Mamucium, 6 Todd St, Manchester, M3 1WU – Visit Now
Mamucium is an attractive restaurant attached to the equally-atractive Hotel Indigo, a hop, skip and jump from Victoria train station in one of Manchester’s dozen or so ‘quarters’.
With the honourable exception of The Lowry Hotel, restaurants attached to hotels are usually more hit than miss, having to appeal to unadventurous travelling businessfolk and giving up on pushing boundaries. Not so with Mamucium. The food is pleasingly high quality, all locally sourced and it comes as no surprise that the head chef is Andrew Green, formerly of the aforementioned Lowry Hotel’s River Restaurant.
The head chef is Andrew Green, formerly of the Lowry Hotel’s excellent River Restaurant
We’re here for the festive menu, at a pocket-friendly £19.95 for two courses, and £24.95 for three. Fittingly, we’re offered mugs of mulled wine to go with the meal – a perfectly balanced mixture of Christmassy spices, not too hot and with a thick slice of orange. Mulled wine is often tricky to get right, either too sickly sweet or overpowered by cinnamon, but Mamucium nails it.
For starters, we go for the roast beetroot and heritage carrot salad, complete with thick slabs of glazed Lancashire goat’s cheese and a long crunchy slice of seeded tuille perched on top. The beetroot is non-too-earthy, thankfully, and the similarly deep purple carrot pairs well with the creamy goat’s cheese. The soup is a more attractive dish, made from honey roast parsnip and baked celeriac, with a little pile of crushed hazelnut and vegetable crisps in the middle, and a smart swoosh of truffle dressing across the lot. It’s a thick hearty bowl, full of gentle warming flavours.
The pan-seared fillet of sea bass makes for a fine main course, with a nicely-crisped skin, resting on a bed of tenderstem broccoli and fine beans, next to a smooth blob of squash mash. The lemon and caper dressing is a little out of sync, with an abundance of capers overpowering the other elements.
Brings to mind the best of your mum’s Christmas roast dinners
True festive diners should opt for the turkey roulade – circular slices of Cumberland sausage and turkey, wrapped with Cumbrian pancetta. As you’d expect, it’s for meat-lovers only, but the roast potatoes, parsnips and sprouts bring to mind the best of your mum’s Christmas roast dinners.
The cheese board is a slight disappointment, with just three chunks of unnamed local cheeses – which we guess to be cheddar, blue and possibly Cheshire. The crackers are forgettable but the onion chutney works well. But the best is saved til last. The Manchester tart is the most appealing dish on this festive menu, a pitch-perfect combination of banana, coconut and shortcrust pastry, topped with tangy raspberries, sprigs of mint and bite-size baubles of meringue. It’s a hefty slice, so make sure you save room.
If you’re looking for a filling festive-themed dinner at a decent price, Mamucium do a fine job. The food hovers around the semi-high-end range, and most dishes look very pretty indeed, backed up with hearty seasonal flavours.