Restaurants: Bites A gallop round Liverpool's eateries, from Becher's Brook to Mersey Blue

Becher's Brook 29a Hope Street, Liverpool (0151 707 0005). Mon- Fri lunch and dinner, Sat dinner. Probably the most expensive restaurant in Liverpool, certainly one of, if not the, best - although the Georgian townhouse close to the Everyman theatre looks not much smarter than a wine bar. Come prepared for an exceptional meal of truly original and informed dishes. The menu makes tantalising reading; slow, loving cooking has real depth and diversity, as in double beef consomme with morel tortellinis; lamb breast stuffed with hearts and sweetbreads, tarragon and balsamic vinegar sauce; seabream on broccoli and Parmesan mousse; warm bramble clafoutis with rosehip ice cream. pounds 30 a head without drink, but the lunch and pre-theatre menu has starters and puds for pounds 4, mains for pounds 8.

Not Sushi 23-25 Fleet Street, Liverpool (0151 709 8894). Tue-Thur midday- 10pm, Fri, Sat midday-midnight. From March 15: 4 Exchange Street East. Only one week left to go before the Japanese-style noodle bar leaves behind its funky basement near Concert Square and moves across town. There will be a three- week hiatus before it reopens in a sleek new setting in the business district. This is where Bill Bryson ate sushi with Alexei Sayle in the TV version of Notes from a Small Island. Bowls of soup noodles, rice dishes or panfried noodles for around pounds 6; not much sushi on offer now, but there will be more at the new premises. Starters conform to the gyoza dumplings, yakitori and tempura template, desserts mostly from the deep freeze - except the fruit gyozas with cream. See www.notsushi.com for more information on the menu and the move.

Number Seven 7 Falkner Street, Liverpool L8 (0151 709 9633). With the same owners as Ziba (see page 43), this cafe in the boho Georgian quarter incorporates a gallery and has a deli next door. Good cakes and superior studenty food that isn't as veggie as you'd expect: aubergine pate; chicken with lemon and ginger; faggots with onion gravy; Thai fishcakes; lentil and vegetable moussaka and chocolate mousse are available all day and in the evening make a meal for little more than pounds 10 and a great venue for a bistro-like get together. Subtle music, a steamy creamy warmth and mildly malodorous lavatory are pluses and minuses. If only the cappuccino were a little better there'd be every reason to make it a home from home.

Blue 17 Edward Pavilion, Albert Dock, Liverpool (0151 709 7097 ext 305). Lunch and dinner daily. New bar, cafe and grill (you can tell by the smell) at the Albert Dock mixes concrete, Op Art and chandeliers to slightly gloomy and noisy effect. It's not helped by daytime disco music. Simple, chunky food is a not disagreeable but reductive worldly jumble such as burgers (American, Asian, Chinese or Cajun), steak, sort-of tapas, and salmon with Thai spices on potato and carrot rosti or pesto crostini with yogurt and cucumber. Around pounds 12 a head. Across the dock is Blue's brother Taste, which is longer established and transcends its role of cafe attached to a gallery. Caroline Stacey

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