I have been in Artisan before but only for a pot of tea whilst meeting up with my sister and her friends. I saw what they ate and was intrigued by the menu so resolved to come here later for a more in-depth review. This opportunity came with Artisan offered 40% off their then Autumnal menu.
It’s worth noting that Artisan also offers a 20% discount voucher when you first sign up to their mailing list and when your birthday is approaching.
I found the interior quite comfortable with a bit of an industrial feel; metallic detailing tends to be worn or dark giving it a rough edge. Despite the large windows in the back, most of the restaurant was quite dimly lit giving a slightly romantic feel. Music was playing, but I found this to be a comfortable level to have a conversation in.
The menu has a nice range of items, although of the small plates can be a bit hard to decipher as the menu basically states the ingredients and not a name for each dish e.g. morrocan spiced eggs, feta cheese instead of shaksouka. A combination of the two would have been my preference, but this is a minor note.
I ordered a Honey Bourbon Smash which consisted of mint, lemon juice, orange bitters and honey shaken with Wild Turkey honey bourbon, whilst my friend ordered a glass of white wine; I think it was the Pinot Grigio. Both were very nice.
Salt and pepper fried chicken with chipotle mayonnaise
The pieces of fried chicken were perfectly seasoned and had a good bite to them without being too crispy. The chipotle mayonnaise went perfectly with the seasoning on the chicken with a nice amount of spice and creaminess and the coleslaw was a gorgeous palette cleanser between bites of chicken.
Bang bang chicken salad
At the time of ordering, I have heard of bang bang chicken salad but wasn’t quite sure what it was exactly; I knew it was an Asian-inspired salad. The salad is similar to a Thai salad with its sweetness and spiciness but with the addition of a nutty taste provided by a peanut sauce. The mixture of vegetables was crunchy and pleasing.
Slow wood roasted tomatoes with anchovy toasts
From the description, I expected whole anchovies on toast rather than the paté like substance that was served. This was a wonderful surprise as the smoothness of the paste went well with the crunchiness of the toast. The saltiness of the anchovies was wonderfully offset by the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes. The only flaw to this dish was how undercooked the tomatoes were; there was a bit too much bite to them and therefore too much contrast in texture to accompany the toast.
Hake baked in a banana leaf with coconut rice
I really like hake so was instantly drawn by this menu item. I was expecting something similar to the hake that I had in Common or 42 Madera, however I was thoroughly disappointed. The hake was dry and unflavoured. The rice which accompanied it was similarly bland without much of a coconut flavour. I would not be ordering this again.
Additional photo from other visit
OVERALL RATING AND COMMENTS
7/10 -2 for the hake, -0.5 for the description of the anchovy toast -0.5 for menu aesthetics. The food was generally very nice, especially the small plates so I think next time I will be ordering just from that section. The staff were really friendly without being overly keen and disturbing.
WOULD VISIT AGAIN?
Yes, I think I would. I saw other people ordering pizzas and burgers and they also looked good so I would like to come back and try these.
Address: Avenue North, 18-22 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BZ