Grand Pacific

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Cinimod Revilo

The latest venue from Living Ventures is something special. It’s based in the grade II building that once housed the historic Reform Club, a 19th century gentleman’s club for the city’s elite. And this stately dining room more than lives up to its name, all oak staircases, floor-to-ceiling windows and lavish chandeliers.

A huge bar takes pride of place in the dead centre of the room, packed with well-dressed diners who make cocktail-drinking and selfie-taking seem as natural as breathing. And so they should – this is decidedly more swanky than a night down at the Dog & Duck.

Thai Fish Cakes, Chilli Dipping Sauce

The food has an international theme, combining pan-Asian cuisine with flashy British flourishes. It might sound odd, but it works, on the whole.

Creamed Goat’s Cheese, Pineapple, Watermelon, Avocado Mousse

Thai fish cakes tend to offer a good indicator of a restaurant’s kitchen skills. Here we have three fat chunks of gently fried fish, soft and reassuringly tender, with a side dish of pineapple-infused sweet chilli dipping sauce. They’re a first-rate starter, simple, comforting and moreish.

Three fat chunks of gently fried fish, soft and reassuringly tender

However, the creamed goat’s cheese doesn’t have the same effect. The plate offers up a multi-coloured mound of finely diced ingredients that include watermelon, avocado mousse and pineapple (again), topped with an unusual drizzle of white goat’s cheese sauce. This thin white goo isn’t how you’d expect goat’s cheese to be served, and its musty flavour clashes badly with the intense sweetness of the fruit.

Beef Tsukemen, Bok Choi, Soft Soy Egg

You’ll fare better with the beef tsukemen. This Japanese dish boasts delicious soft chunks of seared rump steak and udon noodles, hearty and filling and exactly the kind of forward-thinking dish that Grand Pacific does best. If we’re to be picky, the soft soy egg is slightly unnecessary and the bok choi has a somewhat overpowering earthiness, but the beautiful pink hunks of meat more than make up for it.

The Asian spiced duck cottage pie sounds too interesting to pass on. But far from being wacked-out and weird, it’s a solid main course that smartly demonstrates the British-meets-Asia concept. It might sound like an odd pairing but the mildly-spiced duck works well with the soft mashed potato and crispy top layer, particularly when followed with a tiny forkful of the accompanying purple soused onions.

Duck Cottage Pie, Soused Onions

For desserts, the baked bananas – which taste more like cake than fruit when prepared like this – with a sharp salted caramel sauce and a wonderfully soft coconut ice cream, topped off with some toasted pistachio nuts. The creme brulee is another winner, hard and hot on top, gooey and intoxicating underneath.

But Grand Pacific shine brightest when it comes to drinks, which explains why the bar area is quite so busy on a midweek night. Sweet tooth? Go for the rose and lychee martini, do not pass go, do not collect £200. It’s an inspired pairing and worth a revisit alone. The smokey old-fashioned is something of a Living Ventures staple, and for good reason – it’s an out-and-out classic, and could convert even the most fervent anti-whisky drinker.

Baked Banana, Coconut Ice Cream

Grand Pacific is undoubtedly one of Manchester’s best looking rooms, warm and welcoming in the day, and with a secret speakeasy feel in the evening. The food is largely impressive and well-prepared, and isn’t scared to take risks, even though occcasionally they don’t quite pay off. The drinks menu, on the other hand, is flawless. Go for the food, stay all night for the hard stuff.

Images by Cinimod Revilo

50 Spring GardensManchesterM2 1EN View map
Telephone: 0161 839 9365 Visit Now

Services and Facilities

Bar, restaurant

Opening Hours

  • Monday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Tuesday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Wednesday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Thursday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Friday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Saturday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Sunday12:00pm - 12:00am

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Grand Pacific

Yellow poster with Weird as Folk written on it
Weird As Folk exhibition at The Portico

The Portico Library’s latest exhibition, Weird As Folk, runs through to November and invites you to explore and reimagine folklore via texts selected from the collection, which includes 100 books of English folklore.

free entry
Comedy Balloon

Every Wednesday at Ape & Apple, Manchester’s official underground comedy club, Comedy Balloon’s friendly and warm comedy night takes place.

free entry
Manchester Psych Fest 2024

Manchester Psych Fest, the UK’s trailblazing psychedelic music and arts festival has announced a massive bill for its 2024 edition.

from £45.20

Where to go near Grand Pacific

Bar or Pub
Habas Bar & Restaurant

Habas is a modern Middle Eastern-influenced restaurant in the very centre of Manchester and the latest venture from El Gato Negro’s Simon Shaw.

House of Books & Friends

Playing a powerful role in the community, this venue functions as a bookshop, café and place to meet and chat with likeminded individuals.

City Centre
Jamie’s Italian Manchester

Jamie’s Italian is located in Edwin Lutyens’ soaringly elegant Midland Bank, one of the city’s treasures. The menu’s full of crowd-pleasing choices, with a huge selection of pastas, mains and bruschettas, and an appealing kids menu.The drinks range is broad and deep, with wine, beer and cocktails for all tastes and budgets.

Lucky Cat

Gordon Ramsey brings his fine-dining Asian-style restaurant Lucky Cat to Manchester in April 2023.

Burger & Lobster Manchester

Burger & Lobster is a King Street restaurant in the old Ship Canal offices. With an enormous bar and food that’s high on quality but low on choice, it’s a popular choice with Manchester’s young and stylish.

Kala Bistro
Kala Bistro

Kala is the latest restaurant from acclaimed chef-restaurateur Gary Usher, who also owns Sticky Walnut and Hispi. It’s a welcome addition to the ever-growing and improving King Street food scene.

Mash Tun

Mash Tun is a craft beer and live music venue at the former Grafene site on Manchester’s King Street.

Stock Exchange Hotel

The Stock Exchange is a brand new luxury hotel from celebrated Manchester United footballers Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville’s GG Hospitality brand.

Six By Nico Manchester

Six By Nico is the brainchild of renowned Scottish-Italian chef Nico Simeone. This Manchester arm of his acclaimed restaurant offers a completely new six course menu every six weeks.

Culture Guides