Thursday, 16 October 2008

Manchester: The Modern at Urbis

I had high hopes for this place unfortunately I was a bit disappointed.

For 'fine dining' Manchester has few options. It used to have Juniper it's only Michelin starred restaurant but it's chef Paul Kitching has upped sticks to Edinburgh of all places, to give Martin and Tom a run for their money. Watch this space, they apparently have a space in the New Town and aim to open in Spring 2009. With Paul gone, Michael Caines seems to have the city to himself as Abode seems to get consistently good reviews. I am a fan of the Abode in Glasgow though I think it is a tad on the expensive side other than for lunch. We ended up choosing the Modern as it had a very interesting cocktail list and the menu sounded promising. It is locates in the Urbis which is the main exhibition space for Manchester. It is on the top floor and has some pretty spectacular views.

My duck starter was a bit underwhelming.

The smoked duck was tasteless, the potted duck was moist but tasteless too and the tartare tasty but only due to the liberal use of Worchestire sauce used in it's making.

HI's whitebait were rather more successful

served in a natty little cone they went down easily with a lively tartare sauce.

Our friends starters seemed ok but did not elicit any rapturous declarations of love, but then they did have soup and salad. Nothing wrong with soup and salad, and I agree I suppose what I am getting at is that it is a fairly safe menu, which is a little too tame in my opinion for one of Manchester's contenders.

Nick's soup was tasty

Nicky's goats cheese salad was good enough

The mains were equally underwhelming. I love Rabbit and had high hopes for mine but it was full of grisly bits and seemed quite tough.

I ended up leaving most of it, which is a rare occurrence.

Nicky's salmon seems ok,

Nick's steak seemed over cooked, and I don't remember him being asked how he wanted it done and when you compare it to the one I cooked at the weekend..

HI's mutton looked pretty and was full of flavour and probably the best main.

I feel as if I am being harsh so on the plus side the chips were good and I had a particularly good glass of white Torrontes Alamos from Argentina.
We opted not to have any puddings for despite leaving most of my main course myself and the others seems pretty full. All in all we had a very pleasant evening, catching up with some friends we hadn't seen in a long time, in a lovely environment with attentive service but we came away thinking it was expensive for what we got so I don't reckon Michael has anything to worry about.

1 comment:

Trekkie said...

Unfortunately, good chips do not a fine dining experience make. The only culinary experience I have with Manchester is that I got food poisoning there and spent most of a weekend being ill. On the plus side of it though, I did lose 9lbs!!!!!