Saturday, 28 September 2013

Simon Rogan’s Mr Cooper’s House & Garden, The Midland Hotel

After only my third visit (including the launch party), Simon Rogan’s Mr Cooper’s House & Garden is already becoming one of my favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester.

I have now tasted all the starters on the current menu and am working my way through the mains and desserts.  Everything I have tried so far has been not only cooked to a high standard but inventive also – for someone who eats out regularly, it’s so refreshing to be presented with a choice that is a little break from the norm.

Any dishes that I have questioned on paper have delivered on the plate and palate. On out last visit, we sat in Mr Cooper’s study… (here), on this occasion we took at seat in the (indoor) “garden” before retreating to the library for drinks. On both visits, the service has been exceptional - it’s early days, so of course the staff are all freshly trained and are keen to impress; and so they have.

Parmesan patties, mushroom ketchup & baby leaves – these little fellas may look like a bit of a gimmick but they certainly pack a flavourful punch, mainly thanks to the rich mushroom ketchup.

Deep fried prawns, mango & chorizo marmalade ­– another dish that delivers big bold flavours with the joyous chorizo marmalade and the perfect amount of tropical mango coulis; wonderful textures too.

Grilled figs, ham, rocket & spicy popcorn – a quality dish with beautiful figs and excellent ham and gentle spicing from the popcorn, peppery rocket and balsamic dressing,

Chipotle polenta, hot smoked salmon, leeks & parsley coulis – at the risk of becoming repetitive, this was another bold flavoured dish: the salmon was heavily smoked, which complemented the smoky chipotles in the polenta. The surprise element was the roasted slice of ‘tamarillo’ (a slightly bitter plum / tomato cross) – a fab ingredient that I’ve only had twice before (in a sorbet at Pierre Gagnaire & in a drink at HKK).

Cumbrian rib steak, truffle pudding & purple potato latkes – quite simply one of the best mains being served anywhere in Manchester at the moment; as I said in the previous post… ‘stunning’.

Sides: fab Chips (bordering on ‘shoestring’ style) and a top notch Cauliflower cheese.

Cheese terrine, golden raisins, nut & fruit bread – served with delectable, plump aquavit soaked golden raisins, this was a deceptively simple cheese course made from a, no doubt, fancy technique that I will simplify as making a cheese fondue, dropping cubes of cheeses into it and allowing it to cool and set. 

Turkish delight syllabub & honey flapjacks – my wife hates Turkish Delight so I ordered this so that I didn't have to share; unfortunately, the dish was that good she is now a convert and polished most of it off… typical!

I’ll be back soon to try the rest of the mains and desserts… see you there! 

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