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“Stunningly good - Manchester's best restaurant by a mile” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The French

The French
Ranked #40 of 2,184 Restaurants in Manchester
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $62 - $106
Cuisines: European, British, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Stunningly good - Manchester's best restaurant by a mile”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2013

We were going to the French at the Midland with high expectations and it didn't disappoint. We were going for our anniversary and had already decided that we would go for the 10 course tasting menu. The welcome and service was superb - attentive without being obtrusive and the staff were knowledgeable and well-informed. The charming maitre d' suggested we didn't even look at the menu beforehand so that each course would be a surprise. Very soon after arriving we were served three different amuse bouches - the second of which was possibly the most delicious square of food I have ever eaten - parsnip crisp with cubes of smoked eel and pork belly - utterly divine. And then, the courses came - with descriptions given by each server and each was perfectly balanced and presented. This was event eating at its finest. The wine list isn't cheap but we enjoyed a lovely Beaujolais for £30 which complemented the meal wonderfully. I won't go into any more detail of specific dishes as I think part of the delight of the experience is discovering them as the meal unfolds. Lots has been said about Simon Rogan's aspirations for a Michelin star for Manchester and I can't see how he can fail when food and service of this quality is being produced...wonderful...

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Simon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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733 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Trying far too hard”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

The French at the Midland in Manchester has had a recent make over and teamed up with acclaimed chef Simon Rogan of two Michelin star Cartmel fame.

Shame.

We had the ten course tasting menu. We were left with the opinion that the chef is looking for more Michelin stars at speed at the expense of the diner.

Chef, you are trying too hard.

The food was fussy and over complicated. We have eaten at other Michelin starred restaurants and can see what does, and does not make for a top drawer meal. Apart from the of hint of genius, this was not it.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
8 Thank Russell-RG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“i did'nt realise I loved "The French"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2013

I was dubious about the various rave reviews I had read about Simon Rogans recent appointment at The French , but I was very wrong. After years of loving the city , but always being disappointed by the restaurants, its great that there is finally something people may travel for.

Once you get over the repetitive introductions & explanations.... everyone within earshot had "visited L'Enclume recently and had the full 12 courses" etc you notice how cool the room is. Not too cool, just cool enough to be taken seriously, modern but tipping its hat to the grand hotel surroundings.

But then.... the food ! When a "snack" gets you gurning with pleasure & you giggle with your partner at how you really might actually like smoked eels you know you are in for a treat. Then, the best damm radish I have ever eaten, I will never look at these little fellas in the same way, amazing, but clearly illustrating Mr Rogans amazing sense of the moment & judging what people actually want to taste.

I would suggest that you order as many courses as you can afford (it is very well priced for the standard) or that you have the time for, this is an affair not to be rushed, one to be savoured & with a wine list of such intelligence it would be rude not to indulge. A fantastic £5 Riesling in a place like this, a miracle to be applauded, other restaurants should take note ! There is nothing going onto your plate that you will not love & wonder at, the creativity, the clarity, the complete sense of NOW.

The old clients who claim that the reinvention is a travesty are simply that "old clients', long live the new. The French is Ace & we will be going back again & again.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank nick p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
304 reviews
251 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
“On another level - miraculous”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

It's a bit difficult to find the words to describe what Simon Rogan is doing here - amazing & superb don't seem enough to capture the complexity, technical brilliance & great wit which is displayed. The room is very reminiscent of a Parisian grand hotel & the staff were great. It being Manchester, they were completely down to earth - so if you didn't want to spend vast amounts of money on wine you can tell them & they can recommend something very reasonable. But then the 6 course tasting menu at £55 is simply on a different level. You actually get 4 amuse bouches & another sweet thing thrown in as well & there were so many things to mention in all of this it's difficult to pick on things - the beautiful single mussel which arrived on a pebble bed & brought so much delight with its explosion of flavour & edible shell; a goats cheese mousse with beetroot scattered with delicate leaves which were exactly green apple when you bit into them; probably the most perfect piece of pollock I've ever had, cooked with extraordinary precision & remarkably maintaining its fishy translucency; parsnip crisp & pork belly; the ox which others have referred to & even the Manchester pale ale roll which was in the bread selection - dark & brown & wonderfully treacly. I could go on but the only thing to say is that this is worth the train fare to Manchester & is extraordinary value. On a practical note, the No 3 free bus from Piccadilly station pretty much stops outside the hotel. It was pretty quiet on the lunchtime I went - so Mancunians do go & anyone else - it was a joy to experience a chef who so clearly is at the top of his game & beyond.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BarristerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Suberp”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

We had the 6 course tasting menu for dinner accompanied by the wine flight. Having eating in many of the worlds best restaurants I found this place refreshingly, quite unique. All the food was excellent with the high points being the ox and the desert. There was also a great variation of old and young, in the wine flight. The staff were great and I really liked the dining room (some in my party did not), again refeshingly unique. I trust michellin will give the French the stars it deserves.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank 761DDDBBB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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