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Toast the Roast at Malmaison

We give the Mal's Sunday lunch offer a go

Published on May 18th 2011.

Toast the Roast at Malmaison

Sunday lunches range from the divine to the dirty in this city. At the dirty end is one we had in a café-bar (we won't say which) for £4.95 that was cooked entirely in a microwave. We know because we could see it through the door to the kitchen. Soft microwave frozen veg. Tough microwave Yorkshire pud. Luke-warm microwave chicken slices. 

The Malmaison is aiming their Sunday Lunch deal at a slightly more upmarket customer (i.e. not someone who spends the rest of their week eating Pot Noodle and 10p crisps). For £15 per person you get a starter, a big plate of Sunday roast, and half a bottle of red or white wine. A sensibly-priced deal rather than one that makes you wonder how it's possible without something unsightly taking place in the kitchen. 

The restaurant at the Malmaison is a very enticing hideaway for a Sunday afternoon. With the blinds turned down, the dining room feels moody and secluded even when the sun's streaming down on the packed street outside. It does the Parisian thing well – hints of French chic such as the lovely Art Nouveau dresser, rather than knocking you round the head with it Café Rouge-style.

Malmaison 008.jpgThe wine is a decent Rey Viejo Spanish red or white, but you're offered the option of upgrading if you want something special – between two, you'll get £10 off any wine on their list.

On our visit, the drinks were brought along with a platter of warm French bread with olive tapenade, which we nibbled while settling in.

The choice of two starters were a rich, creamy mushroom soup, and a delicate tomato and mozzarella salad with a sweet balsamic dressing. They were simple but good and reminded us that you don't need to go all-out with expensive ingredients and complex recipes to make an impression. 

Malmaison 009.jpgWe had both choices of roast between us. The topside of grass fed Cheshire beef was served medium rare – a tender pink colour rather than a dry pale grey. Next to it was a Yorkshire pudding that deserved to be given its own Latin name as it looked like a lifeform in its own right. No cookie-cutter Aunt Bessies around here. It was light and soaked up the gravy a treat.

The roast Packington pork shoulder was another winner. The apple and cider sauce set it off nicely, and the crackling was rather wonderful. The roasts came with plentiful dishes of carrots and sprouting brocolli, neither of which had seen the inside of a microwave.

If you like to end on something sweet you can order one of the desserts from the main menu for an extra £5.95. If you're anything like us though, you'll be well stuffed by this point and fast sinking into a satisfied, smiling Sunday afternoon stupor.  

Malmaison 026.jpgThe impression we got of Toast the Roast was that the Mal is serving up the same high standards of food as they do on their a la carte menu. It's not a 'pack-em-in' deal where standards are compromised for the sake of cost – it's a way to eat a fine dinner at a well regarded restaurant for a much reduced price.

Toast the Roast at Manchester Malmaison is available from 1pm-4pm every Sunday.

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