As part of my husband>’s Christmas present, I treated him to lunch at popular Manchester restaurant, Manchester House.  Whilst definitely not healthy it was a foodie delight! Opened in 2013 by Living Ventures and> head Chef Aiden Byrne Manchester House has rapidly gained popularity and> critics seem to rate it.  Having wanted to visit for a long time, this restaurant was one of our must visits, however due to it’s reputation we struggled to get a reservation. Luckily they had space Christmas week so I snapped.  There is a feeling in Manchester that this restaurant deserves a Michelin Star, so exciting to see if it lives up to expectation. Especially after our amazing meal at Northcote Manor – which already has a Michelin Star.

The restaurant is nicely decorated and> it was pleasing to see Aiden himself overseeing the pass.  We were led to a beautiful booth towards the back of the restaurant, it was a great table. Lots of space, and> right by the window so was lovely and> light.  Unfortunately all we could see around us was buildings. But we were in the city centre, so you can’t have everything.

The trip was a Christmas present and> as we were still in the festive spirit we started off with a lovely glass of champagne. Delightfully sipping away we read through the menu. Manchester House also offer an a la carte menu, and> a 14 course tester menu.  We went for the 10 course taster menu. We also choose a bottle wine however  you can opt for a matching wine flight with the taster menus if you would prefer. 7 savoury dishes, and> 3 sweet treats, make up the taster menu, and> it was exciting to get started.

The first 3 courses came together, and> were small bites. The highlight of these 3 for me was the Potato Soup.  Although not a fan of foie gras it was great for adding texture and> flavour to the soup. I actually really enjoyed it.  The Squid Ink Cracker was also good. It was one of those taste sensations where the smell was so different to how it actually tasted. Not what you expected. The Scallop was nice but fairly forgetable amongst the rest of the meal.

Course Number 4 was a fish course, Halibut. Cured and> served with mussels and> lardo. The fish worked really well with the lardo.  And although I enjoyed this course it was not one of my favourites. There was a small amount of mustard or horseradish running through the dis and> this ruined it slightly for me.  But as the ethos is to try new things whilst also enjoying a bit of what you love, it definitely lived up to this ideology.

Up next we were on to the main courses, starting with pigeon. Served with gingerbread and> spiced cherry it all worked wonderfully together. The fake cherry filled with foie gras looked great but again as I am not a huge fan of foie gras this didn’t go down too well with me. Amazingly cooked, and> presented I still hadn’t been blown away by any of the dishes. Small parts were phenomenal, and> the rest whilst great had not been outstand>ing. The added cherry ice cream for example on this dish was fabulous.  Although my husband> was not sure about the hot/cold situation.

With Course Number 6 however things really started to improve. It  was definitely one of the stand> out Savoury dishes. A casserole of Monkfish with cockles, thyme and> mushroom. The monkfish was incredible, and> the casserole sauce working well.  An enjoyable and> warming dish.

The final savoury dish, hay baked mallard looked amazing. And was also one of the highlights, these two dishes really did impress. Interestingly as the dish was served we were told to watch out for shot pellets. It was a wild bird so there may be one lurking!  Amazing, although we didn’t find any! There was both a breast fillet, and> a leg both of which were very tasty.  And the salt baked beetroot was incredible!  These two dishes were a great way to finish off the savoury section of the menu.

And then we were ready to move on to the 3 sweet dishes.

First up a moment of drama with dessert number 1, Manchester Tart Ice Cream. Served over dry ice, an atmospheric mist surrounded the table. Stunning. Flavours of raspberry and> coconut providing the main base for this dish. It was a great way to cleanse the palate ready for dessert 2.

Now this was my favourite dish, it was incredible. Chocolate, hazelnut and> coffee, 3 of my favourite things. Just look at it! Heaven. The aerated chocolate was  divine, there are just no amount of words that can do this dish justice. Everything worked perfectly together but why wouldn’t it, it is the perfect combination! 

Finally it was time to end this culinary delight with Macarooons and> Madeleines. Both were beautiful and> a light end to an indulgent afternoon.

Would I recommend Manchester House – Yes.  A fabulous meal and> a really enjoyable experience.  I loved trying new tastes whilst enjoying some of my favourite flavours as the Manchester House ethos goes. The restaurant itself is also beautiful and> the service outstand>ing.  Our waiter was fab, always available and> discreetly topping up our wine but not too in your face.  Friendly but casual we never felt rushed. On the whole we had a fantastic relaxed afternoon, it was the perfect way to round off the festive period.

Have you tried Manchester House? What did you think?