Sunshine and sunflowers. That’s what we need more of. Walking into the new Liv in Belgravia, your mood lifts with the overabundance of yellowy accents. The upholstery, the flowers. It’s a bright and cheerful place. Coincidentally, this was the exact yellow I was wearing that day.
Taking over from a local favourite, Como Lario, is a tricky business. I have memories of lovely meals behind the muslin curtains that used to line the windows.
Today, the windows are unadorned and passersby have a full view of the yellow interiors and the diners.
It is rather difficult to fit Liv into a niche except that is is a casual eatery. For now, it is only open for breakfast or lunch. The head chef, Damien Monley, is from Sydney . He is planning to alternate months in London and Australia. The plan is to see how Liv is received before launching a dinner menu later in the year.
The lunch menu is quite simple, just a choice of dishes, not separated into starters or mains. Glad to see that they have not gone down the clean eating route and are offering some good seasonal dishes with some unexpected flourishes. There is more than a hint of Asia Pacific influence, expected given the pedigree.
Luckily we bumped into a fellow blogger and joined forces so that we could taste a few different dishes.
They say that there are no tweezers in the kitchen, just good seasonal produce cooked well, not ponced up.
The drinks menu reflects London diners’ preferences today with a list of kombucha, lots of freshly squeezed juices. shots and smoothies. The wine list is short, about 20 choices, but servicable with some served by the glass. The rose from the Pays-Doc region was a a hit.
Another table was raving about the chicken salad (£16) so we shared one as a starter. It is a bit more substantail than a regular bowl of leaves with a few shreds of chicken. There is a lot of chicken, with some roast potatoes. Buried underneath the pile of greens is some pureed sweetcorn, which doubles as a dressing. The combination is genius. Topping the salad is a shard of chicken crackling to add texture, which would have been great if it is didn’t tasted of old oil. (the other table loved this).
King prawn omelette
A king prawn omelette (£16) followed. Done Vietnamese style, just cooked in the middles, topped with some crunchy raw veg and drizzled with Sriracha. A proper brunch dish, delightful in its full flavoured simplicity.
The roast crispy pork sandwich (£13) is a monster. Be really hungry if you order this. The pork is slow roasted and then pan fried till crispy before it is served between two pieces of sourdough toast. This was great with the
Unanimously, we thought the 17-hour Wagyu beef with Wafu dressing (£17) was underwhelming. The meat was tender but when compared with the other dishes, the flavours were rather muted.
Another dish caught my eye, the Hainanese Chicken Salad (£16.50) with ginger, shallots, sprouts, sweet soy and cashews. A play on one of the most popular Malaysian cheap eats. This is usually served on oiled rice and a bowl of chicken soup. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try this.
For pudding, we shared a dense chocolatey brownie (£9), some hotcakes (£13) and a palm-sized scone (£2.50). The hotcakes were a stack of fluffy pancakes drenched in maple syrup which I assume is a choice from the brunch menu. The scone was light and short served with jam and clotted cream and the brownie was delicious but between us, we couldn’t finish it.
We loved Liv. The vibrant menu has enough choices for everyone. This all-day dining style is a lovely casual way to eat out. Great flavours, cheerful service and a great addition to this corner of Belgravia/Chelsea.
8-22 Holbein Pl,
London SW1W 8NL
Tel: 020 7881 0886