Sunday, 12 May 2013

3TwentyOne, Manchester

3TwentyOne, Manchester
It was a very brave move indeed to invite Manchester's bloggers to your soft opening... Last night we were lucky enough to be asked to sample the new menu at Deansgate's latest restaurant, 3TwentyOne.

3TwentyOne is situated upstairs in The Deansgate pub, ideally located a stone's throw from Deansgate train station. Saturday was cup final day, so we had to squeeze through the footy fans to get to the stairs. However, once you arrive in the restaurant, it's a whole different world to the drinker's paradise downstairs. It feels smart, clean and above all has an air of professionalism. Everyone has a role and everything has its place. 

We were welcomed by a pleasant young lady who showed us to our table. The seating arrangements are varied, including leather-clad booths, high benches with stools and regular tables with a view of the kitchen. The staff wear crisp white shirts with braces, and the chefs are visible in the kitchen.
3TwentyOne, Manchester
We were immediately offered complimentary drinks, and the chef sent a garlic bread whilst we waited for our starters.
3TwentyOne, Manchester
We started with Mr Holden's Manchester Egg and Sticky Barbecued Ribs. The ribs were absolutely fantastic. They came served with the house three cabbage slaw and shards of celery, drenched in more of that wonderful barbecue sauce. The portion was generous and I was able to eat them without making an absolute show of myself. Excellent.

My husband really enjoyed the Manchester egg with black pudding 'scotch'. The yolk was ever so slightly over-done, but I'm pretty sure this was down to waiting on the pass rather than being over cooked. This is a minor logistical hiccough which I am sure will be resolved.
3TwentyOne - Starters
We sampled dishes from two areas for our mains, so my husband ordered 'The Barbecue' pizza with pulled pork, maple bacon and red onion (hold the red onion in his case), and I had the rib eye steak.

Paddy loved the pizza. It was simple but full of bold flavours with a crispy base. I nicked a bit (purely to research flavour...) and can confirm that pulled pork was bloody good.
3TwentyOne - Pizza
My steak was beautifully soft and came served with the sweetest cherry tomatoes ever. It was ever so slightly over-done (I asked for medium rare), but it didn't detract from the fact it was a very good steak indeed.
3TwentyOne - Steak
We also ordered double cooked chips, a portion of sweet potato fries and pepper sauce. The double cooked chips were arguably better than many triple cooked versions I have tried, the sweet potato variety were crisp and well seasoned and the pepper sauce was thick and creamy - no one wants a damp squib of a sauce!
3TwentyOne - Sides
When asked if we would like to see the dessert menu, I didn't need to say a word. My face said it all, and possibly more than I would have liked. I was hugely excited to see Apple and Toffee Crumble Pie and Mud Pie on the menu. Mmm... pie...  The apple dessert had good texture and a beautiful cinnamon topping, but I would have liked to have seen this warm with ice cream. Crumble says pudding to me, and the apples were a little firm. I'm sure this could be easily rectified.

The mud pie was a big fella of a dessert. It took a little effort to slice through, which is always a reassuring sign for any chocolate lover. The crisp edge was perfect, and the ice cream served its purpose perfectly; a much needed lighter note to a very handsome pudding.
3TwentyOne - Desserts
Feeling like we may be suffering from minor death, we finished our meal with tea and coffee, both of which were to a good standard and suitably delivered a much needed shot of caffeine.
3TwentyOne - Drinks
I applaud the honesty of the owners of 3TwentyOne for promoting their restaurant in this way. They could have taken out flashy ads and given it the big 'I am' on social media, but instead they were so confident in their food that they welcomed some of the city's most critical folk with open arms, knowing that we would be posting pictures like billyo. No pressure eh?

Is it perfect? Not at the moment, but it has great potential and a clear desire to be at the top of their game. Did we have a good time? Definitely. Would I recommend it? Yes. I'm dying to try their Sunday roast...

Saturday night was a dress rehearsal for 'normal' service. I am sure they will take our collective feedback on board and do with it what they wish. I am no expert, I'm just a lover of food and eating out. These are just my opinions. The staff seem proud to work at 3TwentyOne, and I'm sure they will make it the best it can be.

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Disclaimer: We were invited to 3TwentyOne as guests. The meal was complimentary but I was under no obligation to give a good review.

3 Twenty One on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow they all look sooooo good especially the ribs and the puddings. Next time I travel to Manchester I am there!!! xoxo


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