Mel springs into the River for their latest dishes

My top three emails received this week (in no particular order);

  • Congratulations, you have won a cheese Easter Egg - genuinely a brilliant blue cheese shaped like an egg.
  • You have inherited $16,325,599 from an exotic stranger - probably fake, although I will chase it up regardless.
  • Come try out some of the new dishes from the River Restaurant's new menu - although the egg was outstanding and I may have won enough money to buy The Lowry Hotel; this email was a clear winner.

    Yes, the River Restaurant has a new spring/summer a la carte menu from culinary genius Andrew Green. I've eaten here many times over the years, but over the last couple of months have noticed a rapid rise in online praise towards this ultra fresh looking, warm and welcoming restaurant.

    This, of course, is no 'review'. It was a press invitation; a mere glimpse into what is newly available. So take from it what you will. I had a wonderful time sampling some of the nicest looking (and most importantly, tasting) food I've had in a while and truly think you will too when you book a table via 0161 827 4041.

    I managed to sample six petite versions of the new dishes. I couldn't help admire how well the kitchen brigade produced 30 identical dishes (six times) with just enough of everything to give you an daft grin of happiness.

    Here we go.

    Yorkshire asparagus, burrata mousse, balsamic shallot, avocado, quail egg. A fantastic blend of sharp cheese mousse with a deep flavour of charred shallot and sweetness from the asparagus and balsamic. This was going to be GREAT FUN!

    Crab tian, vegetable spaghetti, cucumber, caviar. Soft to look at, wildly powerful to taste with nautical origins whisking you back to Anglesey eating a crab with a wooden fork. I thought the rich salty caviar would overpower the delicate crab and vegetables but the crab high fived the caviar and it had a party with the texture from the spaghetti and cucumber.

    Chicken Caesar, romaine, anchovies, prosciutto, Parmesan. This chicken had a good life. It must have because it was the best chicken I've ever eaten. Naturally went very well with the soft creamy sauce and refreshing crunch of lettuce; classic. The wafer thin anchovy and prosciutto dust showed technique and screamed umami. Salad on steroids.

    Line caught sea bass, herb gnocchi, Iberico ham, sea beats, beurre blanc. The bass and salty ham married so well. One majestically soft and mild, the other brittle and punchy. Pillows of moreish gnocchi rounded the dish off nicely and a perfect sponge for the buttery sauce.

    Cannon of spring lamb, pea and nettle puree, Jersey royal, aubergine caviar, cumin jus, mint oil. If one dish epitomised this season and the talent at the River Restaurant, it was this. A lot going on, with multiple layers and combinations. One minute you're getting sweet lamb with mint oil and pea puree, then a slap around the face with cumin that engulfed and elevated the aubergine. Almost like two dishes on one plate, but all singing from the same hymn sheet.

    Yorkshire rhubarb and custard. Prettier than a painting, sharper than a row of shark teeth with an equal bite. Raspberry paired the rhubarb wonderfully and didn't drown the flavours. An end of lemon balm was lasting and merged well with each bite. I particularly enjoyed the textures; jelly, custard, sponge, meringue. All great words, all great on a spoon together.

    So there you have it. I think it's clear why I enjoyed it....especially with the excellent accompanying wines including my favourite; a 2015 Bocelli Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie. The zesty Italian went so well with the first four dishes.

    Check out the menu here and head over the water.
    Posted: Thursday 20th April 2017
    ID: 2911 - 1870

  • The River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel is a 2 AA rosette restaurant and one of Manchester’s best places to eat and drink in a glass-walled, riverside setting overlooking Santiago Calatrava’s Trinity Bridge.
    The convivial atmosphere is also deeply luxurious with purple leather chairs, semi-circular banquettes, while Fornasetti plates, mirrors and lithographs and prints decorate walls, The River Restaurant also has an exclusive private dining room for up to 24 people which is licenced for weddings and civil ceremonies. The restaurant serves breakfast, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

    The à la carte menu has been devised around the best local and seasonal produce. An additional three-course menu changes each month following the seasonal bounty and is just £24.95 for three courses at dinner except Saturday Evening, while our popular Sunday lunch menu is £22.50 per person for three courses and is always accompanied by live music. You can choose from Traditional Afternoon Tea priced at £22.50, or £33 with Gin, Champagne or Bellini. Or try our monthly themed afternoon tea priced at £29.50 which will celebrate big events such as PRIDE.

    The River Restaurant’s superb à la carte menu has been given an update ready for the summer months. Packed full of local, seasonal dishes, the favourites are still there just with a twist for the warmer months. Expect citrus flavours, green salads and a blast of northern vibe in every bite. Using premium ingredients and local suppliers, the celebrational menu takes traditional and classic dishes and updates them with a modern twist.
    such as the intense Potted Shrimp, a mouth-watering Lobster Macaroni Cheese, the highly popular Twice Baked 'Blacksticks Blue' Soufflé or the Salt Beef Hash, with slow egg and spiced ketchup. For mains, stand-out dishes include Andrew’s personal favourite the Beef Wellington which is brought to the table and showcased by the chef before being sliced. Baked in mushroom duxelles, Parma ham, with puff pastry with Maderia sauce, it’s one of a number of dishes to share between two. Fish-lovers are spoilt for choice. To decide between the delicately prepared Lowry Fish Pie which has intense flavours of the sea, or an exquisite Meuniere-style Whole Dover Sole, a prime, succulent fish served on or off the bone, or perhaps the Monkfish Loin, with Alsace bacon & pea velouté. You will not miss meat with our vegetarian options, which include Wild Mushroom, Puy Lentil & Aubergine Cottage Pie with truffled mash.

    Room for a pudding? Try the ‘Best of British’ selection of desserts; Sticky Toffee & Medjool Date Pudding, served with Madagasgan ice cream. Sticky Coconut Rice, with mango, passion fruit curd & lime is another twist on a much-loved British favourite. If you like to share, the restaurant’s Peach Tarte Tatin shouldn’t be resisted, served with almond & amaretto ice cream.

    Afternoon Tea is served Monday to Saturday between 12 noon and 4pm and Sunday 2.00pm and 4.00pm. Sunday lunch is served between 12 noon and 4pm every Sunday. Dinner is served daily between 6pm and 10.00pm.

    Here is a short video of the preparation of the Watermelon dessert on this month's Chef Choice Menu.