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Review: Three Little Words

Three Little Words is a fairly recent addition to the Manchester restaurant-bar scene. As a gin bar and distillery come restaurant, it’s the ideal venue for a date night dinner and drinks or a get-together with mates. It also has potential as a graduation meal venue if you’re looking for a place to take the parents. Although I sampled their Valentine’s menu, which was made up of specials rather than permanent menu fixtures, I felt it deserved a write up for quality food (and gin) and a decent atmosphere. The set menu in question was £28 for three courses which I found very reasonable. It’s definitely a restaurant I’d return to for its slightly ‘bougie’ feel yet reasonable prices.

Photo: Anneliese Murray

The restaurant itself has an industrial, stripped back feel to it, but with opulent 1960s décor including velvet and marble features. The effect is stylish and is only improved by really friendly yet subtle service. Of course, gin is the protagonist at TLW, and we were promised a raspberry infused G&T on arrival if we secured our booking by a certain date. A sucker for a deal, I ensured prompt booking. This was perhaps the only thing that let down the set menu, as we were greeted not by the promised gin and tonic but by a shot of infused gin each. Admittedly, it was delicious, although tasted so much like juice that I had doubts about its alcohol content. This was however a minor setback, and I’d definitely look to sample more of the extensive menu next time I visit, which deviates from your basic martinis and is based around different love-based themes such as ‘eternity’ and ‘lust’.

Photo: Anneliese Murray

Onto the food: I did have concerns that food might be secondary to gin at TLW and result in a disappointing menu, but on the night I was really impressed by all three courses.

I began with the soy marinated flat-iron with a noodle salad. Served medium-rare, the steak was cooked exactly to my liking and the marinade gave it a delicious umami flavour, whilst the noodle salad kept it light and fresh; necessary for a starter.

I then shamefully ordered meat for my main too, unable to help myself because it was duck in orange sauce which is a definite favourite of mine. Again, the meat was really well cooked and served alongside sides of spring cabbage and lotus crisps. My date was fussy, so we’d ordered chips on the side, which were very good but completely unnecessary due to the very generous portion sizes we were met with. This was another pleasant surprise – I’d expected small portions for the price we paid but they were anything but.

The final course was a chocolate sharing dessert which I really feel they should add to their main menu. I definitely have a sweet tooth and it satisfied all cravings. The white chocolate torte was the winner for me, but it came alongside chocolate fondant, brownie, strawberry sorbet and plenty of trimmings. A definite showstopper.

Although the Valentine’s set menu was a one-off from Three Little Words, if it is any reflection of the standard of their menu and the value for money you can expect there then I strongly encourage a visit – I’m already eyeing up the rest of the menu.


Tags: gin, manchester gin, review, three little words, Valentines

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