Dive NQ has been making waves in the Manchester bar scene ever since it opened at the end of last year. We sent Jemima Forbes to try out some of their bespoke cocktails and root bombs as well as their menu of classic good eats…
After escaping the bitter cold of the Manchester streets, the first thing you notice about Dive is the undeniably cool interior. Think distressed wood tables, leather seats, corrugated iron panels, a graffiti mural and warm lighting.
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Each aspect of the venue has been carefully designed to resemble an American style bar which gives it a casual and friendly glow.
The bar consists of a dance floor, a large long bar with stools, a separate area for private entertaining complete with its own bar, and a dining section with large comfy booths. We settled into one of these and decided to begin our Dive dining experience with the cocktail list.
Dive has some very quirky and artistic names for their cocktails (my favourite being Fruit and Nut Case) so I thought I’d try out a couple to see if they were as distinctive as they sound.
Luke, the new friendly head barman, served us up two of his favourite creative cocktails from the drinks menu – Parma Violence and Honey and Spice and All Things Nice. Not usually a gin drinker, I surprisingly loved the sweet and vibrant flavour of the Parma Violence cocktail infused with violet liqueur and served with a mini packet of Parma Violets. A nostalgic drink that certainly gives you a sugar rush, but not recommended for lovers of a strong gin taste as it is heavily disguised by the violet flavouring.
The second cocktail, Honey and Spice and All Things Nice, was definitely a winner and one of the tastiest whiskey cocktails I’ve tried. A vibrant concoction of Jack Daniels Honey and Chambord with hints of basil, blackberry and lime make this a refreshing and well-balanced drink. Keep an eye out for new innovative additions to the menu in the coming weeks.
After the highly successful cocktails, we tried Dive’s specialty drink; Root Bombs. An updated twist on the good old Jaegerbomb, these drinks consist of a glass of root beer with a shot of rum, Jägermeister or whiskey dropped in. Designed to be drunk in one, the Old J rum version I tried went down surprisingly well and was a smooth combination of spice, caramel and a hint of aniseed. Feeling satisfied with our drink choices and definitely ready for some bites, we turned to the food menu.
The first thing to note about Dive’s food menu is that it’s perfectly set up for sharing. From mini sliders (that’s burgers in American), tacos and tantalising nachos, different serving sizes can be selected depending on your party size and level of hunger.
Secondly, the menu is varied enough for everyone’s tastes and all options are classic comfort food favourites. Deciding the Pulled Pork Nachos were a must have, we also ordered the Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sliders, Chilli Beef Tacos, Classic NY Club, Deep Fried Prawns and Texan Beef Skewers.
The Deep Fried Prawns were expertly cooked in a crispy golden batter and came with a delicious and full-flavoured sauce of ginger, soy and chilli.
The mini sliders were the perfect size for easy eating and the Texan Beef Skewers were wonderfully tender and well complimented by the BBQ sauce and corn relish.
The Pulled Pork Nachos were also thoroughly flavoursome with succulent meat and classic nacho accompaniments. However, there were too many tortilla chips and not enough topping.
It may sound like a lot of food but 2 to 3 dishes per person is recommended and we did end up taking the club sandwich home to have for lunch the next day. There are also some appetising salad options on the menu for those trying to be a bit healthier in the New Year and plenty of vegetarian choices, too.
Dive has managed to be a place that would entice all sorts of people through its doors. Whether you’re a couple looking for a new place for date night, a group of lads cheering on your favourite team, an office party going for a quick lunch or a group of friends celebrating a birthday, Dive’s friendly atmosphere, excellent food and exciting drink choices make it a must-visit venue if you haven’t already been.
Dive NQ has it all in terms of personality, service and vibe. And if you incorporate it into your weekend partying plans, you can stop off for a tasty drink AND dance the night away to some classic tunes until early morning. Sounds like a good night out to me.
PS Check out the website for a range of food and drink deals
Tib St, Manchester M4 1SH