Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

Room restaurant @ King Street, Manchester

Room restaurant @ King Street, Manchester

By David Keane

Despite its grand surroundings – all high ceilings, towering windows and grand, carved wooden beams with floral reliefs – the award-winning Room offers a surprisingly intimate setting when seated at a candle-lit table for its fine food and comprehensive cocktail menu.

We ordered our aperitifs with a theme – a Rum Barrel and Rum Ting. Yes, we like our rum.

The drinks came beautifully served; long and cool with crushed ice. The Rum Ting was deliciously fruity – perfect if you like your cocktails a little on the sweet side.

The Rum Barrel couldn’t fail to impress, being served in (what else) but a rum barrel, complete with half a lime, flaming with absinthe and flavour.  When a drink manages to effortlessly blend white rum, dark rum, absinthe, pimento dram liqueur with such finesse, it’s going to put a smile on your face.

Now we had satisfied our cocktail cravings it was time for some food.

King of the starters is without doubt the king prawns themselves with crab cocktail. Tempura king prawns served with guacamole and tomato jelly cubes on a spiced crab mix and topped with an apple crisp, it was delightfully fresh and full of flavour – not to mention just a touch of Tabasco running throughout.

It was a tough starter to follow, and unfortunately it meant that ultimately the pork and apple starter paled in comparison.

The pig’s head was braised and melted in the mouth. It was complimented by an apple and vanilla puree, apple jelly cubes and chunks of crunchy pig’s ear. So far so good.

The flavours were bold and wholesome but it was a general lack of texture that let the dish down. The crispy pig’s ear could have provided the perfect 'crunch' the dish needed – except there just wasn't enough of it.

The beef wellington main course may be traditional but can be hard to get right. Fear not though, it was done to perfection.

The slices of beef fillet were tender and pink and melted in the mouth alongside wilted buttered spinach. And then there was the beef shin shredded, coated in chicken liver parfait and a pancake and then wrapped in luxurious delightfully buttery puff pastry.

Another delight of the menu is the pork belly. It treads just the right balance between tooth-breakingly crispy crackling and the softest, juiciest pork combinations you can imagine. Add a drop of sticky toffee apple for a sweet finish and you’re in piggy heaven.

On the side you’re treated to something that may be familiar to us Mancunians – a variant on the now legendary ‘Manchester egg’. A quail’s egg inside sumptuous black pudding with a crispy coating. It’s rich, brash and heavy on flavour – and it’s just about the best thing in the world that you could eat in one go. Not that you’d eat it that way… in public at least.

The grand finale of the meal was a complete indulgence – a dessert sharing platter, giving tastes of their ‘chocolate and milk’, toffee apple mousse, toasted marshmallow and Eaton mess.

The real star of this was the chocolate and milk – a dense and rich chocolate marquise, with hazelnut and a creamy thick milk puree.

Deconstructing something may be all the rage, but it never worked so well as the Eaton mess, leaving the gorgeous vanilla pannacota there to sample on its own if you wanted to be so indulgent. The macerated strawberries, which had been soaked in vanilla sugar syrup, added the sharp edge to what is a sweet sword of a desert.

Room was already one of the top restaurants to visit in Manchester, and this new vamped 'deconstructed British classic's' menu it looks certain to stay that way.

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