[Manchester, city centre] Wood

This was our third visit to Wood. We’ve not been since early last year. Unsurprisingly, they don’t change their short menu that often and, over the first two visits, we’d eaten everything that we wanted to. Now there’s a new menu, although a couple or so of the old dishes remain. I suppose the issue of choice remains. When you’re only offering six items as starters and six as main courses, it can be a bit limited of stuff you fancy.

Along with a slice each of excellent sourdough (from the Pollen Bakery in Ancoats), there’s a couple of snacks. A crisp parcel encasing smoked eel and a mini pigeon pasty with a mustard and apple sauce to dunk it in

There was saddle of rabbit to start for one of us. It’s a delicate meat which is easy to overpower but here it was paired with a lightly flavoured sausagemeat stuffing and wrapped in Parma ham. Both helped to ensure that the bunny wasn’t dry. There’s carrot on the plate for sweetness and crunch – not sure if it was actually raw or just ever so slightly cooked. And a prune and liquorice sauce which worked surprisingly well. A wild mushroom raviolo was actually out of kilter with the menu description. Yes, there was a single pasta parcel but the main part of the dish was actually a mushroom stew underneath the pasta. The menu mentioned chestnuts but there was no discernible flavour of them. Everything was, however, well flavoured and the final topping of crisped breadcrumbs gave some texture contrast.

Steak came accurately cooked at medium rare and was accompanied by mushrooms and a “burnt onion” puree and Madeira sauce. It was all OK if a tad underseasoned but, at £35, you really do wonder how much this was value for money, particularly when as with all the main courses, you seem to need to also order a carb or vegetable accompaniment. In our case, we shared a bowl of Jersey Royals. Better was a fillet of monkfish topped with a little caviar and a nettle sauce. It was accompanied, with bang-on seasonality, by green and white asparagus and a white beetroot sauce.

None of the desserts appealed so we just had coffee – very decent espresso. As on previous visits, service was excellent. And, as with previous visits, we’ve eaten the items on the menu that we most fancied so it may just be another couple of years before we come back to try a new set of dishes.


This sounds my kind of place.
As to the rabbit I will usually always order it if I see it. As you say it’s a delicate meat. I can see the prune working but there must have been a deft hand in the kitchen to ensure the liquorice worked with it.

There was - but I found it a borderline “working”. Not too sure whether I liked it - but then I’m not generally that keen on liquorice. Seems to be an “in fashion” ingredient round here at present.