If you haven’t heard of Tusk Baltic already, it’s best described as a food and drink sanctuary, tucked down a side street just outside of the busy Cains Brewery hot spot. Despite the colourful and quirky exterior, the restaurant has a rather unassuming and subtle vibe, that changes instantly as you step inside, with its super high ceilings, long wooden tables and a roaring fire revealing itself as something rather special. Ever since the guys at Tusk opened their doors to their first customers, they were determined to provide simple, honest and delicious foods to prove that Vegetarian and Vegan cooking was a far cry away from bland vegetables and soggy tofu. With some completely Vegan dishes, a wide range of Vegetarian options and then a few extra thrown in for the meat eaters, Tusk’s brand new menu masters the art of satisfying everyone, with well put together flavours and super interesting, delicious creations. Here’s how we got on when we went to try out their new recipes.
As soon as we got our invite to the Tusk Baltic new menu launch we were super keen to try it out. Not only because we’d heard great things about the restaurant itself, but because being an eatery that has a Vegan led menu, we couldn’t help wondering if they’d be able to produce an interesting, flavour packed menu, when some of their main offerings were completely free of meat or dairy. Although the popularity of Vegan cuisine is on the rise, it still takes talent and creativity to produce something Vegan that’s worth shouting about.
Arriving at the venue, we were handed a welcome Prosecco and sat down for our food. Tusk’s ability to turn a large, airy warehouse style building into a cosy, fire lit, intimate dinner was super impressive and meant we sat down to eat in a really nice, chilled out atmosphere, perfect Friday evening vibes . It was clear the chefs had been hard at work curating a selection of Tusk’s newest dishes for us all to get our paws on, starting with deep dishes of Nachos consisting of homemade tortillas, dollops of creamy yet chunky Guac, chopped tomatoes and onions and a thick layer of melted Vegan cheese. With everyone diving into the bowls, it was safe to say that Nacho’s were a winning choice. However, Tusk’s version was a far cry from your usually, heavy and slightly greasy loaded tortilla chips and although still cheese laden, the Vegan cheese had a light, mild flavour that was surprisingly creamy without the excess oil of regular melted cheese. The Guac and chunky chopped vegetables gave the dish that much needed bit of bite alongside the light and crispy chips, which were clearly made from scratch in the kitchen.
Next, we were handed wooden sharing boards packed with menu samples, to share between two. Working around the board, we tucked into crisp, salty Halloumi fries when dunked into ‘Tusk sauce’ (a slightly tangy but sweet Mayonnaise) were dangerously moreish, although arguably now perhaps now slightly over done in restaurants in Liverpool. The other non-vegan dish was the mini fired chicken slider as well as the Chicken protein pot containing soy marinated chicken and a delicious Bulgar Wheat salad. The game changer for us, however, was Scouse favourite, Salt n Pepper Sui Mai, tasting every bit as they should- definitely enough to satisfy the meat eaters.
If we ever had any doubts that the Vegan led menu wouldn’t pack a punch when it came to consistency and flavour, we were wrong – and here’s why. From pots of Buffalo Cauliflower, covered in a light, crisp batter and smothered in BBQ sauce to smokey Tofu and Falafel sliders, you wouldn’t leave disappointed if you wound up in here for a Vegan meal.
Whilst Cains brewery accrues a swarm of visitors every weekend for its food and drink, Tusk Baltic is doing its best to prove that there are other fantastic places to get a decent scran in the arty, up and coming Baltic Triangle area. Next time you’re wandering around the trendiest part of our city, pop into Tusk, sip a drink by the fire, enjoy the friendly hospitality and dive head first into their delightful new menu.