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Menagerie Restaurant And Bar, Manchester
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Why do they start all the roadworks at the same time? It wasn't an easy start to the journey - getting into central Manchester with the temporary traffic lights seemed to bring the traffic to a standstill.

The stressful start was soon soothed as we entered The Menagerie Restaurant and Bar which has recently opened in Manchester. Mind you, they could do with a sign outside on both sides of the building as the neon sign is only on one side.

Inside Menagerie
It is a glitzy place and like a Menagerie it is a bit of a mixture of cocktail bar, restaurant and at a push a lively night time venue. We arrived on an early Saturday evening and the music playing was from the 80's - think Wham!, Whitney Houston and A-Ha. I was half expecting our server to be Simon Le Bon or Tony Hadley!

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Thankfully the service is the one thing that set this exciting new restaurant apart - it was 5 star all the way: water brought to the table was poured straight away, dishes cleared and not left, clean knives and forks brought to the table without asking, staff who knew the menu backwards - nothing was too much trouble. The observational skills of the waiters was excellent.

Our waiter Ancor was from La Graciosa, a small island off Gran Canaria and had only come to Manchester for a short stay, but had remained here. He and the rest of the staff are an asset to the Menagerie and this is what sets the restaurant apart from their competitors.

They serve a bottomless brunch on a weekend from Noon to 4pm for £40.00 but we chose from the set menu. It is not too extensive but there are the small tasting plates if you want, along with the usual sea bass, steaks etc.

Crudities
We shared a plate of crudités to start for £5.50 which was nicely presented and very appetising, though my partner thought that it was not as fresh as it could be as none of the ingredients had that crunch you expect.

Chicken caesar salad
I chose a Chicken Caesar salad priced at £13.00 which was served differently, but could have been shared between two as there was a lot of it! The chicken was served hot and very tender.

Sushi
My partner went for a selection of sushi which she felt was the best part of the meal, served in bigger portions than you normally get, the sushi was said to be some of the best she had tasted.

Gourmet burger
My main of Menagerie gourmet burger came wrapped up making it look like it had come from Burger King; it might have been better presented unwrapped. The bun was soft and the burger meaty, the fries were hot and salty - priced at £16.00.

16 oz Pork chop
My partner decided upon the 16oz Pork chop served with sweet potato purée, apricot confit and maple syrup, which was nicely cooked though the green salad she ordered without any onions included still came with onions in it. Apparently this was the fault of the kitchen as our server repeated our order to us and apologised for the kitchen getting it wrong.

Sticky toffee pudding
The Sticky toffee pudding I chose was gooey, not too sweet and dark. It looked like a huge blob of tarmac but tasted delightful. First class! My partner chose the Warm chocolate chip cookie served with caramel sauce, hot fudge and vanilla ice cream, which again was a guilty pleasure.

The music by now had moved onto something more current, think Dua Lipa and you will be on the right track. The lighting had dimmed slightly and the dancers had now appeared too with one doing fire eating - the place was buzzing even more.

We were served a plate of tarts (off the afternoon tea menu) topped off with sparklers. Apparently they have their own pastry chef from Italy. The pastry on the tarts was crisp and light, perfect in fact - they could have come straight from a Marseille patisserie - not from Manchester!

The traffic had eased outside by now. As far as service goes I would give it the green light in that you should definitely go, I cannot praise the service enough.

The food was good but not the best we have had, but then again it wasn't bad either, so the traffic lights would stay at amber for the food, but as for red, it is definitely worth you stopping to experience this exciting, vibrant and classy restaurant.

The Menagerie Restaurant and Bar, Ground Floor, One New Building, Salford,Manchester M3 5JL

Telephone 0161 832 3818

www.menagerierestaurant.co.uk

Menagerie Restaurant And Bar, Manchester, 20th October 2018, 21:21 PM