Malmaison is a boutique hotel chain located in many large cities, but did you know that many also have a brasserie attached? Yes, you can not only spend a night in luxury but you can also eat well without travelling far! Here, I will talk about my evening with Chez Mal, the brasserie in Manchester. *
Chez Mal is located near Manchester Piccadilly station and can be easily overlooked as you head right into the heart of the city from there. If you are looking for a good evening of dining, perhaps give Chez Mal a look? Its convenient location means that everyone can easily get there and back home without having to traipse across town.
I was kindly greeted by Jay, the sales manager, who told me a bit about the restaurant. At the bar, there were two cocktails available to choose from, the Mal Fizz and Chez Mal Cocktail! The Mal Fizz contains pink grapefruit, Kamm & Sons, elderflower cordial and Maison Champagne. The Chez Mal Cocktail contains crème de apricot, Absolut Mandarin, passion fruit, lemon and Maison Champagne. I couldn’t decide so ended up with both glasses! Each of these is priced at £12.50.
Throughout the evening, there were also wine and beer pairings with the food we had. For the Starters, we had:
- Shiraz, The Paddock, Murray Darling, Australia – Rich and Plummy | Spice and Pepper (£6.50 for 175ml)
- Rioja Blanco, Dinastia Vivanco, Spain – Fresh | Green Apple | Citrus Fruits & Pineapple (£7 got 175ml)
- BrewDog 5AM Red Ale, Scotland 330ml 5.0% (£5.50)
For the Mains, we had:
- Pinot Noir, Pasarisa, Patagonia, Argentina – Soft & Smooth | Cherries | Strawberries (£9 for 175ml)
- Gavi, DOCG, Tuffolo, Italy – Crisp | Citrusy | Smooth & Delicious (£9 for 175ml)
- BrewDog Vagabond Pale Ale, Scotland, 330ml 4.5% (£5.50)
It’s worth noting that at Chez Mal, you can choose to have your wine as a 175ml glass, 250ml glass, 500ml glass or a bottle, with pricing to match. If you are unsure what to get, just ask and Chez Mal should be able to advise you on which wine to pair with your dish!
We started off the evening with some canapes. I tried the bruschetta which was topped with a variety of tomatoes and mozzarella, served on a good piece of bread. The arancini was interesting in the fact that the grains were quite large and cooked al dente so it had a bit of a bite to it. I thoroughly enjoyed both, although I can’t seem to find either of these on the menu.
A selection of starters was presented to us; these were:
- Seared sea scallops served with Bury black pudding, celeriac puree, apple and Jerez vinegar (£13.50)
- Chez Mal “Buffalo wings” with homemade hot sauce and Beauvale blue cheese dip (£8)
- Pepper seared rump carpaccio, celeriac puree, sautéed potatoes, picked mushrooms and black truffle dressing (£10.50)
My favourite of these is definitely the scallops. The addition of the black pudding was interesting, but I really liked the addition of the apple to give the dish a slight sweetness. The buffalo wings were fried in a crispy batter which was not overly oily. The carpaccio was also excellently done, a good one for those who like their meat.
Talk by head chef
It was at this point in the evening that Head Chef, Jimmy Williams, came in with a side of beef and talked in detail about the different types of beef you can get from it, and the steaks that Chez Mal offers. It was perhaps unfortunate that I didn’t actually get to see much, as I was stood at the back and am fairly short! The restaurant ages their beef for 28 days to get a good flavour from the meet and the Josper Grill ensures the meat is cooked to perfection.
I tried two types of beef, the fillet steak (200g, £29) on the left and the prime rib (450g, £34) on the right. The fillet steak is, of course, leaner and is an underused muscle so remains tender as a result; this means there’s not as much fat running through it and lacks flavour compared to other cuts. I much preferred the prime rib, which is a muscle that is used by the cow a lot and results in a more flavoursome cut.
Aside from this, we also got to try the macaroni and cheese and chicken tikka masala. The macaroni was served with mushroom, black truffle, gruyere and parmesan cheese sauce topped with brioche herb crumb (£13.50). Definitely one of the best mac ‘n’ cheeses I’ve ever tasted! Very moreish. The chicken tikka masala skewer was served on top of pistachio and sultana pilaf rice, a grilled coriander flatbread and some raita (£16.50). Chez Mal uses their on in-house spice mix to marinade the chicken for 48 hours, and it shows! The chicken is charred perfectly and what’s not to like about the rice?
We were really spoilt with dessert as I got to try the treacle tart with clotted cream, the crème brulee, and the Valrhona chocolate pave which was served with caramel ice cream. Each of these are priced at £6.50. The treacle tart I expected to be a dense goo, but it was surprisingly lighter than I thought and the clotted cream helped balance things out. The crème brulee had a good crispy top which wasn’t too dense; as you cracked through it you get a good amount of hard sugar top and creamy pudding underneath. Very nice and I thought this was going to be my favourite dessert.
Make way for the Valrhona chocolate pave! This was just dark chocolate heaven! I can’t get over the chocolate flavour in this! The caramel ice cream was a nice touch as well as a little taste of that means you can enjoy the next bite of chocolate pave more.
If desserts aren’t your thing, there is also an Autumnal cheese platter priced also at £6.50 or £10 for 2 people. There’s a good selection of cheese and crackers to go through, so one for you savoury / cheese lovers.
Overall rating and comments
9.5/10 -0.5 for the lighting. Blue is an odd choice, and I stand by this. Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Chez Mal and felt the service and the food was impeccable! I like the location of this place as most fine dining in Manchester is located far from the train station in Deansgate somewhere.
Other reviews from people who attended the same event, so you get a well-rounded opinion of the evening:
Would visit again?
Yes, for special occasions only. It’s a good fine dining option if access via public transport is important!
Address: Malmaison Manchester, 1-3 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 1LZ
What are your favourite places for fine dining? Leave a comment below!
I was invited to Chez Mal and did not have to pay for my meal. All opinions my own.