Friday, 30 September 2011

Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols, Manchester

A typical Sunday for my wife and I usually involves popping into Manchester for a mooch about the shops. Unsurprisingly, my requirements for the day’s itinerary typically comprises of (parking in Chinatown) going in to all of the Chinese grocery stores; the fish mongers in the Arndale and then onto the food hall in Selfridges and the deli / food emporium in Harvey Nicks.

My wife’s ‘must dos’ normally include an hour or so in Primark, then onto Hotel Chocolat, Lush and Pandora. Despite our differing ‘shopping’ agendas, one thing we both equally enjoy about our Sunday shopping trip is the, invariably lengthy, ‘discussion’ about where to have lunch (I say discussion, somehow I generally get my own way!)


We often visit the Harvey Nichols bar for drinks and light bites and have been meaning to dine in the restaurant for some time. Recently, I have been hearing increasingly positive things about the ‘Second Floor Restaurant’ and after reading their entry in the ‘Relish Greater Manchester & Cheshire’ book and noting they they have been nominated as 'Restaurant of the Year' in the Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) 2011 Awards, decided that it was about time we stopped talking about it and went to see for ourselves.


The Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols overlooks Exchange Square, The Shambles and the Arndale and Triangle shopping centres. The area was regenerated extensively after the 1996 IRA bombings and as well as being the site for branches of the prestigious Harvey Nicks, Selfridges and the world’s largest Next store, is the location for the Wheel of Manchester.


After five years working in the restaurant, Chef Stuart Thompson was promoted to the Head Chef position in 2009 and has been nominated as 'Chef of the Year' in this year's MFDF Awards. Originally from Edinburgh, Stuart dreamt of becoming an electrician when he grew up which gives me ample opportunity to make lots of puns about how electrifyingly good the dishes were and how the menu lit up my face – but I really should resist and pull the plug on these shocking jokes before I get carried away. Go on then, one more before I get to the serious stuff (the food)… the champagne cocktail aperitif was sparkling!




As well as menswear and the main restaurant, the ‘Second Floor’ comprises of a bar, brassiere and café area, serving food from the in-store delicatessen. All areas are sleek and modern with grey, black and white décor set off with pops of colour from modish lighting but it’s the main dining room with its crisp table linen, fine tableware and fresh flowers that is particularly striking. The floor to ceiling windows for taking in those magnificent views along with the marble floors and well-spaced tables make for one of the finest dining spaces in Manchester.  


With the knowledgeable former restaurant manager from the Michelin starred Fraiche working front of house, the service is also exemplary.  After enjoying the amuse bouche of deliciously briny plump olives and ‘Parmesan straws’ we opted for the chef’s six course tasting menu.  


The first course was a delightful Scottish salmon dish featuring a cylindrical portion of perfectly poached salmon along with a tiny triangle of toast and a smooth cream cheese. Adding texture, a crisp shard of salty salmon skin; the interesting salmon ‘jerky’ and one of my wife’s favourites, the popping salmon roe. The best thing on the plate, for me, was the citrusy kick of the salmon ceviche.


The second course was a wonderfully fresh Garden pea soup. Of all the dishes on the menu, the soup sounded the least noteworthy – however, it proved to be one of the tastiest soups I have had in a long while. Beautifully presented, perfectly seasoned with a vibrant pea green colour and a quenelle of crème fraiche.


The fish course featured a fabulous fillet of Fleetwood Brill, served with squid ink risotto, baby octopus and a sauce vierge. The brill was locally sourced from Fleetwood (about an hour from Manchester) and was just fabulous. The delicate onion rings were exquisitely crisp and the tiny tomato dice added yet more texture and sweetness. The whole dish was brilliantly conceived and executed but it was the baby octopus that especially shone - delicately cooked and meltingly tender.


The main meat course showcased suburb Slow cooked Middlewhite pork loin, served with crisp belly, kohlrabi and sauce d’epice. The pork loin was moist and flavoursome and accompanied by a delicious pork fest of crackling, a black pudding bonbon and a ridiculously good pig’s cheek hash brown.



Next, we each selected three British farmhouse cheeses from the trolley, served with Homemade bread wafers and a pear chutney. The stand out cheeses, for me, included a fine Lincolnshire Poacher, a strong and pungent Norfolk White Lady that had a Brie like texture and similarities to Époisses or Langres and a Welsh Teifi cheese, flavoured with Laverbread (seaweed).


