Looking for best restaurants in Manchester? Here’s our expert restaurant review of Adam Reid at The French. (Check out our other favourite places to dine out in Manchester here).
Adam Reid at The French in a nutshell
Manchester’s newest fine dining restaurant, Adam Reid at The French, offers modern British food in a more informal relaxed environment.
Adam Reid at The French restaurant review
Hidden behind a curtain in a corner of the grand lobby of the Midland Hotel, there’s more than a feel of Alice in Wonderland as you are transported through mirrored doors into the dining room of The French. Soft grey and sage green tones give everything a muted luxurious feel and there are two huge cylindrical chandeliers which throw light back and forth via the mirrored panelling around the room.
Chef Adam Reid’s cooking is inventive and playful but executed with real precision and flair. (He’s the bold chef that took over the helm after Simon Rogan left at the end of 2016.) A nibble of the creamiest smoked cod roe with puffy squid ink wafers kicked the six-course tasting menu off in style. Crispy pig’s trotter to start, proper came as fall-apart meat slowly braised in a rich deep umami soy base then breadcrumbed and deep fried into a crisp nugget, with pickled onion purée.
Ridiculously light, layered Tunworth cheese and chive mousses, with a subtle back note of truffle, come topped with shards of cavolo nero in a super-light airy tempura batter – think posh crispy seaweed.
Something described as tater ’ash on the menu was deciphered by our Mancunian dining pal as a riff on a corned beef and potato hash – here it translated as tiny cubes of beef tartare with equally tiny diced veg in a deeply savoury mushroom dressing and crunch from a crouton sprinkle.
Whipped beef and onion butter with warm stout sourdough bread was presented before the last two savoury courses came along – a little tranche of brill with a silky artichoke and basil pureé and a slice of belly of cured suckling pig served with fermented cabbage wrapped in pork fat and a punchy cherry sauce.
Reid won the Great British menu in 2016 with his Empire apple dessert – a blown sugar apple filled with a meadowsweet custard mousse – and our incredibly pretty pud is a take on that, this time a shiny orange clementine sugar shell filled with airy white chocolate mousse. It’s a little piece of cooking wizardry which perfectly reflects the rest of the menu at this magical place.
November 2017, the-french.co.uk
The French at The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester
Words by Janine Ratcliffe
Photographs by Janine Ratcliffe and Adam Reid at The French