As winter makes us shiver in our jackets, Schloss look to warm us up with a new rustic winter menu.
Inspired by the mountainous regions of Switzerland, Austria, German, France and Italy, the new ‘Return to the Alps’ menu promises a more rugged and rustic approach to dishes, with rich, warm and homely dishes that will see you through the cold desolate months.
The new menu therefore looks to take a modern approach to many classic dishes served in Alpine Europe. Do they succeed? Well, I went down to find out (of course).
As is always the case with any visit to Schloss, we were quickly, efficiently and very pleasantly seated at our table and drinks were ordered. Even though it was a Tuesday lunch time – not ordering an ice-cold German Bier in Schloss is a travesty – so I got two.
Also, a pre-requisite for any visit to Schloss for food – the Haus Pretzel (£6) with sweet mustard, pickles, gouda and a bier cheese sauce. The huge, freshly baked savoury snack is perfect for ripping, chewing and dipping while you wait for the main event and the bier cheese sauce – divine.
I challenge anyone in the city to find a better dip for a bit of bread. Nominations should be sent through to Ben Brown c/o MCR Finest – although I don’t think you should bother – you’re only going to embarrass yourself.
Alongside the Pretzel we also tucked into the classic Hummus + Flatbread (£5.50) and some delicious Meatballs + Cambozola (£7.00). It must be said that both were excellent – with the meatballs certainly taking the prize for best starter of the day (and maybe even week).
After a short wait we got to the main event. One of Schloss’ brand-new Winter dishes and the one that made it into the title of this piece – the Black Forest Bacon, Egg + Chips.
Actually, no, let’s get the other mains out of the way first. We tucked into the excellent (vegan) Cauliflower Salad (£7.00), a dish that manages to actually make the beige vegetable interesting and tasty – something which I thought was impossible until now.
The florets are roasted and placed on top of a rich cauliflower purée and topped with some crispy cauliflower crisps. Finally, the whole thing is sprinkled with pickled sour cherries – adding a welcome twang of sweetness to the savoury vegetable.
We also graced our table with Schloss’ new Kreuzberg Chicken Kebab (£13.50), a fantastic dish that manages to encapsulate everything that they’re trying to accomplish with this new menu. It’s warming, it’s tasty and its very, very indulgent – perfect food for these cold, drab months.
The chicken is marinated in spiced yoghurt and is then flamed grilled to perfection. Placed on top of a freshly baked flatbread, they then add lashings of hummus, cucumber and toasted almonds. One of the best kebabs ever if you ask me.
Okay, those dishes out of the way – let’s concentrate on this Bacon Chop (£14.00). It arrives at your table and it looks like something that could sink the Titanic. It’s thick, it’s large and it’s spectacularly juicy – everything you could ever want from a big bit of meat.
An Alpine take on the classic tea, this Bacon, Egg and Chips is 1000x better than anything your mum could ever serve up – even if your mum happens to be Delia Smith.
The Black Forest Bacon was succulent and tasty, perfectly paired with a fat fried duck egg on top. Watching the golden yolk run down the meat was a joy – a feeling that was enhanced only once I popped it in my mouth.
The chips are a revelation, and although not the best triple cooked chips in the city (hello Bay Horse) – they’re certainly up there in the top 3.
The whole thing perfectly captured the Winter and Alpine message of the new menu – which I suppose is a job well done for Albert’s Schloss. By around 3/4 of the way through my dish I was starting to hallucinate from too much food – so no room for dessert I’m afraid.
I’ve been told by a reliable source that they have a mega Gingerbread, Caramel + Nougat Cheesecake doing the rounds – something which will certainly warrant another visit sometime soon. I suspect I’ll also get the Bacon Chop again also – and you should too if you know what’s good for you.
Return to the Alps Winter Menu
Venue: Albert’s Schloss
Date: Available now
Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
0161 833 4040