I was spoiled with our 6-month wedding anniversary dinner at Mal Maison Smoak Bar and Grill, Manchester. We’d been wanting to go for a while and felt like we deserved a treat, so we got dressed-up and off we went.
It was a cold Sunday evening so the warmth and cosy atmosphere of the restaurant as we walked in, was well received. We were shown to our table, tucked in a corner, by candle-light with views across the restaurant and bar. The staff were instantly warm and having noticed our tweets earlier in the day, brought us over 2 glasses of champagne to celebrate our anniversary. This was such a nice, unexpected touch and earned them major brownie points straight away. Little, considerate touches like this make all the difference to your experience at places. Well done Mal Maison.
We were then welcomed with the simple but impressive menu. We both knew we were going for steak as our mains so what to have for starters…?
I opted for the creamed brie, red wine poached pear, salted and candied pecans. Hubby opted for the beef fillet carpaccio, rocket and parmesan, truffle dressing. Both were presented beautifully and tasted divine. My only comment would be that more brie was needed on my plate – I had plenty of bread, pear and pecans to go with it, but not quite enough cheese.
For our mains, I opted for the fillet steak rare (it came a little more medium-rare I’d say, but was tender and buttery nonetheless). Hubby went for the T-Bone special…there was a lot of steak on that plate! Both steaks came with a bone marrow accompaniment and we opted for their chips on the side and béarnaise sauce. Now the chips deserve a special mention! They were so perfectly cooked, crispy and crunchy but fluffy in the middle and the perfect thickness for me! I couldn’t leave a single chip uneaten, even as I was getting to the point of explosion.
We selected a beautiful Australian Shiraz to wash our steaks down and were 2 very satisfied customers.
As we were so full, we unfortunately couldn’t squeeze in a dessert. Next time perhaps…
Now all in all, it was an incredibly good meal, delicious food, lovely ingredients and well presented. The champagne was a nice touch and always a winner in my books. However there were a few small things that we picked-up on that could’ve made things perfect (particularly when spending that amount of money on dinner). The first one being that it was a few minutes and quite a few glances before anyway came to greet us and show us to our table. One of my pet hates is not even being acknowledged when standing and waiting for a table. So this was a little remiss on their part, but when we were eventually acknowledged, the staff were particularly pleasant. The only other thing I would comment on (again as the menu is by no means cheap), is that no one topped-up our wine. Again, at a restaurant of this standard, we would have expected that.
Then came “the damage”, at approx £60 p/head, it certainly wasn’t a cheap Sunday evening out, but all-in-all it was lovely and the food was of a terrific standard. We would certainly go back again for a treat, there’s no 2 ways about that.
Have you been? What did you think?