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The Modern, Urbis, Manchester


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In retrospect such a restaurant deserves it's own hand-crafted topic. So, below is my formal review, as lovingly rehashed and reheated from the "Manchester lunch reccs" thread:

"Anyhow, I went to The Modern this Saturday with my better half, my dad and his partner. It was smashing (though in the name of transparency I reveal myself as being involved with the board of the Urbis Trading Company. The review is of course written at "arms length", with as much integrity as I could muster!) .

We arrived at 8:30 (me two VERY swift pints to the good after having watched United spank Newcastle 6:0) and were seated in the comfortable bar with a couple of Pilsner Urquells for us blokes and a Mint Fizz (Elderflower, mint, apple, soda) for the girls. You'd normally expect a slick Manchester city centre bar to be packed to the rafters on a Saturday night, but although The Modern had a nice buzz we were still able to grab some seats. This is partly due to the fact that the official media launch has yet to take place (meaning so far it is a destination only for the more intrepid or clued-up) and partly because there is an emphasis on laid-back table service rather than a scrum at the bar.

Darkness had well and truly fallen and being on the topmost floor of the building (Urbis, which isn't a museum) meant there was a fabulous city centre view to take in as we drank. Although the city-scape was unmistakably Mancunian (The Corn Exchange, The Big Wheel, the distant Beetham Tower) it actually had a feeling of being slightly detached from the city which you often find in the better class of hotel bars. I really rather liked it. Starving as we were we asked to be shepherded to the restaurant on the floor below. We got a rather fine table right in the "prow" of the building, meaning we retained the excellent views (a choice spot I'm sure eGulleteers could wangle for themselves). Menus were promptly brought and the only minor blip from our warm and professional waitress was confidently handing over a specials menu which was completely blank.

As mentioned elsewhere the point of The Modern is that as the dining room of Urbis, with it's emphasis on the city culture of Manchester (and further afield), it should be a standard bearer for local and regional produce and local and regional dishes. I think the menu nails it with Reg Johnson's duck, Chat Moss herbs and Chelsford beef all represented, as well as the ubiquitous Morecambe Bay shrimps, Mrs Kirkhams cheeses, Goosnargh chicken etc etc. Oh, and the fantastic High Peak lamb comes from my local award-winning butchers, Mettricks (did I ever tell you about them?) and though you won't believe me the restaurant team found them through their own initiative, rather than through me force-feeding them pro-Mettricks propaganda like foie gras geese.

I must stress at this point that although we came here for a good meal, the night was more about the company and good old fashioned nattering than being uber-food-nerds. When you have two small children you realise you rarely get to engage in simple adult conversation (either sophisticated or just plain rude) as you always have squawking, trouser-leg tugging infants in attendance. The meal was our attempt to redress the balance, and thus, criminally in the eyes of eGulleteers I’m sure, my recall of the subtleties of each dish may be lacking slightly. And I didn't take pictures...

Starters were Reg Johnson's smoked duck salad (for me) with the rest of the party opting for roast scallops with bacon (not the black pudding version listed on the website menu) and parsley sauce and... bollocks... I can't remember the others... I'm tempted to say another set of scallops, and possibly the Jeruselem artichoke and rosemary soup with chanterelles. I told you I was too busy talking! The duck for me was one of the highpoints of the meal. I admit it is the third time in a row I've had it as a starter, but although variety is the spice of life so is knowing when you are onto a good thing. Beautiful tender meat with a rich little strip of fat, a subtle smoke and warm lentils cooked in a tasty stock and tipped over crisp salad leaves.

The scallops were also excellent. They were simply served on mash, tightly wrapped in good crisped bacon, and with a pleasing though unpretentious dribble of sauce around them. The general feel at the table was that is was a long time since we had scallops which were cooked so well and presented so simply. So many menus recently seem keen to smother them in strong or exotic flavours and so it was a pleasure to have them combined with nothing more than spuds, bacon and parsley. Low-fi cooking maybe, but trickier to get right than it looks and the sign of a confident kitchen.

Oh, bread was good too - lovely flavour, good texture. White, and brown, and... that's it. I like whacky bread as much as the next person (recent interesting experiences include muesli bread and curry bread) but actually being offered simple crisp warm rolls in two clear variations was a refreshing change in this era of over-facing choices.

Mains were the roast monkfish, oxtail, girolles and red wine (me, again a regular choice) whereas the rest of the party went with the grilled john dory with roast salsify, loch fyne mussels, razor clams and a champagne sauce; the slow roasted saddle of Herdwick lamb, braised shallots, confit garlic and creamed spinach; and the chargrilled ribeye with braised onions, a red wine and bonemarrow jus and fat cut chips.

