Last month I was invited to ‘The English Lounge‘ in Manchester, to review their new menu. The restaurant is on High Street, on the edge of the Northern Quarter and has recently undergone a complete transformation making it a lighter, airier pub in a thriving district of Manchester.
I must have walked past The English Lounge a hundred times without ever being in before, so when I was invited down I was very intrigued at what it had to offer.
I’m not massively fussy when it comes to food, but I know that pubs sometimes don’t have the best reputation for serving a stand-out meal (unless they’re all poncy and class themselves as a ‘gastro pub’) but I’m always up for trying a new place.
When we walked inside, I was amazed at how busy it was downstairs in the bar area (I say amazed but it was 6pm on a bank holiday weekend…) When we moseyed in a little further, I definitely felt like we were the youngest couple in there – but what do you expect from a Manchester local?
When I noticed that no one was eating food downstairs (so inquisitive) we made our way up to the first floor where the whole atmosphere felt more relaxed and restaurant-like. We asked Phil at the bar if we were on a particular table, and he showed us to a reserved one by the window.
He was really attentive, offering to take our coats and bringing us the menus straight away. I had a pornstar martini (recommended by him) to drink, and Jordan went for an Estrella (which apparently was a good one because it was very fizzy… who knew eh?!)
I’d never usually pick a pornstar martini in a bar (mainly because they’re usually the most expensive, and one of my worst hangovers was a result of too many) but this one was delicious and fruity and very easy drinking.
After a few minutes perusing the menu, Phil came back over to take our order (I won’t lie… I had a cheeky look at the menu earlier in the day and knew pretty much exactly what I wanted) but I played it cool like a normal person…
For a starter we shared halloumi chilli bites (£4.75) and honey and balsamic chorizo (£5.75) both of which came on a wooden board with a side salad. The portions weren’t huge, but they were enough to share, seen as I already knew I was having dessert. I noticed on the menu as well that you could share 3 of the starters for less than £11 which I would definitely do next time.
For a main, Jordan went extra fancy and got a sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and chips, and I went for a pizza with steak and gorgonzola to try and match the fancy-ness. The pizza was definitely a take on a an artisan one, being all the rage at the moment, and was very enjoyable and for £9.75 was a reasonable price as well. I also tried a bit of the steak which was delicious – especially the sauce!
After another pornstar martini and beer, we moved on to dessert – as I mentioned, I already knew what I was having, and ordered the salted caramel chocolate fudge cake with ease. We opted for ice cream over cream (obvs) and shared it. I’ve had a lot of cakes in my time, and this was very good for a restaurant-standard dessert (opposed to something you’d get where they only serve cake).
Overall I really enjoyed The English Lounge – the atmosphere was good (maybe better for a slightly older crowd) the food was lovely and very well priced compared to walking 10m down the road into the Northern Quarter. I would recommend if you were out and about in Manchester already and maybe looking for a chilled place to get a decent meal.
Thank you to The English Lounge who treated us to a complimentary meal for 2. All views are my own.