When George’s opened in Worsley a couple of years ago, we were rather critical (read the review here). We felt it failed to exceed any suburban expectations despite its city centre price bracket. It lacked teamwork.
They took it on the chin, though. I bumped into co-owner Ryan Giggs at Manchester Airport a few months after the review. Wearing a cap and pulling a carry-on case, he patted me on the back and said ‘thanks for the honest review, mate’. A true champion.
In case you’re not familiar, Worsley is a small woody enclave between Eccles and Boothstown which you can easily miss in a sneeze. An affluent and picturesque little village with evergreen patches, a church and an orange water canal (yes, orange water), it’s known as Salford with trees. But it’s not exactly known as a bastion of fine dining. As a local sprout, I should know.
Named after a local Victorian architect, George’s is where a traditional build belies a very modern guesthouse and an equally modern British menu.
It’s set over two floors with a 14 seater private dining room (which can also be used for canape and cocktail events for up to 60 guests) and a first floor terrace for the rare Salford sunshine.
Front of house and service made for a good start. We arrived a bit early but were greeted by a smiling reception. Rob, a friendly chap, was happy to prepare our table right away. A dramatic change of tactic from the tepid welcome we received a few years ago. So, first things first, we grabbed a cold one at the bar. Pint of Mahou – cold, light and crisp.
As it was Sunday we sat down with only one thing on our minds – a roast. It’s not the law but it should be. We opted for the three courses for £20.95 menu (2 courses £16.95). We were hung over and what we call ‘hangry’ so, after blundering over the options, we ordered pretty assertively, like a football manager signalling on the touchline when his team is behind.
Felicity was all smiles as she took our order and made her recommendations. Genuine and accommodating.
Soup of the day was carrot and coriander served with an onion bhaji. An unusual but unbelievably tasty concoction. Almost like an accidental masterpiece.
Smoked Haddock Scotch Egg with Chunky Tartare Sauce (£9.25) was another interesting little dish to start, the pickled gherkin garnish providing a crunchy contrast to the haddock and soft not-so-scotch egg.
The Smoked Salmon Roulade (£5.95) was a light, fluffy, smooth roulade wrapped in a succulent piece of smoked salmon and accompanied by delicious slices of toasted brioche. Another sign of a chef who likes to play with textures and factious flavours. Decent first half.
The second half began with the star of the show. Trenendously tender roast beef cooked pink (well done is a sacrilege) served on a bed of creamy mash potato, a trunk of sweet potato, sensational minty sautéed peas, roast potatoes – which I’m afraid lacked a bit of flavour/seasoning – crispy Yorkshire pudding and thin (as oppose to perfect) gravy.
Staff were extremely attentive. Even in our blithering indecisive hungover state, they were patient and friendly.
The restaurant has definitely improved. There’s certainly still room for improvement in the kitchen but it’s perhaps a bit more experimental and colourful – without being too try-hard – and there’s so much of the menu left to explore.
The most noticeable improvement is in the service. We were left swooning. Time to go home for that Sunday afternoon snooze on the couch. Nice.
17-21 Barton Rd, Worsley, Manchester M28 2PD