It was a bit of a wing and prayer, and thank god for TomTom, but eventually we found the Angel Pub (even though I have actually been there before, but sadly have no sense of direction).
“The first thing that strikes you, is just how unique this venue is… Roaring log fires… cosy pub… rustic upstairs dining area with around 20 odd covers…”
Actually, it is quite easy to find, just opposite the Skyline. If you go round the back, there is a car park as well but we ended up forking out £4 in the pay and display, because we couldn’t work out how to get in it.
It’s nearer than you think, but somehow just that bit far out to put in on our regular circuit but we’ll be going back to this quirky, idiosyncratic pub.
We were with what passes for the Manchester Media glitterati, gathered to sample a three-course menu from new head chef Ken Calder, who has been at the eatery for just over three months and is launching a new a la carte menu.
The first thing that strikes you, is just how unique this venue is. Roaring log fires in the downstairs, cosy pub bit where you can get bar meals, with a smart, rustic upstairs dining area with around 20 odd covers and an upstairs bit with a big table for 14. It also has a neat outside smoking area, a little hidden but just past the loos.
Carol and Kev have had this joint for three years and have imbued it with a unique, eclectic charm. They are obviously serious about the food, having rented this out to Rob Owen Brown some time back and now getting Ken on board. He has worked for Gordon Ramsey among others and has a good pedigree.
We had pre-ordered and sat with the lovely Viva gals, the wonderful Debbie Janet Manley and her new beau John.
The ginge had soup. Why I ordered soup, he moaned, I don’t really like soup. But he happily slurped his way through it, saying it was warming, delicious and just the thing for his man flu. I had the chicken wings, which were a little bit more like chicken nuggets if I’m honest – very nice chicken nuggets, served on roasted spuds, but they were a little bland and could have done with more of the tarragon sauce.
I also tried a spoonful of Bec’s mackerel and lentil, which was truly great. Fishy, salty, tasty and just the right size making you believe this guy can cook.
Then it was onto the mains. Most of the table had opted for the steak and chips, and I nabbed just enough of Becs to ascertain it was a lovely slab of meat, cooked as she wanted. I had sea bass with the chorizo and mussels.
This was a bit on the small size (I am used to Yorkshire portions) but was delicately cooked, with subtle flavours that combined to make a great dish.
Onto the puds and these were a triumph, with the Sticky Toffee Pudding the table’s winner, although I loved my selection of cheeses.
Everything is presented beautifully but reminded me a bit of Ma Chadder’s recent holiday in Bridlington where everything was came on slate and in fancy jars. My mum had broken her wrist a year earlier, Auntie Babs had broken both hers previously and for some reason my uncle Trev has lost the feeling in his fingertips. “If your Dad hadn’t been there to open everything we would have starved”, was the feedback.
Back to the Angel and it is reasonably prices with starters from £4.50 and mains from £12. It is a freehold so there’s a fine choice of wines and beers – it was CAMRA’s pub of the year in 2010.
On the I Loveometer – did the Angel Pub hurt itself when it fell from heaven? Definitely worth another date but needs a bit more substance to the style.
The Angel Pub, 6 Angel Street, Manchester M4 4BQ
0161 833 47 86