Sunday 22 July 2012

Solita, Manchester

Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
If you've ever read my blog before, you will know I am a right nosy parker. For the last few weeks the team at Solita have been tweeting pictures of their amazing test dishes. Then one day, they posted that picture. They had pulled pork on the menu! The pulled-pork-o-meter was flashing ten to the dozen. I then somehow managed to forget about this image for a few days, probably because I have been busy with the fete and cake club. Then, like a kipper to the chops my friend Mrs Petticoat blogged about it. Boooom! I was back in the room.

Today we had planned to go to Brewdog for a burger. It was only on the train into Manchester that we rescinded! We got there about 12pm and scared the life out of the poor staff who were still eating their breakfast! Within a flash they were gone and our drinks order was taken. The first thing you notice at Solita is that all the staf are really friendly, and I don't mean in a 'HI GUYS!' way either. Our waitress seemed genuinely excited about everything she described to us and gave good advice when I couldn't make up my mind (too many nice things on the menu for a greedy guts like me...)
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
I hadn't intended having a starter. But there it was (cue the 'drumset music' from Step Brothers...) Pulled Pork Sundae... pulled pork in sundae form. It's like they knew I was coming... My husband got all giddy when he saw Rooster Scratchings too! Expectations high and energy levels low, we waited for our starters. We had a chat with Dom, one of the owners while we waited. What a lovely chap! He told us about his experience in the restaurant industry, and how his father had a restaurant in Westhoughton in the early eighties. My favourite story was the one about him being shipped off to Sardinia every summer as a young chap. He explained that it was because he was a 'little bastard' and his dad knew the family would sort him out! Haha! Anyway, this chap knows his stuff. 

Scratching of any variety are not my thing, but my husband assures me that they were 'epic'. The pulled pork sundae was everything I had hoped for. Soft pork with crispy edges in a thick barbecue sauce covered in two piped mounds of their famous 60/40 mash (60% potato, 40% butter). The portion size was perfect, as I was a little worried that I might get full before my main even arrived.
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Rooster Scratchings
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Pulled Pork Sundae
My husband ordered the burger because the description contained two words that are like a red rag to a bull; bone marrow. This addition makes the burger so much richer. It came with a side of triple cooked chips and we ordered an extra side of Chow Chow Slaw. This is similar to coleslaw but with no mayonaise. It's a tangy mix of vegetables with an acidic dressing. Perfect with any meaty dish.
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Classic Burger with added bone marrow and cheese. Side of Chow Chow Slaw.
I was between the burger on the specials menu and the Hanger steak. I was intrigued as although I've seen this on American menus, I've never seen it here. Our waitress explained that it's a very tender cut that is a bit of a butchers' favourite. It's rarely served here as it's a bit tricky to cook, but their Inka oven makes it much easier. She was so right! It's like the soft bits of a ribeye but the shape of a long fillet. It was gorgeous, only made better still by that barbecue sauce. Bloody hell fire I could eat this on everything! It's tangy, smoky, a little bit spicy and 100% delicious.
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Hanger Steak with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
The dessert menu had us a little puzzled. Deep fried coke? How and what the hell? We had to sample this. They are like churros with coke syrup served with ice cream. The only thing that would make these better is a mountain of cinnamon sugar on top, but I understand that most normal people's sweet tooth doesn't go as far as mine...
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Deep Fried Coke
I opted for the Inka roasted pineapple, marinated in rum and molasses and served with coconut ice cream. This was the perfect ending to a beautiful meal on a hot day. Wonderfully refreshing but sweet enough to tick a box.
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
Inka Roasted Pineapple
We were genuinely wowed by Solita. We expected decent food but were greeted with really great dishes. We pondered if there was anything that could have been improved. My husband suggested that perhaps one of his chips wasn't as crispy as the rest, but it was negotiable. That's as far as we got. It's one of the best meals I have had in ages.
Solita - Northern Quarter, Manchester
A 'smoke poofing' Inka Grill!
We have eaten everywhere from the best restaurant in the world to local cafes. The 'level' of food really has no bearing on dining experience. This was a great experience. Manchester's restaurant scene is a little lack lustre, and has been for some time. I have to agree with my friend Mrs Petticoat that this is an exciting new venture for Manchester. It's obvious that a lot of effort has gone into creating and tweaking these dishes. The menu is small but perfectly conceived, and is supplemented with daily specials. We'll definitely be going back here! Something tells me it won't be that long until we do...

Please leave your comments below x
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  1. Sounds wonderful! I can't quite place where it is though? What are the prices like?

    1. It's near the NCP carpark near Affleck's. Prices are fantastic! Our meal was about £57 for three courses and drinks! They really should be charging more for that burger...


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