Eat And Drink, Food, MANchester, Restaurants

Tapas Time At Benito Lounge – Chorlton

When Loungers opened Berretto Lounge in Stockport, I was one of the first people through the door. It had been a long time since Stockport had an affordable, every day type place to go to for food or drinks and it has not let me down yet. They’re even dog friendly so we can wander down with Ferguson for a few drinks and he gets lots of fuss. I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it but the Chorlton Lounge, Benito Lounge, invited me down recently to see if I could be lured away from Stockport for the day!

The decor in the Lounges are all slightly different and the lights in Benito Lounge are something else. They are made from parts of a submarine with bright bulbs that compliment the sun streaming through the floor to ceiling windows that stretch the front of the venue.

The menu at Benito Lounge is a mix of burgers and salads, breakfast and tapas. There is something to suit most people and their cocktail selection is pretty good too. My friend chose the Long Island Ice Tea which is nice and boozy. I was driving so chose the Pink Lemonade which has a lovely sharpness.

We decided to try a selection of tapas which are a great deal at 3 for £9.95. On a Tuesday you can also get a glass of wine with your food for the same price making it even better value. Tapas is served in dividual colourful bowls on a wooden paddle and with a side of bread for dunking.

The Houmous is my favourite thing on the menu. I am a huge houmous fan but very particular about it. It needs to be garlicky with a touch of  lemon, not too smooth but no chalky chickpea pieces either. The Benito Lounge version is spot on with a good glug of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Perfect for dipping with drinks.

The Patatas Bravas is good too. Little fried potatoes topped with a spicy tomato sauce and a roasted garlic mayonnaise. The sauce could be a little richer but then I am used to the Canarian version of these and nothing is ever really going to beat the authentic option.

The Salt and Pepper Squid is lovely and soft with a crunchy coating. It needs a touch of spice to be called ‘salt and pepper’ for me but as a crispy squid dish, I was impressed.

Another of my favourites is the Smoked Paprika Pulled Chicken and Chorizo. It comes on top of a pile of fried potatoes and I may need to start a petition for them to serve this as a main dish rather than a small tapas size. The pulled chicken is a nice twist and the whole dish has a bit of spice and enough sauce to mop up with the bread that comes with it.

The Buttermilk Chicken is nice and soft with a soft coating and a spicy chipotle mayonnaise dip. It is one of those dishes that you can easily mix and match with most other things.

My friend’s favourite is the Pork Belly with a soft and sticky glaze. They are obviously fatty, as belly pork is, but also meaty with a flavourful glaze. He ate these quickly, I got one and that is it.

Two dishes that I hadn’t tried before are the Halloumi Sticks and the Halloumi, Courgette and Peppers. The halloumi in the sticks had softened but not too much so they were still firm and tasty. The halloumi, courgette and peppers is a great vegetarian option with roasted soft vegetables that are slightly charred and chunks of halloumi to add richness to the dish. There’s a fair bit of oil though so it certainly isn’t a healthy dish but delicious all the same!

It would be wrong to leave and not try the desserts so I tried a Lounge Sundae with Raspberries and Berries Compote. It is simply vanilla ice cream, compote and cream which really hits the spot when the sun is cracking the flags like it is at the moment. My friend tried the Brownie with Ice Cream which is rich, dense and chocolatey, just the way it should be in my opinion. It wasn’t overly floury like others I have tried and it was gone in a flash so my friend seemed to enjoy it very much.

We enjoyed our visit to Benito Lounge and were glad to try a different restaurant in the chain. I love that they add a unique touch to the decor of each restaurant so it doesn’t feel like you are walking into a chain and the names are all different too, just with Lounge at the end. I’m looking forward to venturing back to Chorlton for houmous, remind me not to try next time!

We were invited to dine as guests of Benito Lounge and weren’t asked to pay. 

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