Didsbury isn’t a place I have explored very much since living in Manchester. Having spent most of my time here living and working in Castefield I haven’t seen much of a need to leave the city to go to the suburbs until now.
I was invited to try out Chalk Bar and Grill on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury. As I arrived and spotted the high stools and chairs outside with windows wide open I knew I was going to have a good meal.
We settled down and ordered a couple of cocktails to start. As many of you know I have an extreme fondness of gin and we both decided on a something from the Gin page. I went for Bloom, Fever Free Tonic and fresh Strawberries, a light and delicate floral gin with a unique sweet flavour where my friend James went for Gin Mare with tonic, black olives and rosemary. Whilst a newcomer gin the taste was beautifully savoury, a real contrast to the one I had ordered.
Whilst James and I caught up and reminisced on my brother’s wedding which we had both attended the week previously we perused the menu, which in fairness was really substantial. I could have really ordered everything off there and be happy, I don’t think there was one dish which I wouldn’t have enjoyed. I think the waiters came back to us about 3 times which shows the deliberation which we went through.
For starters I ordered the salt and black pepper squid which was served on a bed of crispy seaweed and Chinese style vegetables. The pepper was really sharp and against the saltiness of the seaweed, a lovely contrast. Having recently been on holiday I have been eating squid a fair bit recently however this was really delicious with a good salt and pepper flavour, and the squid not over cooked leaving a crispy batter and tender squid inside.
Main was a real treat for both of us. I haven’t perfected the art of cooking lamb myself and therefore when I eat it out it is always a real treat. I decided to go for the dish off the specials board which was lamb rump, served with crushed minted peas, seasonal vegetables, potatoes and the most delicious gravy. The lamb rump was cooked rare and was beautifully tender. I couldn’t recommend this dish highly enough, the minted peas were so refreshing against the rich lamb and gravy. I believe Chalk should consider moving this dish to their main menu as I would love to have it again.
James went for a rump steak which he rated as an 8/10 which quickly creeped up to a 9/10 once the side of broccoli which was suggested by our waitress Charlie arrived. Whilst I didn’t try the steak myself it smelt delicious, the chips looked crispy and fluffy inside and was beautifully presented. The Broccoli however which we had as a side dish was the real star of the meal. Cooked in a Chinese style it would be a great accompaniment to anything ordered form the grill.
As if we weren’t full enough already we plumbed for a desert as the menu was just too tempting. I went for the steak of deserts a melting chocolate fondant with strawberry sorbet, whilst having only just spoke about the classiness of a black forest earlier in the meal chose to go for a de-constructed Black Forest Gateaux. The melting chocolate fondant lived up to its name oozing with sauce on the first cut. Truly tasty however terribly rich the sorbet really helped to lift and refresh the flavours. James said that his desert was equally as good and looked really good de-constructed allowing you to savour each layer individually.
The ambience of the restaurant was really lively. We went on a Saturday evening and there wasn’t a free table by the end of the night. I really enjoyed the artist who was singing in the background, it always adds to the evening and whilst I didn’t catch her name she had a fantastic voice.
We rounded off the evening with a final cocktail, I chose to go for my ultimate favourite a French Martini slightly indulgent as it was so foamy almost acting like a second desert.
Chalk Bar and Grill provided us with a fantastic meal, which I thoroughly enjoyed, based on a the quality of the meal its certainly a place I would love to try again, I have a feeling that the Sunday roasts would be incredible.
I’d like to thank Chalk Bar and Grill for inviting me and for the meal, however this review is all my own opinions.