially since the Quiggins Cafe turned into a fashionable boutique.
So, teatime rolled around and the Egg, with its tasty veggie cuisine, beckoned. SevenStreets is as much of a carnivore as the next man, but the Egg could tempt us to the other side, almost.
Garlic bread with cheese and a salad – with pasta, cous-cous, pulses and veg – is always a favourite; so it’s an obvious starter as part of the set meal, which constitutes a winning three courses for a tenner.
Our partner goes for a leek and lentil soup, but it seems rather underseasoned to SS’s fussy palate.
Nevermind, there’s a bolognese dish to come, no doubt bursting with flavour of rich tomatoes and mediterranean herbs.
What’s that, it comes with rice or salad? Oh, OK, rice it is. What’s that? It’s a day-glo yellow savoury-type rice? Oh, well, what the hell.
Oh dear, what’s this plate of tasteless, watery tomatoes SevenStreets is eating? Disappointing is what it is.
SevenStreets’ dining partner has a beanburger smothered with a salsa and with the same salad that came with the starter – and enjoys it.
Still, though, the meal as a whole would not convert a meat-eater on any day of the week. It would confirm every meat-eater’s stereotype about veggies – that they are somewhat devoid of palate and only a passing acquaintance of flavour.
Desserts consist of a generous slice of chocolate fudge cake and a moist carrot cake with a coconut icing. Tasty, and you cannot possibly complain about three meals for a tenner.
SevenStreets also feels a little churlish about giving some of the food a bashing. This has been a rare off-day in our visits to the Egg over the years. And the food is but one reason to go.
As a venue, the place is worth a visit in itself. It’s a little oasis in the city centre: bright and airy in summer; and snug and warm in winter.
Up a few rickety flights of stairs, on a little-noticed thoroughfare in Liverpool, lies something wonderful.
Cafes aren’t just about food, they’re about life.
The Egg Cafe
Tel. 0151 707 2755
• Image by iwouldstay, Flickr