A celebratory dinner at Room on King Street, Manchester. What a spectacular building! We were seated at a table jutting out into the turret. Apparently the trick to getting that is to ask for a table for 5.
The menu I thought was almost gastro-pubby in its range, and though they claim it's seasonal there wre strawberries and tomatoes in November. Anyway my prawn and crab cocktail was 3 king prawns, battered and deep fried until crisp and golden, with quenelles of mixed crab meat, pools of chunky apple sauce, swirls of marie-rose sauce, and cubes of tomato jelly. A bit of a jumble of flavours. The boys had the rabbit pie which was more like a small round of rabbit terrine with a puff pastry circle on the side. "Deconstructed", I suppose you might say, and served on a slate.
My main course of "Steak & Oyster pudding" wasn't anything of the sort - it was a piece of steak cooked sous-vide, with a tiny and unctuous oxtail pudding, and two crispy fried oysters. The steak was rather chewy and the oysters didn't add much to the mix. A very dark and slightly burnt-tasting gravy to go with.
Desserts ranged from spectacular (the strawberries and cream with its cloud of meringue) to disappointing (the grainy Burnt Cream) to plain old misnamed: I'm fairly certain Manchester Tart isn't generally a millefeuille - Harters?
The wine list is quite cheap - under £40 a bottle - and is mainly easy-drinking new world stuff. There's a "special section" with low-end versions of big names and quite a few spelling mistakes. A showy-offy champagne selection.
Basically, very Manchester, and make of that what you will.