The dessert was called Manuka Tea Set Cream – one thing I particularly enjoy about tasting menus is that you occasionally get to eat something that you probably would not choose, as was the case with this pudding. I loved this dish; it had interesting flavours and good textures, including a brown sugar jelly, apricot purée, lime confit and of course the Manuka honeycomb and creamy Manuka brûlée. Incidentally, my choice of dessert from the the À la carte would have been the ‘70% Valhrona Chocolate Soufflé with white chocolate sorbet and cocoa nibs’ which I’m sure would have been fantastic but I’m glad I had the honey dish.

My one slight criticism would be aimed at the chairs; at first I thought they looked cool but they seemed a little low and after a couple of hours sat in them I was suffering from pins and needles. As a result, we decided to skip the coffee and the playful looking lollipop petit fours in order to catch the last few shops before they shut.

Not our typical Sunday in Manchester but a pleasant change to the more informal city centre eateries that we usually frequent. We’ll definitely revisit. 


Second Floor Restaurant on Urbanspoon





Square Meal

Monday, 26 September 2011

Fraiche

One of my key reasons for starting this blog was to share dining ‘experiences’ and not to just write about what I stuff into my cake hole.


There are a few places where I have eaten phenomenal food but have not enjoyed the overall experience for other reasons – an example that springs to mind being the two-starred Pied à Terre where, in my opinion, Shane Osborn’s magnificent food was let down by the cramped dining room.

On the flipside, at restaurants such as Pierre Gagnaire’s Sketch, the décor and overall ambience seem to augment the already amazing food; which elevates the meal from more than just an amazing meal, to an amazing ‘dining experience.’

Reflecting then, on some of my favourite places at which I have eaten, they have always offered something a little extra - a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes them special and stand out from the crowd.

For example, when eating at The Fat Duck, I had such high expectations, I was a little worried that I would leave disappointed.  As it turned out, my expectations were exceeded as the food was otherworldly and somehow seemed enhanced by an inner excitement - whether I had become with infected with a passion having seen these dishes created so enthusiastically and skillfully by Heston on television; or due to a knowledge that I was dining at a place consistently ranked among the world’s best or simply because of the creativity of presentation and mindboggling molecular techniques.

Me outside Momofuku Ko
Another amazing experience comes for other reasons - at David Chang’s Momofuku Ko exclusivity and the hype surrounding it, is the key. The booking procedure is essentially a lottery; even Obama failed to secure a reservation when in town. Rocking up at the lowkey black shuttered venue, with the small Momofuku (Lucky peach) logo on the door being the only clue that you are about to join an exclusive club whose members are those lucky enough to have eaten at Ko – that’s before you even start to consider the amazing and indulgent food, such as the legendary Shaved Foie Gras With Riesling Gelée & Pine Nut Brittle.

The theatre of Sir Blumenthal and the modish mastery of His Royal Coolness, David Chang aside, other restaurants stand out for their class, their pedigree and their regal majesty. One such place is the Roux bastion that is Le Gavroche – here the amazing artworks, Roux history and plush grandeur in the heart of Mayfair makes for a experience were you can’t help but feel like you are dining among kings.

With this in mind, Fraiche – a one starred establishment, not in trendy New York, leafy Bray or royal Mayfair but in the northern industrial town of Birkenhead (albeit in Oxton Village, which, in Victorian times, was one of the more affluent spots in the North West as the home to many wealthy Liverpudlian merchants).

Some people may think I am over gilding the lily by comparing the admittedly excellent but one starred Fraiche to the two starred Ko and Gavroche and the three starred Fat Duck – but let me explain.

Like Heston, chef / proprietor Marc Wilkinson creates exciting flavoursome dishes using many molecular principles and techniques - although, unlike Heston, with his brigade of thousands, he does this alone in the kitchen. This ‘one man band’ approach makes Marc stand out. You know he has thought about, cared for and cooked every detail of your meal, a truly rare thing in a modern Michelin kitchen.

Fraiche’s food may be progressive in many ways, but the dishes are grounded in Marc’s classical French training, which he received at places such as the Chester Grosvenor and under the legendary Germain Schwab at the two-starred Winteringham Fields. Reading Marc’s bio on his website (www.restaurantfraiche.com) you will discover that the scientific approach was largely self taught from books such as Hervé ThisMolecular Gastronomy Exploring the Science of Flavour and from talking culinary trips and even stages in some of the world best restaurants including elBulli and El Celler de Can Roca.

