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Juniper: the brilliant mystery

Gordo gets carried away and writes a novel in two chapters.

Written by . Published on April 12th 2007.


Juniper: the brilliant mystery

Chapter One

Michelin, the tyre company, have produced a food guide since the year dot. No one knows who their inspectors are, they never speak to restaurants. For a restaurant to get in the guide is a real feather in their cap. Restaurants are graded with crossed forks and spoons, one for quite comfortable, five for 'you are in heaven'. If the food starts to get 'banging' and the price is reasonable (under £27 for food) they get a Bib Gourmand. To give you an idea, there are about eleven of these within fifty miles of Manchester. There are two in Manchester, Café Jem&I in Didsbury, and Palmiro in Whalley Range.

The next step up from a Bib Gourmand is a star. The guide explains a star as 'A very good restaurant in its category'. Two stars are also given, then the fabled three. There are ninety seven one star restaurants in England, out of around twenty thousand restaurants. Six of these are within a fifty mile drive of Manchester. One is in Greater Manchester.

That's Juniper, in Altrincham. It has maintained that star for ten years. It's no secret that the chef, Paul Kitching, has coveted a second star. Does he deserve the one, and should he get a second? Gordo investigates, making two trips to come to his conclusion.

The first was for dinner, taking Helen Ramsbottom. Arriving courtesy of Bees Knees, the chauffeur service, we are dumped at a green shop front, which jostles with estate agents in the no mans land of Altrincham. At night, you can easily miss it. Walking in the front door, you are met by a charming young Frenchman, Jeremy Delanou, who ushers you down a set of stairs to the left of the actual restaurant into a basement bar.

This is where you can enjoy a drink whilst reading the menu. The bar is decorated immaculately. Too immaculately. It's like your rich aunt's front parlour; the one where you had to sit still on a Sunday afternoon, sticky in your Sunday best. It's frankly depressing.

People are whispering. Gordo doesn't do whispering. He feels uncomfortable. He gets himself a gin and tonic. Bit naughty that in some wine circles. A bowl of Japanese crackers out of a packet is placed carefully in front of the aliens from deepest darkest Manchester. This is a first for a Michelin one star in Gordo's travels. It's like going to see Noel Gallagher at The Lowry and being made to listen to Gareth Gates first. Not right that.

Katie O'Brien, the chef Paul Kitching's partner, takes Gordo upstairs to the main room. It's small, intimate and a bit ordinary. Apart from a huge print on one wall which has something to say. This is, "look, I know it's all a bit pasty, middle England and vanilla in here, but bear with us mate. Anyone who would put me on the wall has hidden strengths". "Ok", thinks Gordo, "The jury is still out. Show me what you can do".

And here comes the difficult bit. Describing the food. The service is easy. Outstanding. The wine list is easy. Outstanding. The food?

Gordo normally tries to take the reader through the experience course by course. But even after two visits he is having difficulty. The whole experience of the first meal is something of a blur. Gordo and Rambo opted for the Gourmand menu (£65) which had eight courses listed, with another four or five complementary ticklers.

Looking back the following morning, Gordo felt confused. The whole meal seemed like a nervous breakdown on twenty plates. Actually, a genius having a nervous breakdown on twenty plates. It was just taking Gordo a while to realise he had eaten fillet steak with chocolate pie. On the same plate.

The most memorable dish was one of four puddings. The best crème brulee Gordo has ever had was Michel Bourdain's at The Connaught pre Ramsey. Since then Gordo has watched chefs up and down the country muck about, trying to stamp their own little 'take' on this dish, which only one in a hundred chefs can get right in the first place.

Sitting in the middle of the four dishes was a crème brulee. But this was a Snickers crème brulee. You heard. Gordo's heart sank. Fucking Snickers Crème Brulee? Fortunately, Gordo had the good sense to have ordered a half bottle of Chateau d'Yquem 1998 (£110), so all was not lost. The spoon went in, cracking the perfectly judged crispy caramel topping. Digging through the crème, scooping runny caramel, crispy peanuts and some other stuff, then into the mouth. Gordo nearly wept. This is the best pudding he's had anywhere in ten years. It wasn't worth one star, it was an easy three.

And that is the story of that whole meal. Nothing ordinary here, everything brought to the table has the touch of a culinary Matisse sprinkled onto it. There are lots of great draughtsmen in the world, but very few masters. This one little round ramekin dish was full of childhood sunshine and innocence, walking back down the brew from Grosvenor Road primary school, Gran in one hand and a snickers in the other. It was all there in that ramekin. For five long minutes.

