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[Manchester, city centre] 47 King Street West

Harters | Nov 1, 201304:18 PM

It’ll be fair to say that live music with dinner wouldn’t be high on our list of requirements for a restaurant. But we were with friends and it was their choice. It’ll also be fair to say that loud music with dinner makes conversation difficult. No, hang on a minute, it makes it impossible – I could barely hear was being said on the other side of the table. So, if you’re going to go and want a nice chat with your partner or friends, don’t go on a Friday (the only night when there is music).

It’ll also be fair to say that we went without having high expectations of the food. And it’ll be fair to say that the food proved to be very decent. Scallops were the centrepiece of one starter. They came, perfectly cooked, with a chorizo “cake” – potato and very spicy sausage shaped, breadcrumbed and fried. Nice.

Braised lamb tongue was a surprising starter. Surprising in that I didn’t expect to be eating anything so nice. It was rich and unctuous meat, sitting on a little mashed potato, with the plate decorated with baby onion and a decent enough jus.

A fillet of black bream was also bang-on for cooking with the kitchen understanding the need for crisp skin. This sat on a mix of new potatoes, shredded greens and a scattering of peas. A little creamy sauce stopped it being too dry. Really enjoyable. Also pretty good was a vegetarian dish which didn’t sell itself well with the name simply of “potato rosti”. Certainly there is a rosti. It was topped with roasted veg – onion, aubergine, courgette and tomato, along with a spicy tomato sauce.

There’s a short listing for dessert – cheese and four sweet items. Two of them feature raspberries. Firstly, there’s Eton Mess – not the classic version but a very nice ending to the meal – cream, meringue, ice cream and the raspberries. And a raspberry crème brulee – very much as you’d expect it to be.

So, quite a nice dinner, the music aside. My partner and I normally like to chat about our food as we’re eating it. It’s part of the fun. We also like to chat with friends if we’re in their company. Neither at all possible here.

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