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Per Tutti: Just How A Sunday Roast Should Be

Jonathan Schofield finds a roast the size of France that works a treat

Published on April 4th 2014.

Per Tutti: Just How A Sunday Roast Should Be

SUNDAY roasts are an enigma wrapped up in gravy. Mostly they're terrible unless home-cooked.

Per Tutti should be on your list for good city centre Sunday lunches. It delivers an epic dish that manages to be as moist and well-timed as a good home-cooked Sunday lunch. I'll be back.

Pubs are particularly bad, especially the chains, the Slugg and Bugger or whatever they're called. These invariably fail with over-cooked meat, flabby Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes filled with a Saharan dust compound.

Per Tutti is Italian and means 'for everybody', it opened a couple of years ago serving generic Med food. Chris Buckley, an affable, well-known figure from the Manchester food scene, has now taken over and sunk all he had into the business. He's changed the food offer, giving the restaurant a British accent, but kept the name - the translation suits what he's trying to achieve.

Chris Buckley cracking walnuts with his bare hands

Chris Buckley cracking walnuts with his bare hands

I went in terror of what this Sunday roast might deliver, but left with an inane smile on my face and my belly as full as a bucket. A full one.

I needn't have worried. This was the best dining out Sunday lunch I've had in ages. And big madam, very big. Huge.

The roasts cost £13.50 each. The hay baked lamb shoulder came with carrots, roasties, swede mash, peas and an exquisitely rich gravy.

Yorkshire puddings cost an extra £1 each which to my mind was a bit cheeky. Mind you, they were perfect and big enough for an owl and pussycat to cross the sea with some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five pound note. 

Before the gravy gets going

Before the gravy gets going

The meat - although I couldn't catch the hay thing - was lovely, tender, full-on, very...er...well, lamby. You could spot a mile off that it had been cooked for ages - overnight apparently - to get the textures right.

The swede mash livened with the gravy was a real thing of beauty, a big glazed carrot very welcome and, let rockets light the sky in celebration, the roast potatoes were a joy. They had a crunchy golden case that split to reveal a potato filling tasting fresh with no hint of crumbling away like a Devonshire coastline capped by a railway. 

The same could be said for the chicken. Again, fabulous spuds, swede, Yorkies and this time a good streaky bacon spun round the soft white flesh. However, a note of caution for the kitchen. A stuffing made from garlic sausage was overfacing, they should cut this down by two-thirds as the strong flavour threatens to overwhelm the cluckety-cluck. 

Chicken roast - you won't eat for a week

Chicken roast - you won't eat for a week

In amongst all of this, I couldn't help sneaking a bone marrow (£4) on toast starter with shallots which was lush and lovely, with that greasy good texture of marrow rather than greasy bad. 

Service from Chris and his colleagues in the bright and breezy interior of the Liverpool Road restaurant was spot on. It was fun to see passing tourists dropping in, attracted by the A-Board advertising the lunch. Close to our table a Spanish couple were lunching, a few tables away four giant Irishmen were stuffing themselves. 

Looking out of the restaurant for a minute it looked as though a group of Californian quad-bike hippies were about to join us. But instead they roared on. On to the Slugg and Bugger.

Quad-bikers roar up Liverpool Road

Quad-bikers roar up Liverpool Road

It was all very easy. Per Tutti should be on your list for good city centre Sunday lunches. It delivers an epic dish that manages to be as moist and well-timed as a good home-cooked Sunday lunch. I'll be back. 

Per Tutti, 3-11 Liverpool Road, Castlefield, M3 4NW.

0161 834 9741 @pertuttiitalian

Menu here

The Not-a-Score: This was a hosted meal, so, given our Confidential rules of reviewing, I can't score it. But if I were to do so, the lamb roast would be 8/10 and the chicken would be 7/10. I suppose I've just gone and scored the food after all and thus side-stepped our Manchester Confidential byelaws; oh well, rules are there to be broken and all that guff anyway.

This article was produced in association with Per Tutti

The big chalk board of specials

The big chalk board of specials

Outside on Liverpool RoadOutside on Liverpool Road

Inside the calm interiorInside the calm interior

Marrow - yumMarrow - yum

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Calum McGApril 7th 2014.

The marrow looks delish. I'm going to give this place a try as I've heard good things. I'll bring my own Yorkshire pud... £1 for a tiny bit of batter made from egg, milk, flour n salt... that's poor!

mike_aApril 7th 2014.

After reading this I had to make a visit yesterday for Sunday lunch (lamb) and have to agree it's one of the best I've had for a while. The service was really friendly and attentive as well. Definitely worth a return trip.

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