[Manchester, city centre] Northern Quarter Restaurant

I couldn’t say that we’re regulars at the restaurant but we do have dinner there a couple of times a year. It’s always a reliable meal with a regularly changing, well priced “Modern British” menu leaning towards the use of local produce and served up by staff who are on the ball. And I say the latter even though service was quite slow – there were two large parties just ahead of us in the ordering and it’s a credit to the kitchen that the delays were not as bad as we might have feared.

There was a spiced pumpkin soup to start. Nice and silky in texture and with quite a kick, perhaps overly so, from chilli. A drizzle of crème fraiche softens it. The other plate featured baked beetroots – different colours, different preparations (chunks & puree). There’s thin slices of pickled carrot and a very tangy goats cheese beignet. Both of these were good starters – but someone’s having a laugh with the online menu describing both of them as OK for vegans. Presumably, that’s vegans who are OK with crème fraiche and goats cheese.

One of the main courses was an absolute belter. Perfectly cooked chicken breast (with crispy skin). Almost needless to say with a restaurant round here that the chicken comes from Goosnargh – presumably the farm of Johnson & Swarbrick. There’s briefly fried chicken livers to add richness and hash browns for the carb. It needed a veg so there was a side order of kale & chestnuts in a cream sauce. A cheese and cauliflower tart proved to be a bit underwhelming. They use Shorrocks Lancashire “Bomb” which is usually a powerful thing but this was all a bit muted. Nice crisp pastry though, with the plate decorated with bits of earthy beetroot.

Nothing particularly appealed on the dessert menu so we just had coffee.


I absolutely love pumpkin soup, as well as beetroot. I’d have had both starters before I proceed to the mains. :smiley:

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It’s one of the restaurants we went on our first serious Manchester visit and I liked it. Love the idea of chicken livers. As well, here’s a cheer for Modern British! When it comes down to it, it’s an obvious and lovely choice any time. I appreciate it more when I’m not in Britain but love it any time. Kale and chestnuts sounds interesting, John. Was it?

Yes, it worked, Jan. I cannot abide the current fad for raw kale in salads, so I was relieved that this was “properly” cooked through (still a tad “al dente”, of course)… The chopped chestnuts added an earthy sweetness and, I suppose, were intended as a spin on the Xmas Day classic of sprouts & chestnuts. Cream sauce was nice with it.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
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