There was a time when there were three Fat Loafs. Or should that be Fat Loaves? They were pretty good – in that Modern Brit Modern Bistro sort of way. I held the family birthday “do” for my 60th at the Didsbury one and it managed to be such a good evening that there were no family arguments, no family sulks. A definite result.
Now, they’ve retreated back to just the original place at Ashton on Mersey. I hadn’t been before, although my partner had. There’s a short menu that, I suspect, doesn’t demand too much of the chefs and, perhaps, should demand more.
A starter of “spicy crab cakes” was a disappointment. Firstly because it wasn’t spicy and, second, because the flavour of crab was, erm....let’s say it was very muted. The accompanying fennel and red onion slaw in a garlic mayo was fine – nice crisp veg and just the right amount of mayo. I think I’d have settled for a bigger portion of this and forget the crab cakes. The other starter was better – in essence a black pudding salad. Although why the pudding had to make its way from Stornoway when Bury is but a few miles away on the other side of the metro area. Chunks of it were scattered through some salad leaves, confit tomatoes and roasted shallots.
My partner followed that with sea bass fillets, simply pan fried, with an indeterminate sauce and a scattering of capers and roasted peppers. Served separately, a few sauté potatoes and a couple of florets of broccoli .
It was my turn to have the better dish. Duck breast was perfectly pink and sat on some creamed cabbage, livened up with bacon lardons. A little light jus was spiked with black olives. A few of the sauté spuds here as well. I liked this – not wildly but enough for a cold, wet, midweek evening.
Service had been fine. It’s well priced for South Manchester, on a par with other similar places, and the current offer of 25% off food orders certainly sweetened things up.