Having heard good things about the Northern Quarter Restaurant from various quarters (pun intended), I decided to take my parents to check out the excellent lunch deal of two courses for £9.95.
The Northern Quarter Restaurant or ‘TNQ’ can be found next to Manchester’s long established Market Restaurant and over the road from Sweet Mandarin (voted us Gordon Ramsay’s Best Local Chinese Restaurant) and opposite the Victorian frontage of the old Smithfield’s Fish Market.
The Michelin Guide states that it is a ‘Friendly, modern restaurant with floor to ceiling windows.’ with ‘Keenly priced, seasonal menus,’ which, ‘Offer classic dishes presented in a modern style.’ We certainly found this to be true.
My chosen starter was the Salt and pepper squid with noodle salad - The squid itself was beautifully tender and served in a delicious, crunchy, spiced crumb. The noodle salad was served cold and I found the chilli sauce far too sweet. The ‘salt’ element was also lacking… and didn’t do what it said on the tin. I would have enjoyed this dish more if it was called, ‘Sweet chilli squid with noodle salad.’
My father went for the Smoked salmon, caper and watercress salad – he said the salmon was good quality and very tasty. The salad looked crisp and fresh.
My mother opted for the seasonal Spiced pumpkin, sage and walnut salad with curry oil – Overall, this dish was well received. She found that the pumpkin seeds were a little too fibrous, having not been roasted enough her liking - it was good to see them used however. The curry oil and spicing on the pumpkin were commented upon favorably.
For my main I chose the Crab linguini with chilli and garlic – the dish had a good chilli kick to it. The portion of crab was quite paltry, perhaps reflected in the price.
My father chose the Cheshire beef burger with cheese and fries – a small portion but well prepared and cooked.
My mother’s Pan fried fillet of Sea bass with niçoise salad looked very tasty and well put together. The egg was nicely poached and the three pieces of sea bass had good colour. The olives looked plump and the tomatoes fresh and flavoursome.
All in all, we found the restaurant very welcoming and a I felt it was great place for a quick lunch in comfortable surroundings away from the busier city centre eateries. I’ll certainly be going back when out shopping in the future.
It would be interesting to see what the place it like in the evenings – when I’ve checked it out, I’ll get back to you!