Wednesday 4 December 2013

Mr Cooper’s House & Garden (revisits), Manchester

Seeing as you are reading this, I’m guessing that, like me, you probably read what food bloggers are banging on about in order to inform your decisions on where to eat out (or perhaps you stumbled here by mistake or are doing research on the amount of bollocks bloggers talk?)

If you are on my blog looking for “a recommendation”, you’ll see that I have now written enough posts that you could visit a different restaurant each day of the year… but the real test of a restaurant’s quality is not to see if a blogger “liked it” and says they would return (as I often do), instead look out for the places that we do go back to again and again.

Favourite Michelin starred restaurants that have been 'graced with my custom' many, many times include Marc Wilkinson’s Fraiche and Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume (and The French) – but on a ‘more accessible’ level its fun and informal places like SoLiTa, Yuzu, Parkers Arms and my latest favourite Mr. Rogan’s Mr. Cooper’s House & Garden that get my repeat custom.

What I especially love about Mr Cooper’s (aside from its grand location in The Midland Hotel; inventive cocktails; quirky ‘house and garden’ themed décor and friendly service) is the refreshingly different menu that Simon Rogan and Head Chef, Gareth Jones have devised – since opening, they have also introduced fabulous value set lunch, early evening (house) and Sunday lunch menus. (A new main menu and a breakfast menu are set to launch in the new year.)

Here are some pics from a few of our recent meals:

House Menu (available 5pm – 6:30pm: two courses £19, three courses £23)

Starter: Tempura Duck Fillets, spiced mango, moulis & ginger dressing – a fun quirky dish; full on flavours. 

Starter: Molasses Glazed Pork Belly, Borlotti beans cassoulet, crushed avocado – winning flavour combination. 

Veggie Starter: Cauliflower Soup, black truffle croutons, red mustard frills – lovely soup. 

Main: Baked Salt Cod, teriyaki glazed greens, shitake mushrooms and purple potato fritters – bold flavours, beautifully cooked fish.

Main: Spiced Salt Cod, parsnip puree, spinach, raspberry vinaigrette – another great salt cod dish.

Veggie Main: Kohlrabi Lasagne with wild mushrooms & kale, salted walnut glaze – the best veggie lasagne I’ve had.

Dessert: Chocolate Tarte, orange and pistachio granola, mascarpone ice cream – perfection.

Dessert: Pumpkin Pie, chocolate & nut granola, treacle ice cream

Dessert: Toffee Apple Mousse, parkin crumb & peanut brittle

Sunday Roast Menu (available 12pm onwards – limited availability: two courses £15, three courses £19)

Starter: Potato & Watercress Soup, shallot persillade

Main: Roast Rib of Cumbrian Beef, dripping potatoes, parsnip, savoy cabbage, heritage carrots, Yorkshire pudding and roast gravy – wonderful quality rib meat, decent spuds, excellent veg but, for me, the Yorkies could be improved (pleas bear in mind that I’m hard to please when it comes to Yorkies).

Dessert: Toffee Apple Mousse, parkin crumb & peanut brittle

Examples of dishes from the main menu:

Starter: Corned Bread, Chicken Livers, mango chutney and watercress

Starter: Parmesan Patties, mushroom ketchup and baby leaves – I love these, especially the mushroom ketchup.

Starter: Chicken Wings in pomegranate molasses, chives and sepia noodles – another interesting use of ingredients although probably my least favourite of the starters.

Main: Chipotle Polenta, Hot Smoked Salmon, leeks and parsley coulis

Main: Cumbrian Rib Steak, truffle pudding and purple potato latkes – I’ve had this three or four times now… a wonderful dish.

Sides: Potato Purée, Cauliflower Cheese, Chips – the cauliflower cheese is a particular favourite.

Dessert: Chocolate Pizza – an improved version from the one that appeared on the menu initially.

Dessert: Cheese Terrine, golden raisins, nut and fruit bread – my wife’s favourite.

I’ll be back soon! 

1 comment:

  1. Bloody hell mate, you must have made your way through the whole menu by now! But yes fair comment - I reckon it'll probably be my most regular of restaurant revisits next year too.


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