[Manchester, city centre] Northern Quarter Restaurant

I try not to post about our regular spots more than once a year but it was back in January when I last did so reckon it’s near enough.

We’ve been coming here for years and, generally speaking, find them utterly reliable. So, we forgive them the occasional visit, like this one, when things seem to slip a bit. Slip a bit by way of food taking much long to appear (there was an apology). Slip a bit by both main courses being a tad undercooked and a tad under seasoned. No doubt, it was the kitchen under pressure on what was obviously a busy Friday evening.

Smoked haddock croquettes, though, were absolutely bang-on. A good flavour with the accompaniments being well considered – spiced potatoes, curry flavoured mayo and a little puffed rice for crunch. For the other starter, cauliflower had been roasted (or, as we used to say, burnt) and, to my mind, was perfectly paired with a beetroot houmous. Sticking to the Middle Eastern theme, there was a scattering of chickpeas, dukka and pomegranate seeds. It all worked.

As mentioned, lamb rump was a tad undercooked – still perfectly edible, except for the bits of uncrisped white fat. It was accompanied, with absolute seasonality, with roast root vegetables and what they described as “hot pot” potatoes – thinly sliced and, hopefully, cooked in stock. They do good steaks here – the animals from the northwest are grass fed and the beef aged for 28 days by the butcher in Bury that they use. It comes with a choice of side (chips, obviously) and a sauce (not required this time). For the “five a day” contribution, an order of green salad worked well. Like the lamb, it was undercooked from that requested but not sufficiently so that it couldn’t be enjoyed.

As mentioned, things had taken a while so we decided against dessert and just had coffee. Good coffee!

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Whoops. Forgot to include the restaurant name in the title.

'Tis the Northern Quarter Restaurant.

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