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BEST OF MCR: Sunday Roasts

5 weekends, 8 writers, 21 Sunday Roasts, and 4 entire cows later, Confidential lists the very best Sunday Roasts in and around MCR

Published on November 18th 2014.

BEST OF MCR: Sunday Roasts

FROM the crack of Saturday to the edge of Sunday, somewhere between getting befuggled and shuffling your way around another shitty arts and crafts market, your belly will ask two very, very important questions of you:

1. Where to get a great breakfast? 2. Where to get a great Sunday Roast?

Now, boys and girls, if you are attracted to a Sunday lunch on the price point, Gordo thinks you are a numbskull. Spend less on cars and more on your food. It’s one of the few things our Gallic cousins have got right.

We've already sussed the BEST OF MCR: Breakfasts (you're welcome), so now it's onto the biggie, the main event, the weekend show stopper; that noble Sunday Roast.

And let's face it, there's only so many times you can turn up at your Nan's smelling like Loon the Moon, and nobody should ever have to wash up on a Sunday evening - that's article 32 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

So here's the best places in and around Manchester to find a top notch Sunday Roast with no washing-up...

(Some we visited just didn't make the cut, but there are some honorable omissions here. The Angel, for example, had ran out of roasts on our visit. That's just unlucky. Still, we'll be updating this list as we go so expect a few additions... oh and thanks for your help with this one, it's been invaluable)


BEEF & PUDDING | City Centre

Expectations were high by name alone. Leather boot beef wouldn't do. Luckily, this 'urban pub' has put a lot into its Sunday Lunch and its shows through Sunday bums on seats. Options include loin of pork, leg of lamb, roast topside and a vegetarian option - probably something nutty. We went topside. I asked for it to be cooked through (I'm still haunted by mad cow disease) and it came on top of a bed of crispy duck fat roasties, wearing a giant Yorkshire pud hat to pool the overflow of gravy. The result was a traditional and delectable roast – top notch beef and pudding, as you'd hope. L'Oréal Blackett

12.95 for two courses | Beef & Pudding37 Booth Street | Manchester | M2 4AA | 0161 237 3733

Beef And Pudding 2Beef & Pudding's beef & pudding

BLUE PIG | Northern Quarter

For somewhere that boasts all over its website that “we are quite simply serving the best ROAST DINNERS in the Northern Quarter”, expectations were high. The Blue Pig is a quirky glass fronted bar where a uniform of tattooed sleeves, chin fuzz or vintage dress is mandatory – bonus points for all three. They’ve maximised on flavour and minimised on room for error by only offering cuts which require long, slow cooking. Choices are ‘eight hour Guinness braised brisket’, ‘slow roast lamb shoulder’ or ‘slow roast pork belly with cracking’ plus a vegetarian option. Portions are generous for £11.95 and all are served with a good Yorkshire pudding, three hefty roast potatoes, thick shards of roast carrot and parsnip and perfectly cooked broccoli. Piping hot cauliflower cheese is served on the side but the advertised ‘shed loads of proper gravy’ was salty enough to encourage second drinks orders. Deanna Thomas

£11.95 for Sunday Roast | The Blue Pig | High Street | Northern Quarter | M4 1FS | 0161 832 0630

Pork Belly Blue PigPork Belly at The Blue Pig

DAMSON | MediaCityUK

MediaCity is perhaps not where you picture spending a Sunday, but if you’re over that way it's worth a wander just to see something a little out of the ordinary, whether it’s a docked tall ship or an army of Tom Jones obsessives. As for food I can only recommend Damson, a little pocket of quality in an otherwise choral hymn to mediocrity. Of a Sunday, the good-value set menu (£16.95/2 courses, £19.95/3 courses) expands to include roast beef or lamb (£3 supplement), served with crisped-up roasties, a fluffy Yorkshire and properly good veg – flavoursome and full of bite. The wine list is pretty good too. Enjoy while overlooking The Quays and doing a little Sunday afternoon weird-spotting. Lucy Tomlinson

