A decorative bowl is filled with a mushroom and Jerusalem artichoke risotto. There is a deep brown sauce and a teapot on the side filled with the sauce

Restaurant MCR, Manchester: restaurant review

Try zingy scallop ceviche, pucks of pungent goat’s cheese and toasty Manchester Tart at this reinvigorated fine dining favourite

Looking for restaurants in Manchester? Read our review of Restaurant MCR, and check out more suggestions for eating in Manchester here.

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Restaurant MCR in a nutshell

As Manchester House, MCR was at the forefront of fine dining in Manchester. It’s now reopened with new owners, menus and vigour and has stepped up with dramatic tasting menus and impeccable service in a spacious loft that marries industrial design with muted 60s comfort.


Who’s cooking?

Aiden Byrne won a Michelin star aged 22, he won a place at the Great Britain Menu banquet with his reinvented prawn cocktail, and he’s won the hearts of Mancunians several times over. Manchester’s favourite Merseysider was formerly the head chef at Manchester House, but now he’s back in charge as both chef and director.

A black and white photo of chef Aiden Bryne. He is plating up food on white plates
Aiden Byrne, Manchester’s favourite Merseysider, is now back in charge as both chef and director

What’s the vibe?

Fine dining food in an easy–going setting, the suited staff glide out with attentive precision from an open kitchen that unites the chefs with their diners. The overarching red of industrial beams accents the creamy banquettes and tan leather chairs with their perforated brogue detailing. Low-hanging canisters of light add warmth and intimacy for a youthful, well-heeled evening crowd.

A dining room is complete with parquet flooring and wooden tables for two. There are floor to ceiling glass windows looking out over the city of Manchester
The overarching red of industrial beams accents the creamy banquettes and tan leather chairs with their perforated brogue detailing

What’s the food like?

There’s no a la carte but the set menus for lunch (three courses for £35) and dinner (six courses for £50 or nine for £75) offer flexibility and value. If you’re not keen on a course then ask and ye shall receive, the kitchen try their best to accommodate.

Our six courses begins with delicate raw scallops heaped with briny caviar and blobs of zesty bergamot mousse. Micro greens add a mineral note that makes the whole plate fizz like lemon sherbets. An interlude of pig’s head croquettes brings five crunchy explosions that melt into a salty, rich mouthful.

The bigger plates are accompanied by a revelatory boule of chewy, molasses-rich bread. Slather it in roast chicken butter and mop up the scorched onion grains underpinning the disc of tart goat’s cheese. From a choice of two mains, the star is a blushing duck breast with its unexpected mound of plump, nutty morels, fresh from early spring forest floors.

A shallow white bowl with a large rim is topped with a perfectly pink piece of duck breast. There is a deep purple beetroot puree and a chunk of beetroot
From a choice of two mains, the star is a blushing duck breast

Pudding is a crown of herbal cardamom and sweet berry shards guarding a spicy gingerbread and parfait tower. Just when you think you’re done a delicious Manchester tart arrives, a petit four of toasted coconut and light, whipped custard.

A small ceramic bowl is topped with three individual Manchester tarts
Just when you think you’re done a delicious Manchester tart arrives, a petit four of toasted coconut and light, whipped custard

And the drinks?

There’s a wine list thick as a phone book but the classic cocktails sing too; the rum old fashioned has zest to match its raw booziness.


olive tip

Arrive early and make use of the sunny outdoor terrace for drinks and mood-setting.


Restaurant MCR, 18-22 Bridge Street, Spinningfields, Manchester

Words by Stephen Connolly

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Photographs by Adam Kenrick and Lucas Smith Photography