There are a few restaurant opening that get the kind of hype Beef and Pudding got when it opened in Manchester last Friday. This restaurant’s Twitter page had 2000 plus followers even before it had officially opened. That is quite an impressive feat by any means. So I was really excited when I managed to get a table on opening night for supper. Beef and Pudding was created with the aim of ‘giving the beef and pudding back to the people of Manchester’. Situated on Booth Street in what used to be the former pub Crown, they are right in the heart of Manchester city center.
Owners David Mooney and Paul Newman are by no means new to the restaurant scene. The duo run 4 other pubs in the North West region but Beef and Pudding is their first venture into the city that is Manchester and finding a niche here isn’t a walk in the park. They definitely know this and have gone all out in making Beef and Pudding something really special for Manchester. The menu really is well thought out, the staff are brilliant and the interiors fit in very well with the overall theme. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Let me start from top.
We arrived at around 6pm on a very busy Friday and the very friendly FOH staff greeted us at the door and gave us one of the booths at the restaurant. There were four people at the entrance greeting customers which I found slightly excessive but this might have been due to the fact that it was opening night. Hopefully this is not the norm as some customers might find it intimidating. I was however, loving all the attention!
I was really impressed with the interiors at Beef and Pudding. Its very rustic but still manages to be very stylish and chic. It’s casual enough for a meal with friends but still stylish enough for drinks with work colleagues. It’s very Mancunian and I love it!
The menu at Beef and Pudding is as good as North West cuisine is going to get. Just looking at the menu made me drool (I kid you not!). The drinks menu was just as impressive – you can get a glass of prosecco for £3 on a Friday night. It’s not the cheap kind either! They had me hooked and I couldn’t resist ordering a few glasses.
Seb and I decided to share one of the planks for our starter. We went for the Manc Plank obviously which really was as Mancunian as you could get! It came with a mini bucket of proper pub pâté, Cheshire cheese ‘bon-bons’, Pig & Co. sausage, bread oven duck spring roll, mini cottage pie, a mini bucket of buttered black peas, New Moon chutney and some artisan bread to top it all off.
I didn’t know where to start – everything looked so delicious. Stand outs for me included the pâté and the cottage pie. Both were absolutely delicious and I could have had them for main and not complained. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the buttered black peas but I can see the appeal though.
For my main, I went for ‘The Pudding’. It felt wrong not the try the pudding option at Beef and Pudding. The pudding here is a Beef & Barbon Fell venison suet pudding with horseradish paste, stockpot gravy, mash and black peas. It was definitely the best pudding I have ever tried – filling, delicious and well presented.
Seb went for the mother of all burgers for his main – The Beef’Ham Tower which is a brioche bun stuffed with house made burger, sweet chilli beef brisket, horseradish, suet pudding and mushy peas topped off with onion rings and some ‘howling at the moon’ sauce. It also comes with a side of chips and gravy! How is that for portion sizes?
I love the Manchester inspired menu here. The Beef’Ham Tower isn’t as tall as its inspiration Beetham Tower but it’s definitely as tall as a burger is going to get. You are not going to be able to eat this burger without a knife and a fork! Well Seb couldn’t anyways.
At this point, we didn’t think we could eat any more but then our waiter handed us the dessert menu and that immediately changed our minds. It its refreshingly different and I wanted everything on offer.
We decided to share a plank again. I love the concept of planks at the Beef and Pudding. It gives you a chance to try everything on offer without actually having to commit to a full portion of a dish! This definitely is the way forward for me.
The pudding plank was an absolute delight! The pudding plank came with some bite sized and some not very bite sized portions of sticky toffee, chocolate tart, cheese glazed Eccles cake, Bakewell pie and a banoffee cheesecake, finished off with some custard, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
They were all really good but the winning dish for me had to be the cheese glazed Eccles cake. It was really something else. I have never tried Eccles cake topped with cheese but I can’t think of eating them any other way in the future. It was the perfect balance of savory and sweet for me. Definitely going to be trying this again the next time I visit Beef and Pudding.
By the end of the meal, Seb looked like he was in pain and ready to give birth to a food baby? But was it worth it? Absolutely!
Our very friendly waiter came over and handed us the bill which we paid and decided to roll back home for a well deserved nap. The service at Beef and Pudding is top notch. The waiters are friendly and helpful but unobtrusive – just the way I like it. The manager came over for a quick chat during our meal and you can see how passionate he is about what his team are serving up. The menu is spot on too with some really good North West grub on offer. Make sure you build an appetite when you go to the Beef and Pudding for a meal though, as the portion sizes are massive.
Seb and I left with a smile on our faces.
So does Beef and Pudding live up to all the hype? Hell yeah!