Restaurant Review: Manchester House, Bridge St in Manchester
Tucked away in Tower 12 of Bridge Street sits Manchester House, a fine-dining restaurant, bar and rooftop garden serving some of the best cuisine in the North West. The award-winning restaurant is owned by the extremely talented Aiden Byrne, the youngest ever chef to be awarded a Michelin Star. In keeping with Aiden’s style of cooking, the restaurant offers a delicious range of traditional flavours served in unusual, yet stunning forms.
What strikes me about the menu is that the flavours are simple, but it’s the combinations, and imaginative ways in which they are served, which set them apart from other restaurants. Each plate is carefully created to pack a variety of flavours and textures, and yet the dishes are not overly-elaborate. Aiden has ensured all elements come together beautifully.
My good friend, Jodie and I eagerly headed down for lunch on a sunny Saturday in mid-May and our visit certainly didn’t disappoint.
The stand out dish for me was the grilled and cured halibut starter which was a joy to taste. The thin slices of fish were beautifully seasoned and worked well with the small chunks of smoked eel, creamy barlotti beans and earthy cauliflower. I could have eaten it a thousand times over.
Jodie opted for the poached quail with crispy chicken skin which was beautifully arranged on a daintily-decorated plate. After several minutes of admiring the presentation, we dived into the dish, which unequivocally lived up to our expectations; the quail was soft, succulent and packed with flavour.
As fish lovers, we both opted for the Red Mullet Tempura for our main; just like the quail it was simply stunning to look at and even better to taste. The generous fillet of lightly- battered fish was accompanied by cubes of leek jelly, crispy bubble potatoes, steamed cockles and bitesize tempura. It was heavenly and a lesson in how to plate a dish!
We dined from the A-la Carte menu, a traditional 3 course menu, offering just two choices per course. Some would say this is limiting but when you consider the number of elements going into each dish, you can appreciate the reasoning behind this decision. However, if you fancy something a little more indulgent, diners also have the option of a 10-course tasting menu.
The menu frequently changes to keep in line with the seasons, and, on the sunny weekend we visited, the two puddings screamed ‘summer’, so naturally we were tempted to try both!
The lemon meringue was exciting and unlike any other I’ve tried. Encased in a delicate meringue case, was a thick, gooey curd bursting with citrus flavours. The dainty strawberry dessert, which featured strawberry sorbet, strawberry ice-cream and a strawberry tuille, was equally as divine and the perfect palette cleanser.
After pudding, all diners are treated to a selection of freshly-baked madeleines and macaroons. In keeping with the rest of the menu, Aiden has taken traditional flavours and applied them differently. Now, as a result of my lunch at Manchester House, I have two new favourite types of macaroons: marshmallow and passionfruit with basil!
As well as boasting an exciting food menu, Manchester House also offer an inspirational range of cocktails, wines, beers and spirits. In my opinion, a sunny Saturday calls for a cocktail, so, as a gin lover, I opted for the British Star, a combination of Bombay gin, rose liqueur, fresh apple juice and honey and lemon, served with a shot of Prosecco. As Julie Andrews once sang, ‘These are a few of my favourite things’ and, as a result, I’m crowning it the best cocktail in Manchester! Jodie was equally as impressed with her Russian Spring Punch, a sweet, summery concoction of fresh raspberries, raspberry and blackcurrant liqueurs, lemon juice and Prosecco. It was an absolute delight to sit and sip our drinks on the salubrious rooftop.
The rooftop garden is a small, but sophisticated space, kitted out with deep, lounging chairs. From there, diners are able to take in attractive views of Manchester’s Spinningfield district. The interior of Manchester House is welcoming, bright and modern with a mixture of inviting booths and tables. For customers looking to get an insight into how the food is prepared, there’s also a chef’s table which looks directly onto the bustling kitchen.
In a nutshell, Manchester House is the perfect venue for a special occasion, with attentive staff, delicious food and a stunning setting. The only thing it lacks is a Michelin star, but I have a sneaky feeling this won’t be the case forever.
Address: 18-22 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BZ
Phone: 0161 835 2557