Masons review: “Luxurious food set in a towering art deco masterpiece”

Masons winter menu is packed with gorgeous food in sumptuous settings to beat those winter blues
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Masons is housed in a building packed with history.

The Manchester Hall was built in 1929, opened as a meeting place for the region’s Masons, designed by architect Percy Scott Worthington.

It remains in use by Manchester’s Masons to this day, hosting meetings on the third floor.

Back in the day, it was split into five lodge suites, with a club room, boardroom, offices, a museum and a library too.

Masons is situated in the Old Freemason’s dining hall part of the building.

The walls are adorned with images of Freemason outings and meets, a nod to the buildings past of tradition and clandestine meeting.

Original features have been preserved or repurposed, like the reception desk built out of an old organ previously stationed in a lodge room upstairs, and a grand set of oak windows which were taken from the front of the building and have been incorporated into the restaurant’s interior.

Make no mistake this is a stylish place, and despite the buildings age, has plenty of contemporary flourishes.

A grade II listed building, it is a towering art deco masterpiece, a beautiful momento of past that shows that stands proud amongst the bustling, redeveloping future of the city.

Now Manchester Hall is home to Dishoom, Mason’s, and Honest burger sits just to the right of the building too.

What once was a meeting place shrouded in mystery to the outside world, it is now a meeting place for friends, colleagues, or partners to pick from an excellent selection of eateries.

You can even hire Manchester Hall out for weddings, corporate events and special occasions too.

So would the food live up to the grand settings? We went down to check out their Winter menu.

To start, my college had the Chilli & Garlic Prawns (£11.50) with homemade chermoula & sourdough. A classic opener, presented beautifully. Chermoula, a marinade and relish used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian food, packed with cumin, complements the semi-sweetness of the prawns to create an outstanding dish.

I selected the pulled beef croquettes with horseradish mayo to start.

These were recommended by the delightful host and I have to say, were one of the many highlights of the meal. Crisped to perfection, the braised meat inside was packed with flavours and were eaten with relish. A must try.

Mason’s restaurant ethos is to always provide locally sourced produce, Independently farmed and creatively prepared.

And as you can see from these pictures, the presentation was top notch, as was the service.

The presentation of the restaurant is beautiful too. Deep plush emerald booths on the left hand side coupled with deep cobalt walls create a great environment to while away the hours while enjoying sumptuous dishes.

The high windows of the restaurant create a beautiful ambient light in the day time, allowing you to drift away people watching over some great food and drink.

As you head further into the restaurant and past the mode bar, packed to the rafters with a rich selection of drinks, the mirrored wall end creates a sense of space where a few secluded tables are if you fancy a more private dining experience.

For my main, I selected the Cheshire pork belly (£19.50) with roasted Squash, braised red cabbage & apple puree, caramelised shallots & pan jus. The crackling on top of the belly was divine, crisped excellently, in contrast to the succinct fall apart texture of the marbled pork below. The apple puree and sweetness of the caramelised shallots made for a fantastic main course.

My colleague selected the Snapper and monkfish (£23) with mussels, prawns, squid & scallops with samphire potato pearls and saffron broth. It almost looks so beautiful you don’t want to disturb it! The samphire’s vibrant green stalks, which does not look dissimilar to baby asparagus had a distinctly crisp and salty taste, balanced out with the delicacy of the scallops. The saffron broth has a complex set of flavours, with a sweet, floral taste. This is definitely an adventurous dish but if you’re after a complex, interesting set of flavours, it could well be for you.

To finish, what better as a winter warmer than Sticky toffee pudding? For dessert, my pick was Sticky toffee (£7) with caramelised banana, date puree & vanilla ice cream. Again, beautifully presented – this is a stone cold classic that it’s hard to go wrong with.

My colleague picked the Milk & cookies (£7.50) with chocolate, milk foam and crumbled cookies. An interesting take on a bedtime classic, this was surprisingly filling! No complaints here though, as it was absolutely delicious.

You can check out their full menu by clicking here.

All in all, this is an easy choice for a great night (or day) of food and drink in Manchester.

It is a wonderful location, and the food does more than justice to create a wonderful dining experience that you will savour and want to come back for more.

And as luck would have it, Masons will also be offering 50% off their A La Carte menu in January from Sunday – Friday .

So what better chance to support a great local restaurant, for a great price too?

You can book a table by clicking here. 

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