Beef & Pudding – Manchester

Beef & Pudding

I have been waiting for an excuse to be in Manchester to visit Beef & Pudding however since its opening early April I haven’t found myself in Manchester at for an appropriate occasion. With life reluctant in giving me opportunities to visit, I decided to make the trip for the soul purpose of dinning at this New Moon Pub.

Upon arrival my first observation was the look and feel, with a slightly stripped back look with plenty of wood and metal you got an idea of the type of restaurant you were in right away. This theme of design has become more and more popular in the dinning scene however Beef & Pudding have tweaked it to make it their own.

Straight away from being welcomed and seated it was evident that the staff were friendly, welcoming and competent. Our host shared with us the specials menu and regretted to inform us that they were out of the most popular dish “The Pudding“. Slightly disappointed that I would not be able to try their signature dish however the menu was divers and plentiful with remarkable sounding British and unique dishes. The wine list gave a great selection of wines and understandably many were sold by the bottle only. Unfortunately we were only able to buy by the glass due to driving however we very much enjoyed the “2012 Granfort Merlot“.

We decided to start the evening off with the “Artisan bread selection with oil & balsamic“. The breads were soft and pleasant and they used extra virgin rapeseed oil and a some sort of balsamic glaze for dipping rather then the typical olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The rapeseed oil tasted fresh and worked well with the sweet tanginess of the balsamic.

For mains I was infatuated by the special that resembled “The Big Boner” found on the Dirty Food Thursday Menu however, this fore rib of beef was served with skinny fries and a blue cheese sauce. We also ordered the “Lamb Breast, Pumpkin & Honey Salad” from the main menu consisting of crispy lamb breast, roasted pumpkin, Bax’s Knutsford honey & toasted cumin raita.

fore rib of beef special

Crispy Lamb Breast Salad

The fore rib of beef served with the blue cheese sauce was cooked to perfection, the meat was succulent and bursting with flavour. Not a single bit of this under appreciated cut of meat was tough or chewy, the meat was tender and the fat melted in your mouth. Over all a beautifully cooked fore rib of beef. The blue cheese sauce that accompanied the beef had the perfect balance of taste, it didn’t over power the flavour of the meat but was strong enough to fully enjoy.

The crispy lamb salad held all the depth of flavours, with the sweetness from the honey and the slight ethnicity from the cumin this salad was a great way to have a taste of the once great empire. The salad was flavoursome, fresh and satisfying without the feeling of guilt afterwards, just what a salad should be!

For desert we ordered “A Real Sticky Toffee Pudding” and the “Jam-Jar Lemon Cheesecake” with an Eton Mess top. The pudding was moist, the toffee sauce was sweet and delicious and the vanilla ice-cream was creamy and the combination amounted to a tremendous flavour. The cheesecake was a nice idea but I felt that it confused the tastebuds to much, I wasn’t sure whether I was eating a lemon cheesecake or a red berry cheesecake. The dish was very pleasant however I feel that some of the dimensions were lost through to having two very powerful flavours competing.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

cheesecake

From first impressions of the menu some may consider it being slightly on the pricy side, now I have had the chance to experience the quality of the food and the size of the dishes I have no doubt that The Beef & Pudding is great value. The food was amazing and full of flavour, you get the feeling the meals were cooked and prepared with pride and compassion. The front of house staff also display a degree of passion in what they do and where they work. Our waiters were friendly and helpful and the overall service was flawless. Beef & Pudding gets my overall approval & is perfect for anyone looking for an informal and relaxing atmosphere with great food at good value.

Food: 5   Service: 5   Atmosphere: 5   Value: 4

Review issued by Jonathan – Good Food Nation

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Splendid Sausage Co. – Manchester

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A good hot dog goes a long way and a great hot dog will make your day! While in Manchester I thought it rude to visit without trying a Splendid Sausage Co. hot dog as they have only been open a few weeks and I have been hearing some ‘Splendid’ things about them.

The menu was up in the window for any passer-by-ers to have a look and immediately I was in suspense to what these creations would taste like. The combos showed some true imagination without being too radical.

Menu

The Dogs that stood out from the rest were The King, The J.Y.D and The Danger Dog. The King arrived and was as crazy as it sounds, a beef hot dog topped with bacon, bacon bits banana fritters, mustard and peanut butter powder! This collection of flavours was unique and the flavours worked together brilliantly. The J.Y.D was another success story of a hot dog. This pork and herb sausage was accompanied with chilli, bacon, fried onion, sauerkraut topped with three cheeses and chicken bites. This hot dog was full of flavour and very satisfying. The flavours were less extreme in comparison to other hot dogs served but the flavours were done right. The final dog was The Danger Dog, this spice pork dog was served with bacon, fried onions, three cheeses and to add the spice it was garnished with jalapeños, jalapeños pretzel pieces and the Splendid Sausage Co.’s very own hot sauce. This dog would put hairs on your chest and warmth in your heart, it was a great tasting dog with a kick to bring you back to reality. All three of these hot dogs were truly Splendid.

all the food

Now you can’t go out for a dirty dog without trying some of the funky sides. The Buffalo Chicken Bites were tangy and tasty. The meat was moist and the flavour was strong. The Bacon, Buffalo & Blue Fries were a delight. It could be fair to say that this side of fries is on par with the best sides tasted here on Good Food Nation. The three toppings complimented each other well while giving a full flavour sensation. Finally The Splendid Fries were a real soul pleaser. Everyone loves fries and gravy but when they are accompanied with sausage pieces and bacon there isn’t much that you could complain about.

