12th February 2023

Not-so blue Mondays: The Blues Kitchen review

The Blues Kitchen is a Manchester classic, providing food, footy and fabulous drinks. See what else is on offer to cure those Monday blues
Not-so blue Mondays: The Blues Kitchen review
Bar at The Blues Kitchen, Photo: Eve Micklewright @The Mancunion

The Blues Kitchen is not usually something you’d associate with footie. Live soul and jazz music, exquisite cocktails and food straight from the Southern states, yes. 22 men running around a patch of grass, maybe not so much. We were intrigued to check out The Blues’ World Cup screening for the kick-off of the World Cup tournament.

World Cup game at Blues Kitchen
Watching the England v Iran Match, Photo: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

Can The Blues Kitchen deliver the energy and atmosphere really needed to enjoy England’s first match of the World Cup while maintaining its signature flair and relaxed vibe? Will it be able to match the enthusiasm found at more traditional sports bars like Courtyard? And most importantly: how does the food and drink hold up? 

Christmas is possibly the only thing bigger than football in this country. As we visited in November, it was all only just getting underway at The Blues Kitchen. Seasonal offerings include the ‘Yipee-Ki-Yay’ burger (+1 point for guessing the film inspiration). Stacked with panko-crusted turkey, pork and pistachio stuffing, celeriac remoulade and roast carrot puree, it’s a one-of-a-kind special, very on-brand for The Blues’ trendy and innovative approach to Christmas.

Burger at Blues Kitchen
Thanksgiving Burger at Blues Kitchen, Photo: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

As the restaurant has a decidedly American feel to it, we indulged in a bit of pre-Christmas Thanksgiving fare. The Thanksgiving Burger is the main event, a panko-crusted turkey fillet, maple glazed crispy bacon, mac ‘n’ cheese, and a puree of roast pumpkin and cinnamon. The mac ‘n’ cheese stole the show, overflowing the burger and providing a deliciously creamy aspect. The bacon was crispy and paired well with the turkey – a miniature Thanksgiving dinner if you will.

I tried the Vegan Cheeseburger, which used a Moving Mountains burger patty and vegan Big Mac sauce to get as close to the flavours of meat as possible. Vegan cheese is always a bit of a risky move, but this one was flavoursome and melted perfectly on the burger. 

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Photo: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

While meat heavily features on The Blues’ menu, the offerings for vegetarians and vegans are always vast and delicious. We tried the Buffalo Cauliflower, an alternative to hot wings with just as much of a kick. We also enjoyed the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, which came with blue corn tortilla chips – the perfect accompaniment to dip in the cheesy, spinach mix.

As we were here to watch the match, we mostly stuck to pints of Camden Hells – a footie classic. Afterwards, we indulged in Espresso Martinis – The Blues Kitchen classic. This will always be my number one recommendation at Blues, one of the smoothest and richest Espresso Martinis found in town. 

Buffalo Cauliflower
Buffalo Cauliflower, Photo: Izzy Langhamer @The Mancunion

Food aside, how did The Blues Kitchen shape up as somewhere to watch the game?

Despite being mid-day on a Monday, the upstairs was packed full of fans, some of them looking like they’d escaped work to watch. The Blues had TVs up throughout the venue, making sure every seat was a good one.

All in all, The Blues Kitchen did an excellent job of providing both a great atmosphere and supplying a delicious range of food and drink to keep us going.

Izzy Langhamer

Izzy Langhamer

Izzy Langhamer enjoys writing all things Manchester, covering food, drink and music across the city. In her spare time she studies English Literature.

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