The monkfish is a delight. Served on the bone it's a hefty portion and needless to say I tend to pile it on the fork slathered in oxtail and the reduced red wine as if it were gravy. Delish. The lamb (which I sampled) was also excellent with a well judged liquor (intense, but without the overpowering flavours you often get with roast winter veg) and garlic cloves still in their skins. The steak was a beast but was medium rare on the button, and declared "delicious". The dish was short of any sort of greens so although the portion was huge it would have been better if the waitress has pointed out that a side or two (we didn't need any for the other dishes) would add balance. The John Dory? I missed it completely, but the recipient declared it one of the best dishes she has eaten in years (though she was a bit overexcited as she doesn't get out much).

By puddings we were flagging, so obviously we piled in anyway (except my dad, who is a wuss). The quince tart (which I had eaten previously) was perfect - tender fruit, nice sweet/sharp balance and light, crisp pastry). Personally I went for the cheeses, and God knows I can't recall them now though in my defense I'm pretty sure the waitress didn't identify them in the first place. They were served in smallish wedges which initially seemed a bit skimpy but were actually pretty well judged. The accompanying Chorley cakes were intriguing (kind of shortbread with caraway seeds - my Prestonian girlfriend hadn't heard of them before) and they could have been dry except for dipping in the honey. The third dessert again escapes me (note to self – Must try harder).

Oh, drinks. With only two and half of us drinking we followed the beers with an all-purpose Huia Pinot Gris (£30) which we nursed through the meal and which did the job well. The waitress was confident enough to guide us around the wine-list and guided us away from a comparable but, in her opinion, lesser choice.

It was a delight to see the place fully booked as although well-judged the fit-out is simple and clean rather than intimate and cozy - to offset the compelling view - meaning diners can feel a little exposed in a quiet service. That said, you can always hole up at the bar if numbers are light because the bar menu is also excellent (and you can get fish-finger sandwiches!).

All in all the damage was, I think, around £130. Very good value for the standard of food, service and surroundings. I don’t know the chef but his pedigree is good (Harvey Nichols in London, possibly L’odeon) without being outstanding. His last stint was at the Individual Restaurant Company (Piccolino, Restaurant Bar and Grill et al) which although a slick and successful operation does require chefs to work as cogs in a machine. The Modern gives the impression of a talented chef, spreading his wings and starting to enjoy himself again. His passion for the produce shone through.

My dad, a man of many words (ex journalist, and you know what they are like...) summed it up by saying the presentation was "fantastic without being prissy" and that there were "simple combinations of great produce with gutsy cooking and not too much fucking about". I know that this pretty much nails the intended ethos of The Modern and if success is measured in terms of achieving the aims you set out for yourself them I think The Modern is a winner. I eat here not because of my links to the business, but because it is exactly the kind of restaurant that I enjoy eating in, and exactly the kind of restaurant that Manchester needed.

Final point - It is still a bitch to find (my dad wants to return but didn't think he could find it unaided). The expensively architected building is (like so many expensively architected buildings) an operational nightmare, and access to the restaurant is via an almost invisible sliding door on the Corporation St side of the building. This lack of visibility and lack of connection to the city (it's a 5/6 floor lift-ride away) is the only thing that can hold back The Modern, and I know the team are looking to alleviate the problem.

The Modern

Cheers

Thom"

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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The site deserves to do well - when it was Le Mont they didn't advertise at all well and having a tiny and subdued street-level entrance really didn't help at all. If they get that fixed then they may start attracting not just passing trade but might actually make people aware of the existence of the place.

I'd be very interested to find out who's running the place now.

p.s. Good review, Thom... ever thought about getting into PR/Media? :P

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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p.s.  Good review, Thom...  ever thought about getting into PR/Media? :P

Thank you Mr Bear. PR/Media? I would, but I have lost my trendy rimless glasses and can't afford a Prada suit. Or a cocaine habit...

RDB, yep, it I feel it is very much as good as I say. Promise. In the interests of balance I just met my better half for lunch (potato, roast garlic and rosemary soup at Love Saves the Day, followed by a Tunnocks teacake - perfection) and she reminded me that her starter was the grilled cep mushroom and Chat Moss winter herb salad. Although she liked it, I don't think it wowed her in the way that she was expecting.

Conversely though she also reminded me of her dessert - how could I forget! - which was a delicious home-made rice pudding with poached champagne rhubarb. Absolutely fantastic. The rhubarb was divine (beautifully limp and intensely flavoured), the rice pudding pleasingly nubbly, and the only fault (if I were being harsh) would be that it was a shade heavy on the nutmeg.

