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|Address:||The Midland hotel, 16 Peter Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M60 2DS|
|Tel:||0161 236 3333|
|Price: £92.00||Wine: £36.00||Champagne: £56.00|
|Opening Hours:||Tues-Sat 12N-2pm, 6.30pm-9.30pm|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
The definition of a Michelin three star rating is a restaurant with exceptional cuisine that's worth a special trip. With The French's 10-course tasting menu available for £79, two hours by train from Euston, food-loving Londoners should take a long hard look in the mirror if they're not making a reservation here soon.
Our tasting menu had the perfect balance between deliciousness and innovation. Some restaurants deliver fantastic yet familiar tastes, while others serve up surprises and novelty while not necessarily being, for want of a grander word, yummy. The French sits in the sweet spot: unusual ingredients and radical preparations, but again and again strikingly delicious flavours. Our party of three argued all night about which was the very best dish. It was an intensely pleasurable and fascinating meal.
Is it utterly perfect as a restaurant experience? Not quite, not yet. The room is pleasant but not a perfect match for the innovation in the cooking; given the number of vacant historic buildings in Manchester's city centre, it's a bit odd for Rogan to have set up in this somewhat stuffy hotel. While the restaurant staff are terrific – friendly, well informed, helpful, enthusiastic – standards drop like a stone once you set foot in the hotel's bar (unaffiliated). The wine list is very short for a restaurant of this calibre but this is apparently down to having inherited some of the previous restaurant's stock and a new list is being built. Strangely, given the very fair pricing of the meal, the cheese supplement is charged at an eye-watering £18, but the staff did offer to split one order between us. None of these should be substantial enough to discourage anyone from visiting.
For me, Rogan is the best chef working in Britain today, so with the closure of Roganic and the inaccessibility of L'Enclume, the opening of The French is the best news I've had all year.