The Counter House, 35 Blossom St, Manchester, M4 6AJ – Visit Now
A humble, unassuming doorway greets those walking along Blossom Street, past the place where they used to buy toilet toll and Freddos. Behind the door lives a self-assured neighbourhood restaurant called The Counter House, another gem in Ancoats’ Cutting Room Square.
Formerly the location of a pretty basic convenience store, The Counter House is a new-ish addition to the area, after Cutting Room Square decided to become the shining light in Manchester’s new residential Dubai.
There’s either an exciting twist or something quirky added to elevate it above the norm
On first look, the menu feels simple, but there’s a lot to take in. We’ve got small plates, salad bowls, big plates… it’s a varied one. It’s hard to find a dish you’ve seen exactly as it’s served here anywhere else, because there’s either an exciting twist or something quirky added to elevate it above the norm. Whatever you order, there’s a part of you that feels quite daring, but in reality, you know you’re getting something fresh and hearty.
For the firecracker chicken skewers, the adrenaline kick comes from the charred pineapple, which provides a sweet bed for the juicy meat. For the blistered Padron peppers, it’s the pink salt. The small plates all sound great and the people around us are lapping them up.
The salmon had a skin crispier than a snare drum at a Phil Collins gig and the flakes were hot and soft on a mound of sharp, miso potatoes and tenderstem broccoli. In this dish, the Counter House je ne sais quoi comes from the miso alongside the lemon butter. With all those flavours on one plate, you’re thankful the chef knows how to do his job; that’s quite a balancing act.
There’s a fist of crispy kale and a goblet of excellent chimichurri to drizzle over the red chunks of salty seasoned steak
With the much-anticipated sliced beef fillet, the exciting extra comes in the form of two fried eggs; a guilty pleasure for many. There’s a fist of crispy kale and a goblet of excellent chimichurri to drizzle over the red chunks of salty seasoned steak and the plate is a simple work of art. Meat and eggs, what a treat. The steak is cooked medium rare and is brought to life with a burst yolk embarrassing itself all over the place, adding a golden haze of thick flavour to the beef.
The Counter House is a single room, dressed up with nondescript film paraphernalia and plants that yawn across the walls. The kitchen is in full view and the guys are working hard. The service is great. We had two waiters working together and both knew exactly where we were in the meal; one would take a drinks order and the other would drop it off. This seems like standard service, but it goes terribly wrong frequently elsewhere.
The food stands up for itself against some incredible options on its doorstep
The Counter House is a refreshing addition to Ancoats and the food stands up for itself against some incredible options on its doorstep. With Canto, Rudy’s, Mana and Sugo about a three seconds walk away, it has tough competition, but for Ancoats residents looking for variety and exciting food, this place is fantastic.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
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Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.