Updated: Monday, 24th February 2020 @ 12:14pm

Review: 3TwentyOne restaurant @ Deansgate, Manchester

Review: 3TwentyOne restaurant @ Deansgate, Manchester

By Vickie Scullard

Walking into the Deansgate pub is quite misleading. It looks like a traditional pub with a wide array of ales – but you could be forgiven for not thinking it was the hideaway hole for a damn fine restaurant.

However, walking up the old hotel-style carpeted stairs into the newly refurbished restaurant is like walking into its own version of Narnia.

The hidden gem is comfortably laid out with a bar and visible service counter, with many of the tables positioned in front of good-size windows, inviting in a (for once) delightful British Summertime, overlooking busy Deansgate near the Hilton.

Compared to the hustle and bustle outside, the chilled-out atmosphere and appropriately-volumed music inside is a stark, much-appreciated contrast.

3TwentyOne’s atmosphere is warm and the staff know their stuff – both in terms of the food and the drink. They also know not to be too overbearing; they’re on hand but you’re left to enjoy a conversation.

For starters, the sharing boxes were hard to choose between because they all sound, quite frankly, delicious – but we weren’t about to miss out on ones named The Mancunian Way or The Dockside.

The former boasts artisan steak pie, Lancashire crumbly cheese, Eccles cakes, Vimto, plum and onion chutney, Manchester caviar, and the inevitable star of the show… The Manchester Egg.

If you haven’t yet had one of these (have you been living under a rock?), it’s a pickled egg surrounded in rich black pudding and premium sausage meat, encrusted with Panko breadcrumbs. Divine.

The Dockside includes hot smoked salmon and BBQ king prawns.The peppered mackarel is meaty and makes a nice change to the canned stuff I'm used to. It's accompanied by pickled cucumber, capers, red onion saffron dip and delicious artisan bread.

If you're having to choose just one of these sharing boxes, don't look here for a decision  it's too close to call.

There’s a good range of steaks, and the 80z Sirloin (medium rare) with blue cheese and béarnaise was a beautiful combo – but you’d be missing out on the finest cut… the hanger.

Also known as the butcher's cut – and within one bite you can see why – the hanger is a real treat. It’s commonly rumoured to be the cut not to miss if you spot it on the menu and here is no different.   

Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of the menu is the range of sides 3TwentyOne have opted to include, where clearly some thought has gone into.

There’s skinny fries, sweet potato fries, twice-cooked chips and chargrilled vegetables. House three cabbage slaw is a gem and the rocket and parmesan salad is a refreshing healthy option.

And that’s not to mention corn on the cob, roasted balsamic beetroot and the staple beer battered onion rings.

Two courses and two bottles of wine down and as you'd expect a third dish would be hard to fit in - but the cheesecake and chocolate torte both came highly recommended so we couldn’t say no; it may be supremely rich but the torte is so tasty you’ll be glad you didn’t

Overall the experience was a complete surprise – a gem of a restaurant tucked above a boozer that sticks two fingers up at many of its (quite often more expensive) rivals.

You may have to walk downstairs into the wardrobe (pub) for the toilets but it’s a small price to pay when you know that Narnia is just a few steps away.

Check out their full menu here and visit here to book your table.

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