47 King Street West

14 Jul

You win some, you lose some. As a self-confessed gannet, nowhere is this turn of phrase more poignant than when ordering off an à la carte menu, and no pain more keenly felt than watching your dining companion win out on every course, with your own lacklustre choices leave you, quite literally, with a bitter taste in your mouth.

Such was my misfortune during a recent dinner at 47 King Street West. Doors open since 2011, an invite to a restaurant over a year in age can be quite telling, indicating either a much needed menu refresh or desperate plea for a publicity boost. This, added to the usual trepidation I feel around playing patron at fine dining styled establishments had me think twice about attending, but two recent positive experiences at Rosso and The French, (not to mention an unhealthy bout of inquisitiveness about what they were trying to sell), incentivised me to turn up and tuck in.

I can’t say it was all bad. The staff proved charming and eager to please, and dealt quite well with the loud banter between me and North West Nosh, my delightful date for the evening. For every clumsily delivered course, Nosh received a blinder, which I can confirm due to the generous portion sizes affording me plate pinching rights.

A pretty plate of pan fried scallops and a tiny tower of chorizo cake doused in coriander oil disappeared before I could get my mitts on it, but the perfectly pink lamb, cooked just the right side of ‘shit, is that done?’ with expertly creamed sweet potato mash and the sharp, offsetting tang of pickled carrots made it near close to my ideal dish.

Scallops and Chorizo Cake

Scallops and Chorizo Cake

Lamb and Sweet Potato Puree

Lamb and Sweet Potato Mash

Inexpertly, I chose sautéed asparagus to start, which whilst perfectly seasoned had been seared just a second too long, losing that all-appealing crunch you look for when biting into a sharp-looking spear of asparagus. Served with what appeared to be a pear syrup – simply a splodge of liquid sugar with indeterminate flavour – and a finely chopped salad overloaded with garlic, ginger and onion, the flavours were all too overwhelming to enjoy the gentle green tones of what should have been the star of the dish.

Sauteed Asparagus

Sauteed Asparagus

Duck Breast with Raspberry Jus

Duck Breast with Raspberry Jus

My pan fried duck breast, requested medium, came out chewy, making for an interesting juxtaposition when atop a soggy pak choi and slightly burnt rosti. Slightly bland in flavour, bizarre in its composite texture and weirdly offset by a sharp raspberry jus, I was most displeased, and despite my parents best efforts to encourage me to always finish my plate, just couldn’t behave myself despite my inherent greed.

Happily, the desserts went some way to redressing the balance. Nosh’s hot chocolate indulgence pudding was light, rich and perfectly portioned, balanced with a scoop of vanilla Cheshire Farm ice cream. The raspberry crème brulee I tackled was decent. A sharp crack to the burnt sugar and a smooth, rich cream on the base helped me forget the travesty that was my main, and whilst competent, added nothing more exciting that a raspberry sauce and a few scattered berries.

Hot Chocolate Pudding

Hot Chocolate Pudding

Raspberry Creme Brulee

Raspberry Creme Brulee

The drinks were wonderful, however. A sharp, sweet and moreish apple and elderflower martini set the evening up beautifully, and the Malbec ordered to stand alongside the duck brought a deep, rounded mouth feel ripe with luscious cherry flavours. The atmosphere was warm and inviting – always a good sign of good hospitality – and could have even achieved the holy grail of forgetting where I was, were it not for the wannabe wag clientele peering past our window table to see who was traversing the steps up to neighbouring San Carlo.

Apple and Elderflower Martini

Apple and Elderflower Martini

Constantly craning your neck to see if something better is going on elsewhere sums up the evening perfectly. Taking into consideration my being invited to review, its likely they were bringing their A game, and despite the positive experience going down across the table, the lack of consistency in the food is a worry, especially when you’d be expected to shell out around £17 for your main course. With far better experiences to be had across Manchester’s other fine dining establishments, my dining disappointment means 47 King Street West has lost a potential patron for now.

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