Jack Spratt is situated near to Manchester Town Hall on John Dalton Street. This neat, little restaurant has the theme of a down-town New Orleans bistro. It is also a rather popular place to eat, as I went down on a Thursday night, with every table but one filled. Already my expectations were high as you don’t get that many people eating out in the week nowadays.(editor: please note image below is from Jack Spratt, not of the nite in question obviously)
To start, I opted for (with help from the manager) the New Orleans goujons with Louisiana sauce. This was definitely the right choice. The meat was tender and the crust on the chicken was light and crunchy, without that greasy after-taste you get from poorly made southern-fried chicken. A key component to this dish was the unique ‘Louisiana’ sauce which accompanied my chicken. Made by the chef at Jack Spratt this sauce went extremely well with the peppery taste of the chicken crust and added a slight tang to the mix; of which mixed perfectly with the rest of the flavours. In terms of portion size, this started could definitely feed two. There may be a fight over the last bite though!
For mains I chose another staple dish to Jack Spratt, which has been on the menu for a while, despite menu changes. This was ‘Dave’s after dark’ burger. With the longest description on the menu, I underestimated how much would be on my plate; the dish was massive! When I managed to take a bite out of this burger, there was a nice surprise in store; the burger was in fact in the form of a ‘Juicy Lucy’ which is an American burger that has cheese in the middle of the meat. I haven’t yet seen one of these in Manchester, so hats off to Jack Spratt for being the first to offer me one.
Stacked high on a brioche bun, this burger is full of flavours (and toppings!). Though there is only one point to this burger that I would fix. The bottom of my bun broke because the tomatoes were on the bottom, which meant it made it a lot harder for me to eat. A simple reversal of lettuce on the bottom will fix this problem; other than that, no more complaints! Do not let that factor subtract from the face that this burger is immense in size and taste – a definite man-sized eat. Though if this was not enough, the burger comes with a small bucket of skinny fries (yes – bucket) and a beautifully made herb mayo. The mayo was so unique and tasty – it went with everything on the plate and I have never had anything like it. Jack Spratt should bottle this up and sell it to their customers because I for one would buy it. Superb!
To end my evening at Jack Spratt, being rather full, I went for the panna cotta. Usually this dessert comes in a trio of full flavours, but I only went for the vanilla after being beaten by the burger. Being light and smooth, it was exactly what I needed to relieve the overwhelming feeling of being full. My single shot of panna cotta was presented nicely with fresh berries and a tarty raspberry coulis. I would recommend this to anyone who, like me, over-ate before it came to dessert; lovely and light.
Jack Spratt is to Manchester somewhere to go for both for a romantic meal for two or a light bite and catch up with your friends. The style the owners were going for was to avoid the restaurant atmosphere and go for a more chilled experience so everyone can enjoy the atmosphere equally. And I agree. This works well with the style that they have created in both decoration and feel of the place. I for one will be going back with some friends in the near future.
For more on Jack Spratt, visit their website: jack-spratt.co.uk