A sprawling converted Victorian building might not be the first place you’d look during a search for a proper meal. But that’s just one of the many surprising things about Ducie StreetWarehouse.
Sat on the edge of Manchester’s northern quarter, a stone’s throw from Piccadilly station, DSW is a laid-back sort of place despite its impressive frontage and airy lobby – filled with cool-looking professionals tapping away on laptops or sipping on iced coffees.
There’s been plenty of fanfare around Ducie Street’s newly erected terrace, strategically positioned to soak up as many rays of sunshine as possible – and the venue is now also home to three different menus (for the bar, restaurant and terrace).
Pre-covid, the restaurant here was occupied by London hotshots Bistrotheque but they have since been replaced, bowing out after only six months in the city.
Now heading up the kitchen is chef Andrew Green. A bit of a legend on the Manchester food scene, prior to being at Ducie Street he ran Hotel Indigo’s Mamucium for over two years, and was at The Lowry for quite some time before that.
He’s got a bit of a reputation for taking his team with him wherever he goes, having built up a loyal group of chefs – some of whom have worked with him since they were just young lads.
Andrew tells us that, earlier last year before they made the move over to Ducie Street, it was “heartbreaking” seeing people on his team made redundant and not being able to do anything. Apparently, the hotel was £1.3 million in debt.
“There was no future for us [there],” he says.
It’s completely the opposite here though, he enthuses, adding that the company is looking to the future and plans to build something big.
We have to say, it feels like it. Unlike some other venues we’ve visited since reopening – everything feels super slick here.
There’s not too much pressure on pushing the restaurant like you find with some hotels – it’s all very chilled, with bits on the menu for everybody.
“For me, the menu is full of favourites,” says Andrew, who joined in February and has put together all the new menus himself.
Best-sellers, we hear, are things like calamari, fried chicken and hummus – all relaxed, snacky sharers, elevated by being made entirely in-house, fried to order and perfectly enjoyed with a few drinks.
When we visit, though, we can’t take our eyes off the larger sharers and end up devouring a huge 800g Porterhouse steak and a 1kg wheel of baked camembert. No mean feat on the hottest day of the year, but we never got to have it when it ran at Mamucium and were desperate to give it a go.
“We became a cheese restaurant for a month, we were pulling cheese out of our hair,” Andrew laughs.
We also try some of the more out-there small plates, like the lobster mac and cheese which blows us away for being so light and refreshing. It’s actually a perfect summer dish, made using sharp bright cheese with pink flecks of lobster streaked throughout.
Lamb koftas with beetroot hummus and hench ox cheek croquettes also feature, the latter coming out with a pot of dipping gravy (the side sauce of the moment in Manchester).
Everything feels quite seasonal, and Andrew assures us they will be switching things up to keep it so. For example, there’s currently a wild garlic aioli on the menu that will soon switch to French, given that wild garlic is on its way out of season.
Because Ducie Street has been around for a while, it’s easy to forget that this is a new restaurant that’s been pulled together in the midst of a pandemic and lockdown. When you take that into account, it’s even more impressive the level to which everything has been done.
At a time when many hospitality venues are scrambling for staff, the calm yet fun atmosphere here says it all.
Newly launched on 17 May, Ducie Street Warehouse is open throughout the week with dining available in the bar, restaurant and on the south-facing terrace.It also has a stylish adjoining aparthotel, Native, upstairs.
I tried the Manchester roast with a dedicated cauliflower cheese menu named the ‘UK’s best’
Right, let’s talk cauliflower cheese for a moment. A non-negotiable on a roast dinner, I like mine steaming hot and encased in cheesy bechamel, slightly charred on top and oozing in the middle.
Truth be told, I’m more attached to cauliflower cheese than Yorkshire puddings (blasphemy up north, I know). Miss a Yorkshire off my roast and – as long as I’ve not ordered beef – we’ll be absolutely fine. But forget the cauliflower cheese? Well, I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive you.
