The Northern Quarter certainly isn't short of lunch deals, so what sets this one apart from the rest?
Firstly, as someone who sits in a rather nice basement office right slap bang in the middle of the NQ – this new offer from Wolf at The Door comes as a welcome addition to the roster.
Since opening up just over 6 months ago, Wolf at The Door has changed its name (from Wilderness), added a brilliant Sunday Menu and have hosted a range of exclusive events featuring some of the biggest names in food and drink.
Not only that but they also put on a belting Opening Party with legendary night La Discotheque that not even 13 draught cocktails and 6 large glasses of natural wine could make me forget.
Now they’ve decided to try and conquer the daytime crew, and as mentioned before – it’s a crowded market. There are £6 ribs, £5 pizzas, cheap sandwiches, bento boxes for less than a tenner and all of those rice & 3 offerings that make lunch a difficult decision every single day.
So, what are Wolf at The Door offering and is it any cop?
Served from 12pm – 5pm every day (except Sunday), you can choose 2 dishes for £12 or 3 for £16. There’s also the option of adding a beer or a glass of wine for an extra £4.
Therefore, this isn’t your bog-standard quick, cheap ‘grab a bite’ kind of lunch. It’s more of a sit down and enjoy affair – perhaps for a special occasion, business meal or maybe you’ve just won £5 on a scratch card and want to treat yourself.
I suppose this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise from the team at Wolf At The Door. Their food menu has always been a thing of beauty; savouring seasonal produce and promoting innovation at every single turn. This new lunch menu features a few of their already established classics as well as a some interesting new dishes.
What’s on offer then? Well, there’s 8 dishes available, from their brilliant Grilled Sourdough with Sweet Onion Butter, right up to a new Aged Beef Tartare, Cured Mackerel and of course their well-documented and thoroughly adored BBQ Lamb Skewers.
Looking to get as many dishes under our belts as possible, we opted for the 3 courses at £16, which sounds like a lot but I must say – we both left very full and very satisfied. The best thing to do is to all order different things and just share on the table – that way you get to experience more of these truly innovative and tasty dishes.
Ordering the aforementioned Grilled Sourdough, we also checked off the list the BBQ Lamb Skewers, Roast Cauliflower, Fermented Potatoes and the two new dishes – Aged Beef Tartare and the Cured Mackerel.
Starting off with the Mackerel – anyone that knows me will be very surprised to learn that I actually really rather enjoyed this dish. Certainly not a fish person, I’m even less of a mackerel person – typically because it’s one of the smelliest and fishiest fishes out there.
This dish couldn’t be any further away from what you’d expect from mackerel and as such – was thoroughly devoured. Each tiny peace comes perched on clarified apple juice, and topped with juniper wood – adding a welcome crispy freshness to the whole dish.
The fish itself is not fishy at all – coming lightly cured it’s something you’re more likely to have found on the sushi menu at Umezushi when it was open than in the centre of the NQ. You might not think this dish is particularly ‘lunch friendly’ either, but as part of a table of sharers – it’s perfect.
Alongside the mackerel we tucked into the fantastic Fermented Potatoes, which are kept in brine for 9 days before they’re cooked to perfection. The slight tang certainly adds to the typically bland potato flavour and as a result they’re always soft and fluffy inside.
One of my favourite dishes on the whole menu at Wolf at The Door is the Roast Cauliflower which comes caked in a fantastic pumpkin seed butter and topped with puffed buckwheat.
The ability to make cauliflower flavoursome and actually interesting should be highly commended indeed.
Next up was the Aged Beef Tartare and I should point out that it’s probably the best tartare I’ve ever tasted. Often rather bland or uninspired, Wolf at The Door have re-imagined tartare with a miso seasoning and little pickled green strawberry pieces both of which add a certain salty-tangy flavour into every mouthful.
It’s aged for 28 days and the quality of the beef really shines through. Topped with a couple of toasted milk crisps – this is certainly a striking dish and something that again, you probably wouldn’t think of to eat at lunch time.
But I suppose that’s what Wolf at The Door are aiming to do. Not just to lunch time but also to dinner time. They’re trying to mix things up, give it a shake-about and keep people on their toes when it comes to food.
Their lunch menu couldn’t be any further away from a soggy egg sandwich and a packet of crisps, and it’s all the better for it.
Sure, you’re not going to be eating it every single day, but if you want fantastic, innovative and top-quality food for a price that blows all other high-end establishments out of the water – look no further.
Wolf at the Door Lunch Menu
2 dishes for £12 or 3 for £16
Available 12pm – 5pm every day (except Sunday)