£16.95 two course, £19.95 three course | Damson MediaCity | Orange Building | MediaCityUK | Salford | M50 2HF | 0161 751 7020

Damson, MediaCityDamson, MediaCity

GORILLA | City Centre

Topside has never been my favourite cut for a Sunday roast, but the Gorilla team make a convincing case with a their meltingly tender take – slow-roasted pink slivers of well-hung Lancashire-sourced beef, given oomph by a belting horseradish sauce. It comes with an abundance of gravy, needed to soften a slightly leathery Yorkshire pud, mashed carrot and swede, al dente kale and broccoli – and some determinedly chewy roast potatoes. Their pork roast, with crunchy crackling, is equally impressive and there’s also a sweet potato, apricot and chestnut roast for those on the other side. Neil Sowerby

£13.50 for topside beef | Gorilla | 54-58 Whitworth Street | Manchester | M1 5WW | 0161 407 0301

GorillaGorilla's topside


Harvey Nichols hasn’t been on Gordo's Sunday radar for a few years (the breakfast definitely has). But when Gordo heard of this definitive list he decided to give the Second Floor restaurant a fair crack at it. Now, boys and girls, if you are attracted to a Sunday lunch on the price point, Gordo thinks you are a numbskull. Spend less on cars and more on your food. It’s one of the few things our Gallic cousins have got right. Gordo was worried that at £13 HN's roast beef was still not enough for top ingredients. Well, it looks nothing less that magnificent. Three thick slices of pink-ish topside of beef, a large Yorkshire pudding well cooked and filled with roasties, all sitting next to a pile of roasted root vegetables. A small jug of warm gravy made the plate. The potatoes were, as they so often are in large kitchens, not as good as Gordo’s but still top of the line at this level. The Yorkshire was better than Gordo’s, as was the gravy. Topside, a cut that dries out quickly if no care is shown, was lovely with a little fat. Really lovely. It's a Gordo go. Gordo 

£13 per person | Harvey Nichols21 New Cathedral St | Manchester | M1 1AD | 0161 828 8888

Harvey Nichol's topsideHarvey Nichol's topside

HEARTH OF THE RAM | Ramsbottom

The Good Food Guide and Michelin credentials of this Rammie pub ensure a refined take on the traditional roast – there’s a bit of ‘sous vide’ going on before the Buccleuch Estate beef and local Helmshore lamb are given a good blast in the oven. My heavenly pink sirloin, moist from proper fat, came delicately sliced, but the accompanying Yorkshire pud was a bruiser which firmly held gravy that was big brother to a jus. Only underpowered horseradish let the ensemble down. Consolations: proper crisp roasties and chunky cauliflower cheese, parsnip chips and kale in perfect veggie harmony. Neil Sowerby

Two courses £20.95, three £25.95 | Hearth of the Ram | 13 Peel Brow | Ramsbottom | BL0 0AA | 01706 828681 

Hearth of the RamHearth of the Ram

NUTTERS | Rochdale

If you ever find yourself stranded up on Rochdale's windy Norden Pennines, wet-socked, rosy-cheeked and empty-bellied, you could do a shite sight worse than dropping in to Nutters' eighteenth-century manor house restaurant. Though you'll oft find him terrorising city bars, impish and possibly trouserless, when Andrew Nutter puts pan to fire the man can cook. Really cook. He was a young-gun at The Savoy, don't you know? Start by diving into his famed fluffy Rochdale focaccia and Black black pudding bread straight from the oven. Now we're off... out comes a usually unpopular fish starter, megrim sole, coated with aplomb in a rich herb pesto sauce (French onion soup is another winner). Next is Nutters' well fleshed, lean and juicy Limousin beef with its pal, a soft and pillowy Yorkshire pud. The veg with red cabbage is a little delicate for a Sunday (big, bold broccoli and beans in gravy will always come out on top) and potato slightly uncrisped (more duck/goose fat please) but it's hard to knock three-courses for £23.50, and it shows, the place is rammed from midday to 9pm every single Sunday. David Blake

