I was a very lucky girl the other week, I was treated to some lunch at Manchester House by the wonderful Charlie (The_Lady_Sybil).
We only went in for two courses and ended up with just a tiny bit more. All of it delicious and some of it slightly unusual to those of us who don’t often dine at one of Manchester’s most popular fine dining locations.
We started off with the thyme scented brioche, roasted chicken butter, artichoke consommé. It was a beautiful, simple and a flavoursome way to get your taste buds in the mood for what was to come.
Next I moved onto the hay baked mallard, lingonberries and fermented beetroot. Well what can I say? Other than that this was a wonderful and deeply flavoured dish. The duck was cooked to perfection and the sharp tang of the fermented beetroot was a perfect balance. Also the little bit of kidney and heart added some different but well suited texture to the dish as whole.
Now, this is where it gets fun, as we were finishing up our starters the waiter came over to let us know that we’d be treated to some additional dishes, can you say excited. Manchester house have had an overhaul of their menu so it was extra thrilling to be getting a bit more of an insight into the culinary mind of Aiden Byrne.
I got try the nori rice cracker, pickled mushrooms, smoked anchovy. Which was quite frankly stunning. I could easily have eaten more than the one. The mix of flavours, salty, crunchy and smoky goodness, and stunning look of the whole plate was just amazing. A real treat. Highly recommend.
We then moved onto the crisp chicken skin, foie gras and parmesan mousse. Really, it might not be the prettiest dish to look at but when I say the flavour is so good your eyes will roll about in your head I’m not kidding. This was the first time I’d tried fois gras and whilst I believe there are some politics to it, I like the stuff and if you like sexy as hell food you will too.
This is easily the cutest dish in the world, the watercress, turnip, egg confit and prunes… served ladies and gents, in an actual duck egg. As soon as it is placed in front of you, you can’t help but admire the effort that must go in to making such a dish. It’s utterly delicious as well. You think, nahh those flavours can’t work but they do. The gooey egg, fresh watercress and sticky prune really mesh well. It’s like a conveyor belt of well thought out flavours.
This was the most fun dish, it all got very experimental with the Ribblesdale goats cheese and onion soup with Jabugo ham. Cheese and ham, a long standing classic and this is a new twist. The onion is frozen and hot delicious cheesy sauce is poured over and it melts into a gorgeous soup. The matured goats cheese was a pow of flavour that shot through the entire dish and as a new goats cheese lover I was very happy. (I got action shots)
Then I was really giddy for my main. I love meat, meat, meat!! I had the veal. This came with heritage carrots covered in an elderberry jus, along side some tender stem broccoli and kale. I mean just look at the colour of the veal! I want to go back and get it again, it’s just looks so good.
Finally it was time for pudding… these small elegant dishes were surprisingly filling. I went for the Manchester tart, after consulting the waiter to check that banana would be a feature (it’s some weird thing, sometimes there is banana, sometimes there isn’t). Unusually for a tart there was for me a lack of pastry but it was still really delicious and not overpoweringly sweet. I’m more of a savoury girl, so this dessert was spot on in not sending me into a sugar coma.
For my first visit to Manchester House it was a huge success. I would of been more than content with the dishes I ordered but was blown away by the hospitality and attentiveness from start to finish. I’d love to go back and do the full 14 course one day… one day.
A huge thanks to Charlie (The_Lady_Sybil) for treating me to this, love you xx