Gaucho Manchester’s ‘Midnight Feast’ menu is all the fun of the fair for those seeking after-hours foodie pleasure without the late night Pandemonium; an Argentinian avant-garde four-course delight with luscious cocktails, Malbec and live music.
Gaucho Manchester has been one of my favourite restaurants for years. It’s a haven for carnivores secreted amongst the more showy in-your-face nightlife haunts of the city centre.
The unassuming, almost hidden, entrance leads you into the high ceilinged decadence of the interior. The building started life as a Methodist Hall and went through several guises including a black and white cinema, a gym and as Bill Wyman’s Sticky Fingers nightclub. But now the vast glass ceiling covers a large, luxurious space on different levels with a long open kitchen.
Gaucho is such an experience. The service is warm and personal, transporting you far away from the everyday city grind. The décor is Argentinian cow hide mixed with contemporary opulent style. On a day to day basis, the restaurant indulges you with what you would expect from a Gaucho restaurant and what I think are the best steaks in Manchester. And just to prove they are serious they bring around the fresh cuts just to show you what they’ll be cooking for you, with questions dealt with in a relaxed, friendly way by the knowledgeable staff. Served with a luxury feel but no fuss, the emphasis is very much on the fabulous range of top quality Argentinian meat on offer – you get a choice of potatoes and sauces, but apart from that it’s all about the meat. And that’s complimented by a delicious range of complimentary starters and desserts.
So from this established focus, it’s great to see a brand new and very contemporary, daring concept in dining launched in Manchester for 2013. Gaucho has become a surprisingly natural setting for avant garde after hours dining with their Saturday ‘Midnight Feast’ menu based around all the fun of the fair. Inspired no doubt by the extreme dining experiences of Heston Blumenthal et al, your midnight treat is an English funfair inspired menu to finish your night off in remarkable style and a very long way from kebabs at the bus stop!
Your ‘Midnight Feast’ begins with beef and chilli popcorn, followed by a second course of Cerviche Dog which is Gaucho’s turn on the conventional hot dog, made of Ecuadorian prawns on corn bread. Amazingly tasty. The fun fair theme continues through to the main course which comes in the shape of two hefty Lomo beef fillets served on sticks to look like lollipops with roasted beetroot and humita, served in a poppy seed cone. For dessert, what else but candy-floss? And Gaucho supplies this by serving a Dulce de Leche mousse with ice-cream in a cone and a perfectly sweet dessert wine which completely compliments the flavours of the course. The food is supported by an amazing cocktail menu and Argentinian wine list.
The late dining idea is going down a storm with those looking for a more intimate late night experience in direct opposition to the full on hedonistic nights the city has to offer. Saturday nights at Gaucho are vibrant and laid back with a spot of after hours live music from an acoustic guitarist and female singer. So you no longer have to choose between a night club or home. If you’re looking for something special that’s a bit more chilled this is a perfect choice.
Overall the Gaucho ‘Midnight Feast’ is ambitious, exciting and fun. A memorable, rather special Argentine gastronomic feast and well worth the £35 set price (which includes the four course menu, with cocktails and the Malbec house wine). Go quickly because we think this is going to become an in demand, cult Saturday night for those in the know.
‘Midnight Feast’ is served every Saturday from 11pm to 1am at Gaucho, 2a St. Mary’s Street, M3 2LB (0161 833 4333). To reserve, visit the Gaucho website here.