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Abode, Manchester.

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Nearly all of our visits to Manchester are to Red Chilli or more recently Red-n-Hot. However back in March we tried the Amazing Graze lunch and early evening menu at this very spot, and excellent it was too.

Well we thought a revisit was in order especially that the Good Food Guide 2010 has just awarded it "Best set menu", by that I think that they really mean, "best value set lunch menu in the UK", and we wholeheartedly agree.

Chef Ian Matfin featured on Great British Menu, won Manchester chef of the year, Abode won Cheshire Life restaurant of the year, and Matfin was (is) tipped for a Michelin star. So is it still good?

Twelve English pounds is a paltry amount of money to pay to anyone to put three top quality plates of food on any table, never mind them paying city centre rent, rates, staff, high quality restaurant refurb costs etc, etc, etc.

The menu has a choice of three starters, mains, and dessert, but you can take cheese instead of pudding if you want, spot on.

This is what we chose.

Escabeche of Mackerel with apple and radish salad.

Ham hock terrine, pickled beetroot, date puree, salad mache.

Wild Mallard Duck, celeriac puree, autumn berries and red wine sauce.

Roast fillet of Hake, rocket creme fraiche and fennel cream sauce.

Grape clafoutis with clotted cream ice cream.

Selection of three local cheeses.

Now bearing in mind of course that the portions are more tasting or tapas sized and that I wanted to try some plates myself we ordered three x three courses, let me explain.

We both chose the Mackerel which was served with tart batons of apple, micro herbs and radish. This was tasty, but I needed to season mine to bring out the flavor a bit.

We then split the Ham terrine, which was a triangular wedge, two lines of date puree either side and the dressed lambs lettuce at the other end of the plate, this was ok, nothing special, but the bread which is made in house, and accompanied the dish was brilliant.

A choice of three with good butter, pandovan? country white, and an exquisite sun dried tomato and black olive masterpiece. That was top notch indeed.

The Mallard next. We both ordered it simply because it was the best dish on the menu, and indeed it was. Perfectly cooked, extremely tasty, with perfect red wine sauce and slightly sweet and tart berries, could of eaten plates of this it was bang on the money.

The Hake arrived the same time as the duck, and I really wanted this after the starters but hey ho, we split the dish and ate it along side the duck.

As a dish on its own, as opposed to eating it with the duck, we were very pleased with it but because the duck was so strongly flavored it did not really have a chance to shine.

Crispy skinned and sitting on coco beans, little spots of ceps, peppery rocket creme fraiche and japanese artichokes (crosne) small but perfectly formed, again a strong dish

Grape clafoutis was next, we both took this dish and enjoyed it immensely, baby clafoutis one end of the plate, shot glass of clotted cream with honeycomb topping in the middle and the ice cream to the left.

Cheese next, three not too mean portions of Mrs Bournes Cheddar,Whitehaven goats cheese from Nantwich and, Celtic Promise an orange rind cows milk cheese from award winning Welsh cheesemaker Teifi Farmhouse.

A few grapes, biscuits and some wonderful fig chutney made it all come together.

On reflection I think the two three courses would not have satisfied our appetites and am really glad that we took the extra meal because twelve pounds is neither here nor there in the scheme of things.

We had a couple of glasses of wine each, some tap water but skipped coffee.

We think this deal is a steal for the quality, but be quick we think it only has a few days left before the Xmas menus kick in, fear not in January it will most certainly reappear.

This is what Jay Rayner thought of it earlier this year


Almost forgot, they bring an HP iPAQ to your table for feedback, everybody contributed as opposed to the normal paper form which is largely ignored and of course easily binned by anyone including of course the wait staff

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"



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I thought the menu had gone downhill a bit from jay's outing when we went, it was obviously a menu designed to hit a GP target so it was all cheap ingredients, which is fair enough but it wasn't when it opened and got all the fuss.

So we went ALC, sure we wrote it up on here, maybe on manchester thread?

Was ok, wouldn't rush back.

eta, here you go bapi's thoughts...

Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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  • 1 month later...

had lunch here on saturday.

Scallops, caramelised cauliflower puree, sweet raisin vinaigrette. really good dish, lovely puree.

Lancashire hot pot, braised red cabbage, carrots. carrots were over cooked a bit but the cabbage was absolutely beautiful.

rhubarb and custard. sorbet was a bit too soft and melted a little quickly but maybe that could be because it was put on my table when my friend was in the toilet, not wanting to be rude i waited for him.

bread was superb.

service was a tad bad in places, mainly due to individual mistakes eg not knowing what the bread was.

didnt expect to have a chap and his wife sat next to us though who thought it was best to pretty much start a fight, we stayed sat down and didnt say much, was too shocked to think someone would be so rude in a good quality restaurant to the staff and other dinners. the floor staff handled it impeccably full credit to them.

had the 3 courses for £10. just silly value. yes the portions are quite small (which is what the chap got arsey about) but you dont expect an all you can eat buffet. damn good lunch, if i lived in Manchester id dine there most weeks.

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Three courses for a tenner is just crazy, they will start to pay people to dine there at this rate.

If, and it may be a big if, that Michelin star appears I think this menu will disappear.

Would like to work in the kitchen for a day to see how they make that bread of theirs :smile:

"So many places, so little time"



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