Lu Ban Liverpool will be one of a handful of UK restaurants to serve dishes from Tianjin, a large port city close to Beijing in North Eastern China.
The upscale 104-cover space has been designed by Liverpool designer Angela Rawson, who has mixed ‘quintessential elements of Chinese art and culture with the raw industrial heritage of the brewery, for a modern but sympathetic feel’.
Executive chef Dave J Critchley has a background in hotel restaurants and recently travelled to Tianjin to work with chefs to develop dishes for Lu Ban Liverpool.
He is in the process of becoming the first non-Chinese Master Apprentice of Tianjin's national level Master Chef of Chinese Culinary Arts, Mr Woo.
"This won't be your ‘traditional' Chinese restaurant, Lu Ban Liverpool is going to be something very different,” he says. “This is very much about regional specialities from one of the finest region's for cuisine in China. The chefs from Tianjin are world renown for the quality of the food and this is what we are replicating here.”
The restaurant will have a focus on training, working alongside Tianjin’s Lu Ban Association, which is promoting Chinese culinary arts in the UK in a bid to ‘deliver the next generation of restaurant teams’. More sites are planned if Lu Ban Liverpool is a success.
The menu includes Ancient Recipe Pork (pork with pineapple, sweet peppers, tomato,rice vinegar); Hotel Geneva Tofu (aromatic tofu, sesame paste, chilli oil, toasted black bean, black sesame and peanut brittle, frothed soy milk); and The Chicken and the Egg (Tianjin style chicken noodle soup, vegetables, quail egg).
Other F&B concepts at the redevelopment of the former Cains Brewery include Dockleaf, Ryde Cafe; and TV show-themed ‘beermongers’ Peaky Blinders.