Restaurant Review: Randall & Aubin, 64 Bridge St in Manchester
Seafood restaurant Randall & Aubin has been a Soho institution for more than a century, and this month the restaurant bravely ventured 207 miles north to open a second branch in Manchester – and I can confirm the gamble has paid off.
Just like their London establishment, the Manchester Randall and Aubin has a Victorian exterior and, just to modernise it, a glittering disco ball inside. One would presume this is a nod to the jazziness of Soho. In true Soho style, the restaurant feels sophisticated yet flirty and fun; it’s the perfect setting for a business meeting in the day, but would work equally as well for a date night. Despite only being open for a few weeks, the restaurant is already pulling in crowds and had a real buzz when my friend Charlye and I dined there in mid-July.
Randall and Aubin specialise in seafood, and, despite being nowhere near the coast, they offer some of the finest fish I’ve ever tasted.
For starters, we tried both the tuna carpaccio and pan seared scallops. The carpaccio was light and flavoursome and complimented the crunchy, Thai salad it was served on. Contrastingly, the scallops were inspired by a Mediterranean palette and were drizzled in olive oil and pesto, which was a truly delicious combination.
The highlight of my dinner has to be the tuna steak which was outrageously tasty! In keeping with the Mediterranean flavours, it was served with soft, roasted vegetables, tangy feta and olives. The steak was cooked exactly as requested and was ‘melt in your mouth’. If I hadn’t been in a public place, I would have licked the plate clean!
Charlie also went for a fish dish and tried the seabass, which came with crispy, roast potatoes; buttery, wilted spinach and an aubergine puree. Just like the tuna, the fillet was juicy and pan-fried to perfection.
Being a seafood restaurant, Randall and Aubin offer an impressive range of crustacea and molluscs including shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels and oysters. If, you’re not a big fan of sea food however, the brasserie also offers several meat dishes, which our waitress assured us are incredibly tasty. In short, there is something for everyone.
After our main courses had gone down, we found room to share the baked, vanilla cheesecake, and I’m so glad we did. The biscuit base was sweet and sticky with a subtle caramel flavour: the topping was light with a mousse-like texture: it was heavenly.
As well as being a restaurant, Randall and Aubin also have a small bar area/dancefloor where guests can go for cocktail and a boogie.
The wine menu is particularly extensive, including an excellent choice of white wine to compliment the fish. The chefs’ recommended Charlye and I try a bottle of Howard Park Riesling, 2016 – Mount Barker and it didn’t disappoint. This delicate, Australian wine had an enticing lime- flower scent which was breezy and jovial, just like the mood in the restaurant.
To summarise, Randall and Aubin is one of my new favourite eateries in Manchester. The food is divine, the menu is exciting and the atmosphere is bubbly. If the Soho branch is anything to go by, this restaurant will be here for the long haul.
Address: 64 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BN / 0161 711 1007