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“Finally Manchester gets a class act”

Adam Reid at The French
Ranked #66 of 2,356 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $66 - $112
Cuisines: Contemporary, British
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Adam Reid at The French strikes the perfect balance between heritage and progressive cuisine. While the restaurant is steeped in history, our current menu offers modern British food that delivers consistently excellent flavours by using the best seasonal produce and the very latest technological advances. Married seamlessly to its new contemporary direction, the breathtaking dining room of this historic restaurant encompasses both the new and old, with undeniable opulence and timeless elegance. Stepping boldly into the 21st century, Adam Reid at The French offers outstanding levels of service, warmth and style, that in turn, create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere like no other in Manchester.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

We've eaten at L'enclume twice and wondered how The French would compare...blimey, it was good. The 10 course tasting menu and wine flight is something any self respecting foodie should save their pennies for. The balance, flavour, texture, attention to detail and variation of crockery is a worthwhile piece of gastronomic art. Add to that the attention of the enthusiastic waiting on team and the mesmerising nature of the chandeliers -if you love gastronomy in all it's varied forms, this place must be added to your list.

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Thank MissBabs64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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775 - 779 of 823 reviews

Reviewed May 16, 2013

Was really excited when i read that simon rogan had taken over the midland restaurant 2 months ago. Been looking forwad to dining here for a while after reading all the amazing reviews. This for me was the best food experiance ive ever had. Words cant describe the detail of how much i was amazed by the food and friendly service. We both had the 10 course taster menu at £79 per person. they also gave us 2 snacks before it started and and a couple after also.the highlights of the meal for me was the ox in coal oil. and the edible mussles and shells. Im so excited that manchester has a truly magnificent restaurant and food we can truly be proud of. Its even better than 2 and 3 michelen star places ive previously eaten at in london. Its definately a place for special occasions. cant wait to see the next change of menu they will be doing when summer properley starts. This place is a must for all real foodies

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Thank lee j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We've been to L'Enclume so were pleased to hear that Simon Rogan was taking on the French Restaurant at the Midland. It's long overdue a top quality restaurant in Manchester. As it's only been open a couple of months we wondered how it would compare.

We went last night and had the 10 course tasting menu and found the whole experience from the food and the service up to the standard we would expect in Cartmel (almost, but still needs to improve a little). You can find description of each course on the current menu in other reviews (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187069-d718988-r160501865-The_French-Manchester_Greater_Manchester_England.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT). All I'd say is that your taste buds with constantly be tickled ... fantastic food. There's bound to be something that's not quite your taste, but just go with the flow. The 10 course takes about 3 - 3.5 hrs and seems to come at you quite quickly, but is really well paced. The menu will change every 3 months or so.

The staff are attentive, efficient and cheerful - always available, but never in your face and never obtrusive. Can't praise them highly enough ... and it is this level of service along with fantastic food that you're paying for.

The restaurant? I like L'Enclume, it's a nice place. The French has 14 tables that will each seat 4 (don't know how they handle larger groups as these are all rounds). It's old and tired and far too ornate for my taste. They've had a reasonable go at making it fit for purpose (chandeliers are a talking point along with the wood grain carpet!) but it just does not work. I'd far rather have had this top modern British cuisine in a nice modern restaurant. The food does not go with the room.

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Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We go to L'Enclume fairly regularly and were excited it learn Simon was opening in Manchester, much closer to home. We wondered how it would be, as it has only been open for 8 weeks, but we found it pretty bloody good. We had the 10 course tasting menu and found the whole experience from the food to the service up to the standard we would expect in Cartmel. Kamilla, leading the front of house was absolutely excellent, and put us at our ease immediately. She even arranged for us to meet Adam the chef when we had finished our meal. All I would say is we loved it, and would encourage anyone wanting the Cartmel experience in Manchester to give it a go.

1  Thank Roy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

The best way to read this, is that if I haven’t mentioned too much about a certain dish, then you can take it that it was awesome and I don’t want to spoil it for you! I will only mention the questionable or the truly outstanding.

It is fair to say that I am a massive fan of Simon Rogan and of L’Enclume. It’s one of my favorite restaurants. Simon is one of the most exciting UK Chefs around and his staff and Maitre’d are at the top of their game. So, I was really looking forward to this.

We booked into The French at the Midland Hotel in Manchester with some fellow seasoned foodies and after a drink at the bar, we decided on the 10 course taster menu with the wine flight.

Our first observation was that this was ‘The French’, yet the lack of tablecloths and crockery were somewhat rustic and therefore more suited to ‘L’Enclume’; we found it quite out of place given the décor – there wasn’t a white plate in sight, yet all the front of house staff were dressed as though we were eating in Paris, in fact some of them were indeed French.

We started the meal with amazing Amuse Bouche of a small Radish dish, quickly followed by a Parsnip crisp and an injected mussel with an edible shell and some delicious seaweed. All were excellent and those who have eaten in Cartmel would instantly recognise the style and quality of ingredients.

1. Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese, Salted Hazelnuts and Apple Marigold.
This one split the table – some loved it and others definitely didn't. Unfortunately I was one of the latter. It was amazing and very clever, but I found the beetroot too acidic and the goats cheese only came in once the plates where cleared. The waitress explained that it had been received as a ‘ Marmite dish’. Definitely worth trying, but it was a little clumsy and a funny texture considering some of the stellar courses that followed.

2. Razor Clams, Egg Yolk, Celeriac and Sea Herbs
Amazing :-)

3. Boiled Sole, Onions, Truffe, Alliums
Amazing, the onion ‘consommé’ is outstanding

4. Ox in coal oil, pumpkin seed, kohlrabi and sunflower seeds.
This was awesome! Ox tartar… enough said!

5. Fresh Crab and Caramelised Cabbage, Horseradish, Chicken Skin with Crow Garlic.
This dish failed with most of us. One of our guests found bits of crab shell in the white crab meat – not good… I found it hard to eat, the cabbage is wilted and it is served in a soup bowl. I had rather a large piece of cabbage and it was hard to cut with a normal knife. It would be better if the cabbage was shredded or at least cut up? Finally, there was too much chicken skin, this made the dish very salty. Otherwise, crab and cabbage work really well and is actually very clever.

6. Early Spring Offering, Vegetables, herbs and flowers, lovage salt
Outstanding, simplistic brilliance…

7. Hake Fillet with Buckwheat, Cresses, Smoked Roe Butter
This was a killer dish – one very quiet table…

8. Reg’s Duck, Ruby Chard, King Oysters, Mulled Cider and Nasturtiums
One of the best duck dished I have eaten. Outstanding! Skin could have been a little crispier, but the meat was excellent and I could have eaten it all night. Outstanding 2005 St Emillion red to go with it!

9. Optional Cheese Course
We all opted and it was fantastic apart from one hiccup, there was a hair in my cheese. This, I presume, came off the waiting staff, as no one with long hair had it fully tied back. Unfortunately there was one question around the geography: All the cheeses were English and whilst they were amazing, we were eating in a restaurant called ‘The French’ with a host of French Waiters. Awkward…

10. Chamomile with Cheshire Rhubarb, Toasted Oats, Douglas fir.
Mine was fantastic. Unfortunately we had to send one back because we found another hair, only to be told that this could happen in any restaurant. I found this a very poor attitude for a £150 per head meal, especially one with Simon Rogan’s name to it. This left the table a bit speechless and our goodwill was definitely disappearing fast. I am not sure who was on the pass, but amateurs would get thrown off Masterchef for producing a dish with a big hair in it!

11. Pear, Meadowsweet and Rye, Buttermilk and linseeds
We had to send one back as the ‘snow’ had melted, as it was served on a warm slate (school boy error). By this point, our waitress was dying from a death by a 1000 cuts, given the crab shell and hair incidents. That said, it tasted delicious when we finally got it back. This was followed by coffees and amazing petit fours.

Conclusion
The food is well thought out and very clever as you would expect. That said, I would save your money and go to L’Enclume. Give this place 6 months to sort itself out at someone else’s expense!
For 4 people, we paid just over £655. That is a lot of money and for that I wouldn't expect the restaurant to be so laid back about 3 incidents relating to quality.

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11  Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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