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Hale Country Club - For Food. Eh? Gordo Swills In

Mcr's Falstaff demonstrates inappropriate use of the word 'fit'

Published on July 26th 2012.


Hale Country Club - For Food. Eh? Gordo Swills In

GORDO had been invited to have a look at the very swish Hale Country Club. 

Kate chose a dish that is being entered into the Miss World for Fish Dishes. Crispy skinned salmon in a water lily soup with skinned pink grapefruit segments.

Not a great demographic for this kind of place is Gordo, unless a good pool is involved. Gordo was going with the gayest non gay in the city, Chris Grimes for a look. In a big posh car. It needed to be, there was close on thirty million quids-worth of cars in the car park.

The facilities are quite remarkable: if you you want a gym that has all the kit and is pretty flash, this is the place for you. But, don't take Gordo's word for it, go and have a look. Gordo was only there to keep one of his favourite PR ladies quiet, and eat a bit of Gym food. Brownie points all round. 

The restaurant was on the ground floor, and looked a lot more comfortable (and a deal less sweaty) than any other health club fooderie he had ever been in, albeit one with a good view of the car park. A bit of tree planting out there wouldn't go amiss.

Gordo had his dinner was not a little surprised. It was very good. He couldn't do an official review as the club were paying, and Richard Edmunds, the GM was eating with us. Good company mind you. 

Three weeks later, he returned to do an official scored review; this was booked by his partner in crime, Kate Leach. Who had joined the club.

The point in mentioning this is you do have to be with a member to get in, and Kate had joined. Now gents, take this as a sign; if you are looking for fit singles, this is the place to come. 'Cos Kate is fit and so are many of the others in there. Gordo's tongue was out. 

The food is Asian fusion; very healthy stuff mixed with very unhealthy, but good, stuff. The surprise here, quite frankly, is that the ownership really is making a club with a difference if they are paying such close attention to this restaurant, employing a chef with a good Pan Asian pedigree.

The menu is not dissimilar to one of Gordo's favourites, Australasia, so, what of the dishes themselves? 

The chef, Martin Quinlan, calls his food The Fuzen Concept - needs work that. The dishes can be taken vertically, as in starter, main course and pudding, or spread out across the table. Gordo loves the spreading out concept, so he ordered enough to sink a battleship and settled into his seat with a bottle of New Zealand Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc at £32. 

CrunchCrunch

There are two prices by the way folks, one for members paying with their membership cards, and the other for numpties who pay for the members like Gordo. The prices I am giving you are membership prices. 

The bowl of marinated olives is £3.50 and good. For non members it's £5.50. Go figure.

The ubiquitous steamed edamame beans, chilli glaze, set the lips tingling nicely (£3.50). Crispy baby squid and Tuscan salsa (£6.50) was a delight, the Tuscan salsa nice and warm, the picture of this speaks volumes. That squid is cooked to a point so perfect that ten seconds either side would have made it ordinary. 

One of Gordo's starters of the year was a dish he has never encountered before and would go back for time and again. It was crispy duck egg (£6.50) with asparagus and chorizo soldiers. Basically a partially boiled egg, rolled in plano breadcrumbs and deep fried at a hot temperature for a minute ; the chorizo soldiers made from a fried sandwich of mushed up (forgive the highly technical description) chorizo bang full of flavour. I know, I know, it sounds dead weird, but, trust the fat one, it's terrific. 

Duck Egg SoldiersDuck Egg Soldiers

Marinated beetroot, mint honey, goats cheese and candied pecans (£6) was another unique dish, and has to be tried to be believed. Very refreshing, sparky, light and a Persian carpet of flavours, warm though cold and fantastic. Share this, it's substantial. 

Beetroot And Goats Cheese SaladBeetroot And Goats Cheese Salad

One of the sushi dishes, crunch (5.50), was relying on a coating that had the texture of a quilt, doused in flavoured mayo. Not to Gordo's taste.  

More middle courses were crispy lemon prawn umami ketchup on skewers (£6.00) and a salad and sticky beef with pak choi, crunchy vegetables and cashew nuts and soy (£10). Both dishes were classy with multi dimensional flavours with Chinese layered textures.  

Sticky BeefSticky Beef

Mains were traditional fish and chips (£12), which were good (the fish) and terrific (the chips). A note here. On the first visit, Gordo had the posh fish and chips (£17). This was more of a deep fried version of everything the trawler had brought in that morning, with scallops, giant prawns, great cod, you name it. The warning? Don't order a starter. Lovely iodine freshness smells here as well, a great sign. 

Fish And ChipsFish And Chips

Kate chose a dish that is being entered into the Miss World for Fish Dishes. Crispy skinned salmon in a water lily soup with skinned pink grapefruit segments. Look at it. It tasted better than it looked as well. It must have been a special, it's not on the menu now and Gordo can't remember the cost. 

SalmonSalmon

Puddings. Gordo ordered a selection. Have a look at the video and make your own minds up.

This is a not so hidden a gem. Find a member and go. love it. 

You can follow Gordo on Twitter here @GordoManchester

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE. 

Hale Country Club. Hale, WA15 7AF. 07423 700734     

Rating: 16/20
Food: 8/10
Service: 5/5
Ambience: 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: 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, we get carried away.

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

Doctor QJuly 26th 2012.

Gordo, do they have a golf course here as well ?

Mark GarnerJuly 26th 2012.

No Chris, 'raid not. Very lively jacuzzi are mind you...

Doctor QJuly 26th 2012.

Shame, a bit of golf then a good feed is always a good day out.

GordoJuly 27th 2012.

Bit like me and sex, that Chris.

Doctor QJuly 27th 2012.

Golf is the same, the better the course, the more you enjoy it. :)

JenniferJuly 31st 2012.

I'm a member here and the food is very nice, but the service is always so slow. Was shocked when I saw 5/5.

Ed MercerApril 10th 2013.

I am also a member here and the cafe always seems to be rammed with noisy kids, I have eaten here three times but always leave with a headache - the crèche is poorly located right by this cafe and kids seem to run back and forth to see and speak with their parents in the cafe. Service is very slow but the food is a very high standard... If you do go take your ear plugs!!

AnonymousMay 28th 2013.

I'm a member here and currently trying to cancel due to the heat in the gym! The gym is not shut off from the restaurant so the heat travels up into the gym and they are very tight on air con so it's too hot to do anything here! Avoid if u want a comfortable workout or quiet meal!

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