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Review: Artisan Kitchen and Bar


Manchester, United Kingdom

A barn of a place

  • By SilverTraveller HMJ

    764 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Dec 2014
  • Manchester
  • Casual
  • British

94 people found this review helpful

We decided on a last minute lunch and as it was in the lead up to Christmas, quickly booked a table at Artisan Kitchen and Bar, not because of its reputation for food or drink, but it was the one nearest to the office and we were all jaded from the night before.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect but was surprised by the vastness of the place: 12,000 square feet of semi-industrial space on the first floor of the Avenue North in Spinningfields.

There was a lively buzz to the place and despite its size, it felt warm and welcoming. Coats were taken and we were shown through the bar, to our table. The clever use of pillars and walls turns a barn into an intimate restaurant.

Despite the night before, we still felt able to manage a bottle of Pinot Grigio, at £19, one of the cheaper bottles. It and a good selection of other wines were available in 175ml, 250ml or 500ml. A carafe of tap water was supplied and kept refreshed without being asked during the meal.

The menu was divided into: nibbles; deli counter; small plates; salads; wood fired pizza; wood oven; grill and extras. There was lots of usual favourites but often with a twist e.g. French onion soup served in a country boule, king prawn cocktail with coriander salsa and shrimp crackers. The offerings from the deli counter (a choice of 3 for £9.5) had tempting choices of meat, fish, cheese and pate and salads were either in small or large portions. It was literally very difficult to choose. Two of the group opted for the burger with homemade crinkle cut chips and were asked how they wanted the burger cooked: always a good sign.

I plumped for the warm roasted chicken salad with Caesar dressing whilst others opted for a salad nicoise and mussels baked in bread. The latter came with either a Thai green curry or mariniere sauce: when asked for a recommendation, the waitress suggested the Thai curry – I really like it when staff have an opinion so another plus point. The salads were beautifully presented on long white oval plates. My salad was good but I would have preferred a more liberal coating of the Cesar dressing on the leaves but the promised soft poached egg topping the nicoise was indeed soft. However the mussels looked the most interesting: served in a single layer in a cast iron dish with a pizza-type bread laid on top and overlapping the edges like a pie crust before being trimmed. The ‘burger boys’ simply got stuck into their meal without comment but quickly cleared plates, suggested the meal had lived up to expectations.

We were all too full for desserts, particularly the jam roly-poly with custard, but viewing the menu did generate a lively discussion on when artic roll was in vogue.

The service overall was excellent from everyone and it’s certainly a place I’d return to.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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