Back in June we went to Manchester for a few days and this involved a mixture of work and seeing friends and family. A bit like our recent trip to Brighton we tried to get out and experience Manchester in between my conference. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see as much of Brighton as we would have liked, but we did get to experience two great eating establishments. Manchester may be full of many fine dining restaurants but it was two of the cities lesser known restaurants that we visited during our trip, and we were more than impressed. Today we are going to look at the first of these eating establishments, Gorilla Bar in Manchester City Centre.
Gorilla Bar Manchester
First up was a trip to Gorilla Bar on Manchester’s Whitworth Street, a bar that we pretty much stumbled upon as it was a few minutes from our hotel. The funky decór certainly helped to set the tone and with indie music playing along in the background, Gorilla was hitting all the right notes as we entered. It’s always a good sign when you see a bar or restaurant packed, especially on a Thursday night, so we knew we had made a great choice. We were seated upstairs overlooking the main bar and provided with a range of craft beers and ciders to pick from. I went for a bottle of Goose Island IPA while Helen opted for her usual Peach Schnapps and lemonade. Gorilla has it’s own gin parlour bringing you some of the finest gins and Martini’s from around the world. But enough about the drink, what about the food.
Barbecue Beef Bun
The menu at Gorilla is all about no fuss – just great tasting food. Salads, burgers, sandwiches and grills are the order of the day and once I seen the menu, my mind was pretty much made up – time for the barbecue beef bun. When the dish came out it looked a relatively simple dish – braised beef in a brioche bun with BBQ sauce, chipotle mayo and crisp shallots with a side of plates. It may have looked like simple cooking but it was packed with flavour and the combination of braised beef with BBQ sauce and chipotle mayo was simply amazing. It is no exaggeration to say that this was without a shadow of a doubt the nicest burger I have ever had. If we are ever back to Manchester anytime soon I’ll be going straight to Gorilla and getting me a barbecue beef bun. One word – unreal!!
Halloumi and Roast Pepper Kebab
Helen decided to go with a vegetarian option and ordered the halloumi and roast pepper kebab. For those of you who don’t know what halloumi is, it is a Cypriot cheese that is made from a mixture of goats milk and sheep milk. The texture is not too dissimilar to a firm piece of mozzarella and it’s fair to say that Helen really, really enjoyed it. The halloumi was accompanied by roast peppers in a chilli and lime marinade with a mint and coriander yoghurt, pearl cous cous and an orange, apricot and rocket salad. This salad helped to cut through the heat from the chilli marinade and really elevated the dish. Who would have thought a simple bit of cheese could taste so good. There was grilled flat bread on the side to complete the dish, and while it once again appeared to be a relatively simple dish, the whole thing was bursting with fantastic flavours that resulted in a clean plate 🙂
These main courses both really hit the spot and where extremely affordable coming in at £9 each. The Gorilla Bar, Manchester was voted the bar of the year at the 2013 Manchester Food & Drink Awards, and after only spending an hour or so in the venue it’s easy to see why. We will certainly be back to Gorilla.
Have you been to Gorilla Manchester?
Have you ever visited Gorilla Bar in Manchester? We’d love to know what you thought of the food and the surroundings. Let us know by leaving a comment below or sharing your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.