The Mancunion

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Review: The Wharf

Make the most of the sunshine by taking a trip to Castlefield

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As summer is just around the corner, it’s essential for everyone to have that one go to place to grab some nice food and drink in a luxuriously sunny spot.

This summer, my place will be The Wharf. Situated in the canal covered area of Castlefield, it is a fair way from Fallowfield, in terms of distance and scenery, but let us all admit, that’s not exactly a problem.

Walking down to The Wharf allowed me and my companion to take in some of the more aesthetically pleasing parts of Manchester city centre and once we had crossed the Castlefield Bridge, The Wharf was the only place to be.

It’s huge outside area filled with tables and chairs, all focus around a centre-piece water fountain, allowing every last spot of sunlight to be caught.

We headed inside to get ourselves some drinks before taking a seat in amongst the cheery crowd outside. After taking in the afternoon’s gentle warmth, we headed inside to take up our dinner reservation.

The immediate sight of the bar felt welcoming and homely, and the grand patterned rug is a style anybody would be happy to welcome into their home. We were led around the corner and into the more formal setting of the dining room which boasted bookshelves filled with weathered books and black and white photos of what must have been the pub in its past.

As we admired the beautiful room, we were brought over menus. Classic British options were first noticeable but after further inspection, a wide-range of cuisine choices were also available. Hungry from our action-filled day, we both decided to indulge in a starter and a main each.

We joined in with the quiet hum of chatter and in good time, our vibrant looking starters were with us. My companion’s coronation chicken flatbread consisted of a hefty pile of carefully shredded chicken, covered in the classic spiced mayonnaise sauce. The portion was generous and the additions of cherry tomatoes and rocket added to the look and taste of the dish perfectly.

My starter was, admittedly a somewhat strange order from a pub, Asian style pork ribs. A sucker for any Asian inspired food, I felt obliged to give them a try. The meat was soft and flavourful, however they did feel as if they had either been cooked long in advanced or microwaved. Feeling slightly subdued, I tentatively waited for my main.

Luckily, my main dish was rather departed from my starter. I ordered hake accompanied by mussels, saffron potatoes, samphire and a creamy sauce. The fish boasted crispy, salty skin and light flesh underneath and the other ingredients combined with the more-ish sauce to create and all together delicious dish.

My table’s other main was the classic, deep-fried cod, chips and mushy peas. A pub menu staple, I always expect the most from this dish, there’s nothing like a good fish ‘n’ chips. The batter was crispy and the fish inside was flaky, once dipped into the tartar sauce it made for a delightful mouthful. We battled to finish the large platefuls, but welcomed the liberality of the portions.

We happily settled the bill whilst chatting to the amazingly friendly Scottish waitress, before heading back into the garden to continue the evening with another drink.

I highly recommend taking a summer’s day trip to Castlefield, to enjoy the mismatched scenery of canals, old industrial warehouses and high rising modern builds, and whilst there taking a comfortable seat at The Wharf pub.