Harvey Nichols Brasserie, Manchester

Dear reader I was getting sick of dessert.

I’d had so much of it recently that I was getting anxious about eating it again. The day before was my trip to Kingstreet Townhouse where I had two desserts. I needed to eat other foods, you know, like vegetables and protein. Dessert is almost a whole food. It has fats, proteins and carbohydrates, that’s how I think of it. 

Harvey Nipples was doing an offer with Manchester’s Finest giving 50% off food and drink. I’d been popping into Harvey’s to check out the menu and I’d seen a Mont Blanc Baked Alaska but for some reason I’d held off going for it. Then I saw the offer? I booked a table.

I went to see Emma at the Printworks. It was a bit annoying at the start. I found the lifestyle portrayed to be horribly decadent. But I was also envious, all those trays and stands of cakes and sweetmeats just appearing when they turned up at their homes. I wondered where the money came from for them to live like that by which I mean how close was it to slavery? The society and culture were ridiculous.  At some point I started to enjoy the film. Jane Austin wanted to write an unlikeable character in Emma. It worked. She was terrible. A lot of the other characters were idiots. 

I walked over to Harvey Nichols which is just over Exchenge Square. I walked past The Corn Exchange and all the restaurants that fronted it. I’ve only been to a couple of them but there are lots more to choose from. It looks very chainy though.

I got to the Second Floor Brasserie and was a small queue. I had a look at the menu and the restaurant. It was busier than I’ve seen before. I was greeted by the very attractive hostess and I said I had a table for one with the Finest offer.

There is something about Harvey Nichols. It just seems quite fancy and such a treat to eat there. “Ooh, Harvey Nick’s”

I perused the menu.

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All 50% off. I kept thinking I didn’t want to take advantage too much. I thought of getting a starter then dessert for food quantity reasons as much as anything else. The mussels were the only thing that drew my eye. I don’t do steaks. I didn’t fancy rice. I was interested in the fish and chips. I chose the stone bass.

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A cute waitress brought the dish. I think she was new to the industry.

I thought, “£18 for that?” It was quite a small serving. A small plate, just bigger than a starter a little bigger than a tapas dish. The smell was fantastic. The fish was great. I loved the skin. I think some people will be put off by the flesh, it’s a bit grey and “veiny”. All the other elements were yummy however the potatoes were a bit underdone I think. Maybe they were meant to be a bit hard. I think £9 was about right or maybe up to £13. Fish is expensive though.

The woman in the red dress in the picture above got up to leave. She smiled at me, maybe as a fellow lone diner. Being self conscious I thought maybe she was being patronising as I was a young looking Indian guy in a snazzy restaurant. It ruins my enjoyment when I think like that, and I often do but it’s based on experience.

The main event, for me. The mont blanc baked Alaska.

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Ooooh, Ahhhh. It looks amazing. It tasted amazing. The chestnut puree, the big, splodgey streaks, was sweet and fantastic. I think the golden liquid was caramel. There’s chocolate sauce which I came to late and was gorgeous. The Alaska meringue itself was great but I was not excited by the chocolate ice cream within until the last couple of mouthfuls strangely. I would have it again. I scraped the plate with the spoon and fork.

There was a senior Italian waiter/manager maybe who seemed to have an air about him. Maybe he was rushed off his feet a bit as it was pretty busy. He took my plate. I sheepishly asked for another dessert. “You want another dessert?” He seemed disgusted. Either with my choice or the fact that I asked for another dish. I went for the cheesecake.

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Presentation is a bit different. I’d seen a picture of a standard cheesecake so this was a surprise. It was lovely initially but the texture was a bit bitty like if something had curdled. It got a bit much towards the last few bites. Still good. A woman a couple of tables away looked past her man at me as I tucked in to my second dessert.

The gorgeous hostess walked past and I asked to confirm if the drinks were half price too. The surly  Italian waiter asked if I wanted coffee. I said no but I would like a cocktail.

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I went for the Plantation Punch. It was in focus when I got it. It was gorgeous. It had chilli liqueur on the menu and I asked if they could leave it out. They obliged.

In all it cost £42.50. I paid £23.30 with the tip. Bargain. It was a nice experience generally.

As I left I asked the hostess at the main desk if they’d had lots of people using the MF offer. She said they had. They must have made a lot of money from the extra customers even with the 50% offer.

 

 

 

 

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