Pollock, caramelised onion, hazelnut artichoke and mussels

Eating out in Manchester

Restaurant Review: The French, Manchester

I’ve been desperate to try The French for some time now, after getting a glimpse into the talented world of Simon Rogan from a number of trips to Mr Cooper’s House & Garden. I was keen to do the full French experience with the ten course taster menu, but this called for a special occasion. And my recent birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I’m pleased to report that The French did not disappoint – it was completely faultless in every aspect. The service was impeccable and every dish was utterly delicious (I finished everything on each plate, which is no mean feat after ten courses). What impressed me most was how well this culinary journey was planned. The beautiful presentation helped to tell a story and the carefully chosen combination of ingredients and matching wines completed the tale. Even on my slightly adapted pescetarian menu you could see – and taste – the great deal of thought behind the menu. When a course was especially rich (like the butter braised cabbage with crab, goats butter and crow garlic) the dish that followed (pickled beetroot with beenleigh blue cream, violet mustard, linseeds and walnut) was perfectly fresh and light.

Keen to savour the experience to its fullest, I decided against taking my bulky DSLR camera to The French, but I couldn’t help but photograph the stunning dishes on my iPhone. Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures below (in my eagerness to delve in I missed photographing the halibut with blewits, turnip and dandelion). The only way to get a real feel for the quality of this experience is to visit The French for yourself; I’m already planning my next trip.

A trio of canapés to start:

Dock pudding, English mustard
Dock pudding, English mustard
Kale with westcombe and garlic
Kale with westcombe and garlic
Pine grilled prawn
Pine grilled prawn
Yellow turnip dumplings, horseradish and parsley with a broth of barbecued mushrooms
Yellow turnip dumplings, horseradish and parsley with a broth of barbecued mushrooms
Carrots in coal oil, goats cheese, sunflower shoots and pumpkin seeds
Carrots in coal oil, goats cheese, sunflower shoots and pumpkin seeds
Butter braised cabbage with crab, goats butter and crow garlic
Butter braised cabbage with crab, goats butter and crow garlic
Pickled beetroot with beenleigh blue cream, violet mustard, linseeds and walnut
Pickled beetroot with beenleigh blue cream, violet mustard, linseeds and walnut
Pollock, caramelised onion, hazelnut artichoke and mussels
Pollock, caramelised onion, hazelnut artichoke and mussels
Forced Yorkshire rhubarb with toasted oats, sheep’s milk and perilla
Forced Yorkshire rhubarb with toasted oats, sheep’s milk and perilla
Caramel custard, barley malt biscuit, sorrel, baked squash
Caramel custard, barley malt biscuit, sorrel, baked squash
Sass ‘n’ soda
Sass ‘n’ soda
A birthday treat
A birthday treat

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