First blog post, and starting with a trip to Room Restaurant in Manchester. We were there for a friend's birthday - 28 again, and only one of our group had eaten in the restaurant before. We didn't really know what to expect but had heard good things. We were also testing the gluten-free-ness of the place and to see what was on offer for people who can't eat wheat and gluten.
Before we carry on, the reasons behind this blog are many, or few....
We developed a bad (or good) habit of taking photographs of everything we eat, whether it is in a posh restaurant, from a kebab shop in Crete, or from the big pot on our hob at home, and this blog will kind of act as a personal diary for what we've eaten, what we like, and when and how we ate it. (with the odd recipe too, so we don't have to keep on googling things when we want to cook them again)
Oh, and plus, until the doctor says otherwise, one of us is cutting out gluten entirely - hence checking out what various restaurants have to offer.
Back to Room. After a couple of glasses of champagne at Epernay we arrived at Room. Quickly seated, and the waiting staff asked if we'd been there before. She then went on to explain that they have classical dishes on the menu, each with a "Room Twist", so if we wanted to know anything about any dish, just to ask.
We were given a copy of the gluten free menu which explained that the dishes on there were gluten free, or could be modified to be gluten free. There was actually quite a substantial choice.
The starters for our table included Prawn and Crab Cocktail, All Day Breakfast, Pork and Apple. These arrived after our portion of bread and olives. The bread came with, what we figured out to be (perhaps we should have looked at the menu) balsamic butter, (probably similar to this) which some people liked and some didn't.
There was a slight confusion over the starters. The Pork and Apple arrived as gluten free when it was actually supposed to be one of the Prawn and Crab
We were then reassured that the correct main course was going to be gluten free, and the new version of the Prawn and Crab was on its way. The food itself was lovely, although the tomato jelly wasn't as tomatoey as expected, and perhaps there was a little too much marie-rose flavour.
All Day Breakfast
The All Day Breakfast starter comprised of a lovely soft egg, sweet marmalade, incredibly crispy bacon, and some brown jelly which apparently tasted of coffee.
For mains, there was Steak, Tikka Masala, Moussaka and Surf and Turf. The Surf and Turf was a favourite - and gluten free (not sure if anything was actually missing or it was just g-free anyway). It was slow cooked pork belly and scallops (yum) on a risotto of chorizo, broad beans and celeriac. (Pictured at the top)
The Tikka Masala was actually baked Hake with potato and coconut foam. This didn't taste like you'd expect Tikka Masala to taste, but somehow it did taste strangely familiar. Very nice fish dish.
We were going to order dessert, however the restaurant was filling up, and service became slower. So we asked for the bill (£40 each, including wine) and headed for a rather random pub serving a million different beers. But that's another story, or post.
Overall we were impressed. Rather pricey but worth it, for a special treat. We'll probably go again for the early bird menu which seems to offer excellent value. Plus we were very impressed with the gluten free options. And the quirky descriptions on the wine list.