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Dimitri's Didsbury, Reviewed

Simon Binns is robbed in a respectable part of South Manchester

Written by . Published on November 16th 2011.


Dimitri's Didsbury, Reviewed

DIMITRI's in the city centre is probably one of those places that can rightfully be called a Manchester institution. It’s been around forever and everyone likes it. Loves it, even.

It lacks the atmosphere of its big city mothership though. And that’s when you start to notice how ordinary the food can be.

But why? Because it has that buzz. It has people and music and atmosphere and chat. It just works. Mostly because it’s in the city centre, but also thanks to canny management.

So how is it faring in the suburbs of South Manchester?

The newest Dimitri’s makes up part of the small but well formed far end of Didsbury village, next to the recently reinstated Ye Olde Cock and mainstay pub The Didsbury.

It doesn’t look a great deal different to its Deansgate cousin, although perhaps more shades of blue than yellow, which left it looking a bit stark. Maybe the playful warmth of the original should have been replicated.

It lacks the atmosphere of its big city mothership though. And that’s when you start to notice how ordinary the food can be.

We ordered several dishes from the tapas menu, as well as a big bowl of mussels. With the exception of the latter, it resembled a deeply average and overpriced indoor picnic.

Let’s go through it shall we?

Bread and hummus (five pence short of a fiver); chewy, oily and weeny slices of chorizo (£5.95); two tiny and fantastically dry chicken skewers, not even making up one breast (£6.85); three thin slices of grilled halloumi, sat on undressed lettuce (£6.95); patatas bravas, which were actually undercooked bits of spud sat on top of a thimbleful of watery tomato sauce (£5.75) and three falafel that I could have smashed off a squash court wall all afternoon (£5.75).

The tiropita – deep fried feta parcels – were sharp and rich and full of flavour but there is no way three of them are worth £6.75. The mussels (£7.95) were piled high, but several were still closed (bad form) and the white wine and garlic sauce was too thick and soupy.

All in all, it was a poor section.

Lazy, badly executed and expensive given its mediocrity.

But let’s pick out some positives.

The desserts (baklava and kataifa, both £3.50) were a joy. Moist, yielding and oozing with honey offset by a sharp dollop of yoghurt, we should have forgone the main courses and gorged on these instead.

The service was decent too; warm, friendly and enthusiastic, if occasionally forgetful. There was also a spillage of hot broth onto our table which made the waitress swear in front of my four-year-old daughter, But after we’d thrown in a glass of wine and a coffee each and an ice cream for our littl’un, the bill ended up at more than £75.

To be blunt, Dimitri's Didsbury simply isn’t worth the money at present. The place needs to do one of two things – improve the cooking or drop the price.

Otherwise, it’s just plain bad value. And in this day and age, that just won’t wash - Manchester institution or otherwise.

You can follow Simon Binns on Twitter here @simonbinns 

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL. £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.

Dimitri's Didsbury
846 Wilmslow Road  Didsbury, M20 2RN
0161 434 5151

Rating: 10/20
Food: 4/10
Service: 3.5/5
Ambience: 2.5/5

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.

 

BaklavaBaklava

Cheese ParcelsCheese Parcels

ChorizoChorizo

FalafelFalafel

HalloumiHalloumi

KataifaKataifa

MusselsMussels

Patatas BravasPatatas Bravas

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

pollolocoNovember 16th 2011.

looks bloody awful...does it have an identity crisis? Spanish/middle eastern/greek hybrid, fusion nightmare!!! Can get a carcking meal at Alladin or Petra for less than half the price....won't last long.

AnonymousNovember 16th 2011.

I've always thought the one in town is expensive, it's slightly better value if you get the mezze instead, but the food's still not great. I now prefer Rozafa the greek place on Princess Street in town

1 Response: Reply To This...
MeNovember 18th 2011.

I'm with you on this! Dimitris has always been over rated in my eyes! Went to Rozafa on Monday, food was brilliant, cant wait to go back!

AnonymousNovember 16th 2011.

When will people realise that most tapas served in this country is overpriced horse shit? I have rarely come away from a tapas restaurant feeling completely satisfied or that the food represented good value for money. Its meant as a bar snack for goodness sake!

Down with tapas!

AnonymousNovember 16th 2011.

I've always thought dimitri's in town was rubbish, never understood the hype...

IzzyNovember 17th 2011.

I had one of the worst dining experiences ever at Dimitri's a few years ago, culminating in the diners seated next to us being given our food, after we had waited for over an hour. They tucked into the food - after all, it all looks the same - before the waitress realised her mistake and snatched it away from them and plonked it, half-eaten, in front of us. The food is a mess with no identity whatsoever, cooked badly and presented with no care at all. I am however curious as to why a second restaurant has opened slap-bang in the middle of a recession when there has been plenty of other opportunity over the last 20-odd years when the economic climate has been far more favourable.

