Friday 12 July 2013

Grenache, Walkden

Having seen rave reviews and good feedback on Grenache via various social media sites and blogs we decided to visit Grenache last Sunday for lunch.  After a warm welcome and orders taken I was excited to be presented with our amuse bouche of Pimms jelly with mint & cucumber ice.   I had seen Chef Mike Jennings upload a photo of this on Twitter so seeing the creation in front of me made me feel slightly giddy.  I love Pimms and to see it in a jelly form was certainly different. The mint and cucumber ice was really refreshing, a perfect palette cleanser and also a treat in the scorching summer sun.

For starters Mr Nom selected the Grilled fillet of mackerel, pickled beetroot, goats cheese, orange & watercress salad. It was also the restaurant manager Lindseys favourite starter and after the first taste we could understand why. The flavours married together beautifully, a little bit of each element were picked up in every bite.  I ordered the twice baked Lancashire cheese soufflĂ© with ham pickle salad; the mellow soufflĂ© and the flavours with the homemade piccalilli were wonderful and appetising. The tangy piccalilli contrasting with the mild cheese makes the dish come to life.

Roast sirloin beef & all the trimmings was definitely a generous portion but it what you expect for a Sunday lunch! The huge plate overwhelmed me slightly but the sight of the giant Yorkshire pudding and the succulent roast beef cooked just right slightly pink made me wish I ordered that instead. The only thing I would comment on was that the roast potatoes were slightly too crispy for my liking.  Mr Nom seemed to enjoy it however and demolished the large serving.

My choice of slow cooked belly pork, pressed apple, glazed cheek, smoked mash & cabbage did not disappoint either. The dish was exquisite and to top it off, there was an unadvertised scallop on top of the pork belly which was beautifully presented.   Scallops are one of my favourite foods so the extra addition was a bonus! The belly pork was delicious but it was slightly dry on one side but it did not stop me from clearing my plate.

We both agreed to share the dessert of dark chocolate fondant with coconut sorbet and mango & mint salsa.  Before that arrived we were presented with mini scones with clotted cream and jam. They were scrumptious, slightly warm and bite sized so a little nibble before our dessert.

Our fondant took about 20 minutes and we expected this as we know how long it takes to prepare and it gave us a welcome break after the mains.  Lindsey informed us that they were not happy with the first fondant as it had split and made another one.  When the fondant arrived it was split on the side, I think they did not want to keep us waiting any longer and whilst it was perfectly edible it could of done with another minute of cooking to firm up more on the outside as it was slightly too gooey.  I was also slightly unsure about the accompanying mango and mint salsa as it added sweetness to the already sweet fondant and sorbet.  If anything I felt the dish needed something sour like passion fruit to cut through the sweetness, although Mr Nom seemed fine with that combination but then again he is like a hoover.

It was evident throughout the meal that most of the customers were regulars and the owner, Huss, was making sure that everyone was enjoying their meal.  When he asked us about the dessert we told him it was slightly under done for our tastes and he told us to let him know in future so they could make amends.  You could tell what it meant to him to ensure that his customers were happy and being a local restaurant in the suburbs, repeat custom is key.

All in all, we have a fantastic time at Grenache! The service was wonderful, really attentive and made us feel welcome. Great food in a relaxed neighbourhood restaurant, without a doubt we will be returning for more food by Mike Jennings and in particular the tasting menu. 
Grenache on Urbanspoon Square Meal

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