Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialFood & DrinkBritish.

Grill on New York Street

Gordo and the case of excellent meat and the oysters with bits

Written by . Published on May 26th 2011.

Grill on New York Street

There are a few home grown restaurant groups here in the North West of England. One of the best grew out of a bar and restaurant well known to the current Jamie Oliver generation, The Living Room.

The Baba was a triumph, as light as an Angel’s kiss; honey-comb architecture drizzled in rum  with a light cream topping whipped into a delicate friend accompanying the main event.

The group is called Living Ventures. Through a lot of wheeling and dealing it now owns, or part owns, Grill on the Alley, an old favourite of Gordo’s , along with the Gusto chain – although they have sold off The Living Rooms.

Recently, Managing Director Tim Bacon and his long standing co-director Jeremy Roberts (the latter loves a chat), bought several more restaurants off the brilliant chef Paul Heathcote. That means the boys have added a number of Olive Presses to the stable along with Grado on New York Street and Gordo’s favourite Sunday lunch venue in Alderley Edge - London Road.

IMG_3222.JPGLondon Road has been re-branded as Grill on the Edge; Gordo was invited recently to eat during the filming of a new foodie programme hosted by the little Italian with the big temper, Gino D’Acampo. Gordo once beat little Gino soundly on another competition show called Chef vs Britain. D’Acampo nearly burst into tears at the time. This visit saw him ignoring Gordo altogether.

At that lunch, Gordo was shooting the breeze with Jeremy who told him that the group had turned Grado, here in town, into another grill, Grill on New York Street. Jeremy was telling the Fat One that they were having good success with their ‘Best of British’ featured steaks; Gordo was whinging about the fact they hadn’t, in his opinion, given the terrific product that was Grado, the only great Spanish restaurant in the area, a chance.

All this found Gordo getting out of a cab with the Editor, Jonathan Schofield, outside Grill on New York Street, to see just how the place was faring.

The room itself is little changed except the banquettes on the bar side of the room have been removed for standard issue Living Ventures high-stool-type-table-that-you-don’t-want-to-be-sitting-at-if-you’re-a-short-arse.

IMG_3219.JPGThere was no sign of any deejay decks, thank the Lord, and the rest of the room remains much the same as Grado. One of Gordo’s all time favourite maitre d’s, Gosia Everett, is now the gaffer, unfortunately off on this particular lunchtime. Her right-hand man Georgina Hock sorted a table out, with Gordo saying hello to Angie from Argent, looking as fit as a butchers dog, on the way through.  She was sat with the equally lovely Alex King from Cityco. Toby Whitehouse, gaffer of the absolutely excellent Gaydio was tucking into a steak as well. If you like a laugh, catch Rowetta doing a show on Saturday afternoons, her opinions are as big as her voice.

This wasn’t a boozing lunch, but if it was Gordo would have chosen an old friend, Jubilum Pinot Nero Syrah, a Sicilian with the personality of a bad tempered grape picker, dark fruits and cigar box aromas from memory. It’s on at £25.

Gordo ordered a dozen oysters (£18) and potted shrimp (£8) to share. Living Ventures are very good at sourcing its shellfish and the oysters were no exception to the rule, plump, with a salty, oaty flavour sharpened up by Tabasco, vinegar or lemon. Lovely but spoiled; whoever was shucking must have had a refusal in bed that morning, eight of the dozen creatures had bits of shell in them.

IMG_3226.JPGOn the opening party six weeks previously, Gordo had tasted the potted shrimps. They were a masterpiece, buttery, shrimpey loveliness cut through with dots of chilli. They were really terrific. It was going to be interesting to see if the kitchen were keeping up the level. They weren’t.

The recipe had been subtly, but disastrously changed. Lacking the smooth, room temperature butter filling the back of the mouth which then introduced the brown shrimps followed by a kick of chilli, this recipe looked a mess and was; with the introduction of chopped shallot, a heaviness with the chilli and a lack of that great butter holding it all together; like the Halle without Bernstein.

IMG_3228.JPGSchofield took the venison with champ (£18.50) which looked brilliant. It tasted the same, a faultless presentation that delivered, by all accounts, big flavours with a rosy hue that showed that the grill jockey was on his, or her, game. Gordo decided to try the ‘featured steak’, a rib-eye, (£30), his favourite cut. It had come from Dexter cattle, reared at Henwick Manor in Berkshire by Farmer C M Graham.

