1-3 Clarence Street
Tel: 0161 237 9799
Stop Press – This could be the best burger I’ve ever had!
37 Turner St, Manchester
0161 839 2200
It’s a blustery, cold, November, Sunday morn. The Cook Twit has succumbed to a virulent bout of ‘manflu’. Such is its ferocity that full blown ebola has taken hold. I doubt this blog will get finished. The flame, unable to accompany me on this trip, calls me a wimp and tells me to get on with it. I venture aimlessly into Manchester. A protracted visit to ‘The Hungry Gecko’ in Chorlton is curtailed as the local trolley buses are off due to ‘engineering works’.
NOW SHUT. THIS IS NOW A THAI RESTAURANT
Having crept into Jack Spratt a couple times for lunch and hugely enjoyed the odd burger with chips and special sauce, I thought it only right to give the old place a check out at night, or rather evening. Being a tight wad The Spratt establishment tempt the after work brigade with a three course binge for £17 between 5-7pm. It was during these teasing hours that I was able to sway the wife (hitherto referred to as ‘the flame’) to travel into Manchester and see for herself what I had occasionally banged on about.
Clearly the early start was having the effect, by 6.30pm the place was humming gently. Jack Spratt is placed handily in Manchester city centre with Albert Square nestling over its shoulder. It is set in a rather bland, grey, square building and the chaps have to work hard to get it to stand out. Wood panelling and jaunty graphics give it a fun edge. Inside its a more bistro/cafe than fine dining splendour, but it suits the mood.
The waiters are clad in denim, sneakers and facial hair all adding to the relaxed feel. They know their stuff though, helping to describe the dishes in detail when required.
Things really spice up when you get the menu. Could have started with Smoked haddock and cod gratin served with a lemon and brioche breadcrumbs! But I went for Paprika and orange soaked baby back pork ribs to start with a beautifully dressed sweet potato, beet root and green salad. The flame went for the Continental platter, which contained ‘Borettane’ baby onions? pesto marinated feta, garlic marinated button mushrooms, Sicilian olives, grilled halloumi, mozzarella and marinated peppers. A fine start.
The mains shook things up a bit. The flame loves fish, chicken and numerous other tasters but was slightly put off with the unusual accompaniments. She plugged in for the ‘JS demi primo burger’ (6oz ground beef chuck, flat iron and short rib, caramelised onion & bacon jam, ‘Makers Mark’ bourbon whiskey BBQ sauce, pulled pork, coleslaw, smoked applewood cheese and an onion ring, all in a glazed brioche bun with a tin of twice cooked fries) with an additional splash of the highly recommended JS chilli burger sauce. It looked and tasted great.
I went off beam across the page to the ‘Mexican Mole’, described as 48 hour slow cooked lamb in a chocolate infused Mexican chilli sauce served with desiccated coconut and almond red rice, tortilla bread, mint salsa and radish shavings. It was very unusual in that the textures were mixed, cold salsa, warm rice, hot mole. The overall effect was rather splendid, but going ‘off piste’ as it were cost me £14.
Desert was a traditional lemon posset and was a dream. This topped the meal off rather splendidly.
Total cost with very nice vino and a fine bottle of Thwaites Wainwright ale came to £52. Well worth a try for those looking for something a little different.
Book online www.jack-spratt.co.uk or
11 St James’s Square
John Dalton St
Manchester M2 6WH
0161 833 1016