Review: Will the new Albatross and Arnold menu take flight?

Sophisticated sharing plates are back at Albatross and Arnold and we think this is the best news ever!

Launched in December 2017, Albatross and Arnold is one of the more unusual bars of Spinningfields with an indoor golf club, The Range, and a stand-alone restaurant Albatross & Arnold. We went down to sample their new small plates for Spring/Summer last week, and *spoiler* we liked it. 

The menu is comprised of a range of sophisticated small sharing plates, plenty of cocktails and a delightful dessert selection filled with seasonal ingredients such as rhubarb, asparagus, lamb and beetroot.

Naturally, we ordered cocktails as soon as we sat down. Sam, our very attentive waiter, recommended his favourites; the Vimto Gardens and the Champagne Cobbler.

Vimto Gardens (£11) is the perfect homage to Manchester, comprised of an in-house 24 hour Vimto reduction, shaken with Three Rivers Manchester Gin and a dash of plum bitters and lemon juice.

Champagne Cobbler (£13), based on a simple mix of fresh orange, fresh pineapple and dry cherry topped with a good guzzle of champagne, didn’t pack as much of a punch as the sweet and flavoursome Vimto Gardens but was still a perfectly refreshing start to the meal.

To start we chose Chorizo & Saffron Potato Croquettes (£6) served with a red pepper mayonnaise. The croquettes were stuffed with fluffy and creamy mashed potato with a hint of chorizo running through, coated in thin and crispy panko breadcrumbs. The red pepper emulsion was the perfect dip to add an extra texture and tang.

We then sampled one fish, meat and vegetable small plate starting with Pork Belly (£14). It was melt-in-your-mouth tender with the perfect amount of crunchy skin. The dish was flawlessly balanced classic flavours with a sweet and sticky miso caramel sauce and Asian pear slices which bought welcome tartness. 

Next was the vegetable dish, a large Roasted Cauliflower Floret (£13) served with parmesan shavings, plenty of black pepper and a jug of cheesy cauliflower veloute.

The dish was the perfect posh version of cauliflower cheese. The barbequed cauliflower was cooked leaving a crunch that is absent from the usual textureless mush. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it spectacular, and it was by far my favourite dish from the evening but anything covered in plenty of cheese will always be a top performer for me.  

Next, we had the Charred Tiger Prawns (£17) coated with chilli and garlic drizzle similar to pico de gallo or finely chopped salsa. Three large prawns were served whole, encased in their shell ensuring all the flavours were held in the juicy prawns which had a zesty citrus zing.

I can’t remember the last time I got to dive into prawns! Breaking the crunchy shell is such a satisfying part of eating prawns that is all too often taken away. This is a good portion size I’m sure you will fight over who gets the final prawn on your date.

I wish we had room for dessert but we opted instead for one of their boozy dessert cocktails, and actually, I’m pretty glad because it would have been far too difficult to pick just one dessert. We sampled two of their new dessert cocktails, the Rhubarb and Strawberry Fool (£10.50) and the Pick Me Up (£12).

The Rhubarb and Strawberry Fool used award-winning Slingsby Rhubarb flavoured gin, shaken with cream and a hint of vanilla and strawberry. It was an adult’s boozy milkshake and the perfect sweet treat.

Pick Me Up is a twist on a classic and my all-time favourite, the humble espresso martini. Using Cotswolds Single Malt Whiskey and Cotswolds cream, an espresso shot, dash of coffee liqueur and plenty of sweetness from a drizzle of vanilla. It was exactly what it says on the tin, the perfect…’pick me up’ after a lovely filling meal.

The new menu is a perfect step into spring and summer with refreshing small dishes, including a wide selection of meat, fish and vegetables. It is perfect for a small lunch or a sophisticated evening meal of sharing. I urge you to get down and try this deliciously modern British cuisine with a little homage to Manchester in a simplistic and relaxed take on fine dining.

So in answer to the question – yes, I think the new menu will certainly take flight and Manchester is going to fall in love with it. 

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Albatross & Arnold Spring/Summer Menu
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Albatross & Arnold, Leftbank, Spinningfields, M3 3AN
01619897050

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