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The Metropolitan

John Nuttall dines alfresco and finds the sun is still shining on this Didsbury favourite

Published on June 12th 2008.

The Metropolitan

As the summer finally arrived this weekend, it seemed like the time to revisit a restaurant with outdoor dining. In a previous life in the music business I'd hung out in the notorious Midland pub on Burton Road in West Didsbury. The rear section was always cloaked in gloom from which local drug dealers would emerge periodically to enquire if you needed anything. It was a seedy, run-down haunt for the pre-yuppie, bohemian Didsbury crowd. Some would go on to get record deals, others, equally talented, would just fade into the patina of smoke and dirt.

I followed this up with a strawberry romanov, a delicious confection of fresh strawberries and amaretto, as good as anything I've had in a five star restaurant.

Against all odds, the owners of the nearby Nose bar purchased The Midland and re-invented it as a gastro pub, making a huge success of the transformation. Timing is everything, of course, and their refurbishment neatly coincided with a flood of young professionals moving into Didsbury, largely displacing the old, arty paupers.

The first thing you notice is the friendly, efficient staff. Dining and drinking regularly in the city centre, you get used to places like The Living Room; an excellent bar and restaurant marred by painfully thick, spectacularly rude, door staff under the command of a door cow with a GCSE in clipboard management.

In contrast, despite a substantial crowd of diners and drinkers at The Metropolitan, the service was fast and friendly. The Sunday lunch options consisted of a selection of traditional roast dinners. The lamb that I opted for proved to be excellent and my Cuban companion pronounced herself well pleased with her chicken ceasar salad. The Merlot accompanying my meal was smooth and well kept.

I followed this up with a strawberry romanov, a delicious confection of fresh strawberries and amaretto, as good as anything I've had in a five star restaurant. We enjoyed our meal outside, basking in the sunshine and at £32 for food and drinks, couldn't knock the value.

Rating: 16/20
Breakdown: 8/10 Food
4/5 Service
4/5 Ambience
Address: The Metropolitan
2 Lapwing Lane
West Didsbury
M20 2WS
0161 374 9559

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

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

The Met's just OK - but you couldn't love it. What's to love?

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

What a boring review - i think you need a holiday John.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

wow better than the lime tree? what the f**k. Everything is slow and overpriced for a pint is like £3.50+ the food is terrible and slow crap service. Ok for one pint then move on... quick.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 12th 2008.

This is one of a series of smaller reviews we'll be doing to fill in gaps in our Food Guide. They are intended as a factual guide to a venue to help people choose an evening out rather than a full exhaustive review.

Botty Rider 2000June 12th 2008.

Its full of twonks. Someone needs to remind the punters that its a local pub NOT fooking Panacea. Back to the Woodstock anyone? I'll get me trainers on

daniJune 12th 2008.

The met is a fantastic pub! (although it is expensive, and dont go on a sunday as it is full of screaming babies)I dont think you can have a bad word to say about service, even if its mega busy service is always fast and friendly unlike the woodstock which i agree is a better, cheaper pub but the service is shockingly SLOW!!!

JanieBJune 12th 2008.

Overpriced, bad service in the bar and full of w*****s at the weekend! There are much better places to eat within spittin' distance - Lime Tree, Rhubarb, Greens, Ghurka Grill, Piccolinos..............in fact most of the restaurants on Burton Road/Lapwing Lane serve better food.M20 and the lovely new Drawing Room are far nicer places to drink, not to mention the Railway. Does John not get out much or was his opinion influenced by lots of local totty around in the Met? (My husband's is!)

bobJune 12th 2008.

yeah, Woodstock is back to it's old boho glory days. Met is a Tescos of a pub

Paul MJune 12th 2008.

"Uninspired" is clearly a member of staff!!

codheadredJune 12th 2008.

Foods overpriced and bog standard - get fed in the limetree if you like spending money - then nip in for an expensive pint quick ogle of the young didsbury****es all neatly pressed and out on show

EmilyJune 12th 2008.

I agree with 'anon'. It is just OK. Avoid on Friday and Saturday nights, its full of pretentious types. Good place to go when its sunny or for a nice lunch/coffee and cake. For really good food in West Dids go to the Lime Tree. Best food i've had in a long time and service is great. For a good pub, go to the Railway across from the Met, its cheaper, cheerfuller(!) and less pretentious. If you want something in the middle, go to the Woodstock. Although don't ask them to try and make a cup of coffee, it tastes like water.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

The met has one of the worst (and most expensive) selections of beer in Didsbury- as a pub the Woodstock far outweighs it on this factor alone. The Met's food is OK, but incomparable to the Lime tree. Never go there friday/ sat night as its full of w*nkers. However on a hot summers day, the garden is sometimes difficult to resist!

faystephJune 12th 2008.

I'm a regular at The Met and think it's a jumped up, overpriced Whetherspoons with shocking service at the weekends. The foods not great either - and they sold out when they flogged The Nose/Assembly so now we have another overpriced God awful place Picallino's.However, I still go in there - it's just to convenient! The Woodstock has improved dramatically.

chipperfatJune 12th 2008.

uninspired is deffo one of the owners. the food is good and not a patch on the limetree or greens for that matter.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

4/5 for service...you must be joking. Ever tried getting drink in under 20 minutes on a friday or saturday night. Great pub, great atmosphere...staff need motivating...

