Thursday, 23 February 2012


Date: Wednesday 22nd February

Website Link

This is possibly the best restaurant I have ever been to.

Big claim I know, but this is most definitely a deserving one. This place is in a league of their own in terms of fine dining, everything was to perfection.

Located in my local village Heaton Moor (represent) this hidden British restaurant is snugly neighbored by a DVD store and a Fish and Chippy. So although the dining is high class, there was definitely no hint of snobbishness. The staff was very friendly, and what seemed like the owners, were very welcoming. I absolutely loved the decor inside. Largely using wine bottles to give the place character, the place oozed class. This place would be perfect for a candle light dinner with that special one, or to have an upmarket business dinner to impress a client.

We were given a A La Carte menu in a very posh binder, and also a separate set menu costing a reasonable £14.95 for two dishes or £17.95 for three. I personally could not resist some of the dishes from the A La Carte menu upping the price of my meal, but I was fine with that. Although the menu seemed a little limited, it seemed have classic favourites for all taste buds, from delicious sea-bass to a succulent sirloin steak. It also has fat chips as a side for ones that don't like to experiment. Also, attention cheese lovers, I saw a neighboring table order a selection of 10-15 different cheeses. The waiter brought all the blocks of cheese available over letting you choose which you fancy (if not all) and slices a piece for you to try. It looked like a very interesting thing to try one time.

They begin your meal with complementary home made bread accompanied by cubes of butter. They can also bring balsamic vinegar with the bread on request. For starter I went with the crab and parsley risotto, which simply said, melted in my mouth. At first glance, it looked interesting, with the risotto topped with a foamy broth, but it was simply fantastic.

For main I went with the shoulder of lamb (not on the online menu) accompanied with the saute potatoes with parsley and garlic. It was just wow. It was the best lamb I have ever had (sorry Mum). The lamb was unbelievably soft, with an amazing flavour. The potatoes were also great, coming uniquely sliced in a square, sandwiched a beautiful garlic sauce.

I also tried the salmon accompanied by fresh mussels, which was part of the set menu. The salmon was good, the mussels were simply spectacular. They were nicely soft and tasted wonderful.

The portions of everything were very generous. We were all very full after the two dishes, however we couldn't resist getting a dessert to complete our meal. I went for the chocolate and orange cheesecake. It was amazing. It possibly could have surpassed the cheesecake I had in Chicago. It had a scrumptious chocolate orange flavour, with both orange and chocolate sauce flowing out perfecting the taste, and honestly topping off my meal.

As you can see, I cannot recommend this place more highly. It makes me proud that this is in the village I grew up in, and hopefully encourages other places to follow this marvelous eatery. The only reason I cannot give this (or any restaurant) a ten is because I refuse to think my dining experience has peaked. So now it seems the Dining Gods have given me an important task, to hunt for a place to surpass this fine dining in Manchester.

9.5 out of 10 rating.

Monday, 13 February 2012

110 Restaurant

Date: Thursday February 9th 2012

Website Link

Menu Link

For once this was a planned meal, where we wanted to take advantage of our Hi-Life Dining Card (2 for 1). So after assessing the list of restaurants on offer I came across this peach. The interesting thing about this restaurant is that it is inside Circus Casino. For people not familiar with this casino it is the one on the end of Oxford Road, by Palace Theater.

This place is not advertised well. Even walking past the place, it is clearly a casino, however there is little reference to the dining part. To be honest, unless I was a massive gambler, I probably would not have found this place if it was not for the Hi-Life Card.

On entry, they do want you to become a member, however they are lenient if you are over 21. Me being exactly 21, they did want me to become a member, however I actually signed up in 2009, which I completely forgot about.

Okay now onto the restaurant. Before I start I must say that one of our waitresses was a moody old cow, which slightly tarnished our experience. She just gave us the odd dirty look and had a grumpy aura about her. Seating wise, I really enjoyed my experience. It was quiet, relaxing, and had a nice view of the whole casino, giving it a pleasantly different vibe. They also had a glass kitchen giving us a view of the chefs at work. On observing them, it seemed that they worked very bloody hard, always on the go, trying to make sure that their food is a success. I think as they know they are on view, it probably gives the chefs a little added pressure to perform.

