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Late last year, the nice folk at Manchester Confidential invited us to dinner at Restaurant Bar and Grill. The food was, as the kids say*, epic, as was the wine and the service. It was a brilliant night.
Such a good time was had that we decided to blow away some post Christmas cobwebs, put our hands in our pockets and go back for another night at the very start of January.
On the first Friday of the year, I had half expected to be the only ones in there, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the dining room already buzzing when we arrived at 8pm.
We decided to share an Asian plate to start as we enjoyed it so much the last time. Being a complete hero, Andrew let me have all of the salt and chilli squid and I still think it is the best chilli squid I have ever had. It’s also worth mentioning again that the pineapple relish with the duck spring rolls is worth the cost of the dish!
Being the sad food geek that I am, I already knew what I was having for my main course days before we went. Monkfish cooked in the tandoor oven was on my radar last time we visited, but our charming waiter had insisted we go for the chateaubriand. So this time, I was determined. I would not waiver!
I love monkfish for its really meaty texture, but I must admit that I don’t cook it very often because I don’t know what to do with it. I have tried wrapping it in parma ham and chucking it in fish stew, but RBG had it bob-on. It came in a lemony spice crust. I was expecting the flavours to be delicate, but no, they really stood up to the fish. I’d been under the weather for a couple of weeks, and this really perked me up! The heat was noticeable, and the mix of spices (of which I could not name one as it was three weeks ago) was perfect. The meat had stayed wonderfully moist in the tandoor- I suspect is was a very hot, very quick cook.
The monkfish came with some lovely lemony rice and a choice of sauce. Our waitress suggested that the coconut and lime leaf was a perfect match, but being adverse to overly coconutty things, I opted for a very refreshing mint sauce which was needed to balance the chilli in the spice mix.
Over on the other side of the table, his nibs was chowing down on a very nice piece of 35 day aged ribeye. His only complaint was that he wished stuff would come rare when asked. He thinks restaurants are scared of sending stuff out rare. At the same time, the bloke on the table next to me was sending a massive piece of meat back to the kitchen to be cremated. I could have wept. Anyway, hubby still says that they are the best onion rings in the world- high praise from the onion ring king!
I really shouldn’t have had dessert, but I wasn’t drinking so I justified it that way. Only fools diet in January! I was disappointed that the macaroons I couldn’t fit in on my last visit were no longer on the menu. But a black forest Eaton mess was! My choice may have also had something to do with the fact that Andrew hates cream. A great pile of teeny chewy brownie pieces, juicy cherries, meringues, ice cream and chocolate. Sugar coma in a bowl, but worth every one of the million calories. Just thinking about it, I could really eat one right one!
All in all, another fantastic meal. Yes it was a little bit pricey but the whole package you get there makes it a worthwhile treat. I’m already planning another trip soon!
Restaurant Bar & Grill Manchester
14 John Dalton Street, Manchester M2 6JR
0161 839 1999
*what do I know what ‘the kids’ say- I don’t even know what’s in the hit parade these days!