Over all this experience was wonderful as the food was fantastic and the service was impeccable, the staff were helpful, friendly and attentive. The best thing about this joint is that the price was equally was pleasant. At £8 on average for a combo hot dog, this is truly a tribute to american hot dogs without paying for the novelty like you may find in many other restaurants of this style. The only negative point to be made was the atmosphere, while there there was only one other table eating there however this to be expected for a restaurant that has only recently opened. I hope that this restaurant gets the popularity it deserves in good time.

I would recommend this restaurant to anyone board of the plain hot dogs usually found around the UK and anyone else who just fancies a good chow-down on some good flavour.

Food: 4   Service: 5   Atmosphere: 1   Value: 5

Review issued by Jonathan – Good Food Nation

Moose Coffee – Manchester

Moose Coffee Logo

Another trip to Manchester was more than overdue and after arriving in Manchester early morning to meet the farther in-law for the day, it was agreed that a good breakfast was in order. After exploring around we came across Moose Coffee and after a quick look at the very large menu consisting of state-side style food we were convinced.

Once seated and drinks were ordered the challenging effort of choosing a meal from the menu began. Our experience of real American and Canadian food from the North American continent resulted in real excitement when discovering they served the real favourites with their own Moose twist.

Particular dishes that stood out were the New Orleans Moose, Liberty Moose and the Grande Bouche. These all sounded great and you can’t go wrong with eggs done right.

New Orlines

Liberty Moose

Grande Brouche

While looking through the menu our waiter informed us that the dishes that were usually found on the specials board were made a permanent feature and were now in the menu.

Specials Again these dishes sound great and if done right none of these dishes would fail to please. It is understandable why these were on a specials board. I know that a lot of these dishes are on the savoury side of a breakfast and when thinking of state-side cuisine you also think of the sweet, but don’t worry they have it covered. Not only do they have an array of pancakes and waffles with different toppings but they have two specialties for the true pancake lovers.

Pancake Specials

We finally come to a decision and placed an order. The food arrived relatively promptly and on arrival the appearance was a slight disappointment. The Bronx Brunch from the specials looked more like a bubble and squeak than a potato hash. The potatoes were over cooked and mashed rather than hashed. Although all the taste was there the dish did fail to amaze. The New York Moose that consisted of two poached Eggs Benedict with parma ham on a lightly toasted bagel was a disappointment as well. The eggs were over cooked diminishing the satisfaction that everyone finds in  breaking the egg yolk and arrived looking like something from a Ridley Scott film. The waiter apologised for the egg and a new dish was served. The second time around the eggs were cooked lovely however the hollandaise sauce was ice cold and the bagel was tough as if it was just reheated from the first attempt.

Eggs Benidict Bronx Bruch

Over all the food would score just below acceptable. Although the staff were very pleasant and attentive the food just didn’t satisfy. I perhaps would not yet recommend Moose Coffee to people until the pancakes and waffles are tried as the savoury dishes were way below expectations. The staff however were great and the restaurant was well designed and had a great atmosphere. Regarding the value, I would not class this establishment as good value at £10 per person for a breakfast and drink until they master a iconic dish such as Eggs Benedict and are able to cook potato hash to taste like anything other than mash potato with stuff in it.

It is a shame as high hopes were healed for Moose Coffee as the menu is great and the idea is wonderful however it just needs to be excited better.

Food: 1   Service: 4   Atmosphere: 4   Value: 2

Review issued by Jonathan – Good Food Nation

Wood. Wine & Deli – Manchester

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After a day pottering around Manchester I paid a visit to the Wood. Wine & Deli for an early Sunday night dinner. After 5pm they stopped serving hot food & they only served the platters. This was perfectly fine with me as I was very much looking forward to trying one of these platters as I haven’t been to many restaurants that offer food boards.

The venue itself was very rustic with ropes hanging from the ceiling and lots of wooden features. The bar was cleverly designed using planks of wood and the chairs at the bar were made from tree trunks.

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The boards on offer gave so much variety, there would never be any issues with finding something that sounds appealing. The wine selection was just as good with a great variety of wines from all over the world. With only a handful of wines being sold by the glass, this would defiantly be a place for to go when your wanting to wind down after a long day with friends to enjoy a bottle… or two of great tasting wine.

wineI decided to order A Taste of Spain as I have a love for mediterranean style food and this was just the ticket. I also ordered a Selection of Bread & a Selection of Crackers. This allowed me to get a good feel for the quality of food at Wood. I would love to try The Grand Board but could not justify a board adequate for 8 people so next time I’ll bring more friends.

MenuThe breads and crackers arrived with olives and dips nicely presented. The Bread was firm with a rye bread like texture. The two crackers where crisp with one being spiced leaving a tingle in the mouth and the other with less to allow you to fully appreciate the taste of the creamy hummus and the very fresh tasting tzatziki. The green olives were very fleshy and flavoursome however the black olives were milder then expected but the oils they were served in were great for dipping. 

Bread & CrackersShortly after the breads & crackers when the board was brought out, I was impressed with its aesthetics & the taste was on par with its appearance. The olives were as good as the previous dish & the anchovies were like none I have ever tasted before, with a sweet fish taste and a hint of saltiness they were in keeping with the mediterranean flavours. The patatas bravas surprised me as I was unaccustomed to it being chilled with all the right flavours being there. The spanish tortilla was good however I feel that it slightly lacked flavour due to it containing too much potato and not enough of the flavour bearing ingredients.  The chorizo also had a more mild flavour however went well with the flavours of the chick pea salad.

IMG_2451The food was great & the wine was mellow & warming, this in addition to the rustic & chilled atmosphere resulted in a fantastic relaxing evening. I would recommend Wood Wine & Deli to anyone who is looking for an evening of fine wine, good sharing food & a chilled experience. The service was brilliant with no issues, the quality of the food was great as well as wonderful value, two glasses of wine, two “starters” & a main board coming in at under £35. My experience was one to remember & I look forward to visiting again.

Apperience

Food: 4   Service: 5   Atmosphere: 4   Value: 4

Review issued by Jonathan – Good Food Nation

Almost Famous – Manchester

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Almost Famous caught my eye when a friend posted a picture of a burger she had eaten online and straight away I wanted to venture to Manchester and see if it tasted as good as it looked! I had been planning on going to Almost Famous with my partner and her father as we are all food lovers as well as burger lovers. Unfortunately the day I had actually moved plans to make a trip to Manchester the worst happened… it burnt down!

hallwork-4731410This trip to a potential burger holy ground was put on hold to my dismay. Shortly after however I received the great news that Almost Famous was reopening in a new location. I waited impatiently for the reopening of this burger Shangri-la!

I finally managed to make plans to make my way to Manchester and give this restaurant a try. The hype about this restaurant meant that no stone would go unturned, I wanted the whole experience. On arrival there was a little wait as they run a no booking service and is first come first serve. The restaurant is fitted with a bar in the centr were you could get a real feel for the atmosphere and the bar staff were friendly and made good conversation. I asked recommendations for burgers and they were very switched on and knew the menu well, they all had there own personal favourites which must be a good sign of the food.

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We were at the bar for about 10 minutes before our table was ready, just enough time to have a round of drinks and a chat. The bar menu offered a good range of beers and soft drinks at a reasonable prices and would have made a good evening in itself. When we sat down we looked at the menu and to our amazement there were burger combinations that sounded great as well as original. Never had I thought of putting bacon frazzles in a burger…

Almost Famous Menu

With the combinations of ingredients within the burgers there are choices for everyones taste and no one would feel left out… Except maybe vegetarians. We finally ordered The River Phoenix, The Animal Burger and The Baddaboom along with a portion of Pig ‘N’ Waffle, Redneck Crack Wings and Winning Fries.

Badaboom

burgers!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the food arrived it immediately looked and smelt enticing. Each burger tasted like no other, the beef was juicy and full of flavour with a complete balance of all the different ingredients giving you a full flavour experience. The Wings were saucy and succulent with the fries cooked to perfection. The Pig ‘N’ Waffle deserve recognition in their own right as the pulled pork itself would had satisfied a barbecue connoisseur and on top of potato waffles with a crisp outer coating and fluffy core.

After what I can only describe as a burger life experience I wanted to know if the sweet was as good as the savoury. The deserts came not as I expected,  they were served on a frisbee and consisted of the same creativity as the burgers.

Pretzel sundae AllSundaes

The atmosphere was ideal, lively and warming. The decoration was funky and what you would expect from a modern burger joint, graffiti and modern artwork all around. Coming to Almost Famous was a new experience to burgers,  you have the experience of eating a real (naughty) burger without feeling like your in that stereotypical american dinner, more like a trendy urban modern bar. I loved the fact that this restaurant isn’t trying to be something its not, the meals looks great but not due to dressing it up and giving the food a makeover but due to the quality of the ingredients cooked the way a real burger should be.

The price of this all was a lot less than expected, with a lot of burger joints that offer what I would class as a real burger you tend to have to pay for the luxury however at an average of £8 a burger your laughing. The only suggestions I could make for this restaurant would be waitering staff to take orders, although going up to the bar isn’t a major problem it sometimes dose feel a bit like a chore. Perhaps a table booking service would be good as well however the wait wasn’t a problem on my visit. Overall I give Almost Famous Manchester a strong recommendation and will be making a trip back very soon!

Food: 5   Service: 2   Atmosphere: 5   Value: 5

Review issued by Jonathan – Good Food Nation