I love a menu which is diverse, delicious and better travelled than Anthony Bourdain and Volta is just that. Cosy, casual and always buzzing with life, Volta is what suburban, neighbourhood dining is all about.
As a West Didsbury resident, Volta is dangerously close to my house, so you will find me there quite often, especially if they have had a spruce up on the menu. Seasonality is at the heart of Volta, so when the seasons change, so do the dishes – just one more aspect about the place I utterly adore.
Walking down on a cold Wednesday night, we curled up in a corner and warmed up with a glass of mulled wine. Now it officially feels like winter- which I am completely prepared for if armed with a steaming cup of sweet, spiced wine.
I ordered all the new dishes, although avoiding the classics was harder than choosing between true love and a billion pounds. I did cave and order a side of the beetroot and feta dip– but can you really blame me?
Coming out in random waves, we first enjoyed grilled hake served with muhammara and salt-cured onions. The sauce, which hails from Turkey, was a delightful concoction of toasted walnuts, red peppers, chilli, cumin, garlic and lemon. It was heavy on the cumin which I really enjoyed as the aromatic spice was perfectly contrasted with the delicate fish.
The next wave consisted of a 6oz rump steak smothered in Café de Paris butter – melted clarified butter spiked with garlic, herbs, Dijon mustard and capers. Contrary to what the name suggests, this dish comes from Geneva- but still a welcome taste of Europe after our trip to the Middle East.
I’ve got to say, I am not a big rump kind of girl (when it comes to choosing a steak that is- my arse happens to be the size of Guatemala), but I was pleasantly surprised. Tender, juicy and, most importantly, flavourful, this steak was everything it needed to be and more. Top marks.
We paired this with the mushroom and parmesan croquettes which were utterly delicious. Earthy and sweet flavours came from the mushroom with cheese running throughout and a delicious truffled puree on the side took this dish to a whole new level. This was a great choice to side with the steak too.
Finally came a plate of harissa roasted carrots with date puree and hazelnut dukkah. One more thing I love about Volta (last one promise) is their approach to vegetables on their menu of small plates. These aren’t mere sides, they are delicious, show-stopping, main events in their own right.
Nothing is a testament to this more than this lowly carrot dish which, as it turns out, was my favourite dish overall. The carrots were smoky and charred with intense flavour from the harissa. There was texture from the hazelnuts as well as delicious earthly flavour and sweetness from the date puree which teetered this dish on the edge of dessert. I’m so glad we ate it last.
I find that every time I go back to Volta, I leave more impressed. The new dishes are lovely, seasonal and as well travelled as I would expect. These dishes are surely going to see us through the winter, but I must say, I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us when it comes to spring.
New Winter Dishes at Volta
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Volta, 167 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LN
0161 448 888