The We Love Cheshire Team certainly love their food – from real proper pub grub to fine dining and anything super tasty in between. From an early age Madam JoJo has always had a passion for food and for me, it’s been my life and career forever!
We were kindly invited by Kat from Echo PR to head over to Manchester to review James Martin’s brand new restaurant, James Martin Manchester. Wow! Being avid fans of Saturday Kitchen, the excitement was hard to contain and I accepted the invitation immediately!
We travelled to Manchester last night in the WLC MINI amidst much foodie excitement. We were not disappointed.
James Martin Manchester is located away from the main gaming floor of the Manchester235 Casino on its own mezzanine floor. Once in the restaurant, you wouldn’t know that you were within a casino. The historic Great Northern warehouse features remain such as exposed brick work and industrial chic steel girders. Combine this with dark wooden floors, rustic style fabrics and artwork, a relaxed environment and perfect lighting it all makes for an incredible dining experience.
We were greeted and seated by (the delightful) Liam, all the while taking in our surroundings – we knew we were in for a real GREAT BRITISH treat!
Unlike anything else you may have seen before, the restaurant hosts ‘The Meat Market’ – a unique, walk-in fridge with the different cuts of meat hanging on show. The different cuts and producers are well described on the menu to help you choose the perfect steak. (We will return to experience the Yorkshire Wagyu for sure!).
The menu was the perfect size and balance of classic, seasonal dishes of the highest quality and utilising James’ favourite local British butchers, fishmongers, game dealers, farmers and cheese makers.
We started off with sparkling Voss water and a delightful South African Chenin Blanc, reasonably priced at £15.75. Our waiter, Christian, delivered a selection of fresh homemade crusty bread with the ever so amazing, homemade butter.
This is where we have to give a little mention to the butter! Everyone who watches Saturday Kitchen knows that James Martin likes butter. Correction, loves butter! The homemade butter didn’t just stop at the beginning of the evening! Christian presented a selection of homemade butters with the main course – red wine & shallot, smoked tomato and chilli to name just two!
We were spoiled for choice with the menu but luckily James had tweeted us earlier in the day recommending the Thai crab risotto, lemon grass, kaffir lime and chilli (I chose this) and the seared west coast hand dived scallops, black pudding and a tamarind, palm sugar and ginger chutney (for Madam JoJo).
For the main course, Christian was very helpful and recommended the rib-eye for JoJo (with proper chips and onion rings) and the most divine sauce we have ever tasted – bone marrow and black truffle. The steak was cooked to perfection and it was sheer indulgence to dip a fat, proper chip into the amazing sauce – heavenly!
I opted for the slow roast belly of Redhill pork, braised cheek, pickled baby apple and cider sauce. The presentation of this dish was stunning and the belly pork was a perfect combination of melt in the mouth meat with incredible crackling on top. I absolutely LOVED the pickled baby apples that accompanied this dish, truly inspirational.
Even though we were both rather full at this point, we know that Chef Martin is a proper pudding man, so we had to try them out. JoJo opted for Vanilla Panna Cotta, warm doughnuts, apple and blackberries. I went for his signature pud, (hot) sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce and condensed milk ice cream. I can only describe it as a ‘cuddle on a spoon’! Amazing!
We had just enough room for a coffee served with homemade sweet treats before heading home.
The price point at James Martin Manchester is just right, this is fabulous British food with Starters ranging from £6.95 to £10.50 and Mains from £12.25. If you are in the mood to spoil yourself there is the 8oz Wagyu fillet for £49, great value too. Wine starts at £15.75 a bottle.
All in all, we had an excellent experience with both food and service. For those looking for a strictly classic British menu in the heart of Manchester we recommend a visit to James Martin Manchester. We will definitely be back!