Tag Archives: Mark Jordan

Top Dishes of 2015

I can see a bandwagon coming along. Yep, I’m on it. Welcome to my 2015 food review! It’s now customary to provide a small compendium of what has been quaffed over the last year. I did one for 2014 and that seemed to go down well. I’ve already read a few this year. They’ve generally been a more exotic round up than mine, but nonetheless the grub featured here is top stuff.

Like last year this isn’t all the top grub, but merely the ones that have stood out slightly from the rest. As ever, the joy of a decent feed comes not just from the food itself but from that certain feeling of well being that one feels as the plate, dish, tub, tray, slate (or even flowerpot) is first placed down in front of you and the experience starts.

The meals featured are in no particular order. Just generally great.

Early doors we went to Simon Rogan’s, The French in Manchester. This gives a reason to show some raw beef in coal oil again. I could have shown loads more. Suffice to say The French was very good indeed. But you already knew that.

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I love a decent burger. A newcomer to Manchester this year has been Filthy Cow. Young Jordan has done really well there. The filthy beast is a beaut, and washed down with a Ginger Comfort milkshake you really are on a winner.

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I love a good pud and have had many fine ones. Albina‘s (in Crosby) really hit the spot with their old school jam roly poly and custard.

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We went to Jersey for our hols. Michelin starred Ormer was a highlight. Loved the steak tartare with a horseradish cream. Jersey is a fabulous place to visit and eat. Mark Jordan on the Beach another one to recommend.

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Big treat for me is a Sunday Brunch. We had none better this year than at NewMoon’s spectacular, Scouse opening ‘The Old Blind School‘. Eggs Benedict and French toast, it was boss.

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French toast, haddock omelette, eggs benedict

 

 

Bit of a Spanish explosion in Manchester this year. Had wonderful octopus at Levanter, which is a sensational tapas bar in Ramsbottom (but somehow seems to be considered as near Manchester!). Had a corking paella in Iberica in Spinningfields and wonderous Iberian ribs at the Barton Arcades Lunya. All three will be on the list again for 2016, along with my old faithful El Rincon De Rafa.

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No year would be complete without a good steak. Didn’t have a better one that at Hawksmoor, Manchester. Sensational rib eye with anchovy mayonnaise and thrice cooked chips! Had a wonderfully indulgent lobster in a bun too.

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Had a short break in Barcelona for my birthday. Glorious tuna at the infamous Pinotxo Bar in La Boqueria market. Finished off the break with a suckling pig dish at 4 Gats in the old town.

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I love a Sunday roast, had none better than at Freemasons Wiswell. Simply stunning. Will admit though that The Bay Horse Inn (Lancaster) came up close.

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If pizza is your thing, (and occasionally it is mine!) newcomer to Manchester, Tariff and Dale in the northern quarter do a pretty mean one. Check them out.

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Best scallop and lamb meal was had in one sitting at The Cartford Inn (Little Eccleston) Pretty incredible really, never had lamb like it, totally historic.

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The Flame (the wife!) loves fish pie. Couldn’t get by without mentioning The Bulls Head at Mobberly. She reckoned that’s the best this year. Full of fish, beautiful.

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Love seafood. Who doesn’t? Didn’t have it prepared any better than at The Easy Fish Company in Heaton Moor. What a plaice this is! Well worth a visit. Has a lovely piece of plaice with a slash of Crustacea and shells. Incredible.

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Plaice with all the trimmings

 

Working in Manchester as I do, I couldn’t finish without mentioning The Kitchens. A new, six pop up, street food outlet in Spinningfields. All six are ace, I had them all. Long time favourite Mumma Shnitzel maintained remarkable, consistent quality for their chicken based burgers. Young Richard at Bangers and Bacon (as well as Well Hung) rocked up with superb meat based offerings. Hip Hop Chippy Shop did what it says on the tin with a cracking fish and chip butty. Chaat Cart (Indian Canteen) with the wonderful Aarti at the helm delivered amazing chicken kati rolls. Yakuhama and Wholesome and Raw brought some slightly less carb loaded nutrition to the table.

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Chip butty, bean salad, avocado scrambled egg breakfast, banh mi, kati roll, schnitzel.

All in all a fabulous year for food. I’m sure I’ve missed loads out. I could have added loads more too. Who will forget the Solita Christmas burger? and the lemon posset in a flowerpot at The Royal at Staveley? If you follow on Twitter you would have seen all this anyway. If you read the blog you would have had a bit more detail on these too. Read on if you really haven’t anything better to do!

