If you know me well you will know that I am a huge foodie and a regular restaurant go-er, so any opportunity to sample a new menu or restaurant is my idea of an afternoon well spent. Last Sunday, this is exactly how my afternoon panned out; discovering the brand new menu at Artisan in Spinningfields, Manchester. I had already visited the venue a couple of times and was excited to be back in the large and welcoming restaurant that is adorned with an abundance of gorgeous lighting and a variety of different types of woods which gives the space an air of rustic elegance.
The new menu here at Artisan is very impressive. It is packed full of choice and variety, with some more traditional options such as a steak and fries alongside more interesting dishes such as the seared tuna with spiced lentils. The menu has been given a trendy overhaul with sprinklings of ‘instagramable’ ingredients such as kale, avocado and plenty of superfoods. If you want to eat light you can whilst there are some more substantial dishes available too if you so wish. The menu did not fail to make its content sound picture perfect and extremely delicious and thankfully this really did translate into reality. I think the thing that really struck me about the food here was the vibrancy of colour that each dish had. Presentation is such an important element of eating out and this is where Artisan really stood out.
My starter was a prosciutto and watermelon salad drizzled with a beetroot dressing and Tom went for the pan fried gnocchi with radish, broad beans and edamame. Both were an absolute delight to look at. The bright pink watermelon and radish both complemented the green of the beans and leaves and both dishes really did look beautiful. They also tasted amazing. I particularly enjoyed tasting the grilled gnocchi dish. This isn’t something I would normally ever think to eat but it was so so nice that I think I will order this for myself when I return and it is now on my very own food shopping list. The ingredients in both of these dishes felt very summery and seasonal also.
I tried the kiwi cooler mocktail to drink. Again it looked stunning and summery and the flavours were fantastic together. The concoction of kiwi, lemon juice, apple juice and soda water was absolutely delicious. We also decided to try a jug of the infused water. We went for the passion fruit and tarragon. It looked spectacular with passion fruit speckles and lots of green leafy bits. It tasted really good, my only hesitation was that the tarragon had a tendency to get stuck in my teeth and got in the way of drinking the water a little.
For a main, I decided to try the new salads. I opted to try three smaller portions of different salad dishes as opposed to just having one big one, mainly because they all sounded so nice and I couldn’t choose! My plate consisted of the raw chopped salad with peanut dressing, the heritage beetroot salad with a walnut dressing, and the summer greens salad (kale, garden peas and sugar snaps). I also had the option to add poached salmon to the dish so of course I did. They were again so colourful and picture perfect. The flavours of each salad have obviously been really carefully thought out as they complemented one another so well. The poached salmon was cooked to perfection, melting beautifully in my mouth.
Tom went for the steak and matchstick fries. The meat was brought to him just as he wanted it and he was fast to comment that it was one of the best pieces of meat he had ever eaten.I too can confirm that this was definitely the case; it was divine.
The pudding menu again has some expected dishes, the luxurious sounding chocolate and hazelnut brownie with ice cream for example. Tom opted for this and it arrived as sexy as it sounds. Bathed in a chocolate sauce, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside there isn’t much more that you could ask for.
I decided to go for the vanilla, yogurt and honey mousse with fresh berries and pistachio. This dessert was the prettiest I think I have ever seen. It felt almost too good to eat. The delicate vanilla and sweet honey flavours worked so well in the mousse which I felt had more of a creamy panacotta texture than a bubbly mousse – this being a good thing! The crumbled pistachio was just the texture needed to accompany the mousse and the tart berries finished the dish off perfectly. It was absolutely lovely and didn’t leave me feeling over full.
The refreshing and colourful dishes offer a great option for enjoying through the summer months and as the weather gets warmer. After eating three courses I was nicely satisfied but did not feel as though I was about to drift off into a sluggish food coma and I think this is very appealing. We were tended to with care and the staff were friendly and very welcoming but not too imposing. The new menu here at Artisan works perfectly not just taste wise but visually too. It makes eating here an experience which is what I often look for when trying out new restaurants. I cannot wait to be back.