Dakota is a brand new hotel and restaurant venue in Manchester city centre. Modern and premium, the building promises relaxation and comfort for it’s guests. STYLEetc paid a visit to the Dakota Grill to get a full taste of what the menu had to offer.
Set on Ducie Street, just behind Picadilly train station, the building has limited onsite parking so you will need to find on-street if you’re travelling in by car. It is easily commutable from the metolink and bus services, being walking distance to the station.
As you walk in through the hotel, there is a modern yet familiar feel to the decor. Quirky furnishings adorn tables and chairs to give character to the place. The restaurant flows with a similar mixed era atmosphere. The rooms are dimly lit, great for creating intimacy whilst you dine and letting you settle and enjoy time spent there. Furnishings in the restaurant are wooden, making use of muted and brown hues to create a cosy feel. The tables have a good amount of space between them, giving you space to chat privately. What we did notice was the quiet, the staff silently appear as if by magic, clearly well trained to not disturb or disrupt conversation whilst you dine.
The service itself was perfect. Not a foot put wrong. The staff grasped the ideal balance of being friendly and attentive without being overbearing. They were well versed in fine dining etiquette and correctly tending to the table for each course. We had a laugh and joke with our servers and they seemed genuinely interested in ensuring we enjoyed ourselves. Dakota has already set out on the right foot to ensuring their guests are well looked after and we hope this standard continues.
The first dish we tried on the menu was the Steak Frites. Served medium to well-done, the dish comes with a topping of melted garlic butter and the skinny fries arrive in a side dish. The portioning is generous, especially for £22, with the fries in plentiful supply. There is a little garnishing, but this dish is kept otherwise simply, leaving the food flavours to speak for itself. The meat was juicy and tasty, with the garlic butter adding the perfect flavour that literally melts in the mouth to make this a satisfyingly good dish.
The second dish was the 340g Rib-Eye Steak. A very thick cut, this Rib-eye offers more than fat to chew. The meat was lightly seasoned and came served with a choice of sauces, we chose the peppercorn sauce, which added to the tender texture and succulent flavour perfectly. Exceedingly good, this steak reminded us of just how delicious steak can be. The rib-eye came garnished and sides were sold separately.
We opted for sides including thick-cut chips and tenderstem brocolli, which came together as a value combination. Contrary to the scattered fries that come served with the Steak Frites, the thick-cut chips were Jenga-stacked elegantly into a neat pile. Neat shaped chips give way to a fluffy and soft interior, giving you chips that have clearly been made with care and attention to detail. The tenderstemmed brocolli was chilli-flavoured, this gave a zing to the vegetable and we can honestly say it is one of the best portions of brocolli we have tried in our many food reviews.
Also on the agenda was a serving of Chantenay carrots, cooked in a honey glaze and roasted in a Mediterranean style. Soft and supple, the carrots were extra sweetened with the honey and balanced out the other dishes well. We also ordered a side of mash (because two types of chips weren’t enough carbs for one of our party, no judgement). The mash came neatly formed, very creamy in texture and morishly good. We’d definitely recommend ordering a mash to yourself, some things are just too good to share.
Onto desserts, the first choice was the Mango Cheesecake. Combining passion fruit and coconut, this compact yet flavoursome dish merged sweet and citrus flavours perfectly. The cake comes nicely presented with a streak of sauce to create a pretty aesthetic. Finely composed, the biscuit base of the dessert crumbled softly at first touch, allowing the creamy main to take centre stage. We only wish there was more of this dessert.
Second choice was the Chocolate Delice, a light option that allows you to sample a few flavours and components in one. The creamy chocolate is accompanied by a small scoop of pistachio ice-cream, raspberry sauce, meringue and chocolate crumbs. You even get a macaron for good measure. The delice is a mixture of textures, soft with crisp, satisfying the taste buds without being too much to eat.
For a top-notch experience, great customer service and delicious food we would recommend Dakota Grill as one to try next. We were extremely impressed with the high standard of staff and food served.