Calum McGNovember 17th 2011.

I ate at Dim's on Deansgate last night. Sadly, poor service and very expensive for the portion sizes (especially the tapas). My main was delish and was worth the £. Despite the tapas prices, they were fairly tasty (6/10?). However, the best tapas I've had in a long time are cooked by the charming South American chef in the Molly House. Ate there on Sunday and will definitely return (probably 8.5/10 for the tapas).

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

I posted a review several years ago on Man Conf re Dimitri's, and personally I'm pleased to hear that other diners have all arrived at the same conclusion: average food, over priced menu, and rude staff that couldn't provide a warm welcome if you held them to ransom. I suspect that a second restaurant will prove to be a big mistake when they can't save the reputation of the original.

VampcullenNovember 17th 2011.

Have to agree, do like Dimitri atmosphere when there is music on however the food is mediocre at best and overpriced, would have been better off with a Happy Meal and come away with change...

Emma RadcliffeNovember 17th 2011.

Gutted to hear it's rubbish. I love Dimitris in town and live in Didsbury so I was looking forward to going. Will save my pennies then. Booo

movementNovember 17th 2011.

I doubt I would have believed that Patatas Bravas dish without the photographic proof. WTF?

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

Dimitri's has always been average at best. The fact that it does have a bit of an atmosphere is the only posotive to be had.

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

So far, so bad then. Anyone had a good experience here? People moan about San Carlo but at least the food is half-way decent.......

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

Can't comment on the food but the draught beers are spot on in the M/cr site and its great for people watching.

Jane EvunaNovember 17th 2011.

They must be doing something right, take my hat off to any restraurant that can survive that many years, Dims is an instatution, my advice use it as a great little bar

Jane EvunaNovember 17th 2011.

institution even :-)

Sarah MaclachlanNovember 17th 2011.

I have always thought the price of the small dishes at Dimitri's is outrageous - hope the owner reads this.

Lesley RussellNovember 17th 2011.

No atmosphere, over priced and the staff refused us drinks at 11. Won't be returning!

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

I used to happily recommend the place to all and sundry for many years. Many years ago. It's been resting on its laurels for years and as for the suggestion in the original piece that it should do one of two things - drop prices and or raise standards - I'd say it urgently needs to do both.

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

I'm sorry to agree with the main article, because I want Didsbury to have nothing but great places to eat & drink; but it is spot on. The staff are nice, but the food is just much too expensive for the overall proposition. It's a shame - especially because we loved The Fat Loaf when it occupied the same premises, for its quality and value.

pollolocoNovember 17th 2011.

Yes, seems to be a few on Deansgate that have managed to survive despite consistently shoddy offerings....

SpenNovember 17th 2011.

I enjoy the food from Dimitrie's in Manchester, but it is far too overpriced.
The tapas at La Vina in Hale is the same price and of a far superior quality, with a wonderful ambience. I recommend people try there as it is to die for.

AnonymousNovember 17th 2011.

£9.90 for 2 sangrias!! Ridiculously overpriced and food no better than at La Tasca where tapas is around £2 per dish cheaper.

ShowbizseanNovember 17th 2011.

Yes,

I went with the family on Monday night based on the Manchester experience, I didn't expect Michelin star levels, and we wanted somewhere less formal as we had the kids in tow...but it was still a bit of a let down...very pricey for the portion/quality of food, no atmosphere (although to be fair it was a Monday) but worst sin of all the white wine was warm...not great. MUST DO BETTER.

Hero
HowieNovember 18th 2011.

Come on give the place a chance. It's early days and frankly way too soon for a reasonable review. I thought ManCon allowed a bedding-in period before going in. It's being launched in the middle of one of the toughest economic environments recorded in recent history. It's hard launching a business at the best of times. ManCon should revisit this place in the New Year when, if there has been no improvement, by all means give it a kicking.
Out of order this!

pollolocoNovember 18th 2011.

Sorry Howie but you are way off the mark...if you are open for business and charging money you should expect criticism if it ain't up to scratch. This isn't a "start up" - they have been in the business for years and should know better.

IzzyNovember 18th 2011.

Agree with Polloloco there. After 20-odd years in business, a second opening should be a walk in the park, regardless of the economic climate - you adapt accordingly. The economic climate is indeed tough, which brings me back to my original point, why open now when there have been much more favourable times over the last 20 years? In the current climate, any business needs to offer value for money even more than ever, not hike the prices and deliver less. It has been open for several weeks too, so a 'reasonable' review is entirely in order

EditorialNovember 18th 2011.

Normally the minimum bedding in period we allow is ten days. Two weeks is better. And this was over both.

Lizzie GarveyNovember 25th 2011.

... didn't they have a failed Hale Village offering too ??

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