Tucked away on the first floor of The Range, the swanky golf course and clubhouse in Spinningfields, Albatross & Arnold is independently owned by former semi-pro golfer and entrepreneur Andrew McLoughney.
The interior is modern and inviting with its 13ft polished concrete, oak and brass bar and a suspended light installation featuring over 1,000 strikingly lit golf balls. It’s intimate, too, with space for just 40 diners.
And now it’s got a new menu thanks to executive chef consultant Curtis Stewart, who is originally from Bury.
Curtis has an impressive culinary CV including Whatley Manor, Coworth Park and Cotswolds hotel Foxhill Manor. But Mancunians will probably know him best as the ambitious young chef behind the impressive but sadly short-lived King Street restaurant Quill.
Aged just 32 and now back in Manchester with his young family, Curtis has designed a selection of modern British sharing plates for Albatross & Arnold.
The dishes are refined and elegant but much more relaxed and flexible than Quill’s tasting menus.
Dishes from the new menu include snacks (from £3.50) such as whitebait with seasoned flour and smoked cods roe, followed by seasonal sharing plates of charred tiger prawns with chilli, garlic and citrus or baked baby beets with lovage, goats curd and quinoa.
We were impressed by snacks of chorizo and saffron croquettes, crisp and golden with a red pepper emulsion, and pork and black pudding Scotch eggs made with dinky quails eggs dipped into a punchy mustard mayonnaise.
The larger sharing plates deliver, too. Though they’re not especially cheap at between £12 and £19 for meat and fish and £9 to £13 for vegetables.
Hay smoked salt marsh lamb rump, pink and tender, comes with earthy Jerusalem artichoke and rosemary oil.
Whole roasted bay monkfish tail is roasted and drenched in a rich brown chicken butter sauce with zingy lemongrass and citrus dressing.
Sticky sweet pork belly, just the right side of fatty, comes with miso caramel, burnt apple and Asian pear.
All sides are priced at £4.50, with al dente asparagus showcasing simple, seasonal cooking with top quality produce.
Skin-on chips, crisp outside and fluffy within, are elevated with a dip of smoky bacon aioli. The combination is like bacon crisps, in the best possible way.
Desserts (£8 – £10) are a delight, from the grown-up dark chocolate torte with passionfruit and milk ice cream to the grin-inducingly sweet banoffee pie.
The wine list includes twenty by-the-glass options, perfect for matching with the various sharing plates, and some rare finds such as 2014 Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Zinfandel and FMC Chenin Blanc.
“Naturally our aim is to produce consistently outstanding food, so our focus is on creating small, seasonal sharing plates enabling everyone to have the opportunity to explore a range of dishes and flavours, or to order one or two dishes to enjoy individually,” says Curtis about the new menu.
“We are passionate about supporting other independents and largely use regional suppliers – always of the very best quality.
“We also ensure that our menu offers a variety of delicious options to suit every requirement so nobody will miss out.”