If you’re looking for a place to eat that’s chic and sophisticated with a darker side, then look no further than the Malmaison Brasserie where we ate on the Saturday night of our recent weekend in Manchester.
If our Friday night choice of the Grill on the Alley was a great place to eat with friends to start your night on the town, the Malmaison Brasserie was more of a place to linger in the sultry art deco interior before retiring for a nightcap to the cocktail bar next door.
In the daytime the restaurant is light and airy but in the evening the red glowing side lamps are turned low and the candles flicker on the table. It was way too dark for me to take any decent pictures of the dining area when we were there, which is why I’m showing you the press shots from the Malmaison website.
The Malmaison is also a boutique hotel set in a former cotton-spinners’ warehouse and the dusky black and red theme extends through the rooms as well as the restaurant and bar on the ground floor. The red velvet and black leather seating, displays of wine bottles on the dresser and window sills, with sinuous wrought iron screens made it an elegant and cosy setting with upmarket nightclub overtones.
The food was impressive too with a menu that was familiar enough to please most tastes yet inventive enough to bring out the foodie in you with all the plus points of using seasonal produce from local sources. I was pleased to see a reasonably priced set menu flagged as ‘homegrown and local’ with 2 courses for £15.50 and 3 courses for £17.50
It’s always a good sign when the chefs are trying that little bit harder to tempt their customers back in these recessionary times. But whenever I see that ‘local produce’ label it always brings out the sneaky in me and I like to test the staff to see if they’re just paying lipservice to the buzz words – but our waitress was able to quote to me where most of the ingredients came from around the area.
I decided to eat from this ‘Homegrown and Local’ menu to see if it was as good as it sounded and it was – I had a great salad with smoked chicken and little cubes of salty feta cheese (that well known Lancashire speciality), then a bouillabaise which never has great plate appeal but tasted deliciously garlicky with large chunks of halibut and mussels. To complete the set meal I had a white chocolate mousse which was very moreish and beautifully presented. The monkfish with chorizo, butterbeans and melting red peppers that my dearly beloved ate was also delicious, and the sort of dish you make a mental note to try and recreate next time you’re having friends round for dinner. All in all we left feeling relaxed and well-satisfied and if we lived in Manchester, this is the place we’d be returning for many more candle-lit dinners.
This article is posted as part of Wanderlust Wednesday hosted over at Wanderlust and Lipstick – head over to taste some Guava and Soursop juice and other foodie delights
Manchester, M1 1LZ
Tel: 0161 278 1000
We received a complimentary meal at the Malmaison Brasserie as part of our visit to Manchester sponsored by Creativetourist.com where you can find all the latest creative happenings in art, exhibitions and museums for your weekend in Manchester.
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