The name for the new restaurant, housed under the magnificent dome which for decades was the trading floor of the Stock Exchange, will be The Bull & Bear.
Tom and his executive chef Dan Scott have created a menu that is influenced by Tom’s Michelin starred pub in Marlow, The Coach. And last weekend he came to Manchester to offer diners a taste of things to come.
The Sunday banquet, part of the Manchester Food & Drink Festival, saw Tom deliver a four-course Sunday lunch to showcase the sort of food his new restaurant will offer.
“It’s all about warm, confident cooking based on beautiful ingredients treated with love and respect,” says Tom.
But it’s definitely not about small portions.
“I hope you’ve come hungry,” grins Tom. “If you’ve had a full English breakfast, you might not make it…”.
So what’s on the menu?
A starter of creamy mushroom ‘risotto’, the recipe originally by Claude Bosi, uses grains of oyster and button mushroom rather than rice.
It’s lighter, but packed with intensely savoury flavour, dotted with melting mozzarella and topped with a glaze of aged Parmesan cheese.
“This dish actually started at The Hand & Flowers [Tom’s two Michelin starred pub in Marlow] as a potato dish, but when we opened The Coach it became a mushroom risotto,” says Tom.
“There’s no rice in it, but the mushroom is diced to the same size. We try to make it as mushroomy as possible.” Mission accomplished. It’s rich, earthy and absolutely heavenly.
Next up is potted Cornish crab with cucumber chutney, topped with a layer of strikingly orange smoked paprika butter.
It’s an elegant dish, beautifully presented, which was on the original menu at The Hand & Flowers and still makes an appearance at The Coach and at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Tom’s first restaurant in the capital at Corinthia London which he opened last year.
The main event is the Sunday roast, of course: fillet of Stokes Farm beef with a brisket stuffed Yorkshire pudding, carrot, horseradish cream, and heaps of crisp golden roast potatoes on the side.
“This is on every menu we do,” says Tom.
“People always want roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. But we do something a bit special stuffing it with brisket…”
You can say that again. If the Stock Exchange is dishing up Sunday lunches like this, we’ll have a new contender for the best roast in the city.
The thick slice of beef is pink and juicy and tender as anything, with the glossiest of gravies made with love and patience.
And those Yorkshire puddings? Well, they’re spot-on, stuffed with slow-cooked brisket. Way to raise the game.
It will be hard to go back to normal Yorkies now we’ve tried these.
The final course is a sticky toffee pudding enriched with beef suet, drenched with sweet toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream.
It’s the perfect Sunday lunch pudding: sweet, comforting and nap-inducing.
If this is what The Bull & Bear has in store when it opens in November, Manchester is in for a serious treat.
The Stock Exchange will open on 15th November on Norfolk Street, M2 1DW as a member of Relais & Châteaux, an association of 580 unique hotels and restaurants throughout the world owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. Booking is now open for The Bull & Bear restaurant.