By James McLaughlin
Room will be releasing a new menu next week and last night, Mancunian Matters got a sneak peek at what the King Street eatery is bringing to the table.
The two AA-rosette restaurant – tucked away off Manchester's bustling Market Street – prides itself on 'classic retro dishes all produced with a contemporary Room twist' and offers a wide array of dishes set against the backdrop of its chic high ceiling setting.
First up was the intriguingly described pig's head, apple and vanilla puree and crispy ear.
Admittedly I was cautiously curious having never tried pig's head or ear, the dish was a pleasant surprise, served up on Room's trademark stylish slates.
With the crispy saltiness of the shredded ear garnishing a succulent slab of cheek, the accompanying puree and apple jelly combined for a pleasant and meaty dish.
DELIGHTFUL: The pig's head, apple and vanilla puree and crispy ear
The vanilla of the puree rounded off a delightful starter, contrasting the savoury nature of the course perfectly.
Also on the starters list was the Gazpacho served up in a Martini glass and topped with crumbly croutons.
Full of freshness, the hint of spice and added crunch of finely diced pepper rounded off a refreshing opener for the palate.
Next up was the rollmop herring – served up with a beetroot and vodka pickle, horseradish, dill and candied walnuts.
I must admit, I will never be described as a fish aficionado and although I didn't polish off all of the succulent herring, the candied walnuts were a clear highlight – especially with the compliments of beetroot and horseradish.
On to the main course and a lamb hotpot that was a far cry from Manchester's infamous Coronation Street dish.
FAR CRY FROM CORRIE: The lamb hotpot anything but standard
If the idea of Betty's hotpot of overstewed vegetables and chunks of gristly meat comes to mind at the idea of this course, think again.
A juicy, shredded lamb hotpot in a hearty sauce and topped with thin and crisp potato slices was the focus of the dish but the accompaniment took firm centre stage.
The rarely cooked and oozing meat combined well with the salty sweetbreads and rich jus as well as the crisp cumin carrots.
With the trouser seams starting to stretch it was destination dessert with a chocolate and milk marquise, hazelnut, milk puree and ice cream as well as a deconstructed Eton Mess.
After the previous delights, the marquise proved too rich and heavy for my swelling stomach even if the sample I did take was just as good as the rest of the menu additions.
EAGERLY ANTICIPATED: The Eton Mess surpassed expectation
The Eton Mess however had been my most anticipated part of the menu – given I am normally quite partial to the dessert but what was served up at Room surpassed expectation.
Combining all the components of a traditional Eton Mess, the subtlety of the cream and freshness of the strawberry is only further surpassed by the basil infused meringue sticks.
The new additions, which will be available from August 14, do indeed bring an air of familiarity with individual twists and based on my experience, only strengthen an already accomplished menu which is highly recommended.
For more information about Room or to make a reservation click here