Both David Chang and Marc Wilkinson base their business models on exclusivity. Ko serves two sittings of twelve covers a night, Fraiche an average of just eight lucky diners – even though Marc’s booking policy is nowhere near as extreme as Chang’s, you will often struggle to secure a table even with three or four months notice. Their restaurants share an ‘underground’ feel; fostered through stark black exteriors revealing little clue as to the culinary mastery that is housed within.


Once across Fraiche’s threshold the comparison to places such as, Le Gavroche becomes more apparent - whilst the Fraiche interior is much more modern, it retains a classic comfort that it shares with the Roux chef-d'oeuvre. The plush suede and leather seats in a variety of creams and umbers make for a calming atmosphere. The chilled soundtrack featuring the likes of Michael Bublé, Norah Jones and Eva Cassidy add to the overall ambience.


Ok, so Fraiche does not have the history and the original Miró, Dalí and Picasso artworks on the walls that Le Gavroche has; but what it does have is a dining room that like art affects your whole mood and being. Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” for me, Fraiche also does this - when I am sat in that extraordinary dining room with my wife, eating Marc’s visionary food, I feel so special, so relaxed and so in love.


The young front of house duo are majestically unassuming, the food seeming to apparate before your eyes. The first dish to ‘appear’ was a small bowl of Spiced Pecans – a Fraiche favourite. Along with an aperitif of one of Fraiche’s excellent Sherries, these subtly spiced nuts are always a great way to start a meal. What is more, they are one of the few of Marc’s dishes that anyone can easily attempt to reproduce at home. (Find a recipe online, cook up a batch and wow your guests at your next dinner party – if they last that long!)


Next up, some more creative and playful amuse bouches - Parmesan Ice Cream with Hazelnuts, Spiced Sesame Seed Lolly and a Pumpkin Seed Lolly. Savoury ice creams are becoming ever more popular, with Heston even selling one through his Waitrose range and as I have said before, I do like food on a stick!


Marc’s breads are always amazing and are generally served with a choice of butters, an unsalted and one with Hawaiian red salt. The first four (of the eight different bread we were served) were: Cheese, Granary & Treacle, Mixed Seed and Five Nut - the Granary & Treacle one being my favourite.


The fish starter was a real winner for me, Mussels with a Cauliflower Velouté. The combination of flavours and textures were typically creative, including a tropical hint of passion fruit in the form of a jelly, nestled beneath the plump mussels. The cauliflower velouté was served at a pleasingly hot temperature. The Sorrel Buckler Leaf (a new one on me) was delightfully citrusy - I have even ordered some seeds online to have a go at growing my own.


Following the mussels was Foie Gras with Yuzu and Apple – a beautifully assembled dish, served in attractively glazed Japanese stoneware bowls. Even though I happily eat it, Foie gras is not a favourite of mine but this, flavoured with yuzu was sublime. (Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit with a subtle sour flavour, similar to, but more delicate than a grapefruit.) The new season apples added a fresh sweetness and crisp crunch.


Four more breads: Tomato, Mushroom, Black Olive & Organic Oat – the mushroom bread being especially tasty.


The fish main was Lemon Sole. Served with Wild Rice, Oyster Leaf, Oyster Flower, Sea Buckthorn, Sea Aster and Samphire – Marc often uses the spiced puffed wild rice to cleverly season and add texture to his fish dishes. Sea buckthorn is becoming more popular on menus; this versatile tart berry can be used in desserts or to add a punch of flavour to savoury dishes, such as this. They’re healthy too! The oyster plant that provides the amazingly flavoured leaves, reminiscent of their molluscy namesake is something that I have had a few times before, although this was my first time eating the delicate, delicately flavoured flowers.


Many of us may be bemoaning the weather in a vain attempt to cling onto summer, but autumn is here and the main meat dish was the charmingly autumnal, Roasted Quail served with Artichoke Purée and Barley. I have recently ‘got into’ barley - as a nation, we are ranked among the top ten barley producers in the world but rarely seem to use it in its whole grain form (preferring to drink it in beer or whisky, perhaps?) Girolles and Shimeji Mushrooms and roasted Grelots completed the dish.


On our past couple of visits to Fraiche, the Lemongrass & Vanilla Panna Cotta with Sour Cherry pre dessert has been sadly absent from the menu; but now, due to popular demand, it has made a welcome return! I’m guessing just as a singer like Chris De Burgh is eternally duty bound to sing his hit song The Lady In Red, some chefs are always expected to cook their fabled dishes - Pierre Koffmann with his Pig's Trotters and perhaps now Marc Wilkinson with this tartly, zingy decadent pot of cherry and lemongrass bliss!


