Honey Restaurant resides inside Hotel Gotham, towering over King Street. The building was designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1928 in the Art Deco style which was common at the time. Lutyens designed many homes, public buildings and memorials worldwide, notably in New Delhi. Constructed from stone and steel into a castle-like design, it used to house the Midland Bank. Whilst Jamie Oliver has taken the ground hall, the upper floors house the hotel with Honey Restaurant on the 6th floor and Club Brass, a VIP only lounge and bar, on the 7th floor.
It is one of those places where you have to dress up for the occasion in order to be let in, so I’ve never had a reason to venture inside. I was excited when I was invited to a VIP taster menu celebrating 3 years of the hotel and restaurant.*
Honey Restaurant Interior
The interior is very modern and clean with leather seating, polished wood and industrial detailing which would not look amiss in the time period which the building was built. Beehive salt and pepper shakers adorn each table, both a nod to the restaurant’s namesake as well as Manchester’s motif. Live piano is played every Saturday evening. From the 6th floor, you can see a fair bit of Manchester from the windows.
We start of the evening with a glass of prosecco and a side plate of bread with two types of butter. It was a good start as the bread was fresh and the butter soft enough to spread.
I looked forward to trying the menu to come. Ross Chatburn, who had just been promoted as Head Chef for the restaurant, was responsible for the menu for the evening. He had won Young Chef Of the Year in Manchester’s Hotelier’s Association Awards in 2017.
First course: Radish, Butter, Whisky, Apple
Comprising of pickled, roasted, raw and butter-dipped radishes, whisky butter emulsion, burnt apple puree, torched pink lady apples, compressed in fennel pollen syrup. Garnished with radish cress, raw peas and crushed pink peppercorns.
This dish was an excellent start to the taster menu. It was nice to see a dish where the radishes sing and the other elements on the plate compliment it. Refreshing without the other elements being too sweet or sour. My second favourite dish of the evening.
Second Course: Pig cheek, carrot, cherry, smoke
Roasted, smoked and braised pig cheek with a smoked cherry glaze. Carrot ketchup, pickled carrots, fermented baby carrots and smoked carrots marinated in ponzu dressing. Garnished with buckwheat and torched cherries.
The meat was very tender and melts in your mouth! I found the preparation of carrots done four ways rather interesting as it gave you similar flavours but with varying textures, complimenting the pig cheek. Buckwheat added a bit more crunch and the torched cherries added more sweetness. It was good!
Third Course: Scallop, cucumber, sea vegetables
I love seafood a lot, particularly shellfish and molluscs, but have never attempted cooking either due to fears of screwing up. I’ve watched enough cooking shows to see how hard it can be to get them cooked just right. The scallops here were sooooo good! Not rubbery at all and the compressed cucumber added a refreshing taste without overpowering the flavour of the scallops. The other elements only helped to enhance the scallops. My favourite dish of the evening!
Fourth Course: Lamb, asparagus, wild garlic
Lamb rump, normal and wild asparagus, wilted wild garlic, wild garlic puree, wild garlic gnocchi, smoked malt grains.
The lamb was cooked pink to perfection, as was the asparagus. The gnocchi tasted good, and this is coming from someone who does not really like gnocchi. Together, they complimented the lime whilst adding different textures to the dish. This is my least favourite dish, but this is mostly because I don’t like lamb unless it’s been cooked for a long time.
Fifth Course: Peach, honey, verbena, lemon thyme
Honey frozen parfait, peach and verbena gel, roasted peach which was marinated in lemon thyme syrup, lemon thyme cookie crumb, and a little honey finished with a peach and verbena flavoured macaron.
Dessert always has my name on it and you will usually find me ordering it unless I’m really full, the dessert menu is uninspiring or I’m rushing to leave. By the end of the fourth course, I was feeling comfortably full, which I had not expected. This dessert was absolutely divine! I loved the combination of parfait and peach, which melded a fresh creaminess with a little sour and a little sweet. The textures were good and I could have easily had more of this.
Overall rating and comments
9.5/10, -0.5 for service time. It was a rather long evening and I left quite late. I felt the dishes could have started coming out of the kitchen sooner, but perhaps they were waiting for everyone to gather before serving? In any case, I cannot fault the food or the menu, especially as the ingredients were sourced from North West producers. It was well put together and Ross Chatburn and the rest of the Honey Restaurant team should be proud!
For other reviews of the same experience so you get a well-rounded opinion, please read the following!
Would visit again?
If there was ever an occasion for a fine dining experience, this would be it.
Address: 100 King Street, Manchester, M2 4WU
Do you ever go fine dining? Which dish most appeals to you?
Leave your comments below!
*I was invited to Honey Restaurant and did not have to pay for my meal, all opinions my own