I exited the lift above, to find a stylish and minimal world of elegance with glowing lights, large windows and a symmetrical open kitchen where Aiden Byrne himself was busy working, looking totally in his element.
After a warm welcome, my friendly server recommended the eight course tasting menu, which was an offer I could not refuse! I sipped a chilled Sauvignon Blanc and my feast began with a square of soft thyme scented brioche with chicken crackling and roasted chicken butter.The artichoke consommé which accompanied this was full of flavour, and there was chicken within the glistening broth, adding another layer of depth which sat well against the rich roasted chicken butter and the divine brioche.
There was so much to be enjoyed about the soft and satisfying brioche, which I found to be the perfect start to the meal as it delivered so much flavour without being overpowering. The second plate was soon set before me, and I was dazzled by grilled oyster, roasted sweetbreads and king oyster mushroom. This dish was a work of art which combined the sea and the land so well as the pure oyster taste was complemented by the mushroom and the richness of the sweetbreads whilst parsley added a welcome zing.
The next course of Pork rillette with smoked anchovies and leek fondants was a joy to behold, with so many elements carefully presented. Glittering anchovies gave a silver accent to the plate and a beautiful rich smokiness was added by the pork whilst subtly sweet leeks and crispy sourdough added further enjoyment to this dish.
It always shows a stroke of genius when chefs add extra touches of unexpected fun to their dishes, and I was impressed that the next course of roasted cod with barbecued celeriac and walnut purée was served with a homemade fruit cider which gave a rush of blackberry and a sweetness which went well with the flaky white cod loin. The punchy pink cider felt like an indulgent delight which recalled the childhood joy of a glass of cordial. The barbecued celeriac added a woody accent and walnut brought in a slight sharpness which offset the other elements of the dish beautifully.
The next course of Yorkshire venison haunch, with a fermented red cabbage purée and jus was a delight to the palate with plenty of flavour. The deep red cabbage purée was sharp whilst an additional mousse pot added a further contrast of sweet and savoury elements as well as a delightful texture. This dish worked so well and it was at once simple yet refined, a true triumph.
After such magical dishes I was keen to see what thrills dessert would have in store and I was not disappointed. Firstly, blackberry, apple and bay conjured up autumn on a plate with a wealth of complex flavours. The fresh sweetness of apple danced around the sharpness of blackberries, with meringue and sorbet adding plenty of texture to create a delight for the senses.
Another demonstration of creativity was shown in the the second dessert. A pairing of chocolate, pineapple and liquorice was a combination I could never have imagined together until I experienced the brilliance of this dessert, which packed in the divine sweetness of pineapple against the heady taste of liquorice whilst a rich chocolate cookie similar to an Oreo added indulgence and a pineapple crisp added texture which melted in the mouth.
It would not be too much to say that this entire meal was a sheer joy, with exquisite flavours, a clear eye for beautiful presentation and skillful culinary prowess. It is easy to see why Aiden Byrne is so revered for his cooking, which is excellent in every way. This was a odyssey of brilliant flavours and textures and I am always thrilled when a meal can surprise and delight in the way that this one did, with ingredients I would not have imagined together working in perfect harmony.
The magic was not over quite yet as alongside a latte, I was presented with a wooden box inscribed ‘thank you’ which contained six perfect macaroons, which I devoured immediately!
The superb dishes and attention to detail at Manchester House show the hard work put in to the entire experience by Aiden Byrne and his team. Dining here is a truly special experience which elevates food to theatre with artistic talent which is a joy to witness.
What do you all think, would you like to dine at Manchester House and which of these dishes appeals to you? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post!
18-22 Bridge Street
0161 835 2557
Until next time,
I was kindly invited to experience Manchester House, the meal was complimentary for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.