Mr Thomas’s Chop House claims to be the oldest Victorian example of a restaurant (or chop house) in Manchester and certainly the interior appearance of dark wooden settles, green tiled walls, attractive black and white chequerboard floor and glass hanging light shades, does little to cast doubt on this.
So many of these “themed” places are badly let down by the food; would the old fashioned, authentic home cooking English menu pass muster?
The starter of pork pate seemed to be properly cooked, covered in bacon for flavour and to keep it moist. Served with Melba toast and home made chutney, it was polished off very promptly and pronounced delicious.
I don’t drink and the men couldn’t agree on red or white wine. In most places, the choice by the glass is restricted to house but here they were both able to order something special they enjoyed (So much so they both had another glass).
As a vegetarian, I noticed the menu choice was limited, but if the food is good this doesn’t really matter. I had the Mushroom Wellington that I had had previously and it was excellent. I eat out a great deal so I don’t say this lightly. The meal benefits from a side dish of broccoli. Our friend had steamed fish with which he was very satisfied.
I rarely have pudding but my confidence in the cooking persuaded me to go with the sticky toffee. The dessert list notes which puddings contain gelatine, which I felt was a thoughtful touch. Similarly, vegetarian cheeses are noted on the cheeseboard.
We rounded off the meal with very good coffee.
Although both claim to be familiar with Manchester, neither of my companions had been to this place before. I think they were rather miffed that a southerner had found this gem and they both grudgingly admitted that it was one of the best meals they’d had in Manchester for a long time.
A two course Express special is available Monday to Friday at lunchtime; aficionados tell me the Corned Beef concoction is not to be missed either.
On a Saturday night when the bar is heaving and tables are like gold dust; booking is essential.
Cross Street 52, Manchester, UK
Contact tel: +44 161 832 2245
Cost 2 course set menu: £10 – £25 per person, 3 course a la carte: £25 – £35 per person
Mr Thomas’s Chop House, Manchester