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Published on November 21st, 2012 | by thehungrymanc

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Restaurant Bar & Grill (part 2)

If you read my last post about this place (here) you’ll know that I had intended to revisit to sample more of the menu.  So when Manchester Confidential invited me and a plus one (The Hungry Mrs) to attend Restaurant Bar & Grill to try it out, we were not going to refuse.

Now obviously the restaurant knew we were there to sample the food and that in all likelihood I’d be blabbin away about it on here.  That said I did not promise to write anything at all, let alone anything nice so all that follows is the truth as we saw it.

As mentioned in the previous post, although the opinion has been somewhat softened, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Restaurant Bar & Grill.  But that said it was really mainly the Bar part of that.  Therefore in an effort to avoid the throngs of people out for a drink we opted to go for lunch.

As a consequence we were welcomed warmly, de-coated and shown upstairs to a table by the window overlooking John Dalton Street.  From our direct surroundings, all modern and clean-cut we were able to look out over and enjoy the old architecture of Manchester.

Given that it was lunchtime we had chosen to forego the starters but after our waitress Kayleigh had dropped off some delicious little garlic breads with chimichurri she convinced us to share a mixed Asian plate. Granted, this was probably not the arm-twisting rigmarole that it could have been.  We were presented with Malayan Chicken – tender and peanutty, Chilli Squid – spicy and perfectly cooked, Fishcakes – crispy on the outside and delicious on the inside, Tempura Prawns – perhaps the biggest, fleshiest prawns in Manchester and really generously filled Duck Spring Rolls.  This was accompanied by the always present sweet chilli dip but also with a fruity pineapple dip which eased some of the spice – particularly on the squid.

Mains time.  I really wanted to go beyond the obvious and ignore the fact that there was a 14oz, 35 day aged, bone in, prime rib of beef on the menu….and guess what?  I did not ignore it at all.  Instead ordering it rare to medium with a big anticipatory grin.  To balance the gluttony on my side of the table, M’lady opted for the chicken, bacon and avocado salad although our waitress was good enough to talk her through some of the other options on the menu before she had decided.  Then, because I guess we looked hungry, good old Kayleigh jumped in again with tempting chips and onion rings and seasonal greens, explaining where the beef came from and how it was dried as well as recommending a wine to accompany it.  All in all she was pretty bloody helpful – without being over intrusive.

The steak was perfect. Slightly charred outside, pink in the middle.  I ordered it with the pepper sauce, however I used very little of it as I prefer just tasting the beef.  The sauce itself was wonderfully peppery but with a sweetness which eased the spice hit. The salad was delicious but would not have been spoiled with just a tad more bacon. And as for the accompaniments – the chips with a glass like outer and fluffy inner were proper chips, the batter on the onion rings was light and crispy and the greens were cooked with just a little bit of crunch left in them.

Having pondered over it for all of a minute or so I greedily opted to try one of the desserts and although there were some very tempting options I did not see beyond the Dark Chocolate Fondant.  The green tea ice cream, while not potently flavoured, cut through the rich dark chocolate and the chocolate covered popping candy sparked through the velvety texture of the fondant.

We retired to the relatively new terrace to try a cocktail and again the helpfulness of the staff was evident.  Marcus, the barman, taking time to find out the kind of drinks we liked and mixing up drinks that we did not see on the menu.

A huge thanks to Manchester Confidential for inviting us down and to Restaurant Bar & Grill – we will be back as paying customers very soon.

But the biggest thanks goes to Kayleigh and Marcus who were helpful, attentive, knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

Opinion of this venue has officially been altered.

Ta

THM

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