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All Change at the Malmaison Brasserie

Wandering down Piccadilly one Saturday morning with a raging hangover, I needed food......

Published on January 6th 2005.

All Change at the Malmaison Brasserie
Wandering down Piccadilly one Saturday morning with a raging hangover, I needed food. Specifically, lots of protein and carbs accompanied by a gallon of tea. I found myself trying to decide whether I should go into The Rossetti or The Malmaison. Remembering the eggs benedict in the Malmaison Brasserie, my mind was made up.
I like the Malmaison - stayed there once, really nice rooms. Quirky, stylish and slick. I have also had a number of really excellent breakfasts there as well as a couple of excellent steaks in the evening. However, dining in the Brasserie never turned me on, simply because I hate places that call themselves brasseries, and aren’t. I shan’t go into it, but Brasserie Flo it wasn’t. Very good, but too much of a hotel restaurant.
It was too late for breakfast, so I was presented with the lunch menu. Eh up, the menu had changed; a right proper brasserie menu was laid before me.
This was more like it; the eggs benedict remained, and were joined by smoked haddock, fresh asparagus, salad gourmand (asparagus and foie gras, leaves and truffle vinaigrette) and that old stalwart, crispy squid and sweet chilli jam!Mains included Veal Holstein; an old favourite that I thought extinct due to every bloody chef in the world wanting to be a movie star. Show me that you can produce a perfect béarnaise first guys, then maybe you can be let loose with the weird stuff. I didn’t have the Holstein, but one of my neighbours did and it looked terrific. Others were chateaubriand for two, spring root vegetables, pommes fondant and the béarnaise sauce, roasted cod as well as risotto primavera for those weirdo’s, the vegetarians.
‘From the chargrill’ was a mixed grill (had that, asked for it rare, and it was) along with a cote de boeuf with roasted bone marrow. Now boys, I know about bone marrow, and I will be having it next time I am there. If you have done it correctly, you will instantly go into my five favourite manc restaurants, let’s see shall we? And a grilled Halibut steak. You can choose from béarnaise, pepper, vierge and garlic butter. (Chef, remember that the fresh tarragon in the béarnaise needs chopping, not whole leaves).
Sides included the usual suspects. I liked the chips, thin ones that were built from scratch in the restaurant, but a very mean portion for £2.75 I may tell you. There is a prix fix menu that changes daily.
Puddings looked good, I did have one disaster that shall remain nameless, but got it replaced with crème brulee which was almost as good as my ex-girlfriends mum, the lovely yet terrifying (at age 19) Mrs. Hague who taught me to cook, God bless her. We miss you.
Well, a test meal beckons. If you lot give it a go, let me know what you think as always. Service was excellent by the way, Ian Jeffery deserves a special mention. He tells me there is a new MD who wants to promote the place as a very good restaurant and bar, with classy rooms. I like this bloke already.
Let me say that the next big thing I am sure is going to be cooking the classics, classically. Let’s have less mulled, tickled spiced raspberry jam coulis squirted out of old mustard relish plastic bottles and more sauce vierge dollopped on our plates please chef. Malmaison is on its way.
Mark Garner
Malmaison Hotel and Brasserie
M1 3AQ
T 0161 278 1000
F 0161 278 1002

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