Mentally prepared to eat my body weight in cheese, I’d already familiarised myself with the menu. Ok, technically two menus. Ducie Street Warehouse has a separate one just for its cauliflower cheeses: with eight different styles to choose from.
We’re talking cauliflower cheese with vintage cheddar, freshly shaved black truffle, bacon frazzles, garlic and herb crumble, four kinds of cheese, blue cheese, macaroni, plus a cheezy option for the vegans.
According to the team, it’s ‘the ultimate Sunday side that deserves a place of its own.’ I couldn’t agree more.
As for the rest, its separate ‘Sunday with Sides’ menu also seemingly has it all. Dry-aged local shorthorn beef sirloin, W.H. Frost premium chicken breast, rosemary roasted leg of lamb and a weekly-changing vegan roast ‘with all the trimmings’.
Add to that its promising-sounding ‘Slice Of ‘SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE’ – a carvery-style mixed-meat plate priced at £27.50 – and it does seem like they’ve really thought of it all.
I opt for a pink leg of lamb, whilst my cheese-eating partner in crime goes for the beef (which also comes out beautifully pink). Both are served with crispy roasties on a mountain of seasonal veg, topped with the biggest singular Yorkshire puddings I think I’ve ever seen.
Gravy is generous, but there’s an extra jug plopped onto our table too – just in case. Being a gravy glutton, I pile it on. It comes out a bit thick for my liking, but still tastes delicious nonetheless.
As for the cauliflower cheese? It’s worth every bit of hype it gets. We try the umami-rich black truffle, blue cheese, macaroni and Frazzles options, filling our tiny table for two with an absolute mountain of cauliflower.
As ever, my eyes are bigger than my belly, but I give it a good go: packing up the rest to take home and eat in bed later.
I won’t beat around the bush. This is a deceptively BIG roast. Granted, we did order four portions of cauliflower cheese on the side, but still. Some roasts look good but lack substance. Not this one. This is the roast that keeps on giving.
Further add-ons include Tuscan pork stuffing, honey-roasted heirloom rainbow carrots, maple roasted parsnips, lemon and garlic broccoli gratin, macaroni cheese, plus extra Yorkshire puddings and gravy, not that we can manage it.
I’d definitely go back with a group, though, and see if we can get through it all. I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Japanese-Brazilian hybrid, SakkuSamba, is putting on a special Valentine’s menu
For anyone who hasn’t made it down to SakkuSamba, not only are you missing out but you might have also just found the perfect place to take your special someone this Valentine’s Day.
If you haven’t heard of this unique Spinningields restaurant before, SakkuSamba is the Japanese-Brazilian hybrid where surf and turf meet in an intimate and stylish setting.
From the moment you walk in to see the pink-hued lighting and floral surroundings, you immediately feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. And what better way to be greeted into that world than with a rose and a glass of fizz? Say no more.
That’s right, as part of their Valentine‘s offer, the menu not only kicks off with you being presented with a rose by the ever-welcoming staff, which you can then hand to your partner as if you planned the whole thing especially for them (we won’t say a word), but you also get a glass of prosecco on arrival too.
SakkuSamba’s Valentine’s offering runs from 13-15 February and promises their unlimited dining experience as well as a special sharing dessert. You can book a lunchtime meal for £42.50 or secure yourself an incredible dinner for £55.50.
In case you’re wondering what makes it ‘unlimited’: part of what makes their dining experience so unique is how expansive their menu is, bridging across two beloved but equally varied cuisines.
Lucky for you, you’ll be able to order pretty much everything they have on it through a simple tablet on your own table, meaning you can spend even more time just the two of you on your special night.
As for the limited edition Valentine’s dessert, SakkuSamba’s Manchester restaurant will be creating its very own special sharing dessert and that’s all we’re allowed to tell you about it — all we know is that it’ll undoubtedly be delicious.