JAMES MARTIN MANCHESTER REVIEW
Birthday Treat to James Martin Manchester
Food 5/5, Value 4/5, Atmosphere 5/5, Kid Friendly 0/5
In my family, the birthday girl (or boy) gets to choose which restaurant they want to go to for their birthday treat. We have tried quite a mix over the years but my 7 year old daughter has a 100% record for choosing McDonalds. 😢 For my birthday I chose James Martin Manchester.
I liked the look of James Martin Manchester while I was looking for a place to eat online. The reviews were brilliant and there was a special offer on as well! £30 per person for the 5 course taster menu with matching wine. The price is usually £47.50 per person. The offer is valid for January and February only. What a great opportunity! Yey!
I spent my birthday hanging with my kids and after showering and feeding them with pizza delivery, we got a train to Manchester. They had Domino’s. I was starving hungry, the pizzas looked sooo amazing but I resisted. My daughter was very disappointed she wasn’t coming with us, hence the Domino’s bribe.
The restaurant is situated in the Great Northern Warehouse on Deansgate. I was quite surprised when we walked in as the restaurant is inside a casino! Not my usual choice. It was the first time I had ever been in a casino. Koreans are not allowed to gamble so I have never had the opportunity. I thought I had made a mistake in booking this place but I shouldn’t have worried. The restaurant is on a mezzanine above the casino and as you walk up the stairs and go in you can’t see or hear anything from below.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was sooo luxurious and beautiful. There is low lighting from the old fashioned light bulbs which makes everywhere look so pretty. The seats are as comfortable as the surroundings and large white tablecloths cover all the tables and almost touch the floor.
The waiters were very attentive and took our coats straight away and made us feel comfortable. We told them we had booked the taster menu and within two minutes, they gave us a glass of prosecco each and some bread and salted butter. The bread was gorgeous. Baked with rosemary and so soft and fluffy.
I was thinking ‘How come we’ve never been to this restaurant before? You know, after you have kids, it is difficult. Fancy restaurants don’t do children’s menus! I don’t reckon James Martin is going to start selling chicken nuggets any time soon.
Soon after, the first course arrived. Game Consommé with Venison Ravioli. I have to say I wasn’t very impressed. The consommé wasn’t bad, a little salty with a hint of fennel, but the ravioli was nothing special. For venison, it was quite bland and didn’t really complement the consommé. My husband ended up finishing mine. He didn’t complain. We drank up our prosecco and waited for the next course.
Jerusalem Artichoke and Mushroom Tart with a (half) glass of Brampton Un-Oaked Chardonnay. This was more like it. The tart was subtle, savoury and creamy and melted in my mouth. Absolutely gorgeous. The wine was on the mediocre side but it did go well with the tart.
The third course was Grilled Hake, Celeriac Purée, Lovage and Smoked Almond. It was served with a half glass of Mandra Rossa Fiano. Fish and seafood are my absolute favourite foods. I was looking forward to this and it didn’t disappoint. The Hake was wonderfully fresh and coupled with the smoked almonds, wow, divine. My husband thought it was a little too salty but I disagreed. The wine was very disappointing though. Bland and boring is my best description. We still drank it though. ☺
Roast Guinea Fowl, Confit Leg Pudding, Swede and Pickled Turnip was the next course. Served with a half glass of Mezzacorona Merlot. This was hands down the best course of the night. The best roast dinner you will ever eat. Absolutely gorgeous. It was amazing. Worth it just for this dish. OK, I’ll stop now. The merlot was good too.
By the time we had finished the merlot I was beginning to feel a little drunk. The optional cheese board suddenly seemed like a good idea. Five British Cheeses, Homemade Crackers and Chutney. When it arrived the waiter explained that the first cheese was mild and they got progressively stronger as you went along the plate. Even though the first cheese was supposed to be mild it was still very strong. Being Korean, I don’t really like strong cheese, so my husband ended up eating it all. He said everything was delicious. You will have to take his word for it.
The last course was Vanilla & Tonka Bean Parfait, Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb with Gingerbread served with a glass of Sauternes Lafleur Mallet. The vanilla parfait was sweet, smooth and creamy and the sharp rhubarb perfectly complimented it. Delicious and a lovely way to end the meal. The dessert wine was a little too sweet for me but my husband liked it.
Overall it was a great experience with only a couple of things I wouldn’t order again. But, that’s the point of a taster menu isn’t it? If I were you, I would hire a babysitter and get yourself and your partner there before the special offer runs out. Highly recommended. We are definitely going to go back.