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Great food, service and ambience at the Left Bank, Formby

by Jeanette Smith. Published Wed 06 Apr 2011 08:17, last updated: 06/04/11
Left Bank Brasserie, Formby
Left Bank Brasserie, Formby

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There’s a little oasis in Formby, north Merseyside, that locals and those-in-the-know flock to when it’s time to dine.

I’m talking about the Left Bank Brasserie, located right in the heart of Formby Village, where food, value, and efficient service have been pitched to perfection. Often one has to queue right out into the street to wait for a table, so well-liked is this venue - so it’s best to book. However, if you just pop in anytime you will be greeted with a smile by General Manager Guven Caglar and a table will soon be found.

It is run by Hakan Esgin, who took over in May 2003 but kept the name used by a previous owner. However, the menu changed to a European/Continental mix that has proved popular with the punters.

The restaurant is open each lunch time and evening six days a week. There’s deals each night, and the earlier in the week you go the better the price. For instance you can get a two-course evening meal for just £7.95 on a Tuesday, rising to £10.95 on a Saturday night. That’s brilliant for a date, a family meal, a party or just a girls’ get-together. And you will find such a mix in this trendy eaterie.

The decor is low-key, with wooden floors, brown suedette seating, dark plum and pale blue walls, and discreet lighting. The downstairs room seats 50, whilst the cosy upstairs space seats around the same and can be hired out free for private parties. It also has its own bar up there.
My partner and I decided on a Saturday night treat and booked for an early dinner at 7pm. Already the place was buzzing with happy chatter and a pleasant ambience. Middle-of-the-road subtle music was playing in the background.

To get into the mood we ignored their long wine list and chose the ‘wine of the month’, a half-litre carafe of Spanish Faustino VII Rioja Tinto (£8.95). The Rioja had a delicious roundness as well as a subtle touch of oak on the palate which balanced the lively fresh fruity flavours. It was so good we ended up ordering extra!

Perusing the menu we were spoilt for choice. As well as the list of 13 starters and 13 mains were specials that are changed every 2-4 weeks. I adore scallops, so chose those from the main menu (£2.95 extra). They were placed on slices of chorizo and accompanied by a pot of sweet and sour roasted Catalan peppers. The scallops, were moist and tender with a delicate taste, with the chorizo a perfect complement being sharp and salty. The peppers were tangy and yummy, a perfect accompaniment.

My partner chose the carrot and coriander soup. Now the Left Bank is well known for its soups and whatever the flavour, it’s sure to be good. And you also get a generous bowlful, with a warm piece of rustic bread on the side. The soup was rich and tasty, and piping hot.
For my main I chose the flash-baked Scotch salmon with garlic and herb crushed potatoes, and balsamic syrup. The salmon was moist and fell apart as I cut it, with the crushed potatoes having just enough bite to contrast the smoothness of the fish.

My partner chose the 8oz fillet steak (£6.95 extra) which was cooked rare to his taste, and just right. It was served with a baked tomato and mushrooms, and there was an option to choose a brandy and peppercorn or classic Diane sauce. Being a creature who likes his food dry, he declined. But the steak was full of flavour and an ample portion.

The mains were accompanied by a dish of broccoli, cauliflower and sliced carrots, with the greens served al dente but the carrots just a little soft for our liking.

Puddings are extra, unless chosen as one of your two-course deal, and are changed each month. We decided to go the whole hog to round off a perfect evening and I chose the ‘Sweet Temptation of the Week’ which was Tiramisu and my partner plumped for the Strawberry Cheesecake, both £3 extra, or for the same price you could have a liqueur coffee instead.

The cheesecake tasted wonderful and the tiramisu, a real diet-buster, was out of this world. We rounded off the evening with filter coffee, piping hot and served without delay.

If you choose to visit during lunchtime you can bag a meal for an unbelievable £2.95 ranging from their legendary soup, to pasta, salads, baguettes, and wraps. Or you can opt to pay a little more and have a range of specials from just £5.95-£9.95.

So we were well served by our visit to the Left Bank where the eating experience is only matched by the warmth of the welcome.


Disabled access: Yes
Disabled facilities: Yes.
Currently closed on Mondays, though this may change
For opening times check the website www.theleftbankformby.co.uk or find them on Facebook at ‘Left Bank Formby’.
To book email: leftbankformby@yahoo.co.uk or telephone: 01704 832342.
The Left Bank Brasserie, 1a The Beacons, Halsall Lane, Formby, L37 3NW


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"great food and wonderful staff." lynch clan, formby around 4 years, 3 months ago

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