It seems to be my weekly activity at trying the pre-theatre dining menus in and around Manchester (I mean, I’m not complaining at all!). Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to try the new menu at Grafene. I have been waiting to try the food at Grafene since moving here, so as you can image I was very excited to be able to come and sample some of their favorutirs before heading to the Palace Theatre for an night of entertainemtn.
Grafene’s menu features a British Tapas selection, which is a reflection of brand new head chef Ben Mounsey’s thoughts and feelings about modern British life. Dishes on the menu include cleverly reconstructed classics and plates, giving the customer the opportunity to sample dishes from the dinner menu in a more relaxed format, with three plates for £20.00 and five for £30.00.
To start, I had a Passionfruit and White Chocolate Martini, which is a twist on the classic Pornstar Martini. Almost tasting like a mix between a White Magnum ice cream and a Solero ice lolly, the combination of flavours was heavenly, and definitely one I will try again in the future.
The cocktail menu was very impressive, with original cocktails being added to the mix of more classics, including “The Mancunian” and “Grafene” just to name a few.
But, more importantly, I was immensely impressed with the mocktail list. My guest isn’t drinking alchol at the moment (maybe I should take a leaf out of her book…). Usually, you get the classic tiny section of the drinks menu for the mocktails, where it’s just a Virgin Mojito or something of the similar with a Virgin infront of it.
Grafene are the rule breakers, with an incredible mocktail list that has been carefully thought out. Definitely try one of the mocktails, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
To start, we were presented with two loaves of bread – mini loaves! You had a garlic bread, served with garlic butter. The other was a treacle and rye loaf, served with corn on the cob butter. Both were lovely and warm, which melted the butter, which complimented the flavours of the dough. And don’t they look adorable!
To start I went for the corn fed chicken wing, served with croquettes, charred gem cauliflower. The chicken was so tender that it felt like it melted in my mouth. The char grilled veg was flavourful and the crisp texture matched the soft chicken wing.
My guest is a vegetarian, so went for the veggie option of this dish – which didn’t loose any of the flavours that were in the meat version. She also went for the beetroot, granola, spinach and verjus salad, which looks so beautiful with lots of colour and the presentation was lovely. The granola and beetroot gave the salad a sweet kick to it, which was a pleasant surprise.
I then went for the rendered duck leg, herbs, beet piccalilli and I’ve never had lamb so juicy before, it was excellent! I’ve never really like piccalilli before, but this beetroot sauce was beautiful, and complemented the dish wonderfully.
My guest ordered the mushroom, truffle soup that was packed full of flavour and presented beautifully.
To finish, we both chose the brownie in a bowl. The brownie was more like the texture of meringue, which was great because it made the desert not to heavy and rich. The brownie was served with chocolate shards and mint mouse.
Overall, the service at Grafene was wonderful and the food was very tasty and the presentation was incredible.
If you are looking for somewhere for a pre-theatre dining menu with a bit of sass and swarve then you need to visit Grafene!