Masons Restaurant Bar is renowned across Manchester as one of the city’s most elegant dining spaces, and the dishes on its new menu more than match up to the surroundings.
The dining room atmosphere takes in high-end luxury but without any stuffiness or needless pomp and circumstance. It’s all about indulgence, but with a relaxed feel.
Our waiter for the evening is charm personified, as indeed are all the staff we encounter throughout the night. There’s a sense of pride that they’re part of such a prestigious venue, and rightly so.
The food on offer is based around the very best of British cuisine, with nods and inspiration from around the world to keep things interesting.
It’s all hearty fare, ideal for the upcoming winter months, taking in the UK’s finest produce, locally-sourced where possible and always tasting fresh and home-cooked.
We begin with the carpaccio of beef, a plate of paper-thin slices of raw beef, paired with just the right amount of tangy shaved Parmesan, plus a beautifully-simply rocket salad with a handful of plump, tart capers.
It’s a classic way to open a meal, simply high-quality ingredients that demonstrate the knowledge and skill of the kitchen.
The Conwy mussels are a fine choice for lovers of seafood. Prepared marinière-style, this is an impressively-large bowl filled with dozens of juicy molluscs, resting in a lip-smacking buttery white wine sauce.
It’s an uncomplicated but elegant dish, designed to showcase the freshness of the mussels, and it works.
For mains, the beef cheeks are a fantastic choice for a cold autumn evening. Substantial chunks of slow-braised beef, perched on a mound of delicious smooth mashed potatoes, with a surprising but welcome battered onion ring crowning the whole plate.
Oh, and the accompanying gravy is the stuff dreams are made of.
It’s a pleasure to see ham knuckle on the menu. An oft-overlooked cut of meat, here it’s cooked beautifully, providing more than enough soft, flaky pork for even the hungriest visitor.
It comes with another less-spotted side dish, that Northern classic, pease pudding. Filling and delightfully comforting, it’s the ideal match for the salty ham knuckle, especially when the little pan of pot liquor is poured over it.
It’s all too easy to get this dish wrong, but Masons do it wonderfully.
As for dessert, your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied with the excellent apple and blackberry crumble.
It’s a multi-layered dessert, incorporating thick chunks of stewed fruit, buttery crumble, candied nuts and a perfect blob of smooth vanilla ice cream to balance it all out. It’s yet another gloriously British dish, presented with panache and skill.
The cheese plate is an impressive sight, piled high with an array of cheeses and chutneys that vary from day to day.
If you’re looking for a savoury way to end your meal, you won’t be disappointed.
A meal at Masons Restaurant Bar is always a memorable experience, but with this new menu, they’ve elevated bistro dining to new heights.
The dishes are high-end classics, prepared with real flair and knowledge of balancing flavours.
Even better, they’re available as part of an impressive offer, with two courses available for £18 or three for £21.
It’s a remarkable deal for such high-quality food in one of Manchester’s best-looking venues, and shouldn’t be missed.