Friday, 25 October 2013

Jack Spratt - Season 2 Episode 5

Date: Friday 18th October 2013


Woah! What is this? Second review in the same week? Well you know, I like to spoil you guys! Nothing makes me happier than hearing about the Nurbites taking one of my recommendations.

So the past few weeks, I've been entertaining myself with YouTube videos such as The best of Phil Mitchell and Eastenders Pow Remix. This got me thinking that I need to get back to my roots, allow all these American and Asian places, and review a classic British joint. What better than this little gem on John Dalton Street, Jack Spratt.

I've actually been here a few times before. It was the reasonable prices of their set menus and the cool, laid back atmosphere that always drew me back. The environment does make it out that it is fine dining, but at the same time gives that British pub feel. The food has also always been decent, and again they didn't disappoint.

Firstly, I must say, service is always impeccable. They act like its their own restaurant, like they want to be there, which sometimes I don't get the impression at some other establishments. The restaurant always have a specials board which the waiter points out, so always worth taking a look before choosing your dish. The set menu offered is priced two courses for £13 or three for £17. They then have a further monthly specials menu (not the board) where dishes are individually priced.

So we began with the home made bread, which comes with some butters and oils. One of the butter sticks was infused with chili which was pretty great. The main I ordered was the lamb belly, which I haven't tried before, with my wife ordering the steak. The portions were skewed, hers quite big mine not so big, so I had to take some of her food (she wasn't impressed). Firstly, the lamb belly, it is like nothing I have tried before. You could tell it was lamb, but the texture was very different, quite juicy. The steak was a very, very good steak. We also asked for some peppercorn sauce which the chef specially prepared for us, with no extra charge. The steak also came with some incredible chunky chips. The chips for sure gets the 'melts in your mouth' stamp!

When the meal was over we actually hung for a while longer, conversing over the candle light. The restaurant sets the mood for a perfect evening with the atmosphere, but is also complemented with delicious food too. If you asked me where to take a girl on a first date, this place would be high on my list. If you do manage to pull by using my recommendations, think of me whilst doing the dirty.

I know for sure that this little place will be a regular for myself. If not for a steak then perhaps a cheeky burger!

8.5 out of 10 rating.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Australasia - Season 2 Episode 4

Date: 22nd October 2013

Wagwan Nurbites!


Apologies for being away for so long! Been very, very busy. From getting married in Chicago (via an incredible stag in Vegas) to hanging in Miami, and honey-mooning in Jamaica, I have for sure been well fed! The food on my trips has been incredible! But nothing is better than being back home to Mad-chester, the home of the Rolls Royce, the center of the universe. Manchester is the greatest place this earth has seen. Well not quite, but it is home!

Having dined at several great restaurants in Manchester recently, I thought I'd come back with a bang with a place many have heard about in Manchester. Australasia oozes class from their Louvre style stairway entry to the high tech DJ playing with what it seems a 40 inch iPad! We were sat in a booth which was excellent for privacy, giving the place the slight edge if you prefer the more intimate vibe.

The menu had 3-4 sections, sushi, smaller plates and bigger plates. The waiter liked to talk about waves, bringing the meal in 2 or 3 parts but we wanted it all to come together. We treated the restaurant like an Asian tapas bar and so we all ordered 3 dishes each planning to share everything. This was nice as it gave us like ten different small dishes to try. The drinks menu actually came on an iPad which was cool to browse through.

Before the food came, the waiter came over with a fresh piece of wasabi and grated a portion of it on our table. Never seen this from a restaurant so was a nice touch (although seemed like a lot of effort from his part!). When the food came out, just about fitting on our table, the first thing we noticed was presentation. It was impeccable! Everything looking delicious. I would show you pictures but I don't like to give away too much spoilers for you and ruin the experience.

From what I tried, the sushi was great, but for the price not spectacular. The beef skewers stuck out to me as a gem, very flavoursome. The squid tempura, and the prawn and wasabi mix were pretty average. The dish I had heard about most was the expensive black cod. We ordered two of them as it was something everyone wanted to try. It was great, but I'm not sure if it warrants the fame it gets. Sure it is quite different, something you would not have tried elsewhere, but for me it was not the 'melts in your mouth' experience.

Now onto dessert. Fans have probably realised I don't really have a sweet tooth, and due to my lack of passion for the sweet dishes I tend to shy away from talking too much about them. It was due to the also hyped Mango soufflé with coconut ice-cream and mango soup, that I left a little space for this. When the soufflé smothered in the 'mango soup' and the ice cream touched my lips, this was the highlight of my meal...possibly my week. It was just delightful. The explosion of flavours in my mouth, the textures complementing each other ever so perfectly. This was the elite of desserts.

The restaurant decor is very impressive, and is a must if you just want to hang out, or impress someone. I was a tad disappointed with the food, however I did give it incredibly high expectations. The dessert though made me leave the place on a high, and may be the thing that forces me to return again.

8 out of 10 rating.