Medlock Canteen receives rave Guardian review from Jay Rayner just one month after opening

'So special'

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 29th April 2024

Medlock Canteen, a new Manchester restaurant, has received a rave review in the Guardian just weeks after it opened.

National critic Jay Rayner has heaped praise upon the restaurant at Deansgate Square, describing it as ‘so special’.

The restaurant only opened its doors at the end of March, taking its inspiration from opposite sides of the pond – the laid-back style of American diners and the hospitality of Parisian bistros.

Rayner said it’s ‘a welcome haven for all’ and applauded its menu packed with ‘appealing, familiar dishes that are the best versions of themselves’.

Medlock Canteen comes from the team behind Madre (the Mexican restaurant at Kampus) and Belzan (one of Liverpool’s top restaurants).


But unlike those two restaurants, things are much simpler at their newest venture – this is a restaurant where you can order a fried egg with any meal, drink bottomless coffee, and even order the day’s ‘staff dinner’ for just a tenner.

Rayner dedicated almost an entire paragraph of his review to Medlock Canteen’s gravy (‘dark and sticky and deeply savoury’), which he said is so good you should just ‘order that and pour it over everything. Pour it over a friend’.


He also waxed lyrical about their rotisserie chicken (there are rows of the things rotating in the city’s first in-restaurant rotisserie chicken oven), of which he said: “It is everything those words promise and don’t always deliver. No special rubs or sauces. Just roast chicken, rested long enough for the meat to start shrugging itself off the bones. The skin is crisp and salty.”

Other dishes that were celebrated in the Guardian’s review of Medlock Canteen included a rhubarb pie, charcoal-grilled fish of the day, duck rillettes and pistachio frangipane tart.

The restaurant itself said there were ‘happy faces’ after the review was published over the weekend.


Medlock Canteen wrote on Instagram: “Manchester may be grey this Sunday, but let us tell you, there are a few happy faces both on and behind the scenes as we enjoy our morning brew, reading through the kind words of @jayrayner1 in the @guardian.

“Thanks go to our team and our guests for all the hard work, dedication, and pure passion that has made Medlock Canteen ‘a welcome haven for one and all.’

“Anyway, enough of that. Just another day. Just another ‘set of appealing, familiar dishes that are the best versions of themselves.’

“Caution: gravy jus may be thrown. Let Sunday service commence.”

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Featured image: The Manc Group