Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Rose Garden, Didsbury

The Rose Garden Didsbury
From time to time I ask my Twitter pals for recommendations. They come back with all sorts of weird and wonderful places, both locally and further afield. I love a recommendation. Places where people I know have been and had such a good time, that they wanted to pass it on to other people. 

I'd been rabbitting on about The Rose Garden for a while, after my Twitter friend Helen had waxed lyrical about the chocolate tart she had eaten there. It was on the ever expanding list of things to do, places to go, food to eat. I may publish this list one day, but for now it's mainly in my head!

Last week my husband booked us a table. We've both had a bit of 'a week' so we knew that a lovely treat was awaiting us on Saturday evening. We've spent quite some time perusing the menu, and we were pretty much decided before we even got there! 

It's about a 25 minute drive from Bolton, so not that out of our way. I've never been to Didsbury before, but first impressions were good! The restaurant is situated on Burton Road which seems to be a main high street. On the same road there are other trendy restaurants and bars, and cutie pie home shops and tea rooms. We are definitely going back when they are open! The Rose Garden wasn't open yet, so we had a drink in a bar called Folk opposite. It was the sort of place that we describe as 'different, but not too quirky'. Imagine the Northern Quarter in a village setting. They even serve cake. They get points for this.

First impressions of The Rose Garden can be summed up in three words; 'excited belly ache'. The front of the restaurant is glass, which allows you to see the entire restaurant. It's minimalist with a homely touch. White walls and chairs are offset with fuchsia roses on the tables, a lime green feature wall and warm lighting. Hell, there's even a couple of polar bears on the wall. A very pretty place indeed! It's a family affair, with the chef's father designing the interior, his brother making it into a reality and his younger siblings serving tables. This business is cared for, and it shows.
The Rose Garden Didsbury - Interior
What better place to drink rose lemonade? This was lovely! It reminded me a little of gin, but with a cheeky little fizz!
The Rose Garden Didsbury - Rose Lemonade
I would say that both of our starters were the best course by far. My husband said the sauce served with his scallops was as good as the (now legendary) parsley sauce from St John's. This makes it a sauce super-power! The scallops were small but a perfect portion size.
The Rose Garden - Samphire scollops - seared scallops, english samphire, white wine, bacon crumbs
Samphire scollops - seared scallops, english samphire, white wine, bacon crumbs
I had the coronation chicken. Our waitress told us that it had been a special over the Jubilee weekend, and had been so popular they kept it. Do not underestimate how much I mean this next statement. This is one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. Anywhere. The flavour on the chicken, the texture of the charred edges, the spice and crunch of the coleslaw with plumped up sultanas and the sweet toasted almonds. This was a match made in heaven. I could eat this every day and never tire of it! If you go - have it. I insist. Praise indeed was sent to the chef.
The Rose Garden - Coronation chicken -  spiced free range chicken breast, coronation coleslaw, toasted almonds
Coronation chicken -
spiced free range chicken breast, coronation coleslaw, toasted almonds
My husband had the two way guinea fowl, which came with game crisps. He was very impressed with the contrast between the aniseed infused confit leg and the rich glazed breast. A summer take on a gamey dish. He ate every scrap. 
The Rose Garden - Two way guinea fowl - redcurrant glazed breast of guinea fowl, confit leg, celeriac fondant, savoy cabbage, bacon, redcurrant reduction
Two way guinea fowl - redcurrant glazed breast of guinea fowl, confit leg, celeriac fondant, savoy cabbage, bacon, redcurrant reduction
I had the zesty ribeye. The meat was of superb quality, and cooked to perfection. It took very little effort to cut and was beautifully pink. The combination of the pea and spring onion hash brown with the salsa made this a very light dish. 
The Rose Garden - Zesty ribeye - 28 day hung cheshire rib-eye, lemon & english mustard marinade, pea & spring onion hash brown, spring salsa, dressed leaves
Zesty ribeye - 28 day hung cheshire rib-eye, lemon & english mustard marinade, pea & spring onion hash brown, spring salsa, dressed leaves
We couldn't resist a side of home made chips. These tasted just like the ones my grandma used to make in a chip pan when we were little. Packed with flavour with a soft, fluffy inside. At the end of our mains, our waitress asked if we would like to keep the chips we had left, and even offered to bring some Ketchup for dipping. Nice touch. Although the restaurant feels suitably refined, the service is warm and friendly.
The Rose Garden - Chips
Home made chips
We had heard a lot about this dessert from Helen, so we had to try it. We shared both desserts as we couldn't decide what to pick. The filling in the tart is not firm as the picture may suggest, but light and almost like a moussy cake. It was chocolate orange flavoured, and came with a citrus ice-cream. This was a perfect accompaniment to the rich tart.
The Rose Garden - Chocolate orange tart - warm dark chocolate tart, shortcrust pastry,  candied orange peel, orange honeycomb ice cream
Chocolate orange tart - warm dark chocolate tart, shortcrust pastry,
candied orange peel, orange honeycomb ice cream
The egg and soldiers was actually a duck egg brûlée. This was so rich that I only managed two spoonfuls! I think I have caught my friend Vicki's brûlée phobia! It was a beautifuuly rich custard inside, but I feared I would die on the spot if I ate any more! At this point, we swapped desserts. My husband is a fan of anything brûlée-like and polished it off! I soldiered on with the tart and ice-cream...

My only criticism of the dessert menu was that it was lacking something a little more fruity or cakey. There was a rhubarb panna cotta, but this was similar in texture to the egg and soldiers.
The Rose Garden - Egg and soldiers - duck egg brûlée, strawberry jam yolk, shortbread soldiers
Egg and soldiers - duck egg brûlée, strawberry jam yolk, shortbread soldiers
We were both suffering with a bit of post meal lethargy at this point so decided coffees were in order. That was until I saw the hot chocolate and fancied that instead. This is the girl who moments before was dying from a suger overdose! Warrior-like behaviour... Our waitress explained that they had run out of whipped cream, but reassured me that she would foam some milk for me instead! It even came served with a wee jammy dodger.
The Rose Garden - Hot Chocolate with Jammy Dodger
My husband (now suffering terribly after snaffling my jammy dodger as well...) got an Americano. This cam with a jaffa cake and came in a matching orange Pantone mug! Many brownie points given by husband...
The Rose Garden - Coffee with Jaffa Cake
We will definitely be going back to The Rose Garden. We hadn't quite expected it to be as good as it was, so we were pleasantly surprised at both how nice the restaurant was and how well the food was cooked. 

The Rose garden menu.

Disclaimer: The Rose Garden did not pay me for this review. I went because I was curious after it was recommended and the name drew me in...

Please leave your thoughts or own experiences below... 

The Rose Garden on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. @sweetfannyadams24 June 2012 at 20:55

    Love the look of this place. Scallops and samphire on a plate .... my favourites. Have a friend who lives in Withington who I go for lunch with occasionally, so reckon this will have to be our next foray. Thanks for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This place looks amazing! I work nearby and drive down Burton Road every day, I must pay more attention to the surroundings as I'm clearly missing out!

    ReplyDelete

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