[Manchester, West Didsbury] Lime Tree

The Lime Tree has been around since 1986. There’s a reason for that – it always delivers. Firmly rooted in Modern British cuisine, it keeps pace with changing fashion and also maintains links with local produce including that from its own farm. Service is always spot on – efficient without being intrusive – one of those places where, as soon as you walk in, you know everything is going to be fine.

One starter was almost a modern classic. Scallops, nicely seared and only just cooked through, cauliflower puree, a scattering of really delicious chorizo and a little rocket. The other was the night’s special – pan fried pigeon breast, locally shot at Capesthorne Hall. It sat there, perfectly rare, accompanied by a little slice of Bury black pudding and another of belly pork with a dollop of apple sauce cutting through it all.

For mains, there was lamb loin, nicely pink, together with a little long cooked breast. There’s a fondant potato, wilted cabbage, a pea puree and a drizzle of a light savoury sauce. So, that was a pretty much perfect plate of food for the birthday boy. Two fillets of sea bass were also spot-on for cooking – soft flesh, crispy skin – you can’t ask for more from a bit of fish. There’s a cube of dauphinoise potato, a bit underseasoned and a bit boring. Braised fennel worked well. As did a “gazpacho” jus.

We were too full for dessert.

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