Everyone can be a bit pernickety about their food when they're dining out, but for me pickiness seems to peak sometime late on a Sunday afternoon. The last chance to go all in before the week hits home has got to be done right, and sometimes roast dinners can feel a bit like damage limitation.
My red line is the roasties, if you don’t get them crispy then you need to go back to the drawing board, or the kitchen, or whatever – you’ve just spoilt my weekend. We’ve all got our particulars though, and to be honest they’re probably all different. No pressure then Patron.
Anyway seeing as it was Mother’s day I thought I’d give her a break from cooking, so I went to The Patron with a mate to give their roast dinner the once over. Sorry Mum, maybe I’ll cook next year?
We arrived to a bustling scene in one of the Northern Quarter’s newest venues, clearly word has spread quickly. I had mistakenly turned up two hours early for the booking but we managed to get seated by a friendly face, and I have to say the service was spot on throughout.
You can choose between the usual meaty options or a mushroom stuffed roscoff onion, we plumped for the topside beef and lamb shoulder. In fact a pair can dine with a bottle of wine to share for £40, which I’d call pretty decent value, as portion sizes had me more than satisfied.
You’ll be relieved to hear that the roast potatoes were crisp outside and fluffy inside just how they should be. There was plenty of meat, the beef could’ve been rarer and sliced more thinly but that’s a person preference- I told you I was picky. Gravy was plentiful (there’s more hiding inside that big Yorkshire pudding) and the veg was lightly done, nicely al dente. A roast bulb of garlic made a interesting addition to the plate but you definitely want to go further and dig in to a few sides.
We tried them all and I was particularly impressed by the cauliflower cheese, which was baked just enough to give it a nicely charred top but not so much as to turn the florets below soggy, as can sometimes be the case.
Speaking of things that are usually served soggy, can you believe that bowl above is full of brussels sprouts? Sliced and stir fried, they made for a tasty dish combined with goats cheese and roasted beetroot, as did a few pleasantly plump pigs in blankets.
Desserts alternate week to week, and on our visit we were given the choice of chocolate or chocolate- tart or souffle to be precise. There was a cheese board too, but sweets were definitely in order after a properly hearty luncheon.
The tart was every bit rich, dark, weighty indulgence. It was somehow more dense even than the bar of chocolate which must have been used to make it, and the slice defeated me if I’m honest. I had eaten far too much by then in fairness, though a fruitier option would have been well received. The souffle was a much airier affair of course, but it didn’t have a gooey centre which was a bit disappointing.
All in all undoubtedly one of the better roasts I’ve had around town. There’s a lot to like about the Patron, from the cordial bar staff to the comprehensive bar menu, it’s the sort of place you’ll never want to leave in a hurry.
Manchester, M4 1LE