Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialFood & Drink.

Pizza Express For L'Entrecote Site, King Street

It's easy options for prime city centre spot

Published on April 28th 2014.

Pizza Express For L'Entrecote Site, King Street

MAYBE it's Confidential's fault. We never appreciated L'Entrecote and criticised it heavily - for example here with Buttergate.

It's about to be replaced by Pizza Express. In the nineties the latter was exciting and fresh now it's almost as ubiquitous as Subway.

Then again, this may over-estimate our influence and the brutally plain concept was a flop because it was simply poor. Mancunians weren't fooled with steak and fries and nothing else. Rows and rows of tables remained unoccupied even on weekends.

But at least L'Entrecote was something to talk about. Now it's about to be replaced by Pizza Express should all licences and planning be granted. In the nineties Pizza Express was exciting and fresh now it's as ubiquitous as Subway, as familiar as Greggs. 

Of course it'll be popular, a good lease for the landlords, a haven for anguished parents and a fill-up for the drinking classes, but it's nothing to excite the imagination. It doesn't do justice to the lovely 1840s building it occupies. Something a bit special might have been nice.

Hum ho.

Sloppy Guiseppe anyone? Maybe the Four Seasons in four central outlets, South King Street, Peter Street, Piccadilly Gardens and now King Street?

YAFIs* apparently still rule. 

Let's hope this one isn't Confidential's fault.

(YAFI or Yet Another F***ing Italian, a phrase coined by Gordo of Manchester Confidential some years ago due to the Japanese knotweed proliferation of Italian-esque restaurants)

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

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

Alex24April 28th 2014.

I wonder what percentage of Manchester city centre restaurants are either Italians or burger joints...

Ghostly TomApril 29th 2014.

At least there's a chance I'll return to Pizza Express as it has a menu to choose from. Once you'd done L'Entrcote there was no reason ever to go again. And then there was their high handed 'here it is take it ot leave it' attitude. Well Manchester decided to leave it.

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

L'entrecote served some of the best quality steak and cheeses I've tasted in Manchester (and yes, I have tried the main steak restaurants in the city). It was a sad loss and now feels even more of a loss with pizza express setting up in its place.

9 Responses: Reply To This...
EmApril 29th 2014.

Completely agree.

David KenworthyApril 29th 2014.

Equally, I also couldn't agree more. For the price, quality and speed of service I enjoyed going once a month. It was what it was and I loved it for just that. I enjoyed eating elsewhere in Manchester and this was far from "the best" - but when I wanted to pretend I was in some rustic parisian back street off the Champs-Élysées for some local, fine quality steak - this did the trick. Now all I have are the "unique" Manchester Restaurants that are all ending up the same - over priced and trying to out "quirk" the last place that opened a week ago. I normally agree with most things that ManCon writes and usually take it for gospel but I was genuinely flabbergasted at the off hand roasting it got - I disagreed so strongly that I wondered how I could agree with its other reviews if it had got this so wrong. Reading it made me feel the same embarrassing feeling that I feel seeing other local Brits demanding it the Brit way or no way when abroad in Europe - are they so swept up in Manchester life that we cant have anything that works a little different? And now it's becoming a Pizza Express... oh how uniquely Mediterranean...

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

I also agree. L'Entrecote did what it did well. I've been to the Porte Maillot one a few times, and went to the Manchester branch a handful of times when I fancied a good steak. Decent wine, cheese, and never had a problem with the service. It was certainly far, far superior to Pizza Express.

David KenworthyApril 29th 2014.

I especially liked the "Mancunians weren't fooled with steak and fries and nothing else." ...oooh you can't fool them - they really don't miss a trick. Not like the foolish foodies that pack out the ones in Paris or New York and then of course there's the 3 renowned silly-people-places of London - The City, Canary Wharf and Marylebone. Oh Manchester you have really have got one up on those silly fools. - something we can truly be proud of.

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

L'Encontre - steak n chips for tourists. Nothing special, no loss. Sorry to disappoint all the not-in-any-way-connected-to-l'encontre ranters.

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

David, just because those cities have packed out branches it doesn't mean it's any good, there are many awful restaurants in NY, London and Paris that are busy.

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

The much derided Aberdeen Angus Steakhouses still pack em out down in London. Manchester doesn't need one of those either.

Ghostly TomApril 30th 2014.

