Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Bacchanalia - 17/08/2010

Another night out in Manchester, this time the meal was on an offer. And what an offer it was too. Via My City Deals or Groupon we managed to get a £20 voucher for Bacchanalia that gave us a starter, main and a glass of champagne or cocktail each. Plus, as I'd already asked the restaurant about their gluten free dishes, and there were loads. Surely there must be a catch.
I was quite sceptical about the whole, but the voucher was recommended by the restaurant itself, so we booked a table for last night.

I thought to start with, looking at the menu, that I may be disappointed with the food, as it all seemed to be normal enough stuff, and nothing looked like it would have the same pizazz as Room. Then my starter arrived.
Char-grilled Green Basil Chicken Skewers

Yes, the clue is in the title, but they were bright green. Interesting. And a bit odd. Tasted nice though, and were lovely and moist. They were served with homemade tomato and chilli jam, which looked like squished tomatoes, kind of tasted like jam, but them had a big chilli kick.

Three Cheese and Sun-Blush Tomato Tart

Tim's starter was the Cheese and Tomato tart. Despite not looking like a lot, I am assured that this was very tasty indeed, very cheesy, plus the pastry had an added savouriness. Even as a partial convert, the tomatoes were even nice.

For mains we ordered the Pork Wellington and the Sea Bass. My sea bass was very nice. Very nicely cooked with a crispy skin. I thought the dish would be a little dry, given the description "puy lentils coated in a tomato sauce" rather than in a tomato sauce, but they were actually quite saucy. The Pork Wellington looked huge, and again, Tim enjoyed this. It all looked rather nice, but rather than risk even trying the sauce on a non-gluten free dish, I let him keep it all.

Sea Bass

Pork Wellington

We ordered a side of hand cut chips, which perhaps we didn't need. But they were just right, not underdone - which is the worst possible state of chip in my mind, and already seasoned with salt.
On the subject of salt, we did notice an odd thing really. The waitress asked if we'd like any salt or pepper without us even trying the food, and there were none on the table already. There must be reasons behind this, unknown to us. (Odd the things that stick with you isn't it?!)

After checking and re-checking, those courses were really and truly (and impossibly really) covered by the £20 voucher. So we thought we'd blow the budget and ordered a dessert. Tim ordered the summer fruits pudding, and I had the only option, which wasn't really a proper dish, available to people eating gluten free. The Passion Fruit, Mascarpone and Biscotti Eton Mess, without the biscotti. So basically a massive lump of mascarpone with a bit of passion fruit. And the restaurant was doing so well! The waitress did bring over another half of Passion Fruit (which wasn't ripe) and we suspected she heard me commenting on the "lump of cream".

Summer Pudding

Lump of Mascarpone and Passion Fruit

Irish Coffee and Basil Grand Cocktail

We finished the meal with cocktails included on the £20 voucher, well, one cocktail and an Irish coffee and settled the bill. We were going to be charged £18 for what we'd ordered (bottle of wine with the meal, side of chips and two desserts), but we are too honest. Or just honest. And after we pointed out the mistake, we were charged around £27. Still a bargain. Next time we get the chance to get a "Groupon" for somewhere we fancy we probably will, as it does seem to work, and next time we get the chance to got to Bacchanalia, whether it is for food or cocktails (massive cocktail menu, buy one get one between 5:00 - 8:00!!) we probably will too. Apart from the dessert for me, the food was very good, and so was the service. The atmosphere was very nice, rather cosy and romantic, even on a Tuesday night.

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