Bites: Dockland Dining

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The Independent Culture
Blue Bar and Grill, 17 Edward Pavilion, Albert Dock, Liverpool (0151-709 7097). Daily lunch and dinner

In Liverpool's landmark dock building, Blue is the brother of Taste, the cafe/restaurant attached to the Tate Gallery. Eating is on a mezzanine above the bar, with music resounding round cast-iron pillars and bare brick walls - with funky Op Art additions. Chunky grub, much of it grilled, isn't bad. Burgers come in American, Asian, Chinese or Cajun guises for pounds 5-pounds 6. Tapas are less than a couple of quid each.

Mem Saheb on Thames, 65 Amsterdam Road, London E14 (0171-538 3008). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat and Sun dinner

This "Indian" restaurant across the river from the Millennium Dome makes no bones about its Bangladeshi origins and is all the better for it. Bengal roast chicken, bhaja trout and freshwater fish from Bangladesh are cooked with precision spicing. From Sunday for a fortnight, to mark its second birthday, it's giving a bottle of champagne to tables of four, a half- bottle to two people dining.

Mud Dock Cafe, 40 The Grove, Bristol (0117 934 9734). Mon 8.30am-5pm, Tue-Sat 8.30am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm

Before the Riverstation opened, the Mud Dock was doing its bit for dock regeneration. Above a cycle shop, it has a typically free-wheeling Bristol vibe but a focused menu of Mediterranean food. Mixed crostini (pounds 4.50), chicken in garlic, ginger, honey and mustard (pounds 9.95), mango and white chocolate mousse (pounds 3.95).

Ransome's Dock, 35-37 Parkgate Road, London SW11 (0171-223 1611). Mon- Fri 11.30am-11pm, Sat 11.30am-midnight, Sun noon-3.30pm

A great Battersea brasserie offers simple but invariably successful dishes of well-sourced ingredients which might include Norfolk smoked eel with buckwheat pancake and creme fraiche; calf's liver, Cumbrian smoked bacon, bubble and squeak and shallot sauce. Three courses around pounds 27; lunch pounds 12.50 for two courses; brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Great wine list.

Restaurant Martin Wishart, 54 The Shore, Leith, Edinburgh (0131-553 3557). Mon-Fri lunch and dinner, Sat dinner only

Classical French with modern methods: grilled sea scallops with gazpacho and green pepper mousse; pot-roast pork cheek with spiced aromatics, grilled langoustine tails and glazed vegetables, and warm chocolate fondant with poached cherries and vanilla ice-cream - all for less than pounds 30 without drink. Lunch: pounds 11.50-pounds 13.50 including coffee.

Woods Brasserie, Pilotage Building, Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay, Wales (01222 492 400). Tue-Sat lunch and dinner

Martyn and Deb Peters moved to this listed building overlooking Cardiff Bay three months ago and have since been packed. Dinner is in the modern metropolitan idiom with great starters such as dressed crab or bang bang chicken; three courses pounds 25 or so.

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