Urban Cookhouse in Manchester is a restaurant which had actually gone undiscovered on my Manchester foodie radar. I frequent Manchester pretty much every other weekend, and considering Urban Cookhouse is literally across the road from one of my friends places on Princess Street, I don’t know how I missed it! I was invited along this weekend to do a sneaky review of their menu and despite having a *slight* hangover, I ordered myself a nice shandy with a splash of lime to get me through the dining experience!
I must admit, Urban Cookhouse was much classier than I expected when first entering the building. You’re presented with a bit of a bar/lounge area when you first walk up the stairs and are led through to the dining area behind. The vibe was something a bit more business-casual than expected, but hey I’m used to the burger delights of Almost Famous and Solita… So really, it was a refreshing change to experience a open, bright, relaxed dining area, which you could get some well lit shots of your food in. As soon as we stepped through the door, the staff were there with smiling faces ready to serve us, it was an immediate 10/10 for making you feel extremely welcome.
The menu has a little bit of everything on it, infusing flavours from around the world. It’s one of those where the decision for your meal is a hard one to make, but you know you can’t really go wrong as everything looked and sounded so delicious. For my starter I had the Duck Breast, which was two juicy nuggets of duck presented on wilted pak choi with a raw carrot salad. The combination of flavours was simple and the contrast of the warm duck against the crunch of the carrot worked perfectly together. My plus one had the Scallops option, which unfortunately was a little too fishy for my hangover to take, but he assured me they were delicious and cooked to perfection. The waiting time for the starters to come was literally around 7 minutes. So not only was it presented and cooked very well, it was efficient service with a smile.
Considering the scallops were too fishy for me to take, for some reason I ordered the Sea Bream for my main course. There’s just something about coconut rice that I can’t resist! With a Tom Yum sauce, lime foam and crab spring roll, it was all the deliciousness of a classic Thai Green Curry but with an added tang and depth of flavour. In retrospect though, the Chorizo Corn Dogs sound REALLY appealing right now. I will definitely be going for them on my next visit. The other dish was the Whisky Chicken, which came served with sweet potato scallops and crunchy coleslaw. The chicken was a lot more moist than I imagined but somehow the buttermilk batter stayed slightly crisp. I personally couldn’t taste the hints of whisky in the chicken, but hey – my taste buds were a little tainted by the previous nights gin.
The portion sizes were just right. They didn’t look like much on the plate, but when it comes to some restaurants you can rely on the quality over quantity of the food. Urban Cookhouse was somewhere which was slightly different to my usual Manchester haunts, and turned out to be a refreshing change to the regular burger places I would opt for.
Over all – friendly staff, food with a twist and a lovely atmosphere. Bravo.
-You can check out the Urban Cookhouse Menu for yourself online HERE–