Restaurant review: LIV restaurant – London

LIV restaurant
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Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.
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The recently opened LIV Restaurant in Belgravia is an all-day dining venue run by executive chef Damien Monley, which we’ve been looking forward to trying out. LIV is Damien’s first foray into the British market, after his success with several high-profile food and drink business in Australia.

LIV restaurant

A very short walk from Sloan Square, LIV has created a neighbourhood restaurant for residents of Belgravia, Chelsea and over-the-bridge in Battersea. LIV’s relaxed environment provides an alternative to the franchises that dominate the area’s casual dining scene.

The interiors of LIV are fitted out in crisp white and neutrals, accented with sunflower yellow cushions and accessories. With plenty light, fresh flowers, linen and wicker, LIV sets a standard for the conservatory extension you haven’t yet built at home, but should. For those who appreciate contemporary art, LIV also has a small collection featuring artists such as Henry Moore and Alexander Calder.

LIV menu

LIV aims to provide vibrant breakfast options such as slow-cooked chai-spiced oats with amaranth, bananas, pecans, seeds, yoghurt and palm sugar, or a heartier king prawn omelette with basil, Asian slaw, sweet soy, ginger shallot and sriracha. Let’s not forget Damien’s legendary ricotta hotcakes with cinnamon butter, berries, seeds and organic maple syrup. However it’s the lunch menu that we recently tried out.

Sharing a couple of dishes from the well-edited menu, we chose the 7-hour slow-cooked lamb salad, with quinoa, herbs, Nan’s relish, aioli and spinach (£15.50), and Red lentil fritters – with pea hummus, herb yoghurt, baby spinach, sprout and herb salad and grilled halloumi (£16.50). The first point of note is just how green both dishes were. This would almost lull one into a false sense of healthy eating if it weren’t for the delicious fritters and halloumi nestled under this lightly dressed foliage. There was a pleasantly surprising quantity of warming lamb, a good menu choice for the seasonal change to Autumn.

We also tried a tuna poke bowl with miso, edamame and radish (£16.50). This dish didn’t wow – though can a poke bowl ever wow? For those after a clean, crisp and light lunch however, this is the perfect choice from the menu.

Obliged (by our stomachs) to try a dessert, we shared the Banoffee banana bread – with whipped mascarpone, dulce de leche, banoffee ice cream (£13). Initially unsure of what this creation actually was, it transpired it is more a deconstructed banoffee pie, with the pastry element of a tradition pie replaced by a warm, lightly spiced banana bread – a playful, albeit indulgent dessert.

Overall thoughts

The restaurant LIVed up to its reputation of an all-day dining establishment. Eating unpretentious food in a relaxed setting that we could now make at home (if so inclined) left us feeling both comfortable, and comfortably full, so can imagine guests wanting to stay so long they end up having 2 meals. The lunch menu we found to be well edited, providing a range of well-executed lunch plates (rather than having too many options, which so often compromises quality). Prices for the main courses offer good value, and whilst the banoffee dessert was a touch expensive, the other puddings are significantly cheaper – chocolate brownie with stracciatella ice cream anyone?

Location: 18 Holbein Place, Belgravia, London, SW1W 8NL

For more information and to book, visit: livrestaurant.co.uk

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