Our Kelly samples Northern delights on a culinary tour of Lancashire.
In A Word:
Anyone whose love of food blossomed over hearty school dinners as a little’un.
On a drizzly night in Manchester city centre, the bright signs of Beef & Pudding and the prospect of indulgent treats is easily enough to tempt you through their doors.
Ushered into a cosy leather booth, the urban lighting, vintage tiles and exposed brickwork gave it a stylish but homely feel; the perfect mish mash of old and new that hints at Manchester’s illustrious past, present and future.
Everything about Beef & Pudding – including the name – screams Northern, which is exactly why I loved it so much. Whilst I didn’t dare declare that I’m in fact a Yorkshire lass, I couldn’t help but fall for the Lancashire theme that filled every inch of the restaurant with Northern soul.
When hunger strikes, look no further than Beef & Pudding for a good feed and a taste of nostalgia. Every dish on their menu has been carefully chosen for its authenticity, ranging from grilled plaice to keema lamb pudding.
Disclaimer – beef isn’t the only option on the menu. This isn’t a Nandos-style chain, after all. However, we felt it would be criminal not to determine whether Beef & Pudding could live up to its name.
The Manc Plank – £17.95
Don’t be fooled by the menu, which says ‘nibble for two’ – you’re in Manchester now, duck. This starter extravaganza was a smorgasbord of regional grub, including a Bury bomb, mini fish and peas, venison pate, sweet chilli brisket and Lancashire bon bons.
It was hard to pick a favourite; the brisket was gooey and sweet, the pate fluffy and rich on chunky artisan bread… but it’s worth mentioning that whilst Beef & Pudding may be renowned for its carnivorous treats, the beer-battered fish was one of the lightest, crispiest pieces of cod I’ve ever had the pleasure of biting into.
The Pudding – £14.95
This signature dish is a true testament to everything that Beef & Pudding stands for. Encased in a thick layer of suet, with a pipette of horseradish oozing into the centre, the tender flakes of beef paired perfectly with the mash, gravy and mushy peas.
A real slice of nostalgia, this suet pudding was a walk down memory lane, bringing a traditional dish back in style for a hearty meal that you could imagine gran serving up to warm you right through on a Sunday afternoon…
Ribeye Steak – £22.50
If you prefer your beef pink in the middle, the ribeye steak won’t disappoint. With that smoky, chargrilled flavour that you only ever get in a good steak restaurant, this juicy cut of meat was served with dripping chips, a quarter roast onion and a salad coated in a tangy mustard vinaigrette.
Needless to say, we wiped the plate clean with our thick cut chips, with plenty of potatoes left to soak up the delicious blue cheese sauce on the side! Yum.
The Pudding Plank – £15.95
After berating the fact that we barely had room for dessert, we soon found ourselves being tempted by our host, Chris, to upgrade from the trifle to the whole pudding plank.
Somehow, we managed to graze our way across the board, taking in salted chocolate and caramel tart, lemon and lime cheesecake, Eccles cake with Lancashire cheese, and the Vimto jelly and blackberry trifle.
The trifle stole the show, with tuck shop flavours and an irresistible fizz that made this small but mighty pot of joy a suitable end to the meal. Vimto was invented in Manchester, so we were thrilled to see Beef & Pudding work another hint of Manucian history into the dessert menu!
Tempting though the prospect of a ‘beef’ cocktail may be (honestly, they sound bloody delicious), we stuck to red wine on this occasion. Well, it would be rude to drink anything other with steak!
A bottle of the Borsari Cabernet Sauvignon was the perfect way to wash down our dinner – fruity and rich, it complemented the meal without overpowering the bold flavours of beef and gravy.
For a restaurant that makes you proud to be Northern, Beef & Pudding does itself justice. An urban pub and kitchen that puts a contemporary twist on traditional Lancashire treats, this eatery has a relaxed, fun atmosphere that gives it such wide-ranging appeal. From nibbles and cocktails to three-course dining, it’s an inviting spot for good food and drink, with a touch of history to boot.
37 Booth Street
Tel: 0161 237 3733