Opus One, Manchester: Locally Sourced ‘Market Menu’ Reviewed

Opus One at Radisson Blu Edwardian has that feeling of grandeur as you walk in through the door. You enter the restaurant through the hotel bar, which lets down the atmosphere somewhat, especially when it’s warming up with generic dance tunes for a post-work Friday night crowd.

Hard one to get over that one – separate entrance to the dining area? Different music? Either way it somehow detracts on your arrival to the otherwise splendid surroundings of the restaurant itself.

We were received with great courtesy and ushered skilfully to our table. Relaxed, friendly and polite are the watchwords here. The service is just how I like it. Not right in your face but clever enough to be attentive just when you need and want it.

We’re here to sample the new Market Menu which is designed to showcase locally sourced UK produce. The menu changes on a weekly basis ensuring seasonal local ingredients which is a great idea and we’re all for it. But if we’d been a random diner we would have been none the wiser. Surely this concept should be heralded so diners can buy into it?

Overall the food was good and well presented. The week we went, the main courses were the star attraction. The duck main course was cooked beautifully and the spiced plum that came with it set it off well. The slow cooked lamb was succulent and nicely flavoured, as was the chicken main course. The crab and lobster cake starter though didn’t have enough flesh or seafood flavour for my liking. And the portions are perhaps on the small side, so if you like your food and have an appetite it could be a bit frustrating. For dessert, our little ones just had to try the Warm Chocolate fondant with marbled chocolate parfait as they are obsessive with all things made from cocoa. This went down very well indeed and much praise followed along with satisfied murmurs.

I think the new Market Menu at Opus One is a great idea but it needs highlighting and defining so diners can feel part of it. Apparently there is a herb and vegetable garden on the roof of the hotel, but at the moment if feels like a secret that they are unsure of sharing. People want to know about this so they can feel part of the concept.  The menu should shout it out and waiters could talk you through the menu and the ideas behind it. It’s early days though and so we look forward to see how it develops.

The new Market Menu at Opus One is served daily, from 6pm, at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Free Trade Hall Manchester. Priced at  £15 for one course, £20 for two courses and £25 for three courses.

 

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