I wanted to write the post to accompany my pictures after sharing the images with you as I think they tell an amazing story all on their own! This is one of the best culinary treats we have had in a long time and it was a complete joy of an evening.
Separately I will share with you my interview with Aiden but for now let’s focus on this fantastic foodie journey.
Manchester house is a ‘newbie’ on the block but there wasn’t any teething problems here. The whole experience was flawless. We were greeted in a reception area that could of been a reception of a cool hotel or apartment building. Instructed which floor the restaurant and bar were on we decided as it was mid week to save the bar and almost savour the opportunity to go back another time and go straight to the restaurant. Tonight was all about the food.
Manchester House was recently featured on a popular television programme where they showed a fascinating insight into this restaurant and also The French at the Midland Hotel. So much work went into this new restaurant concept and from the programme you see the commitment to the experience and to making it a success.
I adore fine dining but our best experiences stem from locations where we are made to feel at home at ease in the surroundings and able to talk freely to the waiting team. The right notes were hit at Manchester House the staff are fabulous, warm, welcoming and down to earth just like the 3 Michelin starred Daniel Boulud in New York.
The best restaurants have a real buzz about them and I really loved this here. It was a Tuesday night and completely full with plenty going on for people watching. The chef’s table is right in front of the open kitchen and a fabulous idea. Aiden cooks every evening and talks to the guests at the chefs table.
So many of the top restaurants no longer have the ‘name’ above the door cooking there and this makes it refreshing that Aiden is here day in day out working his magic with the same steely determination and passion.
The cocktail menu is one of the best I have seen, they have thought of every cocktail and I know I will love the bar when we return.
Now for the best things about this amazing menu!
Here you could experience some dishes from the tasting menu alongside the a la carte. I wasn’t too hungry and therefore I didn’t feel like the full twelve courses but I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to try some of the more unusual dishes. Fabulously Manchester House has even catered for people like me that can’t make up their mind between menus, how great.
You can start with 4 courses from the tasting menu then move to a traditional starter, main and dessert and this is exactly what we did.
The parmesan and onion brioche absolutely melted in the mouth and I loved the way you were encouraged to drink or taste the consommé in any way you felt comfortable. For me the most beautiful course was the sardine crisp that looked like a fairy tale garden on the plate, too pretty to eat. My starter came with an edible egg which was incredibly realistic in terms of appearance.
I loved the way that one of the signature dishes was served. The Belted Galloway beef with edible sticks and stones (for two people) is like something from the Flintstones movie. Housed in a bone display with gravy in a horn and edible grey rocks alongside the cuts of meat, it is visually stunning. Each course is memorable and I will never forget it.
Dessert is always one of my highlights and my favourite course of any meal. Having seen it on the TV programme and as it is a Manchester institution I felt I needed to have the Manchester tart. It certainly didn’t disappoint and tasted divine. Aiden has created a modern version far prettier than the classic but with the same great flavours.
When you meet Aiden he is like the Tom Cruise of the chef world (and no I don’t mean he could jump on the sofa at any time!) I mean in the sense that he is genuine, kind and clearly loves what he does. He takes time out from cooking to speak to everyone who wants to speak with him and is like a long lost friend.
If Manchester house does not get a Michelin star it is a travesty. Every element is wonderful and unique. Every detail has been considered to make every moment you are there one of perfection in every way. The team behind this venture and working within it should be very proud.
I highly recommend a visit be it on business, a celebration or date night you’ll have an occasion you will never forget, roll on visit number two!