Manchester’s food fanatics have been going crazy for Volta in West Didsbury, and now I can see why. This Sunday, after an exhausting first week back in our student city, my eating partner and I wanted nothing more than to indulge ourselves in our favourite homely meal—a Sunday roast. After reading numerous ‘best roast’ articles, we decided to head to Volta, a name that frequently came up, to see if it could really live up to its chart-topping reviews. Opened by Manchester DJ-duo Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford, we were expecting, as well as first class food, a vibrant and cool atmosphere.
We arrived onto West Didsbury’s main road—Burton Road, a short cycle or bus ride from Fallowfield—at 4pm, and spotted Volta’s teeming outside area. We immediately envied the stylish young professionals that were lucky enough to call this part of Manchester their home. However, slightly smug that we booked, we made our way into the fairly small inside and were shown to our table by a cool, friendly waiter. Whilst taking in our surroundings, we ordered our drinks, a gin and tonic and a recommended pint of Warsteiner lager. Volta’s fully stocked bar boasted ‘in-the-know’ bar staff, their soundtrack had clearly been chosen by a music guru, and the food being continuously brought out around us made our bellies ache in anticipation.
The same waiter who welcomed us suggested we opt for the two person platter as it would allow us to sample all three of their offered meats along with their selection of ‘trimmings’. So, we did as we were recommended, usually well-informed staff know best, and went for exactly that. Other menu options include starters of, swordfish sashimi or serrano ham, and an expertly devised and tempting vegetarian option of artichoke and sun-blushed tomatoes.
In impressive speed, our huge sharing plate arrived. We wasted no time in tucking in, looking as if we hadn’t eaten in weeks. We were met with tastes that stripped away the feeling of being in a lively suburban restaurant, and instead took us back to our familiar dining table at home. It softly reminded us that we hadn’t left home as long ago as it had felt all week.
Despite being presented with roast beef, pork and poussin, we were guaranteed to have our favourite, and on this occasion the beef stood out leaps and bounds above the rest. Its light pink centre melted into the rosemary rich gravy, and once paired on a forkful with a bit of their classic Yorkshire pudding and punchy horseradish, the result really was smile-worthy. On the contrary, we found parts of the poussin, mostly the breasts, to be disappointingly on the dry side. However, we continued to work our way through the plate, enjoying every element such as the well-roasted potatoes, until we were completely full.
Volta largely lived up to the expectations. Its prices are similar to those found in the Northern Quarter, offering a filling meal with drinks for around £25 per person. The atmosphere of the restaurant, and of West Didsbury as a whole, encapsulated an idyllic destination for a lazy, food-filled Sunday.
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