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Jan 19, 2009 07:05 AM

[Manchester] Restaurant recommendations

I'm visiting some old friends in Manchester in February and we are looking to go out for a nice meal - mid-level pricing (maybe upto £40 or so a head). Open about cuisine too. I used to live in the city but have only been back 1-2 times a year for the past few years, and am quite out of touch with the food scene now. I generally only go to Red Chilli when I'm up there now, but don't want to foist my desires for super numbing Sichuan heat and offal on my slightly more squeamish friends! There is also scope to travel outside of the city itself and into surrounding areas if needs be (though my friend lives in South Manchester so anything North of the city is probably not going to happen).

I've heard Stock is good, The Modern was bad at first but might have improved (is this true?). People have recommended Grill on the Alley but I have to admit I don't think it looks up to much. Any other recommendations would be gratefully received!

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  1. stick with the red chilli is the number 1 recommendatioon i can make. there is plenty for everyone with lamb chilli claypot, pork belly caabage, anything with eel.

    stock is extremely variable.

    the modern has got better, the grill on the alley does ok steaks but steaks are better cooked at home using meat from a farmers market.

    some ok curry on burton road in didsbury; the gurkha grill, the kathmandu (paneer chilli for eye weatering hilarity). the lime tree on lapwing lane is a safe bet.

    earle in hale is okish, dee thai is usually good.

    altrincham has dilli whaich is a nice if slightly pricey indian.

    eating out in the manchester is pretty rubbish and its very rare to get exceptional food.

    1. better than the gurkha grill in didsbury is asian fusion in nearby chorlton.. Excellent curry

      1. Stock poor as is grill on the alley, Try Room on king street they have just won best restaurant in manchester, its an cool place and the food is at the same level as most good restaurants in london.

        1. My notes from the last meal at Stock (December 2007 - so just about still useful):

          "It offers half a dozen starters proper, together with a similar number of pasta dishes which can be taken as a starter or main. Eight or so meat or veggie mains follow. The restaurant prides itself on its fish dishes which are always offered as "specials" - tonight offerings being bass, bream, monkfish, lobster and mullet.

          I started with the ravioli of the day - salmon. Good fishy taste; cream & fennel sauce - 5 big ravioli. I liked. I followed this with calves liver/pancetta/broad beans/baby onions. It came with a good meaty sauce. I liked this a lot - not as much as I like fegato alla veneziana - but a lot.

          Mrs H started with a cannellini bean and mussel soup with garlic crouton. Lovely rustic looking dish which was a great hit. She then had a fillet steak which came with "Mixed Mushrooms, Topped with a Cheese & Mushroom Fondant and Served on Puff Pastry Croute". Looked good and I was allowed a taste of the meat. Nice.

          A separate dish brought some spuds, battered and deep fried fennel (wonderful), carrots and mangetout. Why do restaurants serve mangetout? They bring nothing to the table except green!

          To finish I had cheese - three smallish slices - one each of parmesan, an indeterminate tasteless one and a strongish blue cheese that was probably gorgonzola. It came with bread, grapes, celery and nice onion chutney. Mrs B had panettone bread and butter pudding which looked great but which I was not allowed a taste of (but was told it was as good as it looked).

          Service was pretty much faultless. The bill, including drinks before, a glass of wine with (for Mrs H), water for me and coffee after, came to £93, including a 10% service charge. Excellent value for a upscale eatery"

          2 Replies
          1. re: Harters

            Probably going oop North soonish to visit the aged FIL. What was the name of that place in Cheadle that you recommend, John? Is it The Bay Tree?

            1. re: greedygirl

              Yes (opposite the Post Office - Mr GG will know it.

              Was there on Wednesday after quite a long absence (we've been eating our way through Good Food Guide places within an hour's drive). Two courses for £17.95 and three for £19.95 (although several mains carry a supplement). They also have a "brasserie menu" on Weds & Thurs which has three courses for £12.95. Casserole type mains but reasonable portions I'm told.

              It's not food to rave over but it's trying hard for a neighbourhood place. Some details here:

              Please drop me an email (see the profile) if I can help more.