A couple of weeks ago, Tiz and I were invited down to the Chez Mal Brasserie restaurant at Manchester’s Malmaison Hotel to try out dishes from their Summer 2017 menu. As you know, we’re both big foodies – though I’d never visited the eatery before, Tiz had ventured in on a couple of occasions and had always enjoyed the food. We were greeted by Nicola and served by both her and the lovely Suze…based on the staff alone, Chez Mal would get top marks from us! They were both super helpful and friendly, and gave us a great first impression of the restaurant.
After an initial minor mix-up with the menus, we had chance to take a good look over the new Summer 2017 offerings from Chez Mal. It took us next to no time to make our decisions, and we prepared to tuck into the first of our three courses. To accompany them, I opted for still bottled water whilst Tiz picked a beer (I always find it tricky to drink alcohol with a meal initially…is it just me? I always go for water, then slowly ease into the wine as the meal progresses!)
For our first course, I chose the Cauliflower Velouté whilst Tiz went for the Seared Cornish Sea Scallops. Side note: if you’re new to my blog (hello!), I am vegetarian whilst Tiz is a fully-fledged meat eater.
My soup was out of this world – there was a time when I didn’t like soup or anything similar at all, but thankfully I’m well and truly over that phase or I might have missed out on this delightful dish! It was creamy but not heavy, and the onion frita in the middle was the most perfect accompaniment I could have asked for. The presentation was beautiful, and I was so excited to dig in that I almost forgot to take a photo! In general I’m not a huge cauliflower fan, but had a feeling this would be lovely. It didn’t disappoint!
Tiz assured me that his scallops were also delicious – would you just look at the beautiful presentation? I was quite mesmerised by the dish when it arrived, and I knew he was enjoying himself as I didn’t hear a peep from him until the course was finished! I have obviously never eaten scallops myself but he said they were excellent, so it was a thumbs up all round for the starters. Time for the main courses!
Let’s begin with my dish, which was the Mushroom Burger. I have to be honest, it wasn’t really for me – I found it to be a bit too much, and the charcoal finish of the patty wasn’t my cup of tea. However, the bread and fillings were great and the fries were incredible, and I was still super full once I’d finished. We also HAVE to talk about those onion rings you see on the table…Suze brought them to us as a little surprise extra, and WOW. I don’t know what they do to them, but they’re on another level! I feel like I’d go back to Chez Mal for the onion rings alone.
In classic Tiz style, he opted for a Fillet Steak and mashed potato. Have you ever seen a bowl of mash look so cute? I tried a little bit of it – it was actually Truffle Mash, and was just divine. I don’t actually like mash as a rule, but this was fantastic…the flavour was just beautiful! Tiz gave another hearty nod of approval to the steak – I can definitely picture us returning to Chez Mal soon for date night!
Finally, it was dessert time. We were both suitably stuffed from our first two courses, but who turns down dessert?! I went for the same thing I usually do, sorbet – Nicola and Suze found out which flavours were on offer that day, and to my absolute delight one of them was cherry! It’s my favourite flavour in the world and I couldn’t wait to try it. Tiz chose this fabulous Rhubarb creation, and really enjoyed it despite being so full.
My cherry sorbet was so delicious that I’m feeling slightly emotional thinking about it, haha! It was that perfect combination of sweet and sour, and totally perfect for a summer menu. I would order it all year round to be honest, but could picture nothing more perfect to end a meal with on a warm day.
We had a fabulous time at Chez Mal in the simply gorgeous surroundings of the restaurant. It’s located a short walk from Piccadilly Station so is very accessible, and has an awesome industrial-chic aesthetic going on decor-wise. We will be venturing back to the Manchester Malmaison Hotel to visit again for sure!
Disclaimer: our meal was paid for by Chez Mal but all opinions in this post are, as always, 100% genuine and honest.