Tag Archives: northern quarter

Thomas Restaurant (Northern Quarter, Manchester)

6 Sep

Written by Annabelle Williams

Arriving at Thomas Restaurant and bar I was a little flustered and nervous, especially given that I have never attended a food blogging event.

When I first spotted this place on Thomas St in the Northern Quarter, I had to admit it looked ever so slightly incongruous, compared to some of the other establishments on Thomas St. It just looks, I don’t know, slicker than some of its neighbours.

Inside, despite it being a rather gloomy Wednesday afternoon, the restaurant’s got a light and airy feel with high ceilings. It’s a good-looking joint and perhaps it was the French wine but the inside space felt almost ‘tardis’ like with a mezzanine floor and open kitchen. The bar and seated dining area are on the ground floor and the first floor features more open dining space, the kitchen and an outdoor terrace. Finally on the second floor, there is the Clubroom. This room’s a cosy and comfortable spot for all manner of music, drinking and bonding with friends. There’s even some talk of jazz nights coming soon.

When asked what cocktail I would like (you had me at ‘hello’ Thomas people) I saw the words ‘Joan Collins’ on the menu and couldn’t resist. I didn’t take a picture of it because I was too busy enjoying its majesty. A long, refreshing, summery (yes, I know) cocktail with Gin, lemon, grapes and tonic. Classy but satisfying.

For starters we were presented with Crab Cakes, Potted Smoked Duck Breast and Warm Goats cheese & Onion Tart.

I’ve always had a hard time picking favourites as I am an indiscriminate lover of all things food. However, given that crab cakes are one of the few things I tend to avoid (so easy to get wrong) these were rather lovely. Comforting yet elegant and well complemented by the lime and mango; my mind may have been changed.

The Potted duck was rather nice to look at, and equally as enjoyable to eat, though I do feel like there can never be enough Chorizo salsa in the world. Finally the Goats Cheese & Onion Tart was a firm favourite around the table. *Did someone call it a cheesecake?* It was like that in the savoury sense of the word.

Potted Smoked Duck Breast

For the mains we shared Pan fried Fillet of Whitby Plaice, Yorkshire Lamb Shank and Artichoke risotto.

The Plaice was subtle and no doubt expertly cooked, I have to say that I tend to favour something with a richer flavour therefore the Yorkshire lamb shank was more my taste. This was a serious piece of meat and the Savoy cabbage and Pancetta combo hidden under the lamb was a nice counterpoint. Though, erring on the heavy side I would say that this would be a dinner time main.

I had at this point become ‘Meat drunk’ and stopped taking nice Instagram pictures and decided to go for the ‘Money shot’.

Yorkshire Lamb Shank

The artichoke risotto with a crumbed duck egg yolk was blinding. This was so..good. The egg actually oozed and the risotto was very rich and flavoursome.

Artichoke Risotto

So, then it came to dessert…typically this is where some people start to lose pace, but not I. The picture of the Tart Tatin below demonstrates this, I’m like a wrecking ball.

Tart Tatin

If I were forced to choose a favourite dessert (which is an infrequent occurrence in my day-to-day) it would have to be the Tart Tatin, but followed incredibly closely by the Thomas Tiramisu and Lemon tart.

Lemon Tart

Thomas Tiramisu

Before I forget about the wine..

I do love me a good Viognier, aromatic, floral, apricot-y?…The Aimery Viognier we drank was no different. Also, the Macon Villages was rather special. Refined, floral, with good structure, and a nice acidity. Basically, good eatin’ wine. I didn’t try to food match with the wine, I drank it and enjoyed it.

Finally, I think a shout out (is that even appropriate?) should go out to the waiting staff who were charming and efficient and of course a warm thank you to Nicky and Yvonne for being such good hosts. So to wrap it up, a really lovely evening and some really good eating. Nice also to get out of the house and meet some of the Manchester foodie community.

www.thomasrestaurant.co.uk

Thomas Restaurant & Bar
49-51 Thomas Street
Manchester
M4 1NA
0161 839 7033
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Solita (Northern Quarter, Manchester)

9 Aug

NB I’d like to point out that I was invited to a free evening before the opening of the restaurant and did not pay for my food and drink, however I have still written an independent review.

If you’re looking for reviews of Solita, there are plenty to choose from. Given their expert courting of the restaurant reviewing and food blogging communities of Manchester, they’ve managed to get the kind of press coverage typically reserved for a small-scale city-council scandal.

I must admit, I liked the place. The food was really good quality, the staff were friendly and despite the fact that the target dempographic came off a bit as being ‘All things to all men’, there was a clear vibe to the place that said that great food was the first and foremost focus.

So everything you need to know about this menu has already been blogged. Hungry Hoss gave the place a fair and thorough menu review (though I’m fairly sure he’s been adopted as the unofficial mascot of Solita judging by the Twitter feed), Things To Do in Manchester confessed to a new-found Bacon Jam addiction thanks to the menu and Andrew Stevenson made no bones about the areas for improvements, as well as praising some of its ingenuity.

So what am I bringing to the metaphorical table then. Well, the place mats of course.

Allow me to explain. One of the points that stood out to me in this stylish red leather and black wood bar was that the place mats on the table were also the menus. Seemed at odds with the slick look, but it worked, but the thing that it was missing were some descriptions of the items. You don’t want to have to break out your smartphone at the table and pull up a blog to find out what the Pulled pork sundae or the salt cod balls are all about do you? Of course not! So I’ve made a new menu. This one gives you a bit of a heads up about the dishes. It’s a menu and a restaruant review, or for those of you who like a good portmanteau (two or more words bashed together to make one new word) its a ‘Revmenu’ of a ‘Restremenu’. Just print out a copy and take it with you. You’re guarunteed to be considered a sophisticated, ‘in the know’ sort of diner.

If anyone does take a printed copy of this with you, please, please, please send me a photo.An entire review condensed into a menu sized print out.

Your new A3 placemat menu, just print off and take with you.

What more could you want? Now run along you cheeky scamp and grab yourself a Pulled Pork sundae and some Salt Cod Balls.

Almost Famous Burgers (Manchester)

13 Mar

About a week ago, I wrote this on Twitter:

@mangechester: Reading the twitter feed for @AlmostFamousMCR. I’d gladly not blog a word about it to get into one of the launch nights. Sounds epic.

This was in response to their No Bloggers, No Photographs policy. So I’m in a pickle because I’m a blogger but also a man of my word. I’m also a squirrel, but that’s not improtant right now.

I had to make a decision to blog or not to blog… which is when I decided to do both. I promised not to write a word about Almost Famous Burgers, so I haven’t. I have taken all of the menus and leaflets that I was handed at the door and used them to make a short write up. Not a single one of these words is mine. In fact this is written more by the guys at Almost Famous than by me, so thanks guys. Here’s their review… of them… which I made…?

Just click the image below

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