Renowned for his classical training and being a household name from years at the helm of Saturday Kitchen, James Martin has had a good year, celebrating several successful openings across the UK.
This success is mirrored in the amazing selection of food available on his restaurant’s new A la Carte menu in Manchester, with his culinary acumen remaining at the forefront, maintaining the standards of excellence that have become synonymous with his name.
James Martin is known for his down-to-earth and approachable style, making him a favourite among viewers, and that’s reflected in the food.
The menu, characterised by its laidback yet distinctly upmarket appeal, showcases an impressive range of dishes and ingredients designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes.
The restaurant is tucked in a quiet upstairs mezzanine of Manchester 235 Casino, with tasteful decor with an exposed brickwork ceiling and hard wooden floors.
It’s a lovely quiet oasis juxtaposed against the fluttering hubbub of the downstairs area.
James Martin Manchester’s ability to create a culinary experience that is both approachable and sophisticated is a testament to their skill.
It is a seamless blend of tradition and innovation, a reflection of his team’s dedication to the craft.
You can check out what they’ve got going on by clicking here
We were lucky enough to dive headfirst into their A La Carte menu selections with a beautiful and extensive taster menu.
James Martin’s beautiful A-La-Carte Menu
Kickstarting the soirée is the Whole Roasted Squash, a visual masterpiece nestled in a curvaceous squash shell.
A velvety squash and chilli veloute take centre stage, boasting a wonderful dance of curried flavours with a hint of winter warmth.
The surprise guest?
Goat’s Cheese Bonbon—deep-fried perfection that adds a crispy, tangy crescendo to this squashy symphony.
Enter the realm of umami with the wild mushroom toast, where treacle and fennel bread provide a deep, rich flavour profile.
Umami means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese, often described as the meaty, savoury deliciousness that deepens flavour.
This is a melange of flavour that takes you deep inside the forest, with the confit egg yolk and truffle mayonnaise elevate this dish to a savoury sonnet.
The mushroom toast is a great example of elevating what is a simple dish with a fantastic flavour profile, into a deep and satisfying dish.
A Seafood Sonata
From the depths of the sea emerges the Cured Salmon & Beetroot Tart—a sharp treat with pickled beetroot, dill, and cream cheese.
The Ponzu sauce, a Japanese elixir of soy sauce, tamari, citrus juice, mirin, katsuobushi, kombucha, and rice vinegar, adds a sweet note, creating a nice balance of flavour.
The first bite introduces you to the sharp and invigorating essence of the cured salmon.
Next up is a delicate dance of brininess and freshness as the salmon unfolds its layers.
The pickled beetroot, a vibrant and tangy companion, adds a burst of colour and a lively acidity that dances on the palate.
Next up is the Thai-inspired Crab Risotto, featuring green chilli, lime leaf, and lemongrass.
The decadent harmony of crab and the lightness of lemongrass creates a wonderful flavour profile.
This was recommended by not one, two, but three members of staff.
And it’s easy to see why, with a beautiful selection of flavours it’s a decadent delight.
The moment it touches your palate, there’s an explosion of flavours. The richness of the crab offers an indulgent note, and the lemongrass, a light, citrusy whisper that dances through the dish.
It’s not overpowering; instead, it brings a refreshing and uplifting quality, creating a delightful contrast to the opulence of the crab.
Lullabyes from the Land
The Yorkshire Ox Cheek Pudding, draped in Lovage Emulsion, black garlic, and potato mousse, channels suet pudding with a rag pudding flair—a comforting embrace with a twist.
s you delve into this culinary creation, the first thing that envelops your senses is the hearty essence of ox cheek. Picture tender, slow-cooked perfection that melts in your mouth, offering a robust and comforting embrace reminiscent of suet or rag pudding.
Should be popular with a Mancunian audience!
For those who wondering, Lovage Emulsion is an herb with a flavour profile similar to celery but more intense.
The emulsion takes this herbaceous essence and transforms it into a velvety, light sauce.
It’s like a green-hued drape of the pudding, adding a layer of freshness and a subtle herbal note that complements the richness of the ox cheek
The Roast Quail is accompanied by parsnip purée, charred sprouts, smoked pancetta, and toasted hazelnuts.
The Quail is a delicate yet flavourful centrepiece that sets the stage for the tastes to follow.
This is a seriously interesting dish, with flavours coming from all angles, the toasted hazelnuts against the smoked pancetta taking you on a wonderful trip – sweet, savoury, smoky, and crunchy all at once.
The Steamed Lemon Sole with Brown Shrimp and smoked beurre blanc pomme Dauphine.
Beautifully flaky and very tasty, the sole, flawlessly steamed, boasts a texture that practically melts in your mouth with each bite.
The subtle infusion of lemon adds a bright and zesty note.
Roasted Bass, fragrant with green curry, kimchi, lime, crispy leek, and chilli, offers an exotic blend of flavours that transport diners to distant shores.
The bass, roasted to perfection, becomes a canvas for an exotic blend of flavours that transports diners to faraway culinary destinations.
The green curry, infused with aromatic spices, envelops the bass in a rich and fragrant embrace.
It’s a journey through the lush landscapes of Southeast Asia, where the curry provides a warm and flavourful backdrop to the delicate fish.
Kimchi, with its fermented punch, adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick to the ensemble.
This Korean staple introduces a layer of complexity with the bass, creating a fusion of tastes that keeps the palate intrigued.
The Game and the Glory
The Venison Loin, with venison ragù, black pudding, and a spiced plum and sloe gin jus is a picture of rustic elegance.
Perfectly cooked, it exudes a richness that reflects the wild, untamed essence of the outdoors, with earthy flavour.
The ragù, a slow-cooked celebration, intertwines with the venison, as a comforting and refined dish.
Meanwhile, Hogget Rump BBQ Rib, accompanied by potato terrine, roasted cauliflower, and Berskwell cheese, showcases a balance of robust flavours.
This was one of the nicest dishes, hogget being completely new for me, and is a uniquely succulent meat. The potato terrine presents itself as a gratifying textural contrast.
Berskwell cheese, is a decadent companion that ties the elements together. Its creamy richness weaves through the dish, providing a luscious counterpoint to the savoury intensity of the hogget rump.
Grand Finale – Desserts
We conclude this gastronomic symphony with a sweet coda.
The Tahitian Vanilla Pudding, paired with charred banana and sour ice cream, is vaguely reminiscent of a fancy rice pudding. It’s a brilliant flavour, and the sour ice cream is a real revelation.
If you want to really indulge, why not try the Hot Chocolate Bar, featuring chocolate delice, Italian meringue, toasted hazelnut, and yoghurt sorbet, are indulgent delights.
For a taste of autumn, revel in the Apple and Brambles—complete with toffee apple parfait, blackberry, cinnamon, and custard doughnut.
James Martin Christmas Offers
James Martin Manchester is also getting into the spirit of things with their classy Festive Menu.
They are offering 3 courses for £49, which with the quality of food on show, is a great price.
As for the Winter A-La-Carte Menu, it’s not just about the food.
It’s James Martin Manchester saying, Let’s celebrate, and let’s do it with style.
You can also hire James Martin Manchester for parties, and they even have a private dining space for a more exclusive feel.
You can find out more information by clicking here
There’s a delicate dance between tradition and innovation on this menu, and it’s a dance worth joining.
So, if you find yourself in the city craving a bit of culinary joy, James Martin Manchester has a seat—and a plate—for you.
Cheers to good food and the man and his team who know how to dish it out in oodles!