Manchester House holds a special place in our greedy hearts. The whole family loves it here and we have been going at least once a year since it first opened. We especially like to visit at Christmas time, when the decorations are up and it feels fantastically festive. This year was the first time we’ve been since Aiden Byrne took on an advisory role in the Living Ventures group and handed over the head chef reins to Nathaniel Tofan. I can happily report the food was as good as ever, here’s what we had:
We started with a chef’s selection of appetisers, which are the first three courses from the 10-course taster menu. First was a nori rice cracker with pickled mushrooms and smoked anchovy, followed by a sourdough cracker with pickled radish and kale puree. But the highlight for me was the dainty ‘ice cream cone’, filled with onion mousse and topped with truffle and dessert wine jelly then topped with crispy potato.
My starter was torched mackerel with fermented turnip and dashi – a Japanese cooking stock. It was deliciously fresh and each ingredient was bursting with flavour, without overpowering the mackerel.
Next, a special mention must be made for the bread. These fluffy rolls of sourdough were warm and totally scrumptious, served with salty butter and onion crumb. Yum!
My main course was roast pollock with fermented grains, parsley root and burnt onions. Again, every element of this was full of flavour in its own right, but worked perfectly together. And, because we’re greedy, we added on some side orders of triple-cooked chips and broccoli.
The dessert was a combination of all of my favourite sweet flavours; pear with muscovado and chocolate and gingerbread ice cream. The shards of gingerbread and brandy snap added a festive touch to this scrumptious dessert.
Finally, we were treated to some petit fours with our coffees, the first being a cherry macaroon which I ate too fast to photograph. Then there was this gorgeous little teacake, filled with yuzu jelly and marshmallow then covered in bitter chocolate and dusted with matcha green tea.
And last but definitely not least were these beautiful little chocolate creations. The whole meal was absolutely gorgeous and it was such a treat to return here again.