Three courses for £23.50 | Nutters | Edenfield Road | Norden | Rochdale | OL12 7TT | 01706 650167


THE OXNOBLE | Castlefield

Let's get the pub’s name out of the way again. Despite the pictures of big bullocks inside and a brief rebranding to become The Ox, the origins of its name are far from bovine. It is named after a variety of potato, for as far back as 1804 spuds were shipped in along the nearby canal. Right then. To the Sabbath. Beef it was, which was splendid. Not quite my idea of rare but getting there and my prayer for a big tub of horseradish was answered by our server, who also brought over a truck load of al dente veg to bolster my mash, roasties and large, fluffy Yorkshire pud. Certainly worth a place on any Best Sunday Roast in Manchester roster. Neil Sowerby

Three courses for £17.95 | The Oxnoble71 Liverpool Road | Castlefield | M3 4NQ | 0161 839 7760


Ox BeefOx Beef


THE PARLOUR | Chorlton

Chorlton’s Parlour has a reputation to live up to; it won the Observer Food Monthly Best Sunday Roast award in 2012 - and was runner up in ‘11, ’13 AND ‘14. Subsequently it now caters for hoards from noon to 4.30pm-ish every Sunday, come rain or shine. Since the big win, the operation is as slick as San Antonio beach after the party season. Expect no more than ten mins from order to mouth, and identikit portion sizes. Choose from Frost’s supplied steak-thick slabs of pink beef, pork loin or nut roast with roasties, seasonal roots (carrot and swede mash, honey roasted parsnips) plus Yorkshires as large as thunder clouds. Greens include kale, cabbage, peas and more, and gravy is jus so. Packed with umami, the nut roast includes leeks, pumpkin seeds, rosemary, cashews and mushrooms, much of which is supplied by sustainable food heroes, Manchester Veg People. Surprisingly (or not in Chorlton), it’s the nut roast that makes this a real destination. Ruth Allan

£12.95 or £11.95 (nut roast) | The Parlour | 60 Beech Rd | Chorlton | M21 9EG | 0161 881 4871


PER TUTTI | City Centre

Per Tutti is Italian and means 'for everybody', it opened a couple of years ago serving generic Med food. I went in terror of what this Sunday roast might deliver, but left with an inane smile on my face and my belly as full as a bucket. A full one. I needn't have worried. This was the best dining out Sunday lunch I've had in ages. And big madam, very big. Huge. The roasts cost £13.50 each. The hay baked lamb shoulder - although I couldn't catch the hay thing - was lovely, tender, full-on, very...er...well, lamby. It came with carrots, roasties, swede mash, peas and an exquisitely rich gravy. Yorkshire puddings cost an extra £1 each which to my mind was a bit cheeky. Mind you, they were perfect and big enough for an owl and pussycat to cross the sea with some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note. Jonathan Schofield

£13.50 each | Per Tutti | 3-11 Liverpool Road | Castlefield | M3 4NW | 0161 834 9741

Per TuttiPer Tutti

PICCOLINO | City Centre

When on the hunt for a booming British Sunday Roast, you’d be forgiven for marching straight past this Italian. But when we asked you for you favourite roasts in and around the city, this Italian proved to be a big favourite. And let us tell you, you were absolutely bob on. Served up in true Italian fashion (to be shared by everybody with fingers) the Sunday Sharing Roast for two (£25) comes with two meats, two Yorkies, greens and a pot of spuds. The four wedges of 28-day-aged limousin cross cattle beef with garlic and thyme were tender and rammed with flavour but outgunned by the star of the show, the roasted herb chicken with lemon and rosemary. As thick as two thumbs and without a hint of dryness, this is the best roast chicken I've had in years, and some of the best service too. Outstanding. But please... more gravy... always more gravy. David Blake

£25 Sunday sharing platter for two | Piccolino | Clarence Street | City Centre | M2 4DWT | 0161 835 9860

