It’s an attractive space, with comfortable leather seating and a striking Silestone and brass bar area.
The cocktail list includes classics – dry martini, sazerac, bloody mary – as well as some inventive Manchester-inspired creations.
And not the run-of-the-mill Manchester bee/honey creations we’ve become accustomed to. Although they do use rather charming Manchester bee straws.
Named after the founder of Roman Manchester, Agricola’s Fort combines Manchester’s Zymurgorium quince and ginger liqueur with The Lakes vodka and a dash of rhubarb. Davies’ Clubhouse, inspired by John Henry Davies, the first president of Manchester United, is a modern twist on a classic ameretto sour.
I try a Pankhurst’s Revolution (£10.50), named in honour of the leader of the suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst. The long drink is made with Zymurgorium cherry bakewell liqueur and a dash of everyone’s favourite Manchester cordial Vimto, served on ice and topped with prosecco. Long, sweet and sparkling.
Head chef Andrew moved to Mamucium from The Lowry’s River Room Restaurant where he gained recognition in the 2018 Michelin Guide.
His menu for the new opening next to Victoria station is full of regional influences, with starters from smoked Cheshire beef hash to Manchester Smoke House salmon. A northern take on the classic French onion soup, his signature Lancashire onion soup (£6.95) consists of onion cooked in lamb broth, topped off with a Lancashire cheese croute.
The Italian marinated burrata (£8) is not northern but delicious nonetheless, and demonstrates some skill with the use of colourful heritage tomatoes which have been vac packed with their own juices to intensify their sweet flavours.
It’s dotted with balsamic pearls, sharp little caviar-like spheres which burst in the mouth and cut through the creaminess. A fine start.
For the main course, there are seven delicious signature dishes to choose from, as well as a grill section featuring various cuts of meat and fish – including Lancashire beef, which is aged for 28 days in a Himalayan salt chamber and served with ox cheek suet pudding.
Andrew’s Lancashire hot pot is made using cannon of Herdwick lamb (£22.50). It’s a new take on the dish rather than the traditional hot pot you may be expecting, but the modern deconstruction keeps all the expected flavours.
Thick lamb slices are cooked perfectly pink, while a cabbage-wrapped parcel is stuffed with rich confit leg meat. The plate is finished with potato pearls and dots of sweet carrot puree, and the whole thing drenched in a dark, glossy and deliciously meaty lamb jus.
It’s a generous portion and there’s no real need for sides, but I can never resist dauphinoise potatoes (£3.50), and I’m glad. They’re soft, creamy and comforting, and topped with punchy Blackstick Blue cheese.
Northern comfort puddings include Bakewell steamed sponge served with vanilla pod ice cream, and warm mini Eccles cakes served with Trinity burnt cream, caramel crumb and wild berries.
My Mamucium Manchester tart (£7.50) is everything you want from the nostalgic dish, but it’s an elevated, skilful version. A wedge of fresh custard tart is filled with homemade raspberry jam, and topped with banana crisps and shaved coconut.
In addition to the main menu, Andrew has also designed a set menu which includes the likes of traditional battered fish and chips with mushy peas followed by blueberry pavlova with crème Chantilly and Vimto blueberries.
“As a northerner born and bred, my inspiration and love of food lies in popular British cuisine, but I am also passionate about innovation and love to put my own unique spin on classic dishes,” says Andrew, who describes his menu as a labour of love.
“The northern twist given to many of the plates I have created for Mamucium reflects my style perfectly – and many of the dishes that I have designed have a real personal connection.”
Mission accomplished. The twists and reinventions Andrew has introduced to the Mamucium menu are done with love and care, as well as an evident passion for local produce.
This is a modern Manchester menu we can all be proud of.