It’s officially acceptable to get fully into the Christmas spirit, and what better way than sampling one of the many, limited edition festive menus Manchester has to offer? The choice of Christmas dining in the city centre doesn’t just limit itself to standard turkey dinner, festive food comes in all varieties and we’ve rounded up our favourites to recommend to try.
Dishoom - The Festive Feast
Don a Santa hat while you dine the festive feast at Dishoom, a perfect option for large groups. The menu is designed to be comfortably enjoyed by ten people (less if you’re feeling greedy), but the single Turkey Raan (£25) can accommodate smaller parties. Parties of ten or more will be automatically offered the feast unless otherwise specified.
Priced at £42.00 per person, the feast has a meat and a veggie menu to pick from and both will ensure you don’t leave hungry. For the meat option, turkey raan with all the trimmings is accompanied by house black daal, grilled meat kabab, calimari and keema pau. A variety of speciality breads come on the side, as does salad and pudding is your kulfi flavour of choice. The pistachio, in particular, is amazing and one to try.
The vegetarian dishes follow similar suit, but in lieu of the turkey raan, the chloe puri takes centre stage. This is described, for those who don’t know, as puffed puris with a chickpea curry and sweet halwa. The biryani and ruby murray includes jackfruit in the veggie menu, replacing the chicken berry Britannia in the alternate.
Dishoom is like nothing else in Manchester and the feast continues this theme. It is something unique and different to some other festive menus and ideal if you are looking for something new. The food is delicious and plentiful, served by generous and accommodating staff, making it a great choice to get into the festive spirit of indulgence. For further reading take a look at our honest reviews of the breakfast and main menus at Dishoom in Manchester.
Read more on the Festive Feast.
Available: 18th Nov – 24th Dec
Honest Burger - The Christmas Burger
The Bridge Street based burger bosses have concocted a Wintery delight for this December, stacking a good helping of rocket, cranberry sauce, deep-fried camembert, smoked bacon and of course an Honest beef patty, alongside a portion of rosemary salted chips. All of this comes in at £12.50 and for those of you don’t feel full from just reading that you can double up on camembert and beef for just £1.50.
Honest Burger likes to keep things simple and this is the case with the Christmas menu, no fuss or frills just good burgers and a side of fries. No new drinks are added for Christmas, but it is worth noting that the usual options offer something different from other Manchester restaurants, we recommend the fair-trade cola. For more information on other food to try at Honest Burger take a look at our previous review. There isn’t a Christmas veggie option, but the regular does have options for non-meat eaters all year round.
Take a look online at Honest Burger for all info.
Available: from 26th Nov through Christmas
Patisserie Valerie - The Perfect Pastries
Situated on Oxford Road, Patisserie Valerie is perfectly placed for a quick bite and a coffee for professional and student commuters alike. Already reviewed for the standard pastry and cake offerings on STYLEetc here, the chain cafe has got on-board with the seasonal activity and put forth their own ranges of sweet and savoury foods.
Patisserie Valerie will be launching four amazing new designs, crammed with bold winter flavours, in time for Christmas 2019: Winter Spiced Cheesecake, a wintery twist on the Patisserie Valerie classic with a biscuit crumb base using the patisserie’s topped with an orange and secret spice cream cheese, finished with golden candied pecans; two hand dipped eclairs in shocking pink raspberry and stunning green pistachio to brighten the darkest wintery day, and the Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bombe an all butter chocolate pastry case, filled with luxury salted caramel and a rich dark chocolate ganache, topped with a chocolate cremeux dome coated in rich dark chocolate ganache, all finished with indulgent salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream. The wintery cheesecake will be available as a whole cake to order online and makes a superb alternative to a traditional Christmas fruitcake.
The all-day brunch menu is also updated with brioche french toast, venison and cranberry stew and vegetarian chilli soup for savoury foodies enjoyment. There are also classic mince pies available (after all it wouldn’t be Christmas without one). Prices vary depending on items, see in store for all details.
All information is available online at Patisserie Valerie.
Available: 25th Nov – 13th Dec
Mamucium Cafe - The Lunchtime Treat
Mamucium Cafe offers a festive afternoon tea if you want a quick and simple Christmas dining experience that still delivers seasonal favourites. Taking inspiration from the classic Afternoon Tea, M Cafe’s in-house pastry chef, Morgan Mole, has created an extra special version, available daily from 12pm – 5pm.
It wouldn’t be Christmas afternoon tea without some classic turkey sandwiches and Mamucium’s selection come with cranberry sauce and are served on mini oven bottoms. The other savoury bites include; spiced Goosnargh egg mayonnaise finger, crayfish and prawn cocktail wrap, rye bread sandwiches of cream cheese and salmon sourced from Manchester’s only salmon smokery.
Once savoury is ticked off, the second tier simplistically presents the scones. These come in fruit or plain choices and are served with the usual cream and jam, one scone per person. They deliver on taste and are straight-forward yet satisfying. Lastly on the list are the sweets, this is where the menu gets more creative, introducing; a coconut snowball macaron, chocolate tart, clementine and choux bun and brandy and cherry opera.
