If you’d asked me last week what I thought of 24 Bar and Grill, I’d tell you that I’d never even heard of it.
Tucked away beneath the Princess Street hotel in the heart of China town, this inconspicuous little restaurant isn’t a renowned name in Manchester, that’s for sure, but the food tells a completely different story altogether so I suggest you read on.
I opted for the Grilled King Prawns to start (£8) which came served with chilli, garlic, herb butter and toasted ciabatta and honestly wasn’t expecting it to be as delicious as it was.
Still encased in their crunchy shell, I tore them open with my fork to find fresh, juicy and meaty prawns coated in herby sauce; a sauce I gladly mopped up with the bread. It was an incredibly generous portion, but I could have eaten it twice over- it was an exceptional start to the meal and a good foreshadowing of what was to come.
My friend tried the mussels (£7) which came in a creamy mushroom sauce and were steamed to perfection. The staff even gave her some gluten-free bread to lap all of it up, which was a thoughtful touch. The mussels themselves were so light and moreish, she probably could have had them for her main too.
For main we both settled on steak; my friend opting for the Fillet (£26) and myself, the Sirloin (£22). For sides, I chose the light, summer salad (£3.50) and a creamy garlic butter sauce (£2) and asked for it medium rare and medium rare is exactly how it arrived. Tender, juicy and thick, it was an excellent piece of steak, complimented wonderfully with a crunchy salad and rich butter sauce- what more could you want?
My dining partner is the type of person that if she could, would have a steak so blue that all you’d have to do is take off the bulls’ horns and wipe its nose. Some restaurants usually turn their nose up at this, but not at 24 Bar and Grill.
The fillet steak was melt-in-the-mouth tender, accompanied with seasonal vegetables to give it a bit of a home-cooked, (very good) pub grub feel. She did opt for it rare in the end, the only thing blue was the cheese sauce that deliciously drowned everything in.
We could have easily ended the meal at this point, both fully satisfied from our delicious starters, mains and cocktails, but following some encouragement from the chef, I couldn’t resist the indulgent allure of the Warm Chocolate Brownie (£6) served with salted caramel ice cream and toasted marshmallows.
What can I say? It was rich and sweet, the type of dessert you begrudge for its calories but fantasise about for weeks following. Although a staggering number of gluten-free dessert options – I would thoroughly recommend this restaurant if you have an intolerance – my friend opted for Bailey’s coffee for her dessert (£6.50), which unlike one you would haphazardly put together around Christmas time, had hints of amaretto in – a double whammy.
It is important to note that all of the stunning desserts were completely homemade too, which is not something you find, or taste, very often here in Manchester these days.
Of all the reviews I’ve written, 24 Bar and Grill has certainly been one of the biggest surprises and I’d go as far as to say it’s one of Manchester’s best-hidden gems. It’s also a great place for a cocktail or two, with 2-4-1 deals on all cocktails throughout the week. Trust me, the Margarita’s are to die for.
What’s more is Finest readers can enjoy 20% off A La Carte at all times when you quote ‘FINEST20’– go on, you won’t regret it.