[Didsbury, Manchester] Jem & I
Our second restaurant dinner this week. And our second disappointing experience. I’ve been a big fan over the years of Jem & I. It’s held a Michelin Bib Gourmand in the past and, even after its loss, they continued to pump out big flavoured “modern Euro” dishes. However, it’s been 18 months or more, since we were last here and, in that time, there’s been menu changes. And not for the better. There seems less creativity and more, erm, “steak and chips” type offerings. Such a shame. So, while the evening wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t one to shout from the rooftops about.
As well as what seem to a very fixed menu of the steak offerings, along with a couple of other meats, a handful of fish dishes and a similar number of pastas, there’s a changing menu that incorporates a couple or so starters and a longer list of tapas. We’re informed that the tapas can be taken as, well, tapas or as a starter. So I took the mackerel one as a starter. A small fillet of mackerel; a few salad leaves. Completely inoffensive. My partner went with houmous and flatbreads which was fine in the way that houmous and flatbreads usually is.
I wasn’t inspired by any of the main courses. I don’t often order steak but it seemed a safe bet and so it proved. A decent bit of rump, a few fries, a very tomatoey roasted tomato and a thick gloopy, but pretty tasteless, béarnaise. Veggie Vera continued her theme with gnocchi. It came in a tomato & olive sauce which was much as you’d expect it to be.
Desserts were also as you’d expect and need no further comment - Eton Mess and Crema Catalana.