You do get standard English breakfast tea as a given, but you have the option to upgrade your meal to include prosecco or unlimited mulled wine (great if you plan to hit the markets after). The unlimited alcohol version is priced at £25.00 and the standard comes in at a purse-friendly £14.95.
Visit Mamucium for further details.
Available: 8th Nov – 1st Jan
Dakota Grill - The Christmas Classic
Dakota Grill is ideal for a more refined dining experience. Going on a weekday evening will ensure you get peace and quiet, ideal if you prefer a calmer atmosphere whilst you eat. The Christmas menu is straightforward to follow, guest can choose a dish from each course and get three courses for £40.00.
There are four starters, two veggie and two meat options. Salmon, Chicken Liver Parfait, Onion Soup and Goat’s Cheese. This keeps things simple for groups to choose when dining. The salmon is our top recommendation, offering just enough to appease your appetite until the main course. Keep in mind, Dakota offers a higher quality dining experience that includes additional servings of bread and appetisers to snack on as you order so a small starter is perfect to balance things out.
The traditional Christmas dinner options are beef or turkey, whilst other mains to choose from are Salmon Fillet or Tortellini. Of course, the top choice has got to be the classic roast, this comes with all the usual trimmings and include a huge Yorkshire pudding. Other trimmings include gravy, roasties, greens, stuffing and (everyone’s favourite) pigs in blankets.
Desserts also impress as options include; Christmas Pudding (what else?), Chocolate and Orange Mousse, Creme Brulee and Vanilla Cherry Cheesecake. The cheesecake, in particular, is excellent and a must-try if Dakota is on your list.
Find out more on Dakota Grill’s website.
Available: throughout December
Bill's Spinningfields - The Seasonal Twist
Bill’s is great at delivering classic dishes which add their own stamp, offering reliable meals designed to appease the majority of diners (just read our Trafford Centre branch review if you don’t already know). As a new Spinningfields branch has just opened, along with the start of a festive menu, there are plenty of reasons to stop by and try Bill’s.
The list of dishes over Christmas include some tasty-looking mains. The classic burger gets an update with brie, fig and cranberry sauce to get into the seasonal spirit. Likewise, the Sirloin steak comes with wine and rosemary sauce, with the additional side option of roast potatoes or fries that have the option of added truffle. Pigs in blankets can also be ordered as a side to any dish.
Veggie options are also available, the main option being pumpkin, fig and chestnut roast and starter including mushroom soup or feta, walnut and cranberry salad.
For dessert, popular restaurant choices take centre stage as Sticky Toffee pudding and Bread and Butter pudding prove clear favourites amongst diners.
The menu shows good value, priced at 3 courses for £29.95. Portion sizes tend to be generous so you do get your moneys worth for under thirty quid.
Find out more on Bill’s website.
Available: 19th Nov – 31st Dec
The Midland - The Heritage Tea
Being the only tea room in Manchester dedicated to afternoon tea this option gets to the heart of a quintessentially British dining experience and has been delighting diners for over a century, since the opening of the Midland Hotel in 1903. Several delicious menu options are available. These include meat, vegan, vegetarian and kids menus, but for this month only you can enjoy a jolly twist befitting of the season.
Priced at £37 per person, this menu has a host of Holiday inspired ingredients. From its selection of sandwiches, such as turkey with sage and onion and a classic brie and cranberry, to the plethora of cakes featuring figs, cranberry and mince pies, this tea is well rounded and will leave you with no doubt that Christmas has finally come. Top this off with a selection of loose leaf tea, mulled wine and a glass of champagne and you’ve got something truly marvellous.
Take a look online for more details.
Available until 1st Jan
The Lowry Hotel - The Salford Special
The Lowry Hotel is serving their delicious seasonal menu in the beautifully and very recently refurbished River Restaurant. With a choice of traditional tea at £24 or Champagne/Gin and Tonic at £33, this offering can be enjoyed 7 days a week, Monday-Friday 12pm-4pm, Saturday 12:30pm-4pm and Sunday 3:15pm-5pm.
Diners will find themselves in tiers of joy over this cake stand where an adorable meringue snowman, chestnut and chocolate macaron, cranberry and clementine cupcake with pine frosting and a spiced gingerbread cake can all be found.
All this sweetness is balanced out with a helping of savoury sandwiches including turkey and apricot stuffing, smoked salmon and watercress, Burford Brown egg and cucumber and Provolone with sweet vine tomato chutney.
For larger groups looking for something even more indulgent The Lowry is also offering a huge festive feast for groups of 10 or more. Priced at £33 per person, the home style feast offers something quite unique for 1 lucky member of your party; the chance to carve a fully turkey joint under the expert guidance of The Lowry Hotel Executive Head Chef, Dave Ashton.
See The Lowry Hotel website for more info.
Available throughout December.