It seems The World and His Wife are all talking about Mr. Cooper’s House & Garden by Simon Rogan at The Midland Hotel at the moment… and rightly so!
After the runaway success of The French, that, only last week, was voted the UK's 12th best restaurant in the Good Food Guide, a new restaurant by two-michelin starred Mr Rogan is bound to cause a buzz. So, naturally, I was one of the first in line to book.
There’s an unwritten rule that critics / bloggers and alike, should let a restaurant “bed in” for a few weeks before writing a “review”.
This allows time for dishes to be tweaked and for the head chef (Gareth Jones) to have the kitchen team operating to the expected standards - a bit like when new players are brought into a football team; they need time to ‘gel’ (perhaps, ‘to gelée’ is more fitting).
In terms of service, in the first few weeks everyone is ‘singing from the same song sheet’ – staff will have been highly trained, highly drilled, well versed in the dishes and ingredients and are eager to please (as was the case at Mr. Cooper’s).
With this in mind, at this stage, I’m just going to share a few pictures of the dishes that my wife and I enjoyed. My first impressions of the space and food are that everything was great and Mr. Cooper’s House & Garden is set to be a fabulous addition to Manchester’s ‘smart casual’ dining and ‘cocktailing’ scene.
I’ll be back for another meal soon and will then share a more detailed (and opinioned) write up.
Appetiser: Millet bread, Manchego, quince & pickled chillies
Appetiser: Corned bread, chicken livers, mango chutney & watercress
Starter: Mexican gazpacho, wasabi & avocado (joyously fresh flavours)
Starter: Stichelton, red cabbage coleslaw, mustard & salted walnut
(delicious healthy option)
Starter: Smoked eel torte, lovage & pork belly (my wife’s fave)
Starter: Nick’s meatballs with hyssop, baked apricots & Tzatziki (my fave)
Main: Cumbrian rib steak, truffle & purple potato latkes (stunning dish)
Main: Grilled vegetable lasagne, preserved lemon salad & focaccia
(lovely veggie option)
Sides: Minted chargrilled courgettes and Deep fried pickles with tartare sauce
Dessert: White chocolate cake with pineapple-cardamom compote
Dessert: Peanut parfait, marinated strawberries & sweet cucumber syrup