Making use of some delicious late summer raspberries the dessert of Vanilla Mouse with Fresh Raspberries, Raspberry Jelly, Raspberry Sorbet and Berry Meringue was a vibrant work of art. The full on flavours of the sorbet and jelly were simply divine. 


I love my tea and Fraiche always has an interesting selection of coffee, teas and tisanes. Normally going for the Japanese Sencha, I opted for a change and decided upon a Jasmine Chung Hao – a heavily scented jasmine tea that stood up well to the accompanying petit fours, featuring a Passion Fruit Marshmallow, Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bob-bon, a Berry Meringue and a Mediterranean Orange Chocolate.

So there we have it, an account of my latest visit to Marc Wilkinson’s most special and singular of restaurants - hopefully showing why Fraiche consistently ranks in among my favourite ‘dining experiences’ – a remarkable restaurant from a remarkable chef.

Fraiche on Urbanspoon




Thursday, 22 September 2011

CHROMA KNIVES - Charity Supper Club with Aumbry Restaurant, Gizzi Erskine & Aiden Byrne

On Monday 19th September I had the honour of attending the CHROMA KNIVES – Charity Supper Club – In aid of Action Against Hunger – with food and drink by Aumbry Restaurant.


It all started a couple of months back when @sausagemaking (the Twitter moniker of Franco, owner of Chroma Knives UK (www.chromaknives.co.uk) and Franco’s Famous Sausage Making (www.sausagemaking.org) tweeted, ‘Seriously thinking of doing a very special one off charity supper club here in Manchester, anyone want to be involved?’ (Soon followed by, ‘Do you think I should have told the wife I am having 20 strangers round?’)

Naturally, being a cheeky so and so, I thought I’d chance my arm and invite myself - not for a second believing that I’d actually secure a place! At the time I was fairly new to twitter and had only been writing my blog for a couple of months. So I feel incredibly privileged (and even a bit of a fraud) to have been invited along with ‘key food people from Manchester and London.’


The key ‘key people’ in question were the celebrity chefs Aiden Byrne (www.aidenbyrne.co.uk) and Gizzi Erskine (www.gizzierskine.com)

Gizzi Erskine and Aiden Byrne
Aiden, was there with his partner Sarah, who I have had the pleasure of meeting before at their Craxton Wood restaurant. Aiden remains the youngest chef to be awarded a coveted Michelin star. He now two successful gastropubs and a hotel restaurant/grill and has made numerous television appearances, most notably on the Great British Menu. To discover more about Aiden and his food read my posts on The Church Green and the Aiden Byrne British Grill.

Gizzi is also well known on our televisions, having presented the Cook Yourself Thin series and more recently C4’s Cookery School with the Michelin starred Richard Corrigan. Gizzi is more than just a presenter and food writer, having trained as a chef at the prestigious Leith's Cookery School in London. No stranger to the supper club concept, Gizzi had recently cooked a fabulous five course vegetarian feast at Sadie Frost's House  in aid of the Hapatitus C Trust. 

Also present were the well renowned ‘food bloggers’ Monica Sawhney and Niamh Shields.

Irish born, London based Niamh is the author of the blog ‘Eat Like a Girl’ and has recently had published ‘Comfort & Spice’ her first book. Her blog is listed in the ‘Top 10 Food Blogs in the World’ by The Times and comes ‘Highly Commended’ by the Observer Food Monthly.

All guest at the meal were treated to a signed copy of Comfort and Spice. I have not yet had a chance to try the recipes but after flicking through the book, homely and frugal Irish favourites and international dishes, inspired by her travels have already caught my eye. Over the years, I have spent a small fortune on cookbooks that look beautiful on my shelves but this one promises to be one of the few that I will use again and again! The Pumpkin Gnocchi, Homemade Paneer, Salmon Laksa and Salt & Pepper Squid will all soon, I’m sure, become family favourites.

Monica (along with her bother Ajay and mother) hosts ‘The Spice Club’, Manchester’s first and foremost ‘underground restaurant / supper club’ and writes Monica’s Spice Diary, an Indian Food Blog. The blog features restaurant reviews, chef interviews and recipes for creative and authentic Indian dishes. I guess I’ll soon be trying Niamh’s recipe for home made paneer with Monica’s recipe for Punjabi Paneer Mattar.

