The Firehouse

Anne-Marie Pattenden, Food & Drink Writer

The Firehouse, 40 Swan St, Manchester, M4 5JG – Visit Now

The Firehouse has launched a new weekly cabaret night each Wednesday in the Northern Quarter, with dancers, musicians and 2 for 1 margaritas thrown in for good measure.

If you haven’t eaten there before, you must try their famous Firehouse Chicken. Cooked on the bone for extra flavour, with the super crisp skin liberally coated in peri salt, it’s unbelievably juicy and delicious. Nando’s, eat your heart out. Both leg and breast portions are perfectly cooked, served with roasted lemon and resting in abundant juices.

Hyperbole be damned, this may well be the best chicken breast you’ll ever taste. Have your cake and eat it by ordering the half chicken, which lets you sample both. Meanwhile, veggies and vegans can delight in the excellent chargrilled oyster mushroom kebob.

Their famous Firehouse Chicken is a must-try

There are plenty of sides to choose from, such as fluffy homemade pitta breads. We opt for the crushed roast fingerling potatoes and the roasted squash. The former are heady with a summer truffle mayonnaise and festooned with a theatrical amount of parmesan cheese; while the latter’s sweet flesh rests on a swathe of whipped labneh, topped with toasted hazelnuts and honey & pomegranate molasses.

The signature margaritas are fantastic, of course. We try a couple of classics such as the spicy marg and the mezcal version, both great. The favourite of the night by far is the frozen pineapple & ginger margarita. The tajin frosting around the rim of the glass gave it a hit of spice and an authentic Mexican flavour. Think of the best-ever adult slushie: a refreshing dessert and fabulous cocktail all in one.

While you enjoy all this, you’re entertained by beautiful cabaret drag artists and musicians: a highlight is a ragtag group of Balkan musicians in ruff collars, circling the room while performing folk music. Their pièce de resistance is a cover of the peerless jazz standard, ‘Minor Swing’ by Django Reinhart.

In brief, it’s a superb evening of good food and entertainment, with a relaxed yet intimate vibe. Wednesday nights need never involve sitting at home again.