CAROLINE QJune 12th 2008.

He's right though, the food is fab and on a sunny day its lovely sitting outside. However on a Friday and Saturday night there is often a crowd of rather stuck up wannabies who ponce around the place so we often give it a wide berth and go to somewhere less pretentious.

chipperfatJune 12th 2008.

that's me on the grass, that is

John the UmpalumpaJune 12th 2008.

Hey, we've gotta drink somewhere!

rosieJune 12th 2008.

I know it's only a short,does exactly what it says on the tin review,but didn't "Johnthebrief" manage to do that in about a paragraph for the Russian place a while ago-only with much more finesse.Maybe you should give him a call

FentoneJune 12th 2008.

Shame about them paving over most of the grass though. Menu had to be improved, it was lacking imagination so maybe I'll give it a go.

Paul MJune 12th 2008.

The service is surly, the beer off (on more than one occasion), over-priced, under-staffed, and very, very crowded. Are we talking about the same place? Food is decent but there's better to be had (for less) in W.Dids.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

I agree. Extremely boring. Must try harder!

ChrisJune 12th 2008.

Good grief. The Met doing good food - that will be the day!. More like poor overpriced food. Even worse beer - unless of course you happen to like nitrokeg fizzy stuff. And just picking up on the comment in the article about it being owned by the people who used to own the nose - this is the same people who took a wonderfull wood lined proper wine bar (i.e. the nose) and made it a chrome/silver soulless place (i.e. the whatever its called now). Vote with yer feet. The only people who go in the Met go their because they want to be seen, not because it is a good pub or eatery

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

It's a shame the whole place is full of wannabee yuppies with their jumpers tied ruond their necks trying to get the attention of everyone and anyone, Ra Ra-ing very loudly for all to hear.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

As a very regular visitor to the met (I even enjoy it at the weekend!) I have to say I always find the staff there perfectly friendly and I've never had a bad meal. Someone has commented on the improvements made at the Woodstock and whilst it certainly looks a lot better,(it used to be like drinking in a hotel) the staff are slow, incompetent, really scruffy and the food is awful! The met might be a overpriced and populated by some right idiots but I really think the reason it's so popular and hence busy is the quality and you really can't beat it for atomosphere on a weekend night in summer.

AMCJune 12th 2008.

I like the review, John. Cuts through all the crap and tells you exactly what you need to know.

BlueboyJune 12th 2008.

Service is slow and snooty, and the prices are high. Also, the waiting time at the weekends is ridiculous. If you know there's always an hour's wait why not employ more staff? That way the waitresses might not greet your every attempt to order something with a look of annoyance, like they usually do.

RusticChipsJune 12th 2008.

the staff totally let this place down for me. if food is going to take over an hour on a saturday night - politely tell me. if i ask for fresh drinks at the beginning of my meal - don't wait 15 mins till i've finished and drying out from your salty rustic chips. i think the only people that like this place are the people who like to be seen here every week. definatly not one to go out the way for. for nicer service - try the didsbury.

UninspiredJune 12th 2008.

At last inspired, Have eaten here twice in the past 3 weeks. A brand new menu was launched recently and it's fantastic. A real treat to go out for a meal and actually get high quality well cooked food with great quick friendly service. The food I can't praise enough it was the best I've eaten in Manchester in a long time. forget the lime tree it pales in comparison. The MET is where it's at. Oh and by the way the food is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Well done to all at the Met.

UninspiredJune 12th 2008.

Sorry to let you guys down but I'm not staff at the Met, I'm a real foodie. Usually eat at The restaurant bar & grill, the modern, harvey nics, etc etc but do venture locally occasionally. Not been to the Met in an age before the last few weeks and it is true. Service could not have been better, young smiling happy to help faces mostly quick to help. The food was outstanding much better than The lime tree. Yes it's busy and yes 9 out 10 eople love themselves who go on a Fri/sat (which is when we visited) but you take that with a pinch of salt for the food. I for one will now be a regular.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

When a food and drink review describes the food as 'was well pleased'you know the review must be quality piece of journalism - what a load of bull.

911WASANINSIDEJOBJune 12th 2008.

The food is great and the restaurant service is OK.The Bar Service is poor and the main drawback are the orange clientel.

AnonymousJune 12th 2008.

Are people seriously comparing the pretentious Met to the Lime Tree?The Mets ok for a quick drink or meal midweek when theres nothing on telly, thats about it.

Eminem HaddockSeptember 4th 2011.

Food used to be good but up and down now. The beer is terrible! For the price (nearly FOUR QUID a pint!) - You expect better. Full of Marlboro Lights smoking southerners. When watching the world cup recently one of the barmaids brought a big tray of burgers round... only to charge a fiver each for them!

James SpencerSeptember 4th 2011.

I now know for sure what I suspected, Man Con readers are insufferable snobs probably in cardigans at the Limetree. I shall avoid it. (and Burton Road in general).

Thanks for the warning

AnonymousSeptember 4th 2011.

Eh? This was a review posted in 2008

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