La Bandera, Manchester

I went here last month during the 50% offer season. I’d heard a lot about it on the net but some of it had been so-so so I hadn’t bothered going. I then saw a decent write up and with the offer on I decided to go.

I think I’d been to see 1917. Brilliant film. I whizzed over to the restauran. I was a bit worried about the reservation being there because, life. I was greeted by the gorgeous waitress and asked if I was down for the offer. I felt a bit awkward asking as it seems a bit mercenary and greedy but they put the offer on and people take advantage. In fact the restaurant was pretty full, I suspect they all used the reduction.

The decor was pleasant, bright yellow and sunny. I was tucked in the corner. I spent a while trying to decide what to have and what would give room for dessert. There was a good choice of food. I went for the croquetas del dia which was squid ink, bacalao embarrado and escaldon. The croquetas were stunning.

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There were four of them. The Escaldon was next.

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It’s made of gofio, a flour of roasted grains from the Canaries which is mixed with fish stock to make a thick paste. It don’t look much but it was lovely and I was scraping it from the mortar. Incidentally the mortar weighed a tonne and the staff have to carry it along with other dishes. Impressive.

Then it went downhill. As I said I had ordered the salt cod. I had said the Spanish name. The waiter brought a dish full of potatoes, so many I woudln’t have been able to eat them. I said I hadn’t ordered that. He took it away and after a minute the woman came over and said I had ordered that. I pointed at the bacalao on the menu. I apologised that my pronunciation wasn’t great. The potatoes are called papas arrugadas which I can see could sound similar to the bacalao. The fish stew arrived and it was okay. I don’t know why bacalao doesn’t blow me away. I keep trying it to find that dish that will.

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It looks nice though.

So then I was abandoned, so it seemed. It seemed the waiter and the lovely waitress wouldn’t even look at me. I sat there for ages. My dish was eventually removed. I asked for the dessert menu. I waited and waited. I was thinking of paying and leaving. I managed to catch the eye of the waitress. I ordered another gofio dish. It was a sort of chocolate mousse. labandera (6)

It too was yummy.

I asked for the bill. I think I sat there for an age again. The bill came and they had forgotten the dessert. Being honest I pointed this out. Some people would not have. She brought the new bill, I paid and left and had to hot foot it to Piccadilly station before peak fare time. They’d delayed me by at least 20 minutes.

I don’t know if I would go there again. The food was mainly great, I was really annoyed. The menu is enticing though. They do a reduced price lunch menu which is pretty good value. I might leave it for a while longer till they forget me although I don’t know how many single Indian men they get through their doors.

I do actually recommend the place.

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