Food profile - Honey, Hotel Gotham, Manchester
PUBLISHED: 00:00 04 November 2016
Kate Houghton discovers the delights of Honey restaurant at Manchester's Hotel Gotham
Hotel Gotham has recently had its AA Five Star status confirmed, making it Manchester’s only Five Star hotel (The Lowry is, of course, in Salford) and its restaurant, Honey, has been a key element in earning this rare award.
Honey is situated on the Hotel’s 6th floor, giving it dramatic views across the city. Built around two corners of the building, it has an intimate, rather exclusive feel, supported by the fabulous welcome you can expect from its staff. I can’t be alone in feeling a bit oppressed by over-zealous service, from staff bowing and scraping to prove their employer’s status, rather than yours; it’s so not Manchester. Luckily here the staff perfectly judge their approach; friendly, informative and as conversational as you want them to be, with not a bow or scrape in sight.
The menu isn’t enormous – always a good sign I think; the sign of a confident chef unwilling to dilute his efforts or create waste. The wine list however – that’s another story! A weight tome if ever I saw one. We chose, with help from the lovely sommelier, a delicious Rioja that went very well with both our starters and main courses.
To start I aimed straight for the Gnocchi with celeriac, walnut and blue cheese. A great gnocchi is hard to do, it needs to be soft and yielding but often arrives wet and glutinous. This was lovely; melding together with the sharpness of the blue cheese and earthy walnuts, it was a delight. My husband opted for the Beer Cured Beef with malt, hop and calves liver parfait. He was quite dazzled by it; a soft tartare of steak with a melt in the mouth liver parfait – when I asked him how it was, he actually had no words, not very helpful when writing a review, but it does rather speak volumes!
My main course of duck breast with gingerbread, apricot and sake was, to put it mildly, awesome. Possibly the most tender duck I’ve ever eaten, wrapped in sweet and heat and soft and smooth. A laugh out loud with delight dish, I assure you. Mike chose Cumbrian Charolais rib eye steak and Skinny Fries with Smoked Cheese Fondue. Beautifully cooked and very satisfying, in a very manly way. Chips and cheese fondue is a genius touch; who said fine dining had to be fancy?
I committed a heinous crime and left some of my duck, purely in the interests of this review, and went for a treacle pudding to finish. It came glowing with a blue flame, topped with pineapple and surrounded with honeycomb crisp, orange sauce and ice cream. Beautifully cooked and very satisfying, in a very girly way. Deep sigh.
After dinner we checked out the Gotham’s private member’s club, Brass, on the top floor. With outside seating on three sides and über cool interior décor it blends gentleman’s club with cocktail bar to create an almost Prohibition era feel. My Espresso Martini, as recommended by the server, was delicious and definitely enhanced by the environment.
Honey is a restaurant that brings the tough, industrial, no nonsense attitude of Manchester and combines it with fine, fine dining, resulting in an experience that delivers food to satisfy both the palate and the appetite.
0843 178 7188 | hotelgotham.co.uk