After a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry a few years ago we stopped in a delightful pub with a roaring fire for a much needed drink after walking around for hours. It had lovely high tables near the bar and then a more formal area for dining. For some unknown reason we didn’t come back, I think this is because of its location more than anything. If I was in Manchester shopping it is a fair walk from the shops and I’d also pass several eateries that I have tried and tested in the past.
Luckily for me I was asked to visit a pub that is trying to appeal and raise its profile amongst the hungry foodie in Manchester and I was delighted to find that this was the same place I had visited before, the Oxnoble. It is directly facing the museum so if you are visiting there you simply can’t miss it. I went mid week with a friend before a visit to see the Lion King at the Palace theatre (if you haven’t been to see it you simply must, it is visual genius) as a pre birthday treat from my Gran. Part of my reason for this was to try and prove that it really isn’t that far out of the way and I quickly realised that it is a short 5 minute walk from Deansgate station… bonus.
We were greeted by the Assistant Manager who explained the menu to us and how the 2 for £10 is a big hit. I’m not surprised by this, it is great value considering most of the mains on offer would set you back £9.95 alone. Even this is good value in my opinion compared to similar establishments in the area. We chose to dine from the specials menu as it was too tempting to resist. I opted for the prawn cocktail (£5.95) followed by the braised shin of beef (£16.95). My friend, after saying she didn’t think she could manage a starter went for the tempting chicken liver parfait (£4.95) followed by the gammon (£9.95). Drinks wise my friend was driving so just had a coke but I opted for a glass of the white zinfandel and a large one at that. It was beautiful, very fruity and smooth compared to others I have tried.
The starters came quickly which, was welcomed considering how hungry we both were. The prawns, served on top of a bed of lettuce and sweet pepper, were fat and plump. Lovely and just enough Marie Rose sauce to combine them, I don’t like too much sauce. My only criticism? There were loads of them! I couldn’t finish them for fear that I’d be too full for my main and, God forbid, a dessert. The chicken liver parfait is a similar story, the brioche was a lovely touch but there was just too much of it to finish in one sitting.
Our plates were whisked away and I decided to order a glass of the rudesheimer rosengarten, wow this stuff is special. A wonderfully sweet reisling with a floral finish, it’s a shame we were in a rush else I’d have ordered a bottle!
Our mains arrived in good time, the egg for the gammon gloriously runny and I loved the pineapple salsa sat underneath the gammon. A welcome change from the usual rings most restaurants serve on top. The chips were also very good, perfectly fresh with the crispy outside. The shape of them meant they had crisped up perfectly and my friend commented that she thought they were nicer than the ones at the Red Lion. The shin of beef was soft and melted in the mouth, the fondant potato cooked perfectly and the madeira jus perfectly rich to balance the whole thing out. There was a slight skin on the sauce which, was a bit of a disappointment but didn’t detract from the taste of the food.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time for dessert but I cheekily asked if I could take some of the cheese with me to try later. This was no problem and was presented to me in a makeshift tin foil box complete with celery, grapes and water biscuits. What a nice surprise! It got a little bashed during transportation from 2 trains and a walk from the show but I gobbled it up for my Birthday breakfast the next morning.
The cheeses were from the Saddleworth cheese company and are described as ‘smelly apeth’ blue veined, ‘how’s yer father’ creamy, ‘mouth almighty’ tasty and ‘mouldoon’s picnic’ crumbly. The latter was my favourite with a crumbliness that just melts in the mouth and a slight citrus aftertaste. I’ll definitely be sourcing more that and the ‘how’s yer father’ which, was just creamy enough without being too soft.
Overall we had a fabulous time at the Oxnoble and nothing was too much trouble. If you are a whisky drinker this is a must visit, their tour of Scotland looks immense with some special malts to be tried from the different regions. If only I had a palate for it! Now if they had a cocktail menu that would be a different story…
I’ll definitely be back when I have more time and if the weather stays like it is at the moment, the roaring log fire will lure me back over other places nearby that’s for sure.