Piccolino's Sunday sharing roastPiccolino's Sunday sharing roast

SAM'S CHOP HOUSE | City Centre

Choosing between Sunday meats can be a pain in the arse. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, donkey. Well, Sam's Chop House have it covered, and for only £1.50 extra. Slices of roast beef, roast lamb and slow-roasted pork belly stacked up in the middle with a splash of apple sauce on the pork and a stick of salty crackling. Lovely jubbly. The Sunday meat equivalent of having your cake and eating it. Served with a big, fluffy Yorkshire pud (no dust - which is often a problem with big Yorkies), goose fat roasties, kale and mashed carrot - the best way to serve carrot. Shower red wine gravy over the top, tuck in your bib and get to it. As ever with Sam's the service and the setting set this place apart. One of the city centre's finest Sunday feeds, no question. David Blake

£14 for 'All The Chop House Roasts' | Sam's Chop House | Back Pool Fold (off Cross Street) | City Centre | M2 1HN | 0161 834 3210

Sam's middle meat stackSam's middle meat stack

SUPERSTORE | Northern Quarter

Firstly, Superstore is a right looker. Polished glass frontage, tried and tested industrial NQ cool on the inside, the customers are happy, the servers bouncy, hell, even the chefs (in full view in open kitchen) don't look like they want to jump beneath the next tram to Bury. The mood translates to the plate. Superstore's Sunday Roast looks incredible. The rolled roast lamb breast with harissa is a flavour-punch (mite too fatty, mind) on top of a dreamy creamy sweet potato puree. The roast courgette and peppers were faultless as were the duck fat roasties - couple more would be nice, mind. The redcurrant jus in mini milk churn was a charm. Only downside was a double-dry and dusty Yorkshire pud. Sort that and Superstore may lay claim to NQ's finest Sunday grub. David Blake

£11 for one course, £14.50 for two, £16.50 for three | Superstore | Smithfield Building | Tib Street | Northern Quarter | M4 1NB | 0161 834 3303 

Superstore Harissa lambSuperstore Harissa lamb

TNQ | Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter (TNQ) is perhaps one of Manchester's most undervalued restaurants. Head Chef Anthony Fielden (formerly top dog at Castlefield's Albert Shed and bloody nice fella) has been serving up top quality modern British nosh in cool, sharp and comfortable surroundings on the corner of High Street and Copperas Street for years now. Their Sunday Roast (£14 for two courses and £17 for three) is also one of most consistent you'll find anywhere in this fair city. A cute, sturdy, rustic ham hock terrine starter was followed up by three perfectly-pink slices of Cheshire rump beef and an army of well-considered trimmings: slighty under-crisped duck fat roasties, honey roasted parsnips, cauliflower cheese (always gets bonus points), cabbage and the best carrot swede mash I've ever tasted. The trick? A drop or two of truffle oil. Noted. Only downer was an overly-pillowy Yorkie pud. Still a winner, mind. David Blake

£14 for two courses and £17 for three | TNQ | 108 High Street | Northern Quarter | M4 1HQ | 0161 832 7115


VOLTA | West Didsbury

West Didsbury’s Volta seems to feed local families like Jesus fed the thousands. Good job that there's more than enough to go around with its Sunday platters. In twos or parties of four the platters come with all the meats (rare breed beef, poussin and roast pork trimmings) potatoes roasted, mashed and chipped (oh my) and a generous portion of veg. It's quite a feed. The poussin, tender and tearing away with little fuss, commanded most of the 'umms' and ‘ahhs’. The make or break, the gravy, added swathes of flavour. You can't right family wrongs with bad gravy, after all. You should probably book a table.

£26.00 for a platter for two | Volta | 167 Burton Road | West Didsbury | M20 2LN | 0161 448 8887

Volta DidsburyVolta, Didsbury

So there you have it, a collection of the region's very best Sunday Roasts. Off you pop then...

