I’ve dined at some fantastic restaurants and sampled the food of some great chefs; but I want to rave and rant about this place until I’m blue in the face and tell anyone who will listen that they need to get themselves here.
I had viewed the sample menus and got myself in the mood for this, I was looking forward to it and the menu looked interesting, but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. I don’t mean that my expectations weren’t high enough; they were. I mean that those high expectations were blown out of the water.
The booking saw us sat at the bar, right in the thick of it and probably the best seats in the house to watch the flow of service.
The concept of the menu is beautiful, food is to be shared and bonded over; a mutual intake of sustenance and satisfaction and Higher Ground and has got it absolutely spot on.
Having said that, oysters just for me to start – my partner is not a fan of shellfish. The beautiful Lindisfarne oysters were dressed with rhubarb hot sauce to set the tastebuds alight. The rest of the dishes however were enjoyed together.
Pea fritters with Quicke’s Cheddar were first up which went down unbelievably quickly; the ideal amuse bouche to set us up for what was to come.
The radishes were next, served with a vibrant herb mayonnaise and were pursued closely by heritage beetroot which was served with nasturtium and sorrel.
For me this was what was so exciting about the menu; when dishes speak for themselves, you know you’re on to something. Simple plates that do all the talking; simple ingredients treated with care and respect.
Next up came the salami taormina, which we could see being sliced from our seat at the bar. This came alongside the grilled Treviso, cheek-smackingly bitter with char, and served with salty Garstang blue cheese, burnt leek and sweet pear ketchup.
The main event I suppose you’d call it was the braised venison ragu, served with hand-rolled, wholewheat pasta, a deep, rich dish that warmed my heart with every mouthful. I had been diving in completely lost in enjoyment when I remembered we were supposed to be sharing.
I’ll gloss over the gluttonous me aspect of this and jump to dessert; cane sugar and spelt custard tart a delightful, not too sweet sweet to finish on.
Suitably full, I was suitably devastated, as there were so many more dishes I would have loved to have tried: hogget with lentils, cheddar tart, there was a beautiful trout dish that I had to solemnly watch go to another table knowing I would have to wait before I got a chance to try.
This is somewhere I have vowed to return to, not just in the hope I get to sample some of the dishes I missed out on, but also because I can’t wait to see what they have in store next time.
If you’re looking for something a little different in Manchester, try Higher Ground and thank me afterwards.