Some up-market restaurants deserve their lofty reputations while others receive plenty of hype but never quite deliver. Grill on the Alley comes under the former category.
Located just off King Street and Deansgate, the restaurant has one of the most sought-after post codes in Manchester. It is this location which helps Grill on the Alley unite the old and new of this great city.
However, location can only get you so far in this game. At some stage the quality of the food has to take over and this is where the restaurant really earns that prestige.
The menu, as you would expect with grill in the name of the restaurant, is dominated by their meat, especially beef, selection. But, if you are not a carnivore then there is plenty of other dishes to choose from, with a wide range of seafood catching the eye.
White Dover Sole and White Haddock Welsh Rarebit to Lobster and a delightful sounding Sea Bass fillet in Thai Green Curry on Vegetable Noodles would certainly not go amiss on a second trip.
But the steak selection is too much to ignore and a 310g Rib Eye can rarely go unordered. The meat itself was extremely good quality and cooked to perfection. The chef and waiters / waitresses are on the same wavelength so ask how best to cook the steak and you will get the most out of the experience.
For starters a Goat’s Cheese Tarte Tatin and Beef Carpaccio grabbed our attention but it could quite easily have been the Thai Fish Cakes or the Calamari – a tough call but one which was rewarded. The Goat’s Cheese was full of flavour and the Carpaccio was served with a Caesar dressing and stilton which added plenty to the already delicious beef.
Choosing a dessert was also a military operation but one made easier when the White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake was off the menu for the evening. The Lemon Sorbet and ‘Jaffa Cake’ Mess were lovely although the Winter Berry Crumble would almost certainly be a winner as well.
What was particularly enjoyable was the restaurant did not try to be more than it is. Pretentious restaurants which don’t deliver the goods are ten a penny but Grill on the Alley serves great food in an enjoyable and positive atmosphere with excellent service. Can one ask for more than that?
Hopefully you will want to get down yourself soon and I definitely recommend it. One thing to bear in mind is the price. It is excellent value for money but as the quality is higher than at your every day grill, so are the prices.
This makes it a fantastic place to go for a celebration of any form, be it as a group or a couple. Both are catered for and the service is exactly what you want: informative and upbeat without actually joining you for the majority of the meal.
Booking in advance is the best policy as it does get busy but walking in off King Street or Deansgate is equally acceptable.
Get down to the Grill on the Alley – a must for any foodie in Manchester.