Our last visit to Michael Caines at Abode Manchester was over two years ago. Seizing the opportunity for an indulgent lunch we returned last week. We initially wanted to try the grazing menu to create a mini lunch tasting menu but found that they do not offer it anymore and there is a standard set lunch or a la carte offering instead. At £14.95 for 2 courses and £19.95 for 3 courses it seemed decent value for the set lunch option.
Arriving unannounced the restaurant was around half full. The lighting seems brighter than it did during our last visit which we found to be a bit dark. Needing to rush back to work we quickly decided on our choices and the starters were soon delivered. The rillete of salmon with keta, cucumber, honey and soy vinaigrette was a very attractive plate of food. Each little blob added a different flavour to the salmon.
The ox cheek raviolo, shallot and horseradish confit, button onions and beef jus won the dish of the meal. Packed full of flavour it was a real winner. So far so good it seemed.
The mains however did not deliver the same wow factor as the starters and although perfectly acceptable expectations were high at this point. Mrs Nom chose pan fried sea bream, bacon and maple syrup puree, kale and purple sprouting broccoli. I settled on pork belly, spiced red cabbage, fondant potato with pork jus.
We skipped desserts as nothing took our fancy on the set menu, what started out as a great lunch fizzled out from the mains.
A little bonus in this post, it made sense to add notes from our visit to MC Cafe Bar & Grill casual dining offering at the Abode hotel. We visited a while back pre Christmas opting for the set early bird menu (its expensive this eating out lark). The choices were not vast and Mrs Nom ordered her starter of duck salad from the a la carte instead while I settled on the ham hock terrine. Apologies if the pictures are a bit sketchy but the lighting was extremely dark.
The main courses were generous Winter warmers of mutton hot pot with braised cabbage and a fish pie packed full of salmon, prawns and white fish. The mutton pieces were tender and the sweet and fiery red cabbage was a delight. However the sauce was a bit thin and would have brought the whole dish together if it was a little thicker. The fish pie had so much filling that I had to polish it off for Mrs Nom who struggled.
The fish pie didn't stop Mrs Nom wanting a dessert though and we shared a brioche pudding with ice cream.