Friday 29 May 2015

Tariff & Dale, N/4 Manchester

Although sounding like a 70’s cop show, Tariff & Dale refers to its location on the corner of Tariff Street and Dale Street.  

Housed in a former cotton warehouse, the Bar & Kitchen "fit out" impressed – I didn’t linger in the upstairs bar area but from walking through, it seems a cool place to hang out and drink. The restaurant is downstairs and ticks all the trendy boxes associated with Northern Quarter design (I wont bore you with the details).

Heading up the open kitchen and presiding over the showpiece wood fired pizza oven is local lad, Chef Chris Vernazza. Vernazza was recently sous chef at Harvey Nichols 2nd Floor Restaurant but has also spent time in the kitchens of The Hand & Flowers and Five Fields.

I’ve visited on two occasions – the fist time, not everything "wowed". The Beef Tartare lacked a little something; although I liked the gimmick, the ‘éclair’ part of the Beef Shin & Marrow didn’t quite work for me (the sticky glaze looked great but was cloying and so sticky it stuck in place the flavour did not permeate the dish) and, worst of all, I ended up taking to twitter to describe my ‘triple cooked’ chips as ‘barely cooked’.

There were positives though – I liked the pizza and the beef shin itself and bone marrow mash were very good. When asked if I enjoyed my meal, I gave what I hoped was “constructive” criticism.

On my return and week or so later, the tartare had undergone a few tweaks and the Triple Cooked Chips were worthy of their name.  On a low carb diet, my wife opted for the Charcuterie Board, which I’m pleased to say featured some quality British produce from Woodall’s.

Beef Tartare v1

To my mind, Honest Crust are the benchmark for good pizzas in the North West. The Sourdough Pizzas here, although enjoyable, are not contenders for the Honest Crust crown – a hotter oven and dough proven for a little longer may remedy this. That said, having not yet been to Ply, you may struggle to find better in the city centre. Edit: apparently the crust needs more “leoparding” (Thanks to @donkomaniac for the terminology).

One more thing, the Pork Nuggets were great – I’ll be ordering two portions of these little beauties on my next visit.

Beef Tartare v2
Small Plate: Beef Tartare

Small Plate: Pork Nuggets

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza: Anchovies & Charred Pepper

Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza: Nduja

Sides: Triple Cooked Chips

Sides: Broccoli & Chilli

Large plate: Beef Shin & Marrow

Charcuterie Board

Dessert: Big Kids Honeycomb

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