The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Review: Drake & Morgan

Can a resolution-appropriate 500 calorie meal deal deliver?


January rolls around and the eternal struggle presents itself afresh: sticking to resolutions. The likelihood is, you’ve made some arbitrary promises to drink less, eat better and keep fit.

But as we students flock back to uni, once again leaving the warm comforts of home cooking and laundry that magically does itself, university in January always feels like a shock to the system; the warm duvet of festivity is ripped off, and there you lie, naked, exposed, facing exams and deadlines alike.

That daily run looks a lot less appealing when it’s still dark at 8am, and drizzling constantly. You try to warm up with multiple servings of pasta. You push the guilt to the back of your mind, you’ve always got Chinese new year…

Well fear not, young and sleep deprived. If you can spare an hour or two from your daily schedule of revision and scrolling through Facebook, the Drake and Morgan has your back.

Yes, you can shun the guilt while going out for a dinner less than 500 calories, and it includes some of God’s greatest creations: steak and seafood.

For just £9.95 you can enjoy steak, prawns and a glass of prosecco, clocking up under 500 calories on your my fitness pal. And not the dieting type? Bulking? No problem, upgrade to steak, lobster and chips with a glass of champagne for £19.95.

Of course, to review, I had to try both, which included forcing my boyfriend to share his lobster and chips with me.

The Drake and Morgan in Spinningfields is a cool-looking establishment with a classy vibe; perhaps that was the work party going on, but it was packed with corporate suit-wearing types which certainly gave the shabby chic interior a sophistication.

Sitting down, my man and I ordered straight away; we had a game plan after all. Drinks arrived first, the prosecco was okay, a little tart perhaps, but the champagne was undoubtedly a step up. To my amazement, our food arrived in less than ten minutes — definite brownie points there.

The food looked gorgeous too, though unfortunately no amount of presentation could have made the prawn and steak option look like a plate full.

Being carnivores, we’d both asked for our steak to arrive rare, and it was gorgeous, pink in the middle, but seared nicely on the outside, if a little small.

The prawns were bursting with flavour, a good sign of both well-cooked and fresh produce, but there were only two. I personally felt the lobster was a little wanting, but my date insisted that it was delicious. The chips were great too, crispy on the outside, soft in the middle. The salad, undressed, might as well have not been there.

All in all, especially with the cheaper portion, it just wasn’t enough. Perhaps it was my stomach used to gorging Christmas dinner style portions, but I finished the meal wondering where my food had gone, and desperate for a dessert.

Their dessert menu suddenly felt overpriced considering the bargain of the meal itself. Instead of getting a £6 crème brûlée to share, we swung by Sainsbury’s on the way home and bought a £3 cheesecake for 6.

In short, though the food was excellent, don’t expect it to save you calories, as you will probably end up eating later (possibly even three people’s worth of cheesecake).