As soon as I walked into Brassica, I realised I’d been here before. Donkeys years back it was a fairly indifferent Spanish gaff. We came once and had no need to come back. Unfortunately, that’s probably also going to be the case with Brassica. It’s only been open a short number of weeks and, to be fair, it’s a lot better than indifferent. But there’s a lot of competition in South Manchester for the Modern Brit bistro. And it doesn’t really get close to knocking off any of the four we have on our list.
That’s not to say, we didn’t have a pleasant evening. And we certainly didn’t pay much money for dinner. As you might expect for somewhere that says it’s a grill, there’s a goodly range of chops and steaks, well priced from £12.50 for a bacon chop to £24 for a 12oz sirloin on the bone. But the bargain stuff comes in the non-grill items. More of them in a moment.
My wife started with a pumpkin and sage soup which was very decent and just the thing for a chilly, damp night. A couple of thick slices of bread accompany. Toasted sourdough props up the other starter – pulled pheasant – an unusual and not completely successful idea. Again, it was OK but just not as enjoyable as you might have hoped. The dollop of beetroot chutney was a good idea but could have had more of a kick.
Now, back to those mains. They range from a bargain tenner to a very reasonable fifteen quid. At the bottom end of the price range, a Lancashire cheese and onion tart was described, to my mind wrongly, as homity pie. Tasted good though with a very pronounced flavour of the cheese – probably Mrs Kirkham’s that appears as the cheese option in the dessert menu. There’s a little cauliflower puree and a scattering of leaf salad. No, it’s not that generous a plate and the side order of really good chips was welcome. No complaints about the other low priced plate. Eleven quid got me an ox cheek suet pudding. Nice thickish suet pastry, packed with meat and surrounded with a well seasoned gravy. Creamed potato and purple sprouting broccoli completed the plate and both were right in the context. It brought out the innate northerner in me.
We didn’t bother with dessert but did catch a glimpse of a lovely looking raspberry soufflé going to another table. As I say, there’s nothing to really whinge about with Brassica, it's just we don’t need another place like this on our list.