Malmaison Manchester has re-opened it’s restaurant as Malmaison Bar & Grill after recently completing a soft refurbishment of its brasserie.

The restaurant now boasts a refreshed colour scheme in reds and blues – unusually bold for a hotel restaurant – with various seating options in a mix of fabrics, materials, and textures. The building was formally a Joshua Hoyle and Sons Cotton factory, and you can see nods to Manchester’s industrial heritage industrial everywhere interweaved with contemporary artwork and feature pieces.

When the restaurant formerly known as Chez Mal opened, much fuss was made of its Josper Grill, a monstrous artisan indoor charcoal barbecue. This was the first restaurant in Manchester to have installed this impressive (and expensive) piece of kit designed to flame and cook steaks to a smoky perfection.

The original fitout even incorporated counter-top seating for guests to sit ringside and watch the grill chefs at work. A glass fronted meat room was parked at one end where diners could get a view of great hunks of meat and hanging carcasses dry ageing amongst rosy blocks of Himalayan salt.

That’s all still in place at the softly revamped Malmaison Bar & Grill but in a much less showy way. The windows of the meat room have now been mostly covered with multicoloured industrial themed vinyl and although the salt blocks were still there when we peered in on our recent visit, there wasn’t much meat on display. It’s all a lot less meaty, macho and in your face now – times have changed.

Steak is still very much Malmaison’s thing though – although all the cooking seemed to be done behind the swinging kitchen doors, rather than on show during our recent mid-week visit. They have recently introduced a new Steak Night Offer, for a minimum of two people, available Monday-Friday. Guests can begin with a sharing platter of meats and cheeses, followed by a choice of main course (including a cauliflower steak), a side and sauce, and a bottle of house wine for £27.50pp, saving 30% on the regular price.

They have also launched a few new dishes for their Spring Menu and a Prix Fixe Menu, which we were invited along to try. This menu is available Monday to Saturday from 12pm-4pm and 5pm-6.30pm and Sunday from 12pm-4pm and 5pm-8pm, so is ideal for lunch or pre-theatre. Choose two courses for £22, or three courses for £27 and add a glass of house wine or a bottle of beer for £3.50.

The menu is reassuringly short with four or five dishes to choose from for each course. Starters include buffalo chicken karaage with a pungent kimchi topping, hot sauce and blue cheese dressing, or salt and pepper calamari with jalapeno, chilli jam and crème fraiche. A Cobb salad had a bit of hot cold everything thrown in from silky sliced avocado, to crunchy endive, charred corn and warm cubes of aubergine. It’s also available as a main course to which you can add grilled chicken or cauliflower.

They also offer a half roast corn-fed chicken, served on the bone and brined in gherkin pickling liquid for extra juiciness. This comes with a fried pickled cucumber, or ‘frickle’ as well as a leafy herb salad and a little pan of garlic and tarragon scented jus.

There’s a grilled black bream with sautéed cherry tomatoes, garlic, red chilli & samphire to suit fish lovers and a spring greens mac ‘n cheese. We were hoping for one of those indulgent and instagrammable Gruyère cheese pulls but this was a more restrained version with just enough béchamel sauce to coat the pasta and a Parmesan crumb topping.

Of course, there is a steak option on the prix fixe menu, which is a generously sized 250g pave rump, cooked to your preference and served with crispy fries, vine cherry tomatoes and a green salad – although you’ll have to pay a £7.50 supplement.

We were happy enough with those two substantial courses but for those who are interested in desserts, there’s a sticky toffee pudding with pecan caramel sauce; pineapple carpaccio with coconut sorbet or a choice of ice creams. An artisan cheese course is also available for a supplement of £1.50.  Book your table HERE.

It’s only a very short waddle across the road to Piccadilly train station, but if you’d prefer to stay at Malmaison, you might be interested to hear that the 4-star boutique hotel has also just refurbished sixty of its 167 bedrooms including five corner suites as well as all corridors and communal areas. An effort has been made to ensure refurbishments are sustainable with a focus put on ‘upcycling’ existing signature pieces and furniture.

Room rates start from £120. Corner suites start from £250. Mid-week offers are available.

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Malmaison Manchester, 1-3 PICCADILLY, MANCHESTER, M1 3AQ TEL: 01616411883


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