Tag Archives: restaurants

FooD @ Moor Hall

I had been waiting for this for a while. I randomly saw a tweet about a new restaurant with rooms opening about 10mins from where I live that would have ex-executive chef of L’Enclume Mark Birchall at the helm. I knew I would have to give it a try. I don’t even remember how long ago it was, sometime last year I think, they had a lot of building work to do first so I just kept an eye on it.

Well the wait was finally over. The restaurant opened its door a month or so ago. I booked within a few days but like all new restaurants I like to give it a few weeks to settle in before going. It could have been open years, service was really good, better than a couple of places I’ve been that have stars. Although there was one point the table next to me set fire to their menu (by accident, I hope) and there was a little confusion about what to do. I doubt sorting out a menu on fire was on the training list. It reminded me of when we went to L’Enclume and a drink (maybe a dish) was dropped and about 10 people came running out of the kitchen to sort it out.

The sommelier needs a special mention. Engaging, really knew his stuff, all good pairings. I’ve been disappointed with sommeliers at other restaurants. I don’t drink wine at home, the only time I ever drink wine is usually with a tasting menu and the first time was at Sat Bains where the sommelier at the time was amazing. Since then none have been close. The sommelier at Moor Hall could be as good, maybe just a little bit more detail about what flavours the wine brings out in the food and the food brings out in the wine and he would be perfect.

Well, the food, what can I say? Every dish was on a scale of good to great. Usually there is at least one dish I don’t rate or even actively dislike but everything was done really, really well. There is an obvious massive influence from L’Enclume from the bespoke stoneware plates and bowls to the style of dishes. One dish in particular I have had three versions of now, first in The French, then at L’Enclume and now here. The beef in charcoal. The first time in The French it was Ox in coal oil which at the time was wow. Raw ox that tasted like it had just come off a BBQ. The second time was venison at L’Enclume, the coal wasn’t as strong but the meat was more melt in the mouth and all the little pearls accompanying popped with flavour. The dish was still good at Moor Hall but the beef didn’t standout, the charcoal wasn’t noticeable and the extras overpowered it a bit. Being a bit nit picky here but that dish at the other two places stood out, here it wasn’t in the top five. If i hadn’t had a similar dish before I’d probably have said it was great.

Anyway, I went for the 8 courses. Something that I really like is when you get a bunch of other things besides those eight. It came to 14 in total, 15 if you count the bit of prosciutto with pre-drinks. Standouts for me were the Baked Carrots, I really like contrast of temperatures so sticking something frozen on is great. The Grilled Scallop with cauliflower may well have been a standout dish, the purée and grilled cauliflower we fantastic and the scallop was so meaty. The toffee apple like desert is another winner.

A trip to Moor Hall has also added another thing to the list of what I would get if I won the lottery … a cheese room!!!

I’ve been waiting for a star in Manchester for a while now but instead I think there is a contender that a place 5 minutes down the road from where I live will actually get 1 (or 2)  first. I recommend you go see for yourself before everyone else finds out about it.

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Food @BrewDogMancs

It’s been a few weeks now, but the last time I was in Manchester I took a trip to BrewDog. It would be rude not to. I had heard that they had changed the menu from burgers and pizzas to BBQ. I wouldn’t class the new menu as BBQ but that’s just me.

Before hand I was a bit gutted. I was looking forward to a Los Feliz or Lincoln (did the name get changed because Mancs can’t pronounce Los Feliz, Lincoln with the 2nd L isn’t that much better). I’ve had plenty of them in the past, even though the overlap between me living in Manchester and Brewdog opening was about six months. I took my brother on a bit of a pub crawl one time and we stopped for a Loz Feliz, he liked it that much (and it didn’t come with anything so didn’t fill you up) we ended up having two each. I think it was Dean who cleared our boards and said “did you enjoy the 2nd one” to which my brother said “even better than the first”.

I loved the Loz Feliz…

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But we needed food and I will give most things a try before I judge them. The price is a bit steeper, but at least you get a side. Why couldn’t you have had sides with the burgers, Brewdog Manchester? I went for the brisket with macaroni cheese (I’m not American so you can f*ck off with your Mac ‘n’ Cheese (shouldn’t that really be Mac’ ‘n’ Cheese?)). Mrs TramP went for pulled pork with burnt beans.

I have to say it was all really good. I think I made a good choice in side dish. The brisket was slightly spicy, but it was one of those that every bite added to the spice making it hotter and hotter. The macaroni cheese cut through it perfectly. The whole thing was quite filling, I wouldn’t really eat two in a row like I did with the Los Feliz, even though I probably could. The bit of pulled pork with BBQ sauce I tried was also really good. To be honest, you have to try pretty hard to mess pulled pork up. Then there was the burnt beans. Now I’m not a fan of baked beans, I will eat other beans but I don’t often chose to. Soft beans, lovely sauce with bits of meat in. I could be a convert. Mrs TramP said she could eat them all day and could have just had a big bowl of those without the pulled pork.

That was the good, now for the bad. The two slaws (if you can all them that) were crap. One was just shredded red cabbage the other white cabbage and onion. There was no dressing on them at all. Come on, a bit of vinaigrette or mayo based dressing could have made those slaws  and made the meal great. Leave them off or make them better.

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Over all the new menu is great and I would definitely work my way through it if I moved back to Manchester. But there will always be a place in my heart for the Los Feliz. Is it BBQ, I’m not sure.