Anyway that’s it. Happy new year. Let’s look forward to trying more great dishes in 2016!

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Mark Jordan at the Beach – St Aubins Bay, Jersey

“Another restaurant with a ‘celebrity’ chefs name in the title. It must be good? It is…”

Mark Jordan and his duck
Mark Jordan and his duck

The Flame and I set about a short break in the largest Channel Island Jersey. A super little tome called ‘Appetite’ listed and described all the decent grub outlets on said Isle. A quick schufty soon had me planning the food for the week ahead. I’d seen Mark Jordan on Saturday Kitchen one time putting up a decent fist of getting Jersey ingredients on the map. I was bitten.

Told you it's by the beach
Told you it’s by the beach

Amidst a beautiful, four mile beach jaunt from St Aubins harbour to St Helier we stumbled upon the striking deep red exterior of ‘Mark Jordan At The Beach’. Bit of a mouthful, but the branding gets it over with a flourish of signature and contemporary font. It’s smart. I ambled in to book. As I was attired in the standard holiday fayre of tailored shorts, T shirt and Jesus sandals, I enquired on the dress code for a Friday eve. A smart, young Lancastrian called Andy suggested I would be welcome as I was, provided I didn’t add socks with the sandals later. Fine advice I thought. One for the gentlemen readers to take through life. As it happened, the inclemency of the weather on Friday meant that a longer pantaloon was selected with a full leather boot!

My tailoring advisor/front of house expert Andy, was on hand once more to welcome us in for our evening appointment. The room is light, long, narrow and bright. A super view to the sea. ‘Pebbly’, ‘sand duney’ artwork adorns the walls. We are by the beach after all. Tables are light wood with comfortable wicker seating. The option to sit outside beneath the stars was declined. Despite being the end of May it was a little too cold for that. A rather wonderful Innis and Gunn IPA had me purring with delight. Followed up by a splendid bot of ‘Dry River’ Shiraz for a mere £16. Top stuff.

Beer, butter and terrine
Beer, butter and terrine

A flurry of high tech menus came into view. The a la carte menu and the Jersey festival spring menu. It’s a British menu, using top, local ingredients. There’s a strong bias on Jersey fish and seafood, though being ‘crabbed’ out I went for meat tonight. Cheese straws with a flavoursome hummus came in as a pre starter. We munched away. For real starters I went for a cheesy crab risotto (£9.50) whilst The Flame plumbed for the ham hock terrine (£9). Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my risotto I fear The Flame went 1-0 up. The ham hock was a cylinder of pure meaty joy, particularly when doused with the homemade piccalilli placed alongside.

Cheese straws humous, risotto
Cheese straws humous, risotto

Mains were meat based. The fish looked amazing but we had grazed on the sea all week. The flame had a wonderful medium rare Scottish rib eye (£19.50). Suspended on a trivet of sautéed potatoes and a bed of spinach it was cooked to perfection. The béarnaise sauce alongside adding the piquancy when required. I had the 30 hour cooked, Harmony Farm, short rib of beef (£18.50). It came with a flurry of watercress, pickled carrot and a horseradish mash. I wondered if perhaps the blade of bone was a prop to suspend the succulent meat, such was the ease at which my fork was able to tease the flesh from its setting. The mash was a delight too. I equalised, 1-1.

30 hour short rib,
30 hour short rib,
Rib eye, ham hock demolished, the bill
Rib eye, ham hock demolished, the bill

The flame won the dessert though. A salted chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream (£8.50). Beautifully presented with a swirl. I had the pear tarte tatin (£8.50) which our waitress informed us would be a twenty minute wait. No problem to us. This meant we could finish our wine!

Salted chocolate, pear tatin
Salted chocolate, pear tatin

Coffee arrived with a quirky selection of ‘lollipops’. We shared the fifth (a macaroon). A super end to a wonderful meal. The flame reckoned this was our best on the island, no mean feat after what we had had so far.

Petit fois, pebble art
Petit fois, pebble art

All in all the grub came in at a shade over £50 a head. Well worth it for the quality of food, service and setting that we enjoyed. The restaurant is run by Mark’s wife Magda, whilst he concentrates on his Michelin star effort ‘Ocean’. It’s a fabulous, relaxing place and has a great team. Definitely one to seek out if you visit this rugged little island.

And you can even wear your shorts! But no socks!

MARK JORDAN AT THE BEACH
LA PLAGE
LA ROUTE DE LA HAULE
ST PETER
JERSEY JE3 7YD
Telephone 01534 780180
http://www.markjordanatthebeach.com