Luckily, you can do both at The Second Floor Brasserie and Bar at Harvey Nichols in their beautiful sun-soaked interior and their brand new menu which is simply bursting with fresh, fruity summer flavours.
Harvey Nichols does fish incredibly well, and the menu is practically swimming with delicious pescatarian dishes. Whether it is the West Coast Oysters, the Grilled Swordfish or their sophisticated take on Fish & Chips Harvey Nichols makes it somewhat difficult to choose.
After a good twenty minutes of umming and ahhing, we opted for the Charred Red Mullet Tacos from the starters menu. These were two hearty tacos stuffed with generous chunks of fish- that was cooked to perfection might I add- which lay on a bed of smashed avocado. No tasteless toast toppers here, this avocado was the real stuff and was souped up with lime and plenty of sea salt. It had so much flavour and made a lovely soft contrast to the crispy skin of the mullet.
The dish was finished with a mango salsa which I could eat happily every day for the rest of my life and a beautifully charred wedge of lime to finish it all off with a welcome acidic tang.
We also sampled the Burrata which is an all-time favourite of mine. If you haven’t tried it before, burrata is mozzarella’s silkier, sexier, cousin which sort of explodes its insides when you cut into it. Alright, that wasn’t the most appetising analogy, but it is true and if you are ready to lose your burrata virginity make sure it happens at Harvey Nichols.
This dish comes served with grilled peaches which work really well which the creamy mild cheese, bitter radicchio leaves and a honey dressing. The chef finishes it off with a little tiny sprinkling of truffle too which just takes the dish to an entirely new level.
For mains, we went back to the fish with the Monkfish Tail. In short, I have been thinking about this dish ever since I had it. Monkfish is a dense, meaty fish which is notoriously easy to over-cook. This dish, however, was not overdone in the slightest. It came served with tender stem broccoli which was laced with garlic, confit tomatoes and a peppering of lemony sorrel.
The real star of the show (other than the perfectly cooked fish obviously) was the Crab Dauphine Potato. This was a little scoop of fried potato mixed with crab meat- honestly, they were divine I could have eaten a wheelbarrow full of them in a single sitting.
The Soy-Glazed Duck was also ordered which was delicious. It came cooked pink to my liking with charred pak choi, shitake mushrooms, a crispy spring roll stuffed with tasty bits of shredded duck- yes that was as good as it sounds- all topped off with a plum and ginger sauce.
Duck and plum is a match made in heaven, so there was no chance this dish was ever going to be revolting. It was quite the opposite actually, the duck was succulent and juicy with contrasted nicely with the crisp spring roll which added fantastic texture to the dish- I really cannot fault it.
I didn’t have room for dessert, but the fantastic meal was rounded off with a quick cup of coffee while I basked in the glow of the meal I had just consumed while I thought about how quickly I could come back. Honestly, book a table- you will not regret it, and that is a promise from me.
Harvey Nichols Manchester, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, M1 1AD
0161 828 8898