As a blogger, I usually ‘pride’ myself in not being a blagger, taking freebies or attending launches and “VIP” events – then I saw the ticket price for Grillstock and any ‘morals’ I may have had went out of the window.
|Cocktails @ Mr. Cooper's
I emailed the PR company and bagged myself a couple of “press passes”. There was no promise of anything in return but I did “my duty” and posted a few tweets and pictures by way of thanks.
|Cumbrian Rib Steak @ Mr. Cooper's
On the Saturday, I parked next to The Midland Hotel where, walking back to the car, I noticed the new menu for Mr. Cooper’s House & Garden – more specifically, I noticed the ‘raw beef’ dish.
|Raw Beef with Pickled Paw Paw @ Mr. Cooper's
I don’t know if it was the fact that I was in full meat lust mode or because I needed something a little cleaner after eating all the charred “bark” (a new bit of barbeque speak I learnt) but something told me that I needed ‘Raw beef with picked paw paw’ in my life… so I booked for the Sunday.
The Sunday roast at Mr. Cooper’s is particularly good and great value but I wanted to try the new dishes on the menu.
We started with two of the new snack dishes Blue cheese puffs, celery & chilli and Pork scratchings & apple gel – neither of these particularly wowed and I wouldn’t order again.
Spinach & water chestnut wontons with sesame yoghurt dip – my stepdaughter ordered these to start. I had half of one and was duly impressed by the wonton texture, the dip and the fact that the flavour of the spinach managed to hold its own. I’ll order these as a snack next time.
Dill marinated salmon on blinis with beetroot sabayon – a delightfully summery dish with classic flavour combinations; perfect for being sat in Mr. Cooper’s ‘garden’ area.
Raw beef with picked paw paw, sweet potato jam & toasted rye bread – the dish I had come for; would it live up to my high hopes and expectations? The simple answer, yes! The beef, pickled paw paw and sweet potato jam went great together – a picky me would prefer a tad more sharpness and maybe a flat crisp bread to spoon the beef onto in place of the croutons.
Grilled sole, ginger butternut, shrimps & bok choy – the food I’ve seen at Mr Cooper’s recently seems a little more refined and confident than when they first opened; this dish is a perfect example of that. Wonderful produce, treated with respect and paired with interesting flavours.
Thai glazed grilled vegetable skewers, herb spelt salad with lemon vinaigrette – having overloaded on Grillstock meat I decided to order one of the veggie options; after all, Simon Rogan is widely regarded as the veg master. These skewers did not disappoint. Cooked on the “Green Egg” the textures were perfectly judged to be crunchy without being undercooked. The zingy vinaigrette and vibrant Thai flavours danced across my tongue, or some such other foodie cliché.
Cumbrian rib steak, truffle pudding & purple potato latkes – my stepdaughter’s choice. When I first tasted this dish I proclaimed it one of the best dishes being served anywhere in Manchester. I’ve had it a few times now and still hold this to be true… delightfully rich.
Carrot & olive oil cake with blood orange sorbet – I love an olive oil cake. A while back, I recall making one for a dinner party and experimenting with a couple recipes and a number of olive oils to find an oil that didn’t overpower. This one had just the right amount of pepperiness with spicy notes that complemented the carrots and stunning sorbet.
In my opinion, Mr. Cooper’s House & Garden remains one of the best restaurants in Manchester. Well done once again Mr. Rogan.