Small cattle, bred originally for tough conditions, Dexter’s are lean with a dark meat resulting in a mouthful of flavour; this steak was a good example. Seasoned and grilled well, it ate beautifully and was well worth the price. A béarnaise looked mass produced but turned out not to be so, just finessed well to deliver the aniseed flavour required by Gordo and executed efficiently by a good saucier.

The chips were just like Gordo’s beloved Nan’s.

Green beans and shallots (£3…put these in with the price of the main Jeremy and stop up-selling so much) were very good.

IMG_3229.JPGApple fritters with cinnamon cream (£4.75) were good and crispy, not dripping in oil, flavours standing up and being counted, apples, maybe Braeburn, holding their sharpness.

The Rum Baba (£5.50).

Oh Dear Me.

The Baba was a triumph, as light as an Angel’s kiss; honey-comb architecture drizzled in rum (maybe a tad more chef?) with a light cream topping whipped into a delicate friend accompanying the main event. All sat atop a forest fruit compote of great quality. The pastry chefs in this group are outstanding.

Service, by Mike, who sounds very Irish to Gordo but professes to be from Toronto, is first class.

It’s a pity that Grado didn’t make it as a Spanish restaurant.

IMG_3233.JPGBut, this product is excellent as well: easily reached by the young, up and coming foodies in the Northern Quarter and a good antidote to the six hundred and eighty four fucking Italian restaurants circling round King Street boring the Armani suits to death. Gordo knows where he would rather get his steak.

But, next time guys take care with your shucking and maybe re-look at the recipe for the potted shrimps.

Follow Gordo on Twitter: @GordoManchester

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE. £1000 to the reader who can prove otherwise, and dismissal for the staff member who wrote a review scored out of twenty on a freebie from the restaurant.

Grill on New York Street
M1 4BD

Rating: 15.5/20
Food: 7/10
Service: 4.5/5
Ambience: 4/5

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away.



Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

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

Eddy SavilleMay 26th 2011.

I love the way Gordo, bless him, uses the expression 'deejay'.
Im guessing he is more from the Tony Blackburnesque old school than the Swedish House Mafia all-sounds-the-same nonsense that the kids listen to nowadays?

Lorna HooperMay 26th 2011.

£30 for a steak and THEN £3 extra for some sodding green beans? Ridiculous. Looks lovely though!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Lauren LewisMay 27th 2011.

haha abso-freakin-lutely!!

suzyblewMay 26th 2011.

Went for my father-in-law's birthday a month ago (11 of us) and they did a great job. London Road has also improved for the better since they took over.

Pete RansomMay 26th 2011.

I've been twice when they had 50% off food and enjoyed it a lot, though I'd be hard pressed to say I'd pay full price.

The ridiculously high charge for vegetables is not acceptable when the average price of a main is close to £20. And they do need to work on the choice of desserts, which is a little bit limited.

That said, the food was all good (no complaints about the potted shrimps!) and service was exceptionally friendly.

JDelaneyMay 27th 2011.

Quite agree. Went here with a large group recently, was excellent. But asking £3 extra for sides is too much. An elderly gent in our group complained that his steak didn't come with mushrooms or grilled toms or anything like that, and the waiter kindly added some without charge.

Lauren LewisMay 27th 2011.

'But, this product is excellent as well: easily reached by the young, up and coming foodies in the Northern Quarter and a good antidote to the six hundred and eighty four fucking Italian restaurants circling round King Street boring the Armani suits to death...' <<I LOVE Gordo's writing . Simply Superb.

AnonymousMay 27th 2011.

Wine mark up seems excessive as well as the prices

Kevin GrrMay 28th 2011.

Oysters. Ooh lovely

Christine KilbyMay 30th 2011.

I had a 'pleasant' meal here shortly after it opened and the staff were very good but I don't like the layout and the ambience is not a patch on Grill on the Alley. It just didn't feel special. That said, it was a Saturday lunchtime so maybe in the week it would be better given a larger cross-section of diners.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


Going Good Friay - can not wait

 Read more
Henry V

Oh dearie me, it's the spelling police. Get a life you tossers.

 Read more

I go to GOT Alley and GONY Street quite a bit. The Best of British steak (which changes each month)…

 Read more

Interesting point. I think when you have a quickly growing population and a changing city it is…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord