Mount Street Dining Room and Bar, 16 Peter St, Manchester, M60 2DS – Visit Now
It’s all change at The Midland Hotel with the launch of Mount Street Dining Room and Bar. Mr Cooper’s is no more, replaced by a new restaurant with a new entrance (on Mount Street, hence the name) which means no more wandering slightly-lost through the opulent Midland lobby while a chuckling porter watches on. And this new space more than lives up to the grandeur of its surroundings – slightly less lavish than it’s near-neighbour The French, but a fair few notches fancier than most restaurants in Manchester.
A world of textures, flavour and colour – elaborate without being overcomplicated
Expect high ceilings, swanky furnishings and pre-Beeching watercolours on the walls – it’s a perfectly-pitched combination of modern-meets-tradition and matches the menu to a tee. We begin with the pressed chicken terrine. It’s an attractive, multilayered dish: thin slivers of candy cane beetroot and diminutive pickled mushrooms on top of a hefty slab of flakey, gently-smoked white chicken meat, plus a deliciously salty sheet of crackling and a few dabs of pale green tarragon mayonnaise. It’s a world of textures, flavour and colour – elaborate without being overcomplicated and exactly what you’d expect from a restaurant as great-looking as this.
The Midland smoked salmon is altogether more simple but just as appealing. Four thick but tender slices of smoked salmon, scattered with a light horseradish granite and a tangled-up side salad based heavily around fennel. The three or so flavours complement each other well, and the salmon itself is the freshest you’ll find this side of Loch Ness.
For mains, the roast monkfish and possibly the best dish of the entire meal. A notoriously odd-looking fish and just as difficult to prepare, this monkfish is a delight on every level. Beautifully white all the way through with a mouthwatering golden crust, it comes with a perfectly-portioned blob of potent walnut pesto and a couple of wilted spring onions, on a bed of crushed celeriac, with sea-parsley, aka lovage, aromas running throughout. The whole plate is a triumph, an inspired blend of tastes that demonstrates the wealth of talent in the kitchen.
Next to this, the fillet steak seems a little ordinary, though it’s far from a disappointment. 225g of high-end beef sourced from Yorkshire Limousin cattle, aged for at least 28 days before making it’s way to the plate, taking a slight detour over an open flame on the way. It’s an impressive looking chunk of meat, almost as tall as it is wide, and pairs wonderfully with the creamy bearnaise sauce. It also comes with a curious little side offering: a doll-size brioche bun containing four crispy chips. It’s designed as a playful take on that Northern classic, the chip barm, but doesn’t really add much to the plate and besides, only a heathen would eat chips on a brioche bun.
The desserts are worth sampling too. The baked lemon tart is pretty special thanks to the buttery, crumbly pastry and the cute swirls of meringue and fresh raspberries. For those looking for something heavier and more dramatic, the ginger loaf is a solid alternative. A thick block of fiery, sweet gingery bread drowning in a teeth-dissolving butterscotch sauce, plus an all-important dollop of creamy mascarpone – hot, sweet and velvety, it’s another fantastic trio of taste and texture.
Mount Street Dining Room and Bar is a great addition to Manchester’s food landscape. As a destination, it’s casual but luxurious enough to make an ideal place for everything from business meetings to dazzling even the most hard-to-please date.
Photography by Helen Adderley