We were invited by the new management of Room to sample their fantastic new spring/summer menu. Not the sort to refuse such invitations, we ran up King Street to the once Manchester Reform Club…
This sumptuous bar and restaurant at the top of King Street has all the trappings of this once fashionable area of town – sleek furnishing, subdued styling and some very large lamp shades.
”I am easily satisfied, with the very best” Winston Churchill
Housed in the magnificent listed Victorian gothic building, the ‘room’ once catered for a young Winston Churchill who addressed a King Street audience from one of their balconies.
With the decor and heritage harking back to old Manchester – concierge with first floor entrance, impossibly high ceilings and castle-sized fireplaces, Room feels like an exclusive club. A very British club with a modern, unpretentious twist.
You can book their private room for entertaining and showing off on special occasions, and what with nooks, crannies, arches and two AA Rosettes, impressing will definitely not be difficult.
Under the current management of the uber camp gentleman Jamie Jones and graceful Amy Coney – what now makes Room so special is the impeccable service (second to none), delectable food and surprisingly adventurous drinks menu.
After walking us through the grandiose, atmospheric and perfectly lit restaurant to our table, taking our drinks order, Jamie and our ‘table host’ Fay offered us an eclectic mix platter of each starter. We happily nattered away in the ‘not too loud, not too quiet’ atmospheric dining room until our bespoke starter arrived. Colourfully arranged, the starter/s was a masterpiece of playful little dishes. Clearly a lot of thought and prep had gone into it:
Given cheeky names such as ‘That’s All Folks’ which consists of rabbit and ham pressing (£7.95), and ‘Which Came First?’ which is of course, all chicken and egg (£7.50), the dining is both thrilling and ideal for the pickiest of gourmands. The crispy pork puffs for example, are made from pork rind baked and blended with semolina, which is deep fried to puff out like popcorn. Varied in flavours, ‘Trip down curry mile’ offers a mix of Indian spices; mango lassi, cauliflower samosa, vegetable pakor and onion bhaji (£5.95).
Receiving such exciting and decadent dishes to start from genius head chef James Wallis, we couldn’t wait for the mains.
It would be rude to order anything but fish and chips in a venue so British that Winston Churchill himself has walked its halls. The fish was delicious with light and crisp batter served with proper hand-processed chips. To balance out the cliché, we also go for the Three Little Pigs: three mouth-watering parts of the pig that have had their magic worked upon and moulded into cabbage wrapped meatballs.
Everything, of course, is incredibly delightful. And that’s before we even start on the peanut butter ice cream sandwich, the banana split AND the chocolate brulee, hazelnut, white chocolate aka Ferero. Yes, really.
Room is also graced with its ‘Rose Room’ a beautiful private dining area with bar that can cater for up to 58 for a sit down meal or 100 for drinks and canapes.
Ranging from conferences, birthdays, presentations, weddings, the Rose Room can also seat up to 70 for theatre style seating and is equipped with a private bar.
“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill.