If anywhere is the perfect food for Autumn, it’s Sam’s Chop House, with its cosy Victorian interior and gut-busting comfort food, it makes even the wettest of wet Wednesdays a joy and makes you feel nostalgic for a bygone era.
“…their famous corn beef hash… a fantastic potato cake complete with a perfect, runny poached egg on top… the true Sam’s experience.”
I went with Ma and Pa Chadders, in town to catch a play, both of whom are gastronomes and had never been, so wanted to give it a try.
The last time we dined together in the city we went to Entrecote which was my third and last visit. I love the food but the dictator attitude of bringing you dishes whether you’re ready or not makes me blanche at £22 a head.
And when we asked whether we could have any butter with our bread we were told we couldn’t but could have nut oil, which Ma Chadders heard as naff all – it might as well have been (we had been willing to pay for the butter even though the folks hail from Yorkshire).
Back to Sam’s and trying to find anything on the menu under a zillion calories is something of a feat so we all decided to dive in and have the true Sam’s experience.
Prices are from £6 for starters and £10 for mains. If anyone can fit in a pudding (even the Ginger would be stretched) they are from £6.
There’s an extensive and reasonably priced wine list from which Pa Chadders opted for a Merlot he pronounced warm and delicious. The girls laid waste to a bottle of Prosecco at £22.
They like their offal and unusual cuts at Sam’s and you can tuck into brawn (pigs head and trotters to me and you) pigeon as well as other classic British choices .
We played it safe and started with their famous corn beef hash but this had been transformed into a starter, as a fantastic potato cake complete with a perfect, runny poached egg on top.
It gave all the flavours of the main but in a smaller portion, though frankly would be a meal in itself for most people.
Pa and I had the steak and kidney pie, served with mushy peas, chips and a side dish of gravy. The suet pudding took me back to my girlhood in Yorkshire and was a delightful change to pie-crusts. The steak and kidney was rich and tasty, filling you up with sheer winter warmth, mouthful by mouthful. It was too much for me to eat and both Ma and I agreed when we return it will be mains only. Pa managed all of his.
Mrs Chadders had fish and chips, again with Manchester caviar, and found the batter melt-in-the-mouth and the fish wonderfully tender. The chips are how chips should be, big and fat, piping hot with a light, frothy interior.
Service throughout was discrete and attentive with the friendly staff, quick to smile and crack a joke. Apparently they had been amused all week by the Labour MPs who couldn’t find the toilets – ‘Makes you think’, joshed our waiter.
Then it was back into a wild and wet night and over to Harvey Nichols to catch the last of the fashion show. But that’s another story.
There’s sister restaurant Tom’s too which has a similar menu. Go and cheer yourself up in style and with a 2 course lunch deal at £11.99 and a pre theatre 2-course deal running until 7.30pm at £13.95, there’s no excuse.
On the I Love’o’meter
Sam’s is the perfect date for Autumn.
Chapel Walks, Back Pool Fold, Manchester M2 1HN
0161 834 3210