I was kindly invited to the launch of Manchester Smokehouse & Cellar, a brand new restaurant hitting the Manchester scene near the town hall. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I looked forward to an evening of nice food! With my friend in tow, we descended the steps to the restaurant.*
Smokehouse & Cellar interior
There’s a huge Pilsner Urquell tank outside the door and this sets the tone for the inside of the bar. Strong copper features, dim lighting and a lot of raw brickwork and wood. The seats are very comfortable to sit on and the light which comes it from the windows during the day is very welcoming. I really, really like the caged lights which adorn the ceiling, they remind me of stars.
We were offered glasses of peach bellini as we sat and soaked up the atmosphere. We arrived at 6pm, so it was still fairly quiet and the music was fairly ambient. The bellini was quite nice and usually costs £8.
There was a selection of food being produced from the kitchens and these were given out at different points in the evening. I believe ribs and chicken were also circling the restaurant, but I did not manage to try these before leaving.
Wood fired nachos
The pork was so tender, smoky and very easy to eat and costs £6.50. The guacamole was fresh and there was plenty in this starter; I highly recommend sharing this. The only slight negative was the fact that there went’ that many full tortilla chips, most were broken and hidden below the masses of meat, making it quite difficult to eat with either fork or hands. This was also quite salty, so would go very well with beer.
Texas pulled brisket po boy
This was served with a slice of watermelon and some fries, costing £8.95. The brisket was also very tender and smoky but I found the lashing of BBQ to be a bit much and made this very messy to eat. There were plenty of chilis, which I very much liked, but my friend opted to take some out from her half of the roll. The bread choice was surprising as I expected this to come in a brioche like most restaurants, but it was actually good quality bread. Very nice!
The fries were cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My friend and I think the watermelon slice was to counter the heat of the po boy, although, it was served luke warm but I guess it did the trick in combatting some of the heat, although I did think this was unnecessary. The roll and the fries were both overly salty as well.
Overall rating and comments
3.5/10 -5 for the loud music, although when I arrived the music was of an acceptable level, this became crazy loud, to the extent that I had to shout to my friend who was sat next to met just to have a conversation. There really is no need for that, although, this might be because it was launch night, but I’m noting this as a negative as this is what I experienced. -1 for salty food, I assume this is because it pairs well with beer, but as I was not drinking heavily that evening, it made for a very thirsty night. – 0.5 for miscellany watermelon. The staff were all quite welcoming and very friendly, so I cannot fault them, they were spectacular.
Would visit again?
Unlikely unless someone can confirm to me that the music isn’t usually that loud. The food is solid, albeit salty so you’d definitely need a few beers to go here. I think I’d rather visit Red’s True BBQ, which is nearby and isn’t such a heavy emphasis on booze.
Address: 18 Lloyd St, Manchester M2 5WA
Have you visited Smokehouse before? What would you have ordered?
* As this was a launch event, all food and drinks were offered for free.