The Creameries, 406 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 0SD – Visit Now
The Creameries as a space follows a clean modernist design – marble and white with vines. Beyond the outside seating and bar area, the dining area is small but looks like it goes on forever. To drink I had the Lost & Grounded Keller Pils, which was smooth and fresh.
Anyway, never mind preliminaries, let’s talk about the food, which by the way is either made 100% on site or brought in from the very best suppliers, and is always changing as the Creameries invent new things.
Of course I’ve had sheep cheese, but not blended with other flavours and textures quite so precisely as this
The starter was a dish of pickled cauliflower and sauerkraut. This was of course totally unlike those sinister pickled things you see in jars in supermarkets – acerbic but fragrant, crunchy texture, an awakening effect.
Next were celeriac noodles, the celeriac having been spiralised, with pickled pink oyster mushrooms, with sorrel and a sheep’s milk cheese from Cumbria. Carried by the noodles, the cheese collided with the sorrel. I have never had anything like this. I mean of course I’ve had sheep cheese, but not blended with other flavours and textures quite so precisely as this. Bitter, welcoming. Age. Time. I don’t think many of us would have guessed that celeriac might work as a noodle – in fact it absolutely does.
The main was roast hake and here my jagged notes, written whilst in its power, suffice without editing into proper sentences. Deep, deep fish aroma. Brought to a fine crispy finish – no, not crispy, crisp. Started soft as silk. Layers of it. Astonishing. The jellied vinegar came through the hefty Bury peas like nothing else – went to the senses all at once. Peas. Who knew they could be put to such a use?
Thinking about it in fond hindsight, it was as if the general experience of fish and chips had been opened out in crisp high definition with the sea in it, and earthy allotments, and memories. So that the phrase ‘fish and chips’ is only a starting point.
As if the general experience of fish and chips had been opened out in crisp high definition
Desert was Lanark Blue – a Scottish version of roquefort – with toasted sourdough and chutney. This was a broad, smiling, creamy sort of cheese and like everything else I had it was exceptional.
Some food ‘tastes nice’. Some food, as well as tasting nice, somehow manages to communicate very precisely, something like music. Now at once you’ll think I’m exaggerating, but no. Layers and layers of subtlety. Chiaroscuro. This is why we have proper restaurants like the Creameries.
‘Do you know the painter Di-ay-go Ve-laz-kez’, I muttered to myself in a Thespian drawl, imagining I was chatting up the hake. ‘You should. He painted you.’ This was a few days later, sitting on a train surrounded by people who were going to the horse races in their court suits and fake-carnation fascinators. That roast hake, combined with a brief sight of Delamere Forest out the window, allowed me to survive being penned in.
‘Do you know the painter Di-ay-go Ve-laz-kez’, I muttered to myself in a Thespian drawl, imagining I was chatting up the hake
I don’t really know anything about serious food, by the way, and I certainly can’t cook much myself. I’m the old grandad at the art gallery with a twinkle in his eye, who knows what he likes. And what he likes is this. Just let me wave you in. Go there.