Situated deep amongst the rolling hills of the picturesque peak district, Muse bar and eatery may not be top of the list for any city centre dweller, but very much worth the journey.
In the quiet town of Uppermill, Saddleworth Muse provides the sophistication and excitement of the city centre paired with the charm and comfort of the adorning countryside.
Entering we were bestowed upon exposed brick walls, black leather booth seats and lovely solid wooden floors. Dainty in size but by no means character, with a large bar sweeping the back wall. We were seated inside the glass annex just adjacent to the main building, with a retractable roof and huge floor to ceiling windows, summers evening will be bliss here, unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side.
With an expansive cocktail list to suit any palate we were spoilt for choice. We went with the espresso martini (£8) and the Soho spritz (£7.50). The martini was bold with strong silky coffee flavour followed by a stiff helping of excellent quality vodka, very well balanced and not too bitter.
On the contrary the Soho spritz was sharp, refreshing with a variety of different flavoured gins to pack a punch. At two cocktails for a tenner on weekdays and Fridays 4 till 7, it’s definitely a bargain.
The list of starters were varied and didn’t pin down any specific cuisine, but did offer a nice selection of fish and meat with sharing platers to boot.
The Cheese Croquets (£8) arrived and we must say, they were huge. Oozing creamy mozzarella cheese surrounded a crispy coating on slithers of crispy, spicy chorizo. With rich garlic aioli underneath and crispy sweet shallots on top, wonderfully balanced it’s a perfect taste of Spain.
As personal favourite of the night was the scallops (£9.50), always a must if available for our personal choice.
Presented with a generous 6, the scallops were slightly over-done for own preference, but happily devoured nonetheless. With cubes of bacon lardons and the crunch of sapphire, both added a great salty flavour to compliment.
The pop of sweet peas and creamy sauce provided a hearty decadence. Lashings of basil and chive olive oil brought the whole dish together.
The mains were just as eclectic as the starters with plenty to choose from, split into sections of skewers, grill, vegetarian, salads and mains. The mixed grill skewers (£19) took fancy, we were notified they were the most popular item and brought them over from their previous menu as requested by patrons.
Going for the large portion they were presented very well. They were a meat- lovers dream, layered with chicken breast, gammon, sausages (which were to die for) and beef fillet. Surrounded by beautifully acrid rood vegetables, which paired perfectly with the meat. At £19, it was a bit pricey, but that did not deter the masses.
Allot more delicate, the pan-fried seabass fillet (£18) did not disappoint. A perfectly cooked fillet with soft succulent meat topped with a thin crispy skin, surrounded by meaty king prawns and dollops of garlic sauce. Paired perfectly with firm earthy new potatoes and an indulgent sprinkle of salty samphire, brought together with a buttery velvet sauce.
The curiosity of the Nutella gnocchi got the better of me and the intrigue meant it was a must. Perfectly presented, the 8 balls were little doughnuts injected with sweet chocolaty Nutella. The peanut butter ice cream dolloped on top was delightful and a terrific addition to the dish. The garnish of lemon balm brought a freshness to a what otherwise would have been a very rich dish.
Finally, the lemon tart. Garnished with granola crumbld the tart had a very tasty lemon custard filling and an unusual a crème brulee style burnt sugar top which added great sweetness to balance the sharp notes of lemon. The side of lemon sorbet was very smooth and added a great sourness.
Muse is a place for any occasion not just a special occasion, you can get anything from a decent burger and a beer with change from £20 to a superb fillet steak and a bottle of Cristal. As quoted by the general manager – ‘’All things to all people’’ it certainly is.