Gordo was brought down to earth when he gave his brand new credit card over to cover £150 of a £350 bill (yes, for two, but it was the wine's fault) and got a refusal from the card. As it was the only one he had on him, along with £200 in cash, Rambo had to use hers. "Lets give this one a try, eh fatty?" she says, a glint in her eye.

Juniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Juniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantJuniper at lunch: still enigmatically exuberantChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoSome three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.Some three weeks later, on a Saturday lunchtime, Gordo walks through the door of the restaurant for a second time, armed with a piece of plastic that had now been authorised in the correct manner. Joining him is his pal Winker, veteran of at least forty, one, two and three Michelin starred restaurants throughout the past twenty five years, mainly in Gordo's slipstream. And a recent veteran of the Carluccio's bore in the Trafford Centre.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch.This time the room was bright and sunny. Charming in fact. The ironed linen table cloths topped off with a small bowl of fresh as you please flowers. No being bundled off to hell downstairs. Mind you, Gordo had been warned when booking the lunch."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."Can I tell you what the lunch is today sir?" said young Jeremy calling on the phone prior to the visit."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."No Bother, Jeremy", says Gordo, naked, dripping wet from the shower as the doorbell starts ringing, "I'm sure it's great"."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy."Well I must insist, there is no choice and you may not like it" replies Jeremy.Sod it. "Go on then".Sod it. "Go on then".Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…Oooh scallopy scallop…"Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours.""Warm scallops, white chocolate and sea salt cookie, pistachios, carrot puree. Then, creamy celeriac, chicken and tomato soup, black olives, pineapple, olive oil. Then assiette of lamb, saffron and aubergine, chocolate tart, cinnamon glaze, dill mayonnaise. Then assiette of cheese. Then fruitcake soufflé, marzipan and fudge ice-cream, rock salt, vanilla, cashews. Then coffee and petit fours."Silence from both of us.Silence from both of us."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy."You receive a complementary glass of Kir Royale on arrival and it's £45 per head," says Jeremy.Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Gordo: "That's sounds shit to me Jeremy, let's forget it".Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour.Deep silence. Gordo has forgotten that the French have no sense of humour."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling."Only joking Jeremy, see you at one thirty." Gordo puts the phone down on Jeremy's nervous giggling.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The Kir was outstanding, the home made bread fantastic, the butter as sweet as a nut. A crab mayonnaise, literally a medium sized dollop on a plate to share, whispered Kinmel Arms, Moelfre Bay and Anglesea. The scallops, well actually scallop, tasted of scallop, only more so, the natural sweetness amplified in a fresh scallopy way by the white chocolate and sea salt cookie which also gave a bit of texture whilst you were still waiting to discover the pistachios.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.The lamb was slow cooked, pink fillet with a nugget of the scragg end of neck cooked like my dad does it. It sat astride the fillet grinning like an Agecroft miner coming up the lift shaft. Hugely flavourful, slightly gamey, a Salford neck of lamb stew in one bite. Did I mention that you get a slice of chocolate pie with this, which actually works? Yes, it comes with the lamb as well. Mr Kitching sprinkles more magic.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Again, the pudding was so good that Gordo will not eat another for weeks. Fruitcake soufflé. The milk flavoured with porridge oats didn't work, mind you.Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?Why is Gordo fat?The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.The cheese offered on both occasions shows great thought, this second time a ewes milk soft cheese called Wigmore out of Berkshire being outstanding. Carrs water biscuits show that the chef is gracious enough to know when he is beaten. Which he isn't by the rice crackers in the basement.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Readers, if you haven't been to eat Mr. Kitching's food, go. You can get out at the same price as a dinner at the RestaurantBarGrillKitchenUpTheEntry. Have a look at the menu prices on the website. There are all sorts of deals.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Gordo doesn't do perfect ten scores for food. Ever. Nothing's that good. But Juniper deserves it. Or the food might just have made him dizzy and confused. Certainly Altrincham's not good enough for Katie and Paul, as my colleague and the editor of this site Jonathan Schofield has been banging on about for ages. You guys have outgrown that little town. Move. To maintain your standards you need to stimulate yourselves and take a few risks. Plateaus are not for you, don't get caught on one. Come up to the city centre, you're costing us a fortune in taxis and tram fares.Juniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmJuniper (21 The Downs, Altrincham. 0161 929 4008 www.juniper-restaurant.co.ukwww.juniper-restaurant.co.uk)Lunch Fri-Sat noon-2pm; Dinner Tue-Sat 7pm-9.30pmRating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)Rating: 18.5/20 (Food 10/10 Service 5/5 Ambience 3.5/5)