I've eaten at The Modern maybe four times now (and in the cafe run by the same team on the ground floor many times more) and besides a slightly undercooked slab of halibut (which caused much audible consternation and gnashing of teeth in the kitchen) my experiences have been nothing short of great.

Don't underestimate the bar side of things either. The team there mix a mean cocktail and the spirit selection is inspirational. The cocktail list is seasonal (flips and brown spirits are key in the winter months) and is dedicated to classic cocktails from the pre-60's era. The champagne cocktails in particular get great feedback (my company Christmas party ended up there) but they are not too precious to let you order off menu and produced excellent whisky sours and old fashioneds on request.

Bear, I never know with your dead-eyed wit whether you are being sarky or not but you do know who owns it now don't you? It's no longer run by global leisure group SMG (Have I got that acronym right?) as it was in Le Mont's days, but instead, after much negotiation with the council, it has been handed over to the trading company of Urbis itself who have being running the ground floor cafe (the secret best place in town to eat during the day with kids) with aplomb for a couple of years.

Cheers

Thom

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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I'd be very interested to find out who's running the place now.

*waves*.

THe street-side issues will be being tackled over the next few weeks we hope. Its never going to have a full-on set of advertising hoardings because planning won't let too much happen to such a signature building. But we can improve what's there. Passing trade is always going to be an issue though. There seems to be a sychological barrier between the Arndale and the Triangle that stops people passing that point. The revamp of Victoria will help rather a lot.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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We arrived at 8:30 (me two VERY swift pints to the good after having watched United spank Newcastle 6:0) and were seated in the comfortable bar with a couple of Pilsner Urquells for us blokes and a Mint Fizz (Elderflower, mint, apple, soda) for the girls.

Thom, great review, can't wait to try it next time I'm home and I'm delighted to see the Manc tradition of getting ever so slightly rat arsed before ordering lives on.

Come on the Reds.

M.

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"We arrived at 8:30 (me two VERY swift pints to the good after having watched United spank Newcastle 6:0) and were seated in the comfortable bar with a couple of Pilsner Urquells for us blokes and a Mint Fizz (Elderflower, mint, apple, soda) for the girls."

Thom, great review, can't wait to try it next time I'm home and I'm delighted to see the Manc tradition of getting ever so slightly rat arsed before ordering lives on.

Come on the Reds.

M.

Ha, yes! It's not a proper night out if, by the time you reach the menu, it doesn't appear to be oscillating slightly as you attempt to read it. Two pints of Budvar in 35 mins, a sprint across town plus a Pilsner Urquell (on a very empty stomach, I stress!) will do that to you.

What a game too! Better still as I have both Tevez and Ronaldo in my Fantasy Football team. Ahhh... A six nil thrashing, beer, oxtail and rhubarb, all in one night. Only thirty four and I think I might have hit the high point of my life already.

I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad...

Cheers

Thom

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Bear, I never know with your dead-eyed wit whether you are being sarky or not but you do know who owns it now don't you? It's no longer run by global leisure group SMG (Have I got that acronym right?) as it was in Le Mont's days, but instead, after much negotiation with the council, it has been handed over to the trading company of Urbis itself who have being running the ground floor cafe (the secret best place in town to eat during the day with kids) with aplomb for a couple of years.

no, not sarky at all... I heard from the ex-head chef of the downstairs bit, Tony Holland-Bennett, that an urbis takeover was being discussed but didn't know whether it had come to fruition.

Bertie - really? :) Good to hear. I used to work upstairs and would be very interested in seeing the difference. I always got the impression that Le Mont was run mostly as a vanity operation - i.e. the head chef (I'm sure you know the one) knew fuck all about what GP he was running, stocktakes were non-existant, etc etc. Never the sign of a restaurant run to make a serious profit.

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Can't really comment for obvious reasons CB. Though I have seen a P&L that suggested seriously large linen bills for the previous incumbents!

Because its run as part of Urbis trading, the management of the finances is rather more central I guess. It has to return a serious amount to the Urbis bottom line in order to finance the sort of exhbitions we need to do. But it also fits in with the Urbis purpose, in promoting the best of the city, and hopefully being a showcase the city high-ups are proud to use.

It's not a usual venture for a gallery---most, even the biggies, would out-source delivery of catering and accept a fairly fixed amount in return (10% on tunrover or thereabouts). We wanted to deliver ourselves because a) we think we can do it better, and therefore make more money, and b) the Urbis branding elements that are important to us---particualrly around service--, can't be guaranteed when such elements are handed over to a commercial company (even the best ones like Couture catering).

