Following a punchy review by Confidential’s Deanna Thomas – and, latterly, the Guardian’s Grace Dent – it has been hard to secure a table at Liverpool’s maverick newcomer Belzan. The self-described ‘neo-bistro’ opened in 2018, the baby of a £20,000 Kickstarter campaign by the owners of Duke Street cocktail emporium Filter and Fox. As such, wines and cocktails are carefully curated while small plates are handled by ex-Maray chef Sam Grainger. The menu could include fish skins with harissa, BBQ savoy cabbage, butter beans with beef dashi and parsley cream, and calves liver with everything (PX sherry, pancetta, Parmesan, truffle and more). The house secreto successfully pairs delicate Iberico pork with date, mustard fruit and caramelised cauliflower while puddings such as tonka bean rice pudding or bergamot sorbet round things off with more trademark punch. Given all the excitement on the plate, the white-washed walls, wood tables and navy blocks feels calm by contrast.