The 5-star boutique Hotel Gotham in Manchester has always been somewhere we have wanted to stay since it opened its doors three years, yet ashamedly we have never got round to it. That was until recently when we had the pleasure of not only staying at the hotel but also indulging in a 5-course tasting feast at their onsite restaurant – Honey. Even though we had not had sight of the menu prior to our visit we still couldn’t wait for our gourmet getaway and to try the delights on offer. Therefore, we packed an overnight back, jumped in the car and headed over the Pennines to be greeted by a sunny vibrant Manchester, a great start to a great evening.
Honey which has been awarded 2 AA rosettes, is located on the 6th floor of Hotel Gotham, as is the reception which we found to be a quirky difference. We were welcomed with a glass of the fizzy stuff and shown to our table. The aim of the evening was for the newly appointed Head Chef, Ross Chatburn to showcase his new menu. Ross is an award-winning chef having been named Young Chef of the Year by the Manchester Hoteliers’ Association. He has also risen through the ranks in the kitchen of Honey as prior to becoming the Head Chef he was the restaurant’s Senior Sous Chef, therefore, understanding and appreciating the concept and standards expected by the patrons of Honey.
With 5 dishes on offer, we were eager to start our tasting.
The first course entitled RADISH, was as the name suggests, based on the root vegetable. Having never eaten a dish based around radishes before, we were excited to try Ross’ creation. The pretty colours of the different ingredients on the plate made it look very appealing and it certainly lived up to its look. It was full of fresh flavours and we loved the mixture of raw and pickled radishes. Intertwined with butter, whiskey and apple, which added to the freshness, and pickled egg which complimented the dish and added a flash of acidity. This was a great first course.
The next course was PIG CHEEK. As soon as Mr ESLT saw this dish on the menu, he couldn’t wait to try it. I, on the other hand, was quite apprehensive as it is something that I would never actually choose. However, this dish turned out to be my favourite of the evening, proving tasting menus are a great way of getting to try new dishes. The pig’s cheek was cooked wonderfully and was so tender it simply fell apart and melted in the mouth. It had such a wonderful, yet not overpowering smokey flavour and one that was complimented perfectly by the accompanying crunchy red carrot and sweet carrot ketchup. Added into the mix was cherry, again something I would never normally opt for, however it was the perfect addition making this an amazing and moreish dish.
The third course, Mr ESLT’s favourite, was SCALLOP. Being a huge seafood, especially scallop lover and having eaten them all over the world, these scallops had a lot to live up to, which they truly did. As with the PIG CHEEK, they were cooked fantastically and again were super tender and melted in the mouth. Served with crispy fried whitebait and sea vegetables and finished with toasted sourdough and a charred cucumber square, this dish was beautifully presented, tasted fantastic and was for a fish dish, surprisingly filling.
After three divine courses, space was becoming limited however when the LAMB dish was served, magically we found room for this delightful looking creation. The lamb was served pink which of course is not to everyone’s taste. However, we were advised before it was served, and we certainly didn’t have a problem with that. Served on a bed of asparagus, which is one of our favourite vegetables and wild garlic, they were the perfect accompaniments. Together with my personal favourite gnocchi, which was amazing and could have been a great dish even if it was served on its own. Again, perfectly presented, fantastically filling and a dish that we would certainly order off a menu.
PEACH & HONEY
Last but not least was the fifth course – PEACH & HONEY. Even though we were both very full from the previous four courses, there is always room for dessert, especially when it was tasty as this. A predominately peach dish with rich flavours of honey and verbena mixed through it, served with sweet yet crunchy honeycomb and the cutest little macaron, made to look like a peach, we have ever seen. It was just the thing to finish a great meal off. It was fruity, refreshing, light and not overly sweet.
We thoroughly enjoyed every forkful at Honey restaurant and it whet our appetites (see what we did there) to try more of the food on the menu at Honey. The beautiful decor, amazing views over Manchester, a pianist tinkling the ivories, fantastic wines and mouthwatering food all made for a great dining experience.
Even though it was a tasting menu, after 5 courses we can confirm we were fit to burst, however we still had room to squeeze in a couple of cocktails in the hotel’s exclusive bar, Club Brass (as in money – which is a nod to the buildings previous carnation – a bank), on the top floor. To add to the exclusivity, only members and hotel guests are permitted. With membership starting from £750 per year, it is easy to see why the private club, designed to look like a 1920s speakeasy, is a firm favourite with local business people, stars and celebs. Even though it was 10.30pm, the weather was great and we were able to enjoy our drinks on the beautiful and flower adorned rooftop terrace. With a number of delectable and tasty drinks on the menu, we may have had more than one.
When we arrived at Hotel Gotham we only had 20 minutes to shower and change before we were expected at Honey, therefore, we didn’t really get the opportunity to fully appreciate our room. However, we were instantly impressed with it, from the second we walked through the door. The art deco theme which can be seen throughout the hotel was certainly carried over into the room. It wasn’t until we returned from our delicious meal and tasty cocktails that we fully got to take in everything our room had to offer, including the complimentary homemade biscuits because come on, there’s always room for a biscuit, right?
The quirkiness and uniqueness of the room were insane and certainly lived up to our expectations. Predominantly, dark, seductive colours with pops of bright pink, luxurious additions including a big furry throw on the bed, and not forgetting the important stuff like a mini bar (payable locally) and lovely complimentary toiletries. The attention to detail is something else and is something that has obviously been thought about carefully. We had an extremely comfortable stay and considering we were staying right in the heart of Manchester, an extremely peaceful one too.
We don’t know about you but we always worry about visiting somewhere we have always wanted to go, just in case, it does not live up to expectations. However, we did not have to worry about Hotel Gotham, we had a fantastic stay from the second we walked into the building until the second we left. In fact, the only thing that we have to complain about is that our stay was not long enough. Everything was wonderful – the decor, the atmosphere, the restaurant, our room and of course the staff, it seemed nothing was too much trouble. It is easy to see why Hotel Gotham is a 5-star hotel, it is superb and somewhere we would not hesitate in recommending for a gourmet getaway. We want to return already, we loved it that much!
- We were invited and hosted by Hotel Gotham in exchange for review. All opinions, as always, are ours and honest.