This article is part of our 'BEST OF MCR' series including breakfasts, buildings, cheap eats and vintage stores - read them all here

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58 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

deaf institute electrik

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialNovember 18th 2014.

We opted for Volta over Electrik (same owners) - seemed to be more popular. Thanks.

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.


pollolocoNovember 18th 2014.

Superstore Lamb looks like rolled breast or perhaps shoulder...deffo not leg.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkNovember 19th 2014.

Fascinating comment

pollolocoNovember 19th 2014.

more an observation

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

Lime tree?

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

We went to Damson at the weekend and I wasn't impressed at all - service was very slow and they had run out of everything by 2.30pm - lamb, ice cream and smiles and sense of humour (service again)! We have had good experiences here in the past but it will be some time before we go again...shows the impact of inconsistency!

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

Albert Square chop house was spot on with the beef on sunday!

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkNovember 18th 2014.

It smells funny in there though. Fusty

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

Superstore, Sam's and Gorilla are all excellent, however i had two disasters at Beef and Pudding and have heard of many similar complaints.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Henry VNovember 21st 2014.

Beef and Pudding is hugely disappointing, all social media marketing and no substance. Their menu is not sure if it wants to compete against Solita or Sams and gets neither right. Piss poor puddings and gravy that tastes suspiciously packety. Cant comment on the Sunday roast myself mind you.

AnonymousNovember 21st 2014.

Manchester confidential bitterness strikes again.Staff writers leaving anonymous comments perhaps? I notice Beef and Puddings advertising on Manchester Confidential is conspicuous by its absence.

AnonymousNovember 24th 2014.

Beef & Pudding is superb. Some of the best Yorkshires in the city, gravy always excellent. Thick cut perfectly cooked beef.

AnonymousNovember 18th 2014.

Gorilla's roast is always spot on - I never go anywhere else. Very pleased to see that they have recently added shoulder of lamb to their meat selection too, hoping that will stick around.

Nick WestNovember 19th 2014.

Albert's Shed gets a thumbs up from me. Unfussy, classy, and while not cheap, in fact really good value. Great room, staff and satisfaction on the plate. Let's be honest, if you pay less than £13.00 for a Sunday roast, it's not going to thrill you. You'll only get what you deserve.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

I've paid less than £13 for a roast and have been thrilled, a good roast for £10 can be done. £13 for a roast is ridiculous (and adding £1 per Yorkshire pudding even more so... it's gotta be something pretty special to warrant that cost.

David BlakeNovember 19th 2014.

Superstore at £11 was a thriller

Nick WestNovember 20th 2014.

To Anon - £13 for a roast is far from ridiculous, and well done on getting a good one for less than a tenner. On that point, in the spirit of this piece would you be kind enough to share where that happened? David, Superstore keeps popping up here as a cracker. I will check it out, as it sounds like the kind of tip that makes articles such as this gold. I was put off from the place after having a look around the supermarket in the basement and seeing total rip off prices everywhere. Are the two businesses linked?

AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

Oh dear please get Nutters a new shot.. that one looks rank!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
PaulNovember 19th 2014.

And mention the included coffee and petit fours

EditorialNovember 19th 2014.

You're right. We've changed it. Thanks

rinkydinkNovember 19th 2014.

Here's a revelation: stay at home and cook your own

1 Response: Reply To This...
pollolocoNovember 19th 2014.

what a toolbag

mancadamNovember 19th 2014.

i'm not sure i can take a food writer who orders red meat "cooked through" seriously.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

Many people have their meat well done

AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

Perhaps so, but having it 'cooked through' makes no difference as regards "mad cow disease".

mancadamNovember 22nd 2014.

lots of people buy the daily mail as well, what's your point?

CKRISGNovember 23rd 2014.

No but it makes it taste better, blindly following the celebrity chefs, lets have it rare.... chewy and tasteless

mancadamNovember 24th 2014.

i assume you're talking about the daily mail, and whilst i agree it's pretty tasteless i wouldn't recommend trying to chew on one.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

Nutters looks insipid, almost like hospital food.