The menu was one of the main reasons I chose this restaurant, with very eye-brows raising dishes. The menu enjoys elaborate fruit fusions into the dishes and attempts to be unique. For example one of the starters includes king scallops with fresh strawberries and aged balsamic (which I'm gutted I did not choose). I for myself ordered the white crab meat with ripe mango and avocado salsa. This was my mistake, because it came out as more of a cold salad dish, but I was definitely feeling a hot dish at the time, however looking back at how the menu describes it, I should have known it was a cold dish. My companion ordered the pasta of the week for his starter which I had a try. It was spectacular. From the reactions of my other friends trying their starters too I can predict that most the early dishes will definitely please you.

For main I went for the lamb tagine, apricot and chickpeas couscous. I asked for the lamb to be pink. It was marvelous. The lamb was deliciously tender and flavoursome and was perfectly accompanied by the couscous. There is also a selection of other mains such as a duck dish with plum and cherry dressing, and various steaks. I also had a fair share of the duck dish, which I also loved. The problem with duck at other restaurants is that is soaked in a sticky sauce which would be high in flavour. This was perfect though. Cooked and seasoned the way I like it, and lightly accompanied with the yummy, distinguished sauce. We also ordered sweet potato mash sides which tasted like it was home made, and some hand cut chips, which  was one of the best I have had.

For once, due to the fantastic food, I also ordered dessert. I got the fresh strawberries with hazelnut shortbread and minted cream. I liked it. I wouldn't absolutely rave about it but it tickled my taste-buds and topped off my meal as a delightful experience. Apparently the orange and dates sticky toffee pudding was amazing though, so maybe try that next time.

If you don't have a Hi-Life card they still have a very good offer of two dishes for £14.95, or three dishes for £19.95, which for what you get is definitely a bargain. You also receive a free £5 gaming chip to have a play at the casino after.

In conclusions, ignoring the bitchy waitress (although food did come at perfect timing and dining etiquette was in order), I cannot promote this place even more. Food was amazing. Atmosphere was so cool. They really need to be promoting this place even more. If you want great food with a James Bond feel to it, definitely give this place a try.

8.5 out of 10 rating

Friday, 3 February 2012


Date: Wednesday 1st February 2012

Located on the famous Curry Mile, and rated as the best Indian on the road, possibly in Manchester. I personally feel this place has football's Scott Parker syndrome, decent but over-rated. It definitely is not the best place I have been to, far from it. But I thought it was pretty good and would probably make another visit ahead of most of the places on Curry Mile.

The place sticks out on the tacky neon lighted road as it looks classy. It has a Mughal themed look and sitting inside is definitely a different experience to other restaurants. There was clearly a heavy investment made for things like decoration, uniform, cutlery etc. One thing I liked was the cup they served lassis and cocktails in; it was a copper like mug which was pretty cool to drink from. One thing I disliked was that I was really cold inside the restaurant, which definitely decreased my enjoyment. Also I thought the music was way too loud, making it difficult to converse with my friends.

Poppadoms and chutney were not complementary, to our disappointment. I didn't mind too much to pay but the poppadoms arrived burnt so had to be replaced. The restaurant had an original chutney which I had not tried before at other Indian restaurants. It was a red tamarind sauce which was sweet and spicy; leading me to make this my chutney of choice ahead of the classic mango chutney.

The menu wasn't too interesting, having recognized most the dishes from other Indian restaurants. However unlike some places, it was very easy to choose, as each dish had a detailed English description of what to expect. You were also allowed to be flexible, letting you choose different fillings with your choice of sauce. I went with the lamb tikka sizzler dish, with my friends going for the kahari masala fish and the saag paneer.

We ordered naan and rice to accompany our dishes. I was disappointed when the naan came out. This is me being picky, but I rather like when the full naan comes out fresh on a stand, or a basket, looking appetisingly buttered up. However here the naan was sliced into quarters on what looked like a receipt stabber. One thing that also annoyed me is that the waiter seemed to be washing the table after we were done with the poppadoms, which he also did again when the other two were done eating but I had yet to finish.

Now onto the food. Admittedly I thought it was very good. The lamb came on a sizzling hot plate. The meat was very tender and spiced to perfection. The portion was very good. The saag paneer was very tasty, however I thought it could do with more paneer pieces inside. The best dish was definitely the kahari fish. It was excellent. The fish was juicy, and the kahari flavour had a hint of sweetness making the dish marvelous.

In conclusion, although this experience was slightly tarnished by a group of loud university lads clearly on the lash, with a few improvements I think this place has potential. This was far away from the perfect meal, but I do think if they work on a few things like restaurant etiquette and making the customer comfortable, you could come away with an enjoyable evening.

7.5 out of 10 review.