[West Didsbury, Manchester] Lime Tree

We’ve recently culled a number of place from our “regular visit” list, as simply no longer performing well. But we keep coming back here because it ticks all the boxes on the “what do you want from a local restaurant” checklist. Lots of choice of food you really want to eat; local & seasonal ingredients and a kitchen that knows how to cook them; and served up by friendly and efficient staff. And, oh yes, very good value for money. Alongside their main carte ( I was tempted by the locally shot pigeon and Bambi), they run a midweek set menu, absolutely on the money at £21.95 for three courses. And, even here, there’s still plenty of choice, even though there’s only four items at each course.

So, that’ll be the bistro classic of ham hock terrine – a bit fridge cold but bags of flavour once it had thawed out a bit. It comes with a tangy carrot chutney, a handful of dressed leaves and two thick slices of bread. The bread also appears alongside the soup of the day – in this case, a well flavoured tomato one with a dice of vegetables and a drizzle of pesto floating on top.

For mains, there was a simply grilled fillet of haddock, topped with gremolata, creamed spinach and saute potatoes. Nice, light and just enough (so long as you hadn’t brought a big appetite with you). Twenty one day aged rump steak was flavoursome, as you’d expect from this cut, and accurately cooked as requested. It’s another simple dish coming with just fries, grilled mushroom and a very peppery mushroom sauce. Both of these did the job.

We often pass on desserts, even here where we know they’ll be decent enough. But this time, we ordered. There was an excellent version of rice pudding , thick and creamy. It’s accompanied by a little dish of prunes steeped in Armagnac. Treacle tart was OK – rich and not overly sweet – and came with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, which cut through it nicely. .


When you keep coming back to a place, you can quickly run out of new nice things to say about it. And I’ve run out. Suffice to say that this visit was as good as all the previous ones.

There was a chicken liver pate to start. Full-on flavour of the pate contrasted with lightly pickled mushrooms and a not overly sweet carrot chutney. More contrast from toast and some salad leaves. A smoked salmon plate was more of an assembly job. It came with a pate – actually just chopped salmon bound together with seasoned crème fraiche (?), a dab of horseradish, salad and bread. Both starters were fine.

I always think of hake as a very Spanish fish and it came, perfectly just cooked through, with Spanish accompaniments – roasted peppers, aioli, patatas bravas and chorizo. It was quite a butch affair. And really lovely. Order the duck and you’ll be asked if you want it pink or cooked through. That’ll be pink please. And they do indeed cook it accurately. There’s wilted kale which worked nicely. And a rosti which didn’t – it might have stated off crisp in the kitchen but, by the time, it was on the table it had gone soggy. A rhubarb sauce brought a bit of sharpness to cut through the fattiness of the duck. Rosti issue aside, this was a good plate.

We both went with Eton mess for dessert. A good balance of flavours but, in a minor criticism, some of the bits of meringue were quite large and quite tough to break up.


Same here - I always preferred my duck pink (unless it’s a confit, which is another fave).

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