Pre-Christmas Offline
24th November 2006
Market Restaurant, Manchester

Pre-offline aperitif

In Glossop, before setting off for Manchester:

Losses are cut, and Ray opens

Time for a quick taste of one of Ian’s reds as he double decants it:

Moving onto the quirky Market Restaurant in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.  The Market, opposite the former Smithfield Market, has an almost timeless air to it, but then it has been here for years, though there is nothing faded about it.  Tables are small (a bit too small for us, with our panoply of Riedel glasses) and fairly close packed.  Crockery and cutlery are simple and the glassware provided is limited to Paris goblets; the tablecloths and napkins are paper.  The menu reveals good solid fare, that’s not afraid of modern flavours.  I had pumpkin ravioli with sage butter, followed by a venison pie.  The ravioli was very good, if not exceptional.  The pie was superb: an individual pie, with excellent pastry and a lovely flavoured filling with big chunks of meat.  Perfect offline food, helped along by the chunky chips.  We shared one between two some rather disappointingly indifferent cheese before desserts: I had a superb pomegranate laden baklava, which in normal circumstances would have been twice as large a portion as it needed to be, but after all the wines, it provided a much needed sugar rush.

We started with a mystery sake (mystery, because the label was entirely in Japanese), now deciphered as Funaguchi, produced by Kikusui from Ichiban Shibori, Niigata.  A creamy, pure vaguely plummy nose, but with a flat edge.  Smooth and interesting flavours, with a very pure direct clean flavour.  This had been opened the night before, when approximately half the bottle was drunk: apparently tonight it wasn’t a patch on the previous night and had apparently oxidised a little, which perhaps explained the flat edge on the nose.  I'm still not convinced by sake.

Now we moved onto labels we could read:

Back in Glossop, Ray couldn’t help reaching into his everyday drinking store to pull out a little something to quench our residual thirst:


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Last updated: 01 December 2006