Banyan Bar & Kitchen, Exchange Square, Manchester, M4 3TR – Visit Now
Review by Francesca Wilson:
If you’re looking for a great little spot where you can enjoy a post-work tipple, or gorge on a handsomely portioned plate of pasta while you watch the world and his dog go by, Banyan has got the hookup.
After the success of Banyan in York and Harrogate, the art-deco eatery made its way to Manchester with its signature chesterfields in tow. The menu covers everything from Thai-influenced fare to meaty handfuls of indulgence (accessible under the name of “Banyan Burger”).
Found amidst the ever-busy and vibrant Corn Exchange, Banyan is the laid-back ambience you desperately need after spending the day taking in the city or working your nine to five. Relax into your booth, order up a refreshing Coral Blossom and grab yourself a menu.
The Schnitzel is hammered and breaded to golden perfection
If, like me, you struggle to commit to just one starter, the Banyan Platter is your go-to for a lil taste of everything.
While this trough comes under the title “Sharers”, under no circumstance should the deep fried brie be shared, distract your friends with Banyan’s gin menu and take that oozy, golden sensation for yourself – you can thank me later.
Moving on to mains, the offerings are both plentiful and likeable. The Schnitzel is hammered and breaded to golden perfection; the burgers excellent, juicy and flavoursome – but the gastro chips? Well, they deserve an exclusive spotlight all their own.
Every bite is a velvet mouthful of rich, chocolatey delight
Our server Michaela was the side order we never knew we needed. Personable and friendly, we were one gin away from asking her to be our new best friend. She knew the menu back to front, and was full of cocktail recommendations (everything one should look for in a friend), and reserved any judgement when we elegantly undid a button to allow room for dessert.
Banyan is the easy-going, fail-safe that will keep your gin topped up and your belly full
On that smooth segue, let me tell you about the puds. If you have room for dessert (and I sincerely hope you do,) and are feeling especially naughty – opt for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte. As sumptuous as it is sweet, every bite is a velvetty mouthful of rich, chocolatey delight; perhaps a little too much for some, to which I would highlight recommend the Sticky Toffee Pud with creme anglaise (better with custard, but it does the job).
For me, Banyan is the easy-going, fail-safe that will keep your gin topped up and your belly full – and let’s be honest what more could you really want?