It’s been a good month for foodies in Manchester. They say it never rains but it pours; it turns out this just as true of our restaurants as it is our weather.
Hot on the tails of Aiden Byrne’s Manchester House and Simon Rogan’s second restaurant at The Midland – Mr Cooper’s House and Garden, neatly rounding off September’s trinity of top chefs, Saturday Kitchen star James Martin has opened his new restaurant at Manchester235.
At Tuesday night’s preview, guests were treated to a canapes and drinks reception followed by a three course meal, hosted by the chef himself. When he wasn’t busy cooking up a storm in the kitchen, James came out to introduce each course, giving us all an insight into the provenance and preparation of each dish, from the curing process of the whiskey and vanilla salmon starter, to the background of the cut of Yorkshire wagyu beef hanging up on display in the glass-fronted “Meat Market”, to a brutally honest breakdown of just how many litres of cream are required to produce his signature white chocolate and whiskey butter croissant pudding.
James was an excellent host, marrying his expertise and clear passion for food with an easy, self-effacing charm true to his Yorkshire roots. Once service was over, he came round to each of the tables happy to chat, answer questions and sign copies of his latest book, before taking a well-earned break and sitting down to join his mum.
And the food? Well, as James puts it, there’s no dry ice here. No molecular gastronomy or technological wizardry, just really good quality food, locally sourced and big on flavour. Each course we tried built on the last, with the beautifully pink, slow-cooked fillet steak and shredded Jacob’s ladder showing off two of beef’s best attributes, whilst the pudding proved to be a When Harry Met Sally kind of affair, worth every single sinful calorie (our advice: don’t even think about it!).
I’m already dreaming about the sticky toffee pudding…
James Martin Manchester officially opened its doors to the public on Thursday 26th September and bookings are now being taken. For further details, including menus, please visit the website: jamesmartinmanchester.co.uk
James Martin Manchester, Manchester235, Great Nothern, 2 Watson Street, Manchester, M3 4LP
By Alaka Prodhan (@EchoingBronze)