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

Mrs De PointeApril 12th 2007.

srose wouldn't be some bitter rival hack, would they? Certainly sounds like one. Keep at it Gordo.

davebApril 12th 2007.

i went here a few weeks ago.and i have to say this is the best place i've eaten at in the last 12 months.paul knows his stuff and unlike most top chefs paul is there cooking.keep it up paul.

SWApril 12th 2007.

Although I've heard wonderful reports about Juniper, they actually don't offer ANY vegetarian main courses which alienates all those people who choose not to eat meat (or can't for religious reasons), which I think is such a shame... the one really decent restaurant for miles around, and us veggies can't even go there!

ShaApril 12th 2007.

I love egocentric writing to technical manuals. Personality every time. May I borrow some money to go as well?

justthefactsApril 12th 2007.

Gordo does add personality though, albeit terribly self centered. Do we prefer it to the usual "i had this and my friend had that" rubbish? Maybe a happy medium - sort it JS. Can anyone lend me any money to go and eat here?

BloggitApril 12th 2007.

Well Anon and Srose, i can imagine that Gordo would be delighted to be likened to Clarkson, especially if he had Clarkson's number of readers. (and his money) Why don't you tell us who your favourite critics are in the North West? I think that most of us understand that Gordo is a self deprecating piss take, personnaly that's my favourite kind of humour. Keep at it Gordo, you make me laugh.

sroseApril 12th 2007.

the restaurant sounds interesting but it's impossible to wade through such dreadful writing to find anything of use. this type of self-obsessed egocentric writing has no place online, let alone in print.

BloggitApril 12th 2007.

Good gaff this, Paul is getting too comfortable thoiugh, i agree.

Richard BurbageApril 12th 2007.

At his best Paul Kitching is a two star Michelin chef. Sometimes his cooking reaches three star heights . He certainly requires surroundings which show off his talent in more empathetic surroundings. Lucky Altrincham, lucky us . A wonderful creative chef who simply gets better with the passing years.At his best Gordo is as good a writer as anybody currently writing in the restaurant sector in the UK.In this article he was at his best. No doubt inspired by Paul Kitching and Helen Ramsbottom his prose soared .It was a pleasure to read his words.Well done Paul Kitching the words did partial justice to your magnificent food.

Kev NichollsApril 12th 2007.

gawd, srose sounds like a ****ing idiot (re:comment above) got nothing postive to say have you fool!

AnonymousApril 12th 2007.

Actually Altrincham's a perfect location for a decent restaurant. Why move to the city centre culinary desert - anything decent goes bust!

AnonymousApril 12th 2007.

PS Should say "per cent" - your computer can't do symbols!

AnonymousApril 12th 2007.

Well said srose! These articles are like reading Jeremy Clarkson - 90% twaddle and 10% fact. We're busy - we want to read about food not you blowing your own trumpet.

AnonymousApril 12th 2007.

All those mentions of looking in the city centre...does Gordo know something?

roxongApril 12th 2007.

Having lived in Barcelona for the last 8 years, with its considerable selection of Michelin star restaurants, including the best in the world 3* El Buli , I wasn't expecting too much from Juniper. I was wrong. It is the most surprising, enjoyable, challenging, annoying, sensational restaurant I have eaten at in years. Awesome! Been there twice so far, each time leaving elated and educated.

AnonymousApril 12th 2007.

When eating at Juniper's in January on my daughter's birthday, and on Saturday too, we have had a most fantastic, enjoyable, well cooked, presented and served lunch.The quality of food Paul produces has his own signature and one can clearly see passion for cooking.The wine list has also quality entries and like on any of them one can find a bargain.I recommend the place.

technicalatManConApril 12th 2007.

% - percentage sign now sorted, ta anonymous

Mr XApril 12th 2007.

Being perpetually skint, I have next to no interest in this stuff. But I still enjoyed skimming through that, purely because it's the piss artist that is Gordo. Long live Gordo!

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