Simon Rogan is long gone, but his protégé Adam Reid continues to turn heads at this flagship restaurant within Manchester’s vintage Midland Hotel. Though the grand dining room’s opulent decor hasn’t changed, eating here feels less formal than before – but no less impressive, with Reid stamping his own distinctive mark on proceedings. All cooking is labelled as modern British, which really can mean anything these days.
We’ve had our share of thrilling encounters here – from seared scallop with trout roe and roasted onion broth to a superbly executed dish of salt-aged duck with vivid purple beetroot and pickled elderberries. Other standouts have a noticeable North Country accent – think nibbles of dripping toast with grated tongue or a Lancashire ‘tasty’ cheese and onion pie with lovage and eel, as well as a meat-free combo of ‘tater ash’ with mushroom ‘catsup’, bread and butter. To finish, rhubarb jelly with ginger malt ice cream is one option, but don’t miss Reid’s ‘Golden Empire’ dessert – an award-winner from his Great British Menu 2016, consisting of a golden candy apple adorned with hazelnut crumble and meadowsweet custard.
In line with Adam’s desire to make his food more accessible there are a number of menu options to choose from, including four- and nine-course tasting menus, as well as a Great British Menu themed one. Although with the cheapest at £65 per person for four courses it is perhaps only accessible in terms of menu choice, but with the level of cooking offered up we think it is worth the price tag every time.
Meanwhile, spot-on service with a friendly and efficient edge ensures a stunning gastronomic experience without any fine-dining stuffiness. Because of its city-centre location this is a great one to add to your list when visiting for a day of shopping or shows, and is equally as pleasant at lunch or dinner time.