Baratxuri at Freight Island, Ticket Hall, Freight Island, 11 Baring St, Manchester, M1 2PZ – Visit Now
Baratxuri is a multi-award-winning Basque-inspired restaurant based in Ramsbottom and you’ve most likely heard about it already. Well, the good news is it’s moved to Escape To Freight Island. It’s open every day of the week, but today we’re exploring the Sunday roast menu.
The menu proudly proclaims ‘meat & fire’ and that’s exactly what to expect. Impressively high-quality cuts of meat, cooked in a wood-fire oven, while the aromas waft out across the entirety of Freight Island’s Ticket Hall. It’s an instant kick to the senses, wonderfully so. (It’s worth noting that there are vegetarian options on the menu – figs and picos for starters and cauliflower bravas for main, with orange and almond torta for dessert – so non-meat-eaters needn’t feel left out.)
The menu is small but impressive, with a trio of options for starters, four choices of main and a mere two for dessert. The sardines come highly recommended by our waiting staff, and rightly so. They’re glorious – two whole plump sardines cooked with impeccable timing so they fall apart at the merest touch. They come with a ‘xipster’ dressing, which is a term I’ve not come across before, but seems to be a gently tart combination of citrus and vinegar. Whatever it is, it’s a delight.
The kroketas are equally as good. Three croquettes, packed with flakey, powerfully-flavoured Iberico ham, encased in glorious golden breadcrumb. On the side, a neat blob of Piquillo pepper jam, faintly sweet and smokey, and the perfect accompaniment to the rich, powerful meat of the kroketas.
But the main is the star of the show. Undeniably so. Suckling lamb, served for two people, on the bone and covered with the most delicious sauce imaginable – both meaty and sweet, enhanced with pomegranate and a multitude of other perfectly balanced ingredients. The outside of the meat is charred and crispy in all the right places, while the lamb inside is superb, soft, pink and piping hot. On the side, a bowl of potatoes, coated in butter and herbs, the light side to the earthiness of the meat. It’s a top tier Sunday lunch and these two courses are well worth the mere £21 per person (£25 for three).
Baratxuri is a very welcome addition to the city and another feather in Freight Island’s very feathery cap. We’re not sure how long they’re based in Freight Island’s Ticket Hall so we recommend getting down there sharpish to try out some of the best food in Manchester right now.