Manchester House, Spinningfields
PUBLISHED: 00:15 09 October 2013
We take a peek at swanky new Manchester House in Spinningfields
Chef Aiden Byrne is a very visible presence at Manchester city centre’s newest and arguably most chic restaurant and bar, Manchester House.
The kitchen is open plan and a focal point of the beautiful loft like dining room. It’s where cooking becomes a kind of theatre and we diners are part of the performance.
Aiden who still has his Church Green pub in Lymm now has a kitchen from which to explore his fine dining aspirations but as he told me before lunch “Manchester won’t accept pomp”. You won’t find any cloches here. This is a contemporary take on posh and it works on most levels.
The restaurant concept devised with Living Ventures’ Tim Bacon over two years is great. Its eighth floor bar is brilliant. For all the right reasons it reminds me of the much missed Mash and Air, Oliver Peyton’s bar and restaurant which in the 1990s was the hippest venue in the city. There are amazing views and the best smoking areas ever - a little detail that’s sure to attract the cool fashion crowd if not health freaks. We kicked off with truly delicious cocktails, a dangerous brew called a Zombie and my Porn Star Martini (it had to be done!).
One downside was no vegetarian option on the menu and I really don’t understand this idea that eating fish is “veggie” but soon Aiden was over by my side promising to “just cook” for me.
The omnivorous side of the table was very impressed by a starter of squab pigeon with cherries, pistachio and violet mustard. My heritage carrot salad, white carrot mousse and Nocerella olives was beautiful to look at but I would have liked it to be twice the size.
The main course of fire-roasted lamb rack, pine stock and sheep’s cheese was described as perfectly cooked and full of flavour while my macaroni stuffed with squidgy onion and a truffled kale was quite delicious.
A Manchester tart for pudding was inevitably a million miles away from the thick custard desiccated coconut abomination from my school dinner days. And the cheeseboard was superb. Macarons and coffee rounded the experience off nicely. And this is an experience. It felt laid back and relaxed on its first Saturday of opening but I imagine when the glamorous media and sports crowd discover the place it will become the hottest venue in the city.
Manchester House, Tower 12, 18-22 Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BZ 0161 835 2557 www.manchesterhouse.uk.com