Jack Mason enjoys the food and the atmosphere at the Armadillo Restaurant and Café in Tranmere. To read more of Jack’s writing on food, visit his blog: Jack Mason Food and Drink
The Armadillo Mediterranean restaurant is situated on Bennington Road, Tranmere just beyond Victoria Park. The restaurant itself is a quaint, bustling little place which always seems quite busy. Its decor matches the menu with a Turkish or Mediterranean feel throughout. The available space though limited is utilised very well and no matter where you sit in the restaurant you do not feel cramped or on top of other guests. It has a very relaxed vibe, accommodating both casual walk-ins and pre-booked tables for small parties.
The food, staff and service
The staff are very welcoming and go out of their way to cater to the needs of guests. We arrived without having booked early on a Saturday evening, usually the busiest night of the week for any establishment serving food, and with a slight rejigging of the seating plan the waiters were able to fit us in and provide us with great service. As usual – this was the third time my partner and I, along with our little one (a hyperactive yet well behaved 5 year old) had visited the restaurant and the service has always been excellent.
The menu is quite small menu and screams ‘we do what we do very well’. I personally love it and everything I have eaten has been dreamy, with a real, authentically Mediterranean simplicity to the food. We were seated promptly and after a few minutes had decided what we wanted. We opted for a starter of hummus with freshly baked pitta breads (to share) and a portion of garlic bread (to satisfy the mini human), followed by two main courses, chicken kebab (pictured above) and baked cod with crispy potatoes, along with only the finest chicken nuggets and chips, handpicked from the very appropriate children’s menu. I think it would be safe to say that my partner’s chicken kebab option would be a safe bet for many folk. There is absolutely no compromise on anything: the chicken was perfectly cooked, marinaded to perfection and nestled on top of a pitta, complete with rice and a small side salad as well as some Mediterranean vegetables. Having sampled it, I can say it was most definitely some of the best tasting chicken I have eaten in a long while… a real winner. As usual, I’d opted for a fish dish. The plate arrived again with a small side salad (very fresh) and this time some crispy, skin on potatoes. Needless to say this was also amazing. The fish itself was beautifully delicate, whilst boasting some great flavour and partnered with the potatoes there was a great contrast in textures. As far as portions go, I was impressed and that in itself is a difficult feat. The children’s chicken nuggets was everything you would expect from chicken nuggets whilst not compromising on quality or overloading the plate.
When at a restaurant a decision then has to be made… dessert or not. I almost always go for the former. Three desserts were ordered and three desserts came.
- Rich chocolate pudding
- Sticky toffee pudding, and
- Portion vanilla ice cream
After sampling all three (obviously), I can assure you that there was very little to separate the sticky toffee and chocolate puddings. It comes down to personal preference I suppose, and I actually don’t have one. They were both warming and did exactly as they promised they would. Pure indulgence. In terms of the vanilla ice cream, it was of good quality and certainly did not taste cheap.
Value for money
This section I will keep short and sweet. The food is excellently priced. Our total bill was around the £50 mark for a three course meal for a family of three with a drink each. In my opinion, great value for money.
To summarise, this small local restaurant is ideal for families, couples and parties alike. Food, service, attention to detail and value for money are all excellent.
I left the restaurant with a full belly, a smile on my face, a handshake from the staff and a happy memory of what I’d eaten.
The Armadillo is a must try for anyone in the local and surrounding areas.
Address: Armadillo Restaurant & Café, 18 Bebington Road, Wirral CH42 6PU
Tel: 0151 645 5878
Opening hours: Mon. closed (except Bank Holidays); Tue – Thu 3pm – 10pm; Fri – Sun Midday – 10pm