The Aumbry team hard at work.
Enough about the guests, Franco did a great job securing the services of two of Manchester’s most exciting young and talented chefs – Mary Ellen McTague and her husband Laurence Tottingham from Aumbry Restaurant in Prestwich.

Prior to opening Aumbry in 2009, the couple worked at the Michelin starred Sharrow Bay in Cumbria and spent four years working for the brilliant Heston Blumenthal at the three starred Fat Duck.

Since opening Aumbry has won 'Best Restaurant' at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival and Lancashire Life named them 'Lancashire Restaurant of the Year'. Based on the food we ate, I am eagerly expecting to be editing this list to include a Michelin star of their own when the 2012 Guide for UK and Ireland is published on the 6th of October this year.

Having whet your appetite, I’m sure you want to know more about this phenomenal food. Using the finest locally sourced produce, Aumbry’s menus appear to display a philosophy of hamonising what may be called ‘historical’ or ‘rediscovered’ recipes and flavour combinations with progressive cooking techniques. Each of the fourteen courses showcased Mary-Ellen and Laurence’s skills, creativity and understanding of flavour.


Each of the evening’s fourteen courses was paired with a quality a wine. Including two fizzy offerings from Deutz Champagnes, another of the evening’s kind sponsors. I tend not to drink alcohol (but do have the occasional port) and will therefore be mentioning the wine pairings for those that are interested but will not be commenting.




Smoked Green’s Cheddar Gougères, Parma Ham, Kale Chips, Pickled Elderberries (Wine: Deutz Brut Classic NV, Ay, France) - Laid out during the drinks reception, I did not give these dishes the attention they deserved. I always have Green's cheddar at home but have not used it in Gourgeres before; that will soon change. The ham was fabulous and fellow guest Mark Garner aka Gordo from Manchester Confidential and myself discussed its merits. Somehow the Kale Crisps eluded me; I don't know how that happened as I had been looking forward to them and even managed to take a picture! 

Dripping - You may never want butter again!
Bread & Dripping - Of course I've heard of bread and dripping - my parents harp on about how wonderful it was; even my wife has fond memories of having it as a child. So how have I got to the ripe old age of 36 and have never had it before! It's amazing! Why is there's not a dripping aisle in my local Waitrose? Why is Johnny Rotten not advertising it on my TV? To quote Gizzi, it was "Ridiculous!" (That means good).


Pork Liver Paté, Jasmine & honey (Riesling Réné Muré, 2006) - Tried and tested flavour combinations served on dinky antique plates with modern spherification techniques. The jasmine flavour was sublime and the honey deliciously sweet.


Home Smoked Mackerel Poached rhubarb, mustard cream & toasted rye bread (Chablis ‘Le Grand Bois’, Domaine Grande Chaume, 2008) - This was one of my favourite courses. I love mackerel and the subtle smoking and tartly sweet rhubarb were perfect accompaniments.


Bury Black Pudding Scotch Egg Mushroom relish & tomato ketchup (Bardolino Custoza, 2009) - Fortunately, I was sat next to Gizzi, a self proclaimed scotch egg connoisseur who talked about having to munch her way through some forty-odd meaty eggy morsels when having to judge the 'World Scotch Egg Championships' or some such competition (I really should have taken more notes!) Another bonus of sitting next Gizzi ‘The Scotch Egg Queen’ Erskine was that we got to share an additional one when the kitchen sent through a couple of spares! Get in!


Cauliflower & Oat Groat Porage, Cauliflower cheese beignets (Pecorino IGT, Passetti, 2009) - This dish was the biggest surprise on the menu for many, I think. Although, I often find the course that sounds the least appetising or 'fancy' has the potential to wow the most. Take Heston's Snail Porridge, for example... and of course, with Mary-Ellen and Laurence having spent four years in the Fat Duck kitchens you'd expect them to know a thing or two about making this humble peasant ingredient into a fine, fine dining dish - and they do! The cheese beignets were so light and delicious; I could've eaten a dozen of them.


Poached Plaice, Oyster pudding, fennel & mew (Sancerre St Michel Girard, 2010) - The only disappointment of the evening was the absence of 'mew' - this rare foraged leaf is said to have a taste resembling dill and is something that I have yet to try... but will eagerly be looking out for at Aumbry in the future. Another contender for my favourite dish, the oyster pudding was heavenly. I love oysters and I love suet – a perfect marriage.


