Named after the Roman fort that was the birthplace of modern Manchester, Mamucium restaurant in Hotel Indigo next to Victoria Station has developed a reputation for modern British food with a Mancunian twist.
Chef Andrew Green‘s menu is full of regional influences, from smoked Cheshire beef hash and Manchester Smoke House salmon to his signature Lancashire onion soup which consists of onion cooked in hearty lamb broth, topped off with a Lancashire cheese croute.
And the new lunch menu is full of tasty treats, too, from light bites to larger plates.
First up, a couple of snacks. Roasted baby chorizo (£3.75) is rich and smoky with a nutty, tomato-rich romesco sauce. Charred vivid green padron peppers (£3.25) are served simply with olive oil, salt and lemon.
A selection of fresh salads have a healthy, summery touch.
Snowy white burrata (£6.95), the fresh Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream, comes with plum tomatoes, peppery rocket, toasted pine nuts and balsamic syrup to cut through the creaminess.
A colourful bowl of charred asparagus, sun blushed tomato and tender artichoke heart salad (£6.95) is adorned with with chopped parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil, with sourdough croutons for texture and crunch and a crisp Chardonnay dressing.
There’s a touch of yoghurt in the dressing, but the salad can be made vegan on request with a basil and avocado oil instead.
Onto mains, and who can resist a classic bistro-style steak frites (£12.95)? Especially when you learn that the steak and eggs both come from top Manchester butchers WH Frost in Chorlton. There’s no skimping on quality here.
The grilled rump steak is packed with flavour, served with seasoned hand-cut chips, and a poached Goosnargh egg with a runny golden yolk. It’s absolutely delicious.
Other classy classics on the lunch menu include breaded Goosnargh chicken escalope with rocket and pomegranate salad, a hand-pressed Lancashire beef burger, and a signature club sandwich they’re so proud of they put their name on it.
Fragrant basil pesto linguine (£9.95) is a lighter meat-free option, studded with tender pieces of asparagus. You can up the protein and make it more substantial by adding on chicken or prawns (£3 or £3.50).
Or if you fancy grazing leisurely over a glass or two of wine, try a sharing board (£10.95). The mezze board is piled with hummus, marinated feta, giganti and nocellara olives, friarelli, stuffed vine leaves, falafel, sourdough and focaccia.
An antipasti board replaces the hummus, vine leaves and falafel with cured prosciutto, salami, mortadella and burrata.
The pastry chefs take their job very seriously at Mamucium, and it shows. So don’t even contemplate skipping pudding.
Mamucium Manchester tart (£6) is everything you want from the nostalgic dish, but it’s an elevated, skilful version. The wedge of fresh custard tart is filled with sweet homemade raspberry jam and topped with banana crisps and shaved coconut.
It’s about as far removed from school dinners as you could get.
A jar of sweet-sharp pink Yorkshire rhubarb and creamy custard (£6) comes with a biscuity ginger and caramel crumb.
There’s a trio of local cheeses, too, if you don’t have a sweet tooth. And the single origin, ethically sourced, micro-roasted coffee is produced locally by family-run Salford Roasters.
Dishes are all very reasonably priced anyway, but a set lunch deal offers two courses for £12.95, which is extraordinarily good value in the centre of town. In fact, it’s a steal.
The set menu includes the artichoke salad, the burrata or chef Andrew’s famous Lancashire onion soup to start, followed by the steak frites, the Goosnargh chicken escalope, or seared fillet of line-caught seabass with pak choi, asparagus and wild garlic dumplings. Plus a salted caramel custard tart we’ve got our eye on for next time.
Great quality ingredients, well-executed dishes, and coming in at under £13 for two courses – this is a peach of a menu. Let’s do lunch.