Now that we don’t holiday in the South of France, we’ve found that we really miss our steaks. Steak night was always a highlight of our summers with restaurant staff being amazed how much steak our girls could eat from a tiny age. We regularly make our own steaks but there’s something always special about having an expert do it for you. Mr C and I had the luxury of taste testing the new Feasting Menu at Alston Bar & Beef in Manchester a couple of weeks ago totally feed our steak habit.
Based just outside of the Corn Exchange in Manchester, Alston Bar & Beef is super handy for travellers arriving at nearby Victoria Station. I’m talking less than 5 minutes walk away. Entry is direct from the street outside the Corn Exchange.
Our first impressions were quite underwhelming really. Even though we knew that we were expected, we had a momentary thought of was it actually open? There’s no fuss or fanfare about the entrance but actually inside the restaurant is a really lovely place. Everyone receives a warm welcome and not just the bloggers that were expected – we saw this throughout the evening. I would encourage you to actually go inside and see how stunning the building is.
We were seated in a private dining area at the rear of the restaurant which gave us fantastic views of the steak grill. Oh wow, this was really a show – such a treat to see an expert at work and so controlled.
The Alston Feasting Menu is a fairly new initiative meant to celebrate larger groups dining together. A clever menu that really focusses on the star of the show, the Steaks.
Our starters were Chicken Kebabs (herby and so tasty), Salmon Rilette with Rye triangles – a fantastic textured pate and Broad Bean & Pea Arancini.
The Main Course
The sense of anticipation was building though for the real star of the evening – the steaks. It really does help being able to see your meal being prepared. The chef came out between each course to tell us a little about each dish and enable us to ask any questions. We were all quite happy to be guided by him as to how our meat was cooked – medium rare was the order of the day and just absolutely incredible (And I don’t often rave about other people’s meals!)
Not only was the meat divine, but the side dishes were perfection too. Easy to see why Alston Bar & Beef is so highly regarded for its grill. The skin on chunky fries and Baby Potatoes were the perfect accompaniment. We had a choice of salad and seasonal veg along with Diane, Peppercorn and Cheese Sauces. I chose the Diane and Peppercorn and loved each.
A welcome surprise for me were the Tempura Onions though – Never again will I eat standard onion rings without yearning for these light and crunchy alternatives. Just heavenly.
Fair to say that by now we were struggling. The portions more than generous and washed down with a couple of Alston Gins – Their gin menu is legendary and brewed themselves.
But then came the desserts. Now, I’m often the first to decline a dessert when eating out but I’m so glad I didn’t on this occasion. We sampled all 3 desserts: Rhubarb Crumble, which was sweet with a crunchy topping, Chocolate and Cherry Roll (Gluten Free) and the most magnificent Lemon Meringue Pie (tarty but just what you need after so much rich food).
I have a feeling we will be taking our girls to Alston Bar and Beef very soon – Just around the corner from the National Football Museum it seems the perfect end to a sightseeing day.
Photographs kindly supplied by Lucas Smith Photography. We were invited by Alston Bar & Beef to sample the tasting menu in exchange for a fair and honest review. Tasting Menu costs £40 per person (Vegetarian Options are available).