Following numerous raving reports from friends, I was keen to try Mud Crab for myself. But before I begin my review, I would like to credit my wonderful friend Flo for waiting for me for 45 minutes following some minor miscommunication due to lack of phones. Thanks Flo, you’re a great pal.
Located in Didsbury, the restaurant is conveniently a stone’s throw from the nearest bus stop (take the 42/142 into East Didsbury) and therefore hard to miss.
A trendy venue with some quirky artwork, Mud Crab resonates with Manchester’s chic hipster heaven vibe, refreshingly outside of the Northern Quarter. The menu has a gastro-pub feel to it and features pizza, salads and grilled meats with some interesting taste combinations. I, suffering with post-night antics beer belly, chose the Mud Crab Caesar Salad, whilst my friend chose the Chorizo and Balsamic Red Onion Pizza.
The Caesar Salad was so delectable that it most certainly made me regret agreeing to halve it with my lunch partner. The chicken had great taste from being grilled whilst maintaining its succulent texture, and the anchovies and dressing all complimented one another perfectly. The croutons, which were made using brioche, made it stand out from the crowd.
Although our stomachs were satisfied from our mains, we felt it wrong to deny Mud Crab the opportunity to show us its sweet side. We followed up with a Bourbon Sticky Toffee Pudding which we asked to be accompanied with ice cream instead of clotted cream, though this request was sadly forgotten.
Our waitress was friendly but unfortunately not as attentive as we would have liked. Having worked in chain restaurants before, my standards and expectations for service are high but reasonable, and on this occasion they were not met. Considering that we were one of only two occupied tables in the restaurant, the service we received was rushed, and there was no checking back to ask if we wanted anything else or to see how our meals were. We felt that the restaurant was taking its desire to be relaxed and easygoing rather too literally, which really let down what was otherwise a good visit.
All in all, the food was tasty and Mud Crab is a pretty cool place to grab a bite to eat. Definitely somewhere to take visiting parents or friends if you don’t want to break the bank or head into the city centre. To top it off, they have some generous student discounts: 40 per cent off on Mondays, 20 per cent off at lunchtime, and 10 per cent off at dinner time.
So, would I recommend Mud Crab? The answer is: Not for any special occasions. For a quick bite to eat in a fuss-free environment where you’ll be left to your own thoughts or conversation it could be ideal; but this restaurant, unfortunately, is not the place to sample Manchester’s capability of providing friendly Northern service at its best.
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