We’ll be honest, SevenStreets isn’t the healthiest website team in the world. We love cakes, ale, and bacon with everything. Who doesn’t?
But lately we’ve found eating unhealthily – and, more specifically, lunches – has become a bit depressing. It’s started to feel wrong. If you work in the city centre, what choice have you got? A pretty disgusting sausage roll from Greggs or any number of stodgy, overpriced choices from the supermarkets? Anyone who’s attempted to work an afternoon after scoffing an additive-filled Tesco sandwich will understand the sluggish hell we’re talking about here.
So we were chuffed to hear of a recent venture that’s opened on Castle Street, right in the heart of the business district. SkinniMalinX, questionable name aside, is a real breath of fresh air in a city centre stuffed with unhealthy options on every corner. Having just won a Liverpool Food & Drink award for ‘best promotion’, and launched originally for the diet-conscious (everything carries WeightWatchers points as well as calorie information), it’s quickly picking up a trade amongst workers desperate for a change.
Owner Angela Brennan, along with daughter Katey Hawtin, had the belly-busting idea after being made redundant last year. Clearly, it was a blessing in disguise: the place has been pretty much rammed every day we’ve popped in. It’s still finding its feet – some days proving so popular there’s not that much left on the shelves – but is attracting an interesting mix of business types, shoppers and health freaks to its intimate surroundings.
Foodwise, it’s a solid selection. Noodle boxes (filled with prawns and other delights), salads, desserts and an interesting array of fat-free soups (including the ‘this shouldn’t work, but it does’ turnip and bacon option) are the most eye-catching, and we’re assuming the menu will change around fairly regularly.
If you’re intent on sticking to sandwiches and baguettes, there’s a nice mix of familiar (coronation chicken, ham and mustard), curious (sausage and caramalised onion) and quirky (houmous, carrot and olive) to pick from. Best of all, their prices aren’t too far from what you’d pay in any number of supermarkets or ‘gourmet sandwich’ places – we’re looking at you, Pret – dotted around that end of town.
What would we suggest? We’d tone down the interior – its acid bright oranges and greens aren’t the friendliest of colours and seem at odds with the cafe’s quest for natural and healthy. But minor niggles aside, it’s exciting to see a place in its infancy that’s doing so well, and SkinniMalinX has real potential. If it carries on with the way it does, it might just see us ditch those supermarket meal deals for good.
21 Castle Street, Liverpool, L2 4SX
(0151) 236 6116