The Creameries, 406 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 0SD – Visit Now
‘Try to describe what happened as well as you can’, says the imaginary police officer who has responded to the incident. ‘In your own time’. It’s a difficult task because really, how do you describe a Christmas menu this far ahead of the curve, especially when it includes such generous helpings of alcohol? Well, we’re going in, but bear in mind you would all be better served by going to the Creameries and eating this stuff than reading this article.
On arrival, a flute of prosecco was brought out accompanied by almonds cooked in peppercorns and venison fat. As soon as this was consumed we were presented with gougères, coated in cauliflower ash and filled with a melted blend of two-year-old Winchester and Moorland Tom.
Prepared like an expert entertainer performing different tricks
Next came a course of breads and butters. The butters were made on-site, in a whipped brown version and a cultured version, and the breads were a wholemeal sourdough and a salt and rosemary focaccia. Appropriate wine was supplied, paired to match these.
Now, having been to the Creameries before, I had reacted to the surprises so far – almonds in venison fat, cauliflower ash as an ingredient – in the manner of someone watching for the second time an expert entertainer performing different tricks. You’re thinking, very good, what’s the next one going to be. Then somehow they take it up a notch. A landscape of flavour, an entire meal’s worth of flavour, had been created from just bread, butter, and wine.
Then we took a sharp detour into the world of seafood, with a serving of home-smoked mackerel with dark rye bread and mustard cream. Would you know what I meant if I said that sharp doesn’t have to mean abrasive? Can you imagine a sort of warm mustard? What about smoke fully infusing a piece of fish instead of hanging around on the outside like it normally does?
An extremely delicate broth, actually more delicate than water
Next, and bear in mind we’re barely halfway through, was a butternut squash broth with a Bury blue cheese dumpling. This was such an extremely delicate broth, and really who knows how they did this, that it was actually more delicate than water. The cheese dumpling had a particularly welcoming quality to it.
The main course was pheasant pie, a case full of chopped liver gravy at the base, topped with a delicious cabbage-like vegetable which probably only the Creameries have access to, and then topped again with pieces of poached thigh. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a pie before, come to think of it. What I had been sold previously under the name ‘pie’ was an impostor. Whereas this was an actual, almost a platonic pie, game meat that tastes of life. The side it came with was a vegetable perhaps similar to parsnips but again I remain convinced that there are certain secret vegetables only this restaurant has access too.
A sherry with a sweet kick like Detroit soul
And then came the three puddings. Pudding(s). Plural. Triple? Whatever. There was an Affogato with an English Pedro Ximenez sherry which I think somehow had whiskey in it too. This had a sweet kick like Detroit soul. The second was a Christmas Pudding with so many herbs and sultanas and such slinky, silky motion I felt I was in a forest of crumbling Lebanese dusk. Then Gold Frankincense and Myrrh chocolates, so called because they actually contained gold, frankincense and myrrh. I’m not going to attempt a description.
If you’ve had to read this far before being convinced it’s about time you made your reservation. Get on with it.