After a long absence, I treated myself this half term by returning to an old fave, The French by Simon Rogan – a place I still rate as the best in Manchester.
Checking out the menu prior to my visit, I noticed they now serve an a la carte. I assumed this was as well as the usual tasting menus but it turns out that it’s the only offering at lunchtimes Wed to Fri.
Telling myself one would be a starter and the other a “fish course”, I opted for two starters. A sucker for anything ‘fermented’ and knowing that few work with vegetables better than Simon Rogan, I plumped for the veggie main.
This was my first time in The French since their refurb – adding a new entrance, toilets, a lounge and central booths. The changes take the whole experience to the next level. One thing that hasn’t changed is the warm welcome and exceptional service from Restaurant Manager Kamila Płońska and her team.
Regular readers of my blog will know that I love Simon’s food so there’s no point waxing lyrical over each dish, so here’s some simple descriptions and pics for your enjoyment:
Pre starter: Salt Baked Turnips topped with frozen sheep’s milk, fried ale bread, mushroom purée underscored with hints of mustard & truffle.
Bread: Sourdough Roll with Winter Tarn Butter
Starter: Salt Baked Swede with a smoked Maran yolk, cubes of ox tongue & shavings of Wiltshire truffle with a deep heady broth of barbecued beef & onion
Fish course: Flaked Cornish Crab with horseradish cream & crispy chicken skin and a kohlrabi & dill sauce.
Bread: Manchester Ale Bread with Smoked Bone Marrow Butter
Main: Celeriac Baked in Hay with fermented cabbage, abalone mushroom, toasted grains & a mustard cream sauce.
Pud: Forced Yorkshire Rhubarb poached in grenadine with yoghurt sorbet, Douglas fur syrup & toasted oats.
Sass ‘n’ Soda