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First look inside new Bakchich in Williamson Square

Bigger than Bold Street- this new branch now takes bookings

At least four curious souls approached the entrance to the new Bakchich while we were having our first peep inside.

This is the restaurant which first brought the tastes of Lebanon and Morocco to Liverpool four years ago when it opened on Bold Street.

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The delights of chicken shawarma , mezze and kabsa b'laham have kept Scousers going back for more ever since and makes the opening of a another branch almost an inevitability.

Based just off Williamson Square, to the immediate left of Liverpool Playhouse and opposite the LFC Store, there is plenty of the old Bakchich in here that is instantly recognisable.

The distinctive geometric tiles, handmade in Marrakesh based on designs which remind Otto of his Moroccan childhood (now living in Mossley Hill, he has been in Liverpool for the past 20 years) are here, this time accentuated by bright red padded benches and dining chairs in a variety of colours.

"This unit is a very good size," Otto continued. "It's on one level, has more seats, there's an al fresco dining area and we can take bookings here, that's not possible on Bold Street due to its smaller size and we have extended the menu a little due to the bigger kitchen."
Those new dishes include fresh Moroccan tagines and on the drinks side there are mocktails and a bespoke juice bar.

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For added theatre, a spitroast will be set up on the middle of the counter, with fresh salmon and lamb fillets among the fare coming from its charcoal grill.

Theatre is an appropriate word to drop in to the conversation as the new venue's proximity to both Playhouse and Royal Court means it will do its bit to feed pre-show diners and there's also going to be a push for the breakfast market. An earlybird menu is being introduced for customers who turn up when the doors open at 8am each weekday (9am weekends).

This second Bakchich can seat more than 80 diners inside and a further 24 outside, almost double the 55 capacity of Bold Street.

It's hoped that the extra space will add to the Lebanese ethos of food being something we share and celebrate just as much as it being a rather tasty form of fuel.

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Otto continued: "Our vision is to educate people, This food is made for sharing and for tucking in. It's small bowls and small dips, having people of different backgrounds at the same table.

"The beauty of Lebanese cuisine is that you can have something every day without getting bored, the repertoire is so big and the menu is so wide.

"You could have a different dish every day and you wouldn't finish the menu."

As Bakchich prepares to move in to cities across the country - Belfast, Leeds and other north west locations are all on Otto's wishlist - it's still Liverpool that will forever claim a special place in his heart.

He smiled and said: "The people of Liverpool welcomed me with open arms.

"I've lived here more than I lived in Morocco. I am what you would call Liverpool-Moroccan."

Bakchich opens on Williamson Square on Monday, August 7.

 

By Jamie Mcloughlin

 

Liverpool Echo

 

04 August 2017

 

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