And, at the end of the day, I wanted a restaurant and bar I was happy to eat/drink in. Which is why it serves the second-best fish pie in Lancashire, and the best Manhattan.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Which is why it serves the second-best fish pie in Lancashire, and the best Manhattan.

Go on then you teaser. Where's the best fish pie in Lancashire? And don't say your house. And Manchester hasn't been in Lancashire since I was a schoolboy.

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Which is why it serves the second-best fish pie in Lancashire, and the best Manhattan.

Go on then you teaser. Where's the best fish pie in Lancashire? And don't say your house. And Manchester hasn't been in Lancashire since I was a schoolboy.

Yeah, but it should be. Just as the best fish pie in Lancashire, at the Inn at Whitewell, should really be in Yorkshire.

Edited by BertieWooster (log)

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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This all sounds good. I might have to take a trip over the hills in the next couple of weeks...

Thom, It all sounds rather cheap for what you ate, are these introductory prices or can I expect to pay under £70 for two?

Alex

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This all sounds good. I might have to take a trip over the hills in the next couple of weeks...

Thom, It all sounds rather cheap for what you ate, are these introductory prices or can I expect to pay under £70 for two?

Alex

Oh I think you'll find the same prices I did, I didn't get any special deals (though my quoted price did exclude service). Have a look at the prices on the restaurant menu.

As you can see starters are from about £4:50 to £7:50, mains from £9:50 to about £20:00 and desserts are £4:50 or £5:00 (more for the cheeses). All in all the three courses (excluding drinks) should average out at around £25 a head. More if you want to throw in sides and coffees etc, though we did without.

Even better value is the lunchtime/early evening menu - two courses (from a limited but still satisfying menu) are £12:95, three are £15:95. Again it's all detailed on the menu.

I do stress once more though that although this all reads wonderfully (I hope!) The Modern is not formal or Michelin-chasing dining, and nor is it trying to be. Friendly, efficient service and unnaped tables are the order of the day. This is not a restaurant trying to change the face of gastronomy - you won't find insanely obtuse ingredients or be over-faced with techniques by a showboating chef.

Instead, this is a place focusing (to paraphrase my old pa) on serving simple dishes made up of intelligent combinations of quality ingredients with minimal mucking about, all served in pleasing surroundings that allow you to relax and enjoy your meal. It sounds a simple and undemanding ambition, but it is frightening how few restaurants aim for it, let alone achieve it.

Cheers

Thom

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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See, I know this is going to sound like my dissing my former workplace... but that's the sort of thing Le Mont should have done in the first place. It failed for the same reasons as Establishment :

1) Food not geared to the market - classical french for Le Mont, and "too-clever-for-manchester-at-the-time" cooking for Establishment.

2) A need to sit every service pretty near capacity to bring a good return.

3) Lack of awareness in the dining public about their existence.

Reading Modern's menu, I don't get that impression from either the content or the pricing. if 3) can be adequately addressed, I think they might be on to a winner.

God knows, Manchester could do with more decent places to eat.

Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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That is exactly our policy, we aim to serve the best ingredients(at our targeted level) in a simple style, still with an absolute eye on quality, with good, friendly service and an excellent knowledge of what we have to offer.

That is why I was asking, we are extending in a couple of months and I would be interested in seeing what is happening in a restaurant of simular standing that is outside of London (and, most importantly, in the glorious north!)

Alex

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the menu looks great - will definitely try it out next time i'm up to see the folks - what are booking policies like? Walkins possible?

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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the menu looks great - will definitely try it out next time i'm up to see the folks - what are booking policies like? Walkins possible?

Hi Nikki, yes, especially midweek, but if you're talking weekends, phoning in advance would be most sensible to avoid being offered a table in 'two hours' and being forced to consume large amounts of cocktails whilst waiting.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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the menu looks great - will definitely try it out next time i'm up to see the folks - what are booking policies like? Walkins possible?

Hi Nikki, yes, especially midweek, but if you're talking weekends, phoning in advance would be most sensible to avoid being offered a table in 'two hours' and being forced to consume large amounts of cocktails whilst waiting.

no force needed where cocktails are involved - i reckon i could give thom a run for his money! Will definitely try it out soon - menu really does look delicious.

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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How much are eGullet charging for advertorial these days?

Ha! Someone was bound to say it sooner rather than later and you were always the bookies favourite Andy! I've known you long enough to take your spiky comment in good humour but I do think you raise a point which needs a general address:

I think most would agree there is no problem with flagging up a business relevent to eGullet, whether it's a restaurant, a supplier or whatever, as long as any connection is flagged up clearly from the start. As we all know shilling is an unpleasant habit but luckily we ever-watchful denizens of eGullet seem particularly adept at rooting out offenders for a shame-faced confession (and much mocking).

