It doesn’t matter if you are meeting for a coffee, for dinner, for a drink or a dance, 33 Oldham Street can always be the place because it is so multifaceted.
I, unfortunately, missed the launch night, which I was pretty gutted about, so I finally made a trip down at the weekend to check it out for myself. I wasn’t sure what I was going for exactly, but that didn’t really matter, because I had been told 33 Oldham Street would cater to my every need and mood.
And, it turns out they were right.
I kicked it off with a quiet drink in the laid back downstairs area. For a well over-due catch-up, this space was perfect – not too crowded without sterile silence. I love the interior too and 33 Oldham Street has captured that signature NQ character down to a tee.
Later, we moved upstairs which had a completely different personality. Fancying something to eat, we were ushered to a table in the corner of a bustling smaller room next to the bar. In the background, someone was playing jazz on the piano (and later a DJ) which made a great backdrop to the evening.
We ordered some food- small plates naturally- and they were just as relaxed and effortless as the place itself. Paired with a couple of beers (which are for two £5 btw), this meal was the very definition of casual dining.
First was the crispy pork belly with apple and sorrel gel. This was like a comforting taste of your mums roast pork dinner and managed to boast some of the crispiest crackling I’ve had this year. Paired with the apple and the tart sorrel dish, this pork was what proper English grub is all about.
Sticking with the proper food vibe – we also sampled the beef cheek croquette which was just as good as it sounds. Tender strips of pulled beef cheek in a rich sauce encased in crispy breadcrumbs and deep-fried to perfection, what’s not to love? Oh, and in case that isn’t enough for you, they also smothered it in Welsh rarebit (boozy cheese sauce) and charred shallot aioli which just took it to a whole new level.
We broke this up with some of the beetroot hummus, which is an all-time favourite of mine which was served on garlic and rosemary bread. I loved the flavour of the hummus- earthy, salty and sweet all at once. My only complaint is that it was pre-spread on the bread, and I would much rather have dipped into a big bowl of the stuff if I had my way.
I could not say no to the stake bake which- yes, you guessed it– is a souped-up, homemade version of its Gregg’s namesake. But here is a warning- do not order one of these if you are a big fan of the Gregg’s ones because they will be ruined forever.
The pastry was buttery, crisp flaky and spiked with a little horseradish with delicious effects. The filling was made up from slowly braised beef shin spiked with blue cheese. Man was it good. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since and I expect I won’t for some time.
All in all, these small plates were perfect for a bit of casual picking over a few beers while listening to some live music. The food was seriously comforting too, which was just the thing I needed to warm my cockles on this cold December night.
I’ve got to say, the small plates I had were only a tiny part of a rather extensive menu which features big plates, salads, sandwiches, desserts and brunch – so I imagine I will be back to try the rest before the week is out.
To book a table, give them a call on the number below or just walk right in.
33 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JG