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialNovember 19th 2014.

You're right. Changed. Thanks.

Stu EllisNovember 19th 2014.

The King's Arms and Mr Coopers and The Angel all do amaaaaazing Sunday roasts.

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialNovember 19th 2014.

Some didn't make the cut, Stu.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

The Angel stinks of damp though, desperately needs some investment.

callsignponyNovember 19th 2014.

The Rose Garden in Didsbury is always delicious and great value on their set menu

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.


AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

Fallowfield ....

AnonymousNovember 19th 2014.

This list is pretty spot on to be fair.

Stacey WilkinsonNovember 19th 2014.

The writer should check out The Crown and Anchor on Hilton St, NQ. Only £7.95. You don't need to spend over a tenner to get a decent roast in central Manchester.

1 Response: Reply To This...
PryonicNovember 20th 2014.

That read like an advert!

Kevin PeelNovember 20th 2014.

Most of these are in the city centre - glad to see we've cemented our place as *the* destination for Sunday lunch! Surprised not to see Bakerie on here though!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 20th 2014.

I thought Mancheser was *the* destination for workshy immigrants?

HilaryNovember 20th 2014.

Where's The Lime Tree on this list? Their Sunday Lunch is legendary! Hope the food listed here tastes better than it looks

AnonymousNovember 21st 2014.

Surprised at no mention of Mr Coopers House and Garden. Superb value at £15 for 2 courses. Service is excellent, the roast beef is up there with the best.

AnonymousNovember 21st 2014.

Spirit in Warrington Is very nice & worth the drive out

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2014.

What about the wharf in Castlefield ? Ones of the best overall experiences around

1 Response: Reply To This...
Phil GriffithsNovember 23rd 2014.

I agree

LockieNovember 23rd 2014.

Browns in the town centre... Best Sunday roast in the City and the 2nd best without doubt is the English Lounge ... The BEST Sunday Roast in Manchester by a dancing mile used to be at The Northern on Tib St (cue dream sequence and dreamy music whilst the camera pans into what looks like the greatest Sunday roast since my Nan's). The chef who cooked this delight has his own and incredibly successful restaurant in Chester called 'The Artichoke'...NOTHING on the list above comes close! I promise you that!

Christelle VaillantNovember 23rd 2014.

Why no mention ever of the Marble brewery? ??

shabob1November 23rd 2014.

Where's the mash? Apart form the last one which looks awful anyway. Don't think any of them look very appetising and all piled on top of one another, not at all like a decent, home cooked roast dinner. Nutters looked like the fat had solidified so had been stood too long and undercooked. I have just had fore rib of roast beef and although a bit pink the fat was crispy and melting - it was bloody gorgeous. But like someone else said, its better to make your own.

EatingthenorthNovember 24th 2014.

A good read. Could have done with this a couple of weeks ago when we crossed the border from Yorkshire & met mates for Sunday scran. We plumped for TNQ & thought it was bang on (wp.me/p3Rnlb-d7…) and am a tad surprised not to see it make this list. Breakfast at Superstore the next day suggested they know what they're doing. Ace visit.

EatingthenorthNovember 24th 2014.

Just re-read & seen TNQ had run out on this occasion. Soz.

RevaulxNovember 26th 2014.

It's the bottle of Jaipur that clinches victory for Gorilla for me

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 8th 2015.

Do all Trofs still do their homemade roasts? Had an amazing one at the NQ branch a few years ago.

AnonymousMarch 8th 2015.

Dunno my local branch shut down.

AnonymousFebruary 1st 2015.

Had some awful beef at The Parlour recently. The Metropolitan in Didsbury has been the best i've had for a while for a roast

Steeve HobbsMarch 8th 2015.

I don't rate Sam's Chop House or Blue Pig and Beef & Pudding is simply dire. The best Sunday roast has to be Smoak at Malmaison.

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