at Potato Wharf
Great pub, great value, where they challenge their suppliers to come up with unusual ingredients …. oh and did I mention that you can stay there too!
She’s been at it again! In her mission to eat her way around the finest eateries in Manchester, this week our regular foodie blogger Elaine has been been down to Potato Wharf ……. no I didn’t know it was called that either!
The Oxnoble is located on Liverpool Road, close to Castlefield and MOSI.
I visited on a Friday evening with my friend Charlie at 6.30pm and the bar was already bustling with people.
We were greeted and shown to our table where we were shortly joined by manager Alex King who took us through the menus and told us some more about the pub.
Alex has been at The Oxnoble for four years. During that time he has changed quite a bit about the pub, and revamped the image and the clientele. They very much want to remain a pub, but a pub that does great food and caters for all budgets.
There is a well chosen wine list sitting comfortably in the drinks menu alongside the whisky list (also very varied) and the selection of real ales at the bar.
They offer three menus which are available all day – a Favourites menu of pub classics or as Alex likes to call it their “bums on seats” menu which covers staples like mixed grill, fish and chips, hearty sandwiches, classic burgers and homemade pies (more on the pies later).
They also have a 2 courses for £10 menu (also priced individually) with a choice of starter, main or dessert served from 12pm to 9.30pm Monday to Saturday.
To give the chef licence to experiment and show off a little, there is also an a la carte style daily specials menu of starters and main courses.
Alex explained that for this menu they encourage and challenge their suppliers to come up with more unusual ingredients for them to use – on Friday’s menu there was Widgeon Breast and Venison Shank.
Their Sunday lunch menu is clearly very popular too. Alex told us they regularly serve 120+ covers on a Sunday, no mean feat, but they must do it very well to have people coming back week after week.
Friday was already very busy when we arrived and continued to see a high turnover of tables, The Ox is clearly very popular, which meant that unfortunately the chef was unable to leave the kitchen to see us due to the volume. Alex did a great job of filling in for him though and gave me all the menu information and checked up on us during our visit.
Our three favourite dishes
So to dinner, we choose to mix the menus up a bit:
Pan Fried Scallops with cauliflower puree and vegetable bhaji (me)
Pan fried Widgeon Breast with black pudding mash, chocolate red cabbage and green beans (Charlie)
Timothy Taylor Steak and Ale Pie with sautéed cabbage, mashed potato and black pudding with gravy (me)
Pan Roasted Cod Loin with creamed leeks, parsley sauce and topped with Lancashire Welsh Rarebit (Charlie)
Bread & Butter Pudding (me)
Local cheese board (Charlie)
A bit of Cheffy Magic!
Starter: Pan Fried Scallops with cauliflower puree and vegetable bhaji and Pan fried Widgeon Breast with black pudding mash, chocolate red cabbage and green beans, both from the Daily Specials menu.
The Pan Fried Scallops were plump, soft and sweet and served with a traditional cauliflower puree with a good flavour. To mix things up a little they were accompanied by mini vegetable bhajis – a great combination with crispy texture and a lovely mild spicy flavour.
Main: Timothy Taylor Steak and Ale Pie with sautéed cabbage, mashed potato and black pudding with gravy and Pan Roasted Cod Loin with creamed leeks, parsley sauce and topped with Lancashire Welsh Rarebit.
My steak and ale pie was pub classic at its best. Homemade with Timothy Taylor ale it was full of filling with quality beef and carrots in light gravy made from the ale. The beef was tender and full of flavour, the mash potato was fluffy and smooth and the black pudding and cabbage added a lovely earthy flavour.
Dessert: Bread and Butter pudding with custard and local cheese board.
We bravely made room for dessert Charlie opted for local cheese board, carefully arranged in order of mildest to strongest it included a good selection and would make a good smaller lunch option too.
I went for the Bread and Butter pudding. Served with ‘proper’ custard the pudding itself was obviously homemade. It was sweet with a lovely crispy top layer and soft underneath. A perfect warming way to end the meal on such a cold and rainy night.
The portions are substantial as you would want from a pub style meal but not over facing and cooked so well you want to finish everything on your plate.
I think if you are looking for quality and value for money The Oxnoble is a perfect choice, you are guaranteed a warm welcome, good food and with such a variety of the menu you can try something different each visit. I am going to take the husband to try a Sunday lunch next time I’m off for the weekend.
The Oxnoble: 71 Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4NQ
Tel: 0161 839 7760
Web site: theox.co.uk
Photographs: The Oxnoble, Elaine Bowers,
This is not a sponsored blog post.
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