Bertie and I are linked to The Modern, but bless us we can't help that, and if anything we probably overstated this fact due to awareness of what a sensitive issue it can be. Personally I think The Modern should be of interest to eGulleteers, and as you know I get passionate about things I like (such as Mettricks, my butchers, who I champion ad infinitum with no commercial link!) so yes I've yammered on about it.

As to whether my views carry any relevence or should be treated as unavoidable biased and therefore handled with suspicion? Well, all I can say is that firstly it would be a poor show if I were not professionally capable of operating at an "arms length" basis in such matters and that secondly, on a personal note, I have been on eGullet for ohhh... around eight years and having made some wonderful friends and contacts here it would be witlessly shortsighted to undermine those relationships (and what little credibility I have!) by throwing in a completely cynical and unrealistic review.

If The Modern was poor (or even mediocre) I could argue that I wouldn't be involved in the first place. I would certainly add that even if I were involved I would be too embarrassed to flag it up with such prominence on eGullet. I wrote the review as I found it. Simple as that. Is The Modern a flawless five out of five? No. Is it a strong four with bags of potential? For sure, and I hope the review communicates that. Would I eat there regardless of links to the business? Yep. Am I already planning to go back again? Oh yes.

Andy, I think the proof of the pudding would be to get you up so you can try it out for yourself. I know you like to pick my brains occassionaly for journalistic reasons to find out what is happening in the hinterlands of the North so take it from me - after a significant lull the gastronomic wheels of Manchester are turning once again. Make an overnight of it and I'll also take you to Grado (Paul Heathcote's suprisingly great tapas place) and Vermilion (£4.5m insane Thai bar/restaurant sited in the arse end of Miles Platting).

My treat (for The Modern at least), as long as it doesn't compromise your journalistic integrity!

Cheers

Thom

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Sorry to be snarky, but I think if you're going to start a new thread with a long review you need to be very clear in that review what your connection is to the restaurant : "vested interet etc etc" doesn't really do that job. In my opinion, a signature line with "Thom Hetherington, Managing Director, Moorfield Media" and a link to your website would help. There are a group of us old timers who know who you are and what you do, but it isn't necessarily clear to everyone.

For the record, Thom is and remains the go-to-guy for all things Manchester and beyond. He's a lovely bloke, good company, hospitable and always very helpful. Oddly, my wife thinks he's good looking, but it should be noted that she met him before she increased the strength of her contact lens prescription.

eGullet launched in August 2001.

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Some fair and valid points.

I did clearly state I was on the Urbis trading company board on the "Manchester lunch reccs" thread and if I rushed through the point on this accompanying thread it was probably through trying to minimise repetition between the two (hence my request that mods could remove the original dupe review post - I might just rejig the content and link it).

To be clear I am not in the employ of Urbis and have no direct operational input there, so I do feel that as long as my links are stated the best way to convey the nature of the restaurant (which should be of interest to local eGulleteers) is to do a straightforward review. As I said I just told it as I found it and people can judge my review as they find it.

RE My signature, it probably could do with an update as the current version (the only one I have ever had) dates back several years and relates to some light-hearted mocking of the lovely Mr Rayner. That said, my profile (though still a tad out of date) clearly states the following:

"I am lucky enough to run the 'Northern Restaurant and Bar' Exhibition, and now also the 'Northern Hospitality Awards', both of which take place 27th/28th of March 2006 in Manchester.

The former is the only hospitality trade event for the North of England and the latter, unsuprisingly, is the only hospitality trade awards for the North of England. Do you see a pattern forming here?

As with so many of my previous roles it means I get to loiter around in nice restaurants and pass it off as work."

Again it could do with an update, if only to ensure it also shamelessly promotes my newer ventures (www.rsvpnorth.co.uk and www.buyartfair.co.uk )!

RE your wife's comments I can only thank her for her kind words, but with the caveat that as she also ended up marrying your good self her taste in men can only, kindly, be described as "eclectic"...

And as to me being "a lovely bloke, good company, hospitable and always very helpful" - the sentiments are much appreciated, but it's the North Andy, we're all warm and friendly up here!

Ah well, back to The Modern. I look forward to feedback from the first eGullet civvie to darken it's doors.

Cheers

Thom

Added bit: I should know this after eight years but why can I edit my posts to my hearts content on this thread but when I revisit the "Manc Lunch reccs" thread there is no edit button to be seen on my contributions? Doubtless there is an obvious answer that an eGullet newbie/eight year-old could pityingly point out to me but all help gratefully received.

Edited by thom (log)

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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