Situated on the banks of the River Irwell, just a stone’s throw from vibrant Spinningfields, is the Lowry Hotel, part of the prestigious ‘Leading Hotels of The World’. Upon entering, I whispered to my dining companion “I really shouldn’t have worn trainers”. We were absolutely blown away by the style and luxury surrounding us, our student bubble was certainly far from sight.
A glass staircase led us towards the restaurant via the bar that looked incredibly James Bond-esque; I did feel a hint out of place. However, this feeling of non-belonging was completely swept away as soon as we were greeted by our wonderful waiter for the evening, Daniel. Daniel, the most hospitable, attentive, and friendly character, at once made us feel completely welcome.
We were seated in a semi-circular booth surrounded by elegant décor, modern art, with a view overlooking the river against the backdrop of city lights. The slightly dimmed lighting added to the ambience and felt wonderfully intimate and far away from the chatter of the other diners.
For the starter, we opted for the beetroot buckwheat risotto and the salt and pepper calamari. The latter was cooked to perfection, however, the beetroot and buckwheat risotto tasted slightly acidic, but still, pretty tasty.
For the main, we went for the W H Frost grilled beef onglet steak and the Josper grilled bread of chicken with a parsnip mash. The steak melted in the mouth, it was succulent and was topped with a gorgeous basil sauce that added the perfect cut of sharpness. However, the chicken dish was overall just too sweet.
Desert was the sticky Medjool date and toffee pudding and a cheese board. The sticky toffee pudding was “heaven and hell in a mouthful” and the cheese board was put together with skill, matching each cheese to its partner chutney.
The wine, although not included in the menu, is definitely worth mentioning. We opted for the New Zealand Pinot Grigio which was exquisite and complemented each course. Although slightly dear for the student purse, the whole meal is still pretty reasonable working out at £30 per head for half a bottle of wine and a three course — luxurious — meal.
Each course wasn’t rushed, the waiters gave us plenty of time to savour every mouthful and catch up on one another’s tales. We started at around 9:00pm and didn’t finish until 11:30pm, stumbling out of the restaurant with rather large food babies. The service made the meal an absolute delight and compensated for the sweet chicken and acidic risotto. Overall I would 10/10 recommend this menu, it is incredible value for money, the perfect spot for Valentine’s Day or a special occasion.