Braised Ringley Tamworth & Wild Boar Cross Pork, Cuttlefish & black peas (Rully Premier Cru, Eric de Suremain 2006) - Franco, our host, provided the porky goodness for this dish from his own farm… and what a tasty fella he was too! (That's the boar I'm talking about; not Franco!) I am aware of the Lancashire specialty 'black peas' from the time when a former colleague from school (I am a Primary Teacher) decided it would be a great idea to cook up a giant vat of them to give his class a taste one bonfire night - they did not go down too well with the kids!  Thankfully, Aumbry's version was much more refined and definitely got my and Niamh's seal of approval! The crispy cuttlefish was a great addition as where the little spherifications of its ink.


Slow Cooked Cumbrian Boer Goat Pearl barley, cauliflower & smoked shallot (Chateau Labégorce Zédé, Margaux Cru Bourgeois Exceptionelle, 2000) - An amazing course! Discs of a minted Madeira jelly topped the wonderfully textured plump 'pearls' of pearl barley, which were mixed together with the pulled goat meat, making for an unctuous umami rich union. There were many murmurs coming from up and down the table proclaiming this the best dish.


British & Irish Cheeses (Gewurztraminer Late Harvest 2006 & Krohn Colheita Port 1978) - A favourite of my wife's, the Kidderton Ash goat's cheese was delightfully ripe and tasted especially great with the carrot chutney. There are some fabulous Cheddars about at the moment and the strong and fruity Isle of Mull offering, when paired with the plum and rhubarb chutney was a fine example of its type with a long finish and deep aftertaste. My favourite of the cheeses offer was the Harbourne Blue - the crumbly yet creamy blue goat's cheese, tinged with a terrific tang provided a wonderful end to the cheese board, especially as it was washed down with mine and Gizzi's ports (my only alcoholic dry drink of the evening.) The Krohn Colheita's are generally my favourite ports and the '78 is an especially good year.


Grapefruit Posset Celery granita & grapefruit sherbet (Pacherenc St Albert, 2009)Unfortunately, I cannot show you a close up picture of this dish - at just over five hours, ten courses and paired wines into the meal (not to mention refills) many round the table were relaxing and beginning to get playfully excited and cameras and iPhones had started to be used for snapping silly shots. The grapefruit sherbet was fizzily excellent – amusingly, Lucy did not see hers on the spoon and sent it flying across the table.


Macerated Strawberries, Elderflower, rose & pepper (Deutz Rosé Vintage 2006) - Waiting for this dish, I took a stroll into the kitchen to see Mary-Ellen, Laurence and their team looking exhausted but still giving their all to assemble more faultless plates of food. The strawberry dessert being one of the evening's most delicate and beautiful.


Almond Crisp, Chocolate mousse, Griottine cherries & cocoa sorbet (Jean Bousquet Malbec, Dulce Naturale, 2007) - You can't beat good chocolate dessert and this chocolate dessert would take some beating! I have not had a chocolate dessert this good since Alex Stupak's ‘Soft Chocolate’ at WD-50 in New York. The almond crisps were the prefect crunchy yet crumbly texture.

The meal was followed with coffee and petit fours and a dram of an aromatic, golden amber 21-year-old whiskey that had been provided Genfarclas (http://www.glenfarclas.co.uk), another of the evening’s generous sponsors.

Franco, Laurence and Mary-Ellen
Eventually, at around 2 am, dinner had been served and the meal ended with a highly deserved rapturous applause for Mary-Ellen and Laurence. An amazing evening of fantastic food cooked and served by the wonderful Aumbry team. The front of house team provided excellent service, throughout the evening and into the small hours; always remaining relaxed enough to acknowledge that this was a supper club in a private residence and formal enough to maintain professionalism and uphold Aumbry’s high standards. An excellent job! They certainly earned their goody bag and wine provided by Chroma knives.

Goody bags: Niamh's Comfort & Spice and an excellent Porsche 301 knife. 
Some of Aumbry’s recipes can be found in the book, Relish the Taste of Greater Manchester & Cheshire. Aiden Byrne’s Made In Great Britain, Niamh Shield’s Comfort & Spice and Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic and Cook Yourself Thin are all available in all good bookshops and online.

The rumour is Aiden Byrne has agreed to cook at the next CHROMA KNIVES – Charity Supper Club in the New Year. Good news for the guests but does Aiden realise that he will miss out on all the fun? (I wonder if I’ll be able to blag another cheeky invite or will some other lucky foodie take my place?)


Aumbry on Urbanspoon




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