The Oast House, Spinningfields Manchester
Just when you thought that you'd found most of the hidden treasures that Manchester has to offer, up pops one which has gone undetected on your radar. Nestled among an array of modern buildings in Spinningfields, with contemporary foods of the world every way you turn, is a rustic style building surrounded by tee-pee's and finished off with a dusting of beautiful fairy lights. This building is home to The Oast House. A unique location to sample fine ales and finer foods.
I was lucky enough to be invited along to review the food and the unique setting last weekend. Luckily enough, this was also during their Oktoberfest celebrations, which bring a taste of Germany straight to the North West. Even without the celebrations in full swing, the Oast House is still a venue you need to experience when visiting the area.... And not only for the amazing ales.
Not only does the Oast House boast a traditional style pub as the main center of the action, but it also has several tee-pee's outside. Each tee-pee transports you to a enigmatic area, full to the brim with atmosphere. If you know me, you will know that I usually loathe anywhere which is full to the brim with people, drinking and generally being loud; but there was something about the atmosphere of these tee-pee areas that I really enjoyed and wanted to be a part of. When we first saw that our table was in the center of all the hustle and bustle I felt slightly uptight about the situation, but after one fine German beer and enthralling myself with my surroundings for the evening, I soon became extremely laid back and started to fully enjoy the whole experience.
After supping our drinks, we soon got to the main event - which of course, was the food.
We decided to opt for one special from the limited edition Oktoberfest menu, alongside one of the infamous Hanging Kebabs from the regular Oast House menu. As you can see, the kebab was exactly what is said on the tin - a skewer of meat hanging over your side dish, which in my case was the 'properly seasoned chips'. The meat of my choice was salt and pepper pork, which was deliciously crispy with a succulent inside, grilled to perfection. I'm not usually a fan of pork as I sometimes find it a little fatty, so chose this purely for the salt and pepper kick. It's safe to say that this has now changed my opinions when choosing pork on a menu and might give it more of a go in future if it's all as good as this!
The dish of choice from the Oktoberfest menu was the fondue, which can only be described as a massive cheesy bonanza. With a generous pot of gooey cheese in the center of the dish, you had an array of dipping goodness to enjoy. From the simple, yet delicious, bread to the mini chorizo sausages adding a boost of delicious flavour. It definitely ticked all the boxes for satisfaction. If we went again we would be tempted to choose this as a starter between two (as we're dead greedy), and then go for some smaller mains. Mainly because it was a bit too 'picky, dippy' for a main meal (if that makes sense to anyone else out there?). Either way, both meals left us completely stuffed.
But hey, there's always room for dessert....
As soon as we ordered the cookie dough with salted caramel ice cream alongside the white chocolate and peanut butter mousse, the waiters face seemed the light up with the memory of when he'd tasted these options. It was clear to see why as soon as we tasted the first spoon full. By this point we were on our second German beer, which somehow had already gone to my head. I must say, being a person who never usually drinks or enjoys beer, these seemingly tastier selections at the Oast House were actually a perfect pairing with the foods we enjoyed!
Anyway, the desserts right?
The cookie dough was gooey. to. perfection. Honestly. It was divine. Served in a hot skillet pan, with a cool contrast of the ice cream, it was the perfect way to finish off the meal. However, the serving size was quite generous, so half way through we swapped over and I also got to enjoy the peanut butter and white chocolate mousse. This was a little bit of a lighter option, and for me was slightly sickly after a few bites, so if you do choose dessert be prepared to share or swap and made sure you get something you and your dining pals will all like!
Overall, The Oast House was a brilliant venue and we will definitely be going back! Away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, it had a really nice festival feel to the entire place, which totally took me back to the summer festival season. However, on this occasion I was more than happy to enjoy the festival vibes, get a little tipsy and wake up in a real bed and not a campsite!