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“Stunning food in a historic setting” hardly does justice to Simon Rogan’s palate-challenging outpost in Manchester’s legendary Midland Hotel – famous for its sumptuous belle époque decor. The swanky high-ceilinged dining room’s blingy crystal chandeliers and luxe trappings have been softened by bare tables, grained wood floors and pastoral moss-toned panels (reflecting the chef’s love of all things wild and natural), while the kitchen balances ‘heritage and progressive cuisine’ (Rogan’s words) with a choice of uncompromisingly seasonal tasting menus that will resonate with fans of world-class L’Enclume in Cumbria. With head chef Adam Reid at the helm, the kitchen delivers a procession of brilliant ideas bristling with incredible flavours, textures and contrasts: broad beans and peas with egg yolk, nasturtium, truffle and turnip juice; plaice and smoked scallops with onions, roasted bone sauce and sea aster; poached cherries and sweet cheese with hazelnuts and oxalis. Readers are also quick to praise the cleverly pared-back lunchtime carte, a boon for Manchester’s business crowd. The whole place oozes class with its welcoming vibe, tuned-in service and sense of style – in short, “stunning”. Also check out Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, Rogan’s eclectic brasserie/bar within the hotel.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
It’s no coincidence that the standard of dining in Manchester improved the moment Simon Rogan arrived. His restaurant The French in the Midland Hotel is producing the best food in the city, which has forced others to up their game too.I was blown away on my first visit in March 2013, returning twice more that year. With the last almost 18 months ago I was overdue a return.Having only had the Tasting Menu previously – which is good value in terms of quantity and quality of food received but quite expensive – the excellent value ‘Star Deal‘ set lunch seemed the perfect excuse to return immediately...
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We first became aware of Simon Rogan&s cooking about five years ago, not long after we started our quest for Michelin starred food. We were four folk in our mid-twenties who regularly brought the average age of the dining room down by at least twenty years. The Lake District bug had started with Sharrow Bay in December 2007, and quickly progressed to L&Enclume a few months later.We were wowed by dishes like razor role reversal and also forged what would be a long term friendship with an elderly ginger cat named Ben. We fell in love with L&Enclume and all agreed that Simon was clearly some sort of culinary witch....
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