It was a poor formulaic restaurant that produced mediocre food with a big side helping of metropolitan arrogance. Manchester saw through it and stayed away in their droves.

rinkydinkApril 30th 2014.

It couldn't possibly be that Mancunians are clueless could it?

Henry VApril 29th 2014.

King Street really is becoming the street of the damned. Or the bland. Miller and Carter, one of the blandest, most over-PR'd steak houses in the country going in the Lloyds Bank building. Oh dear; I'm getting depressed.

Poster BoyApril 29th 2014.

The (uncredited) writer is naive.

EvoApril 29th 2014.

who or what are the drinking classes?

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

People from the provinces. You know, the ones that get a minibus in from Bolton, Macclesfield and alike for a Saturday night in Manchester only to go to All Bar One and Moon Under the Water for cheap lager beer......and a pizza at Pizza Express

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

People the writer doesnt wish to asociate with?

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.


AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

All I did was have a go at explaining the term

EvoApril 30th 2014.

Still none the wiser, would appreciate some confirmation from ManCon if possible...?

AnonymousApril 30th 2014.

'Work is the curse of the drinking classes.' - Oscar Wilde.

AnonymousMay 1st 2014.

So... who was Oscar Wilde referring to? And how does that translate in to this context? Any chance of a straight answer??

Mr HApril 29th 2014.

I'm staggered by the number of restaurants in M/C. The number seems to have grown exponentially, especially the last 2-3 years. I know there are big margins on the (over-priced drinks), but even more people would dine out, if it was BYO alcohol. I would happily pay more for my food, if I could bring my own fizz/wine. £25+ for Prosecco really jacks the bill up.

SquirrelitoApril 29th 2014.

Rosso, Jamie's, Pizza Express, Avalanche, Croma and Piccolino. Its the YAFI Bend. A whole new city quarter.

EmperorOfIceCreamApril 29th 2014.

I loved L'Entrecote - it was our impromptu dining meal of choice after a few pints - the steak was always soft and tasty, the sauce was awesome, fries perfect and you got seconds... Great value, I thought. I was disappointed when it closed down - the fact that it's reopening as yet another PE is a double kick in the teeth... Hate their stupid blunt knives and middle of the road pizzas...

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

Totally agree - I loved it, can't quite understand why it never took off here (the one in London constantly has queues around the block) as it was really good value. Nothing against pizza express but we have enough - we need more variety! Otherwise we might as well rename that area the italian quarter.

Calum McGApril 29th 2014.

Please don't name it the Italian Quarter. Please.

EmperorOfIceCreamApril 29th 2014.

I can only assume they over-stretched themselves Anon - perhaps if they'd gone for a smaller unit in a slightly cheaper part of town they could have built up a niche customer-base... A lot of people I talk to seem to think it was a rip-off, but if you look at what they charge at places like Grill on NY Street (which I don't rate, personally) then they were pretty affordable IMO...

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

London has 4-5 times the population plus a great many more tourists, in london repleat business isnt always as important as it is in manchester. And yeah the price was not to bad for steak, but its exactly the same meal every time not too many people will go back for that.

Ghostly TomApril 30th 2014.

Once you had been you never needed to go again, same bland offering in a fake Italian restaurant every time. I went once and begrudge them every penny I paid for the experience.

rinkydinkApril 30th 2014.

Fake Italian restaurant?

Andrew JonesApril 29th 2014.

Sad times. Bring back crap but great L'Entrecote.

AnonymousApril 29th 2014.

ANOTHER one???? WE even have one in PRESTWICH now....

SAZKApril 29th 2014.


Ian HiltonApril 29th 2014.

L'Entrecote was an oasis of quality and individuality above a plasma of ubiquity, mediocrity and pretension.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie BApril 29th 2014.

And a swamp of surliness, limited range, ludicrous imbalance between mains and desserts and a veggie option that was an insult

James RoomeApril 29th 2014.

Why would you even bother to go if you were vegetarian?

tbboy87April 29th 2014.

l'entrecôte in manchester didn't have the ambience of the london ones. Nor the late night businessmen clientele it hoped to gain which keeps its london ventures going. That's why it didn't work, not the food!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Ghostly TomApril 30th 2014.

That maybe so but the mediocrity of the food had a lot to do with it.

AnonymousMay 15th 2014.

There was nothing mediocre in the quality of the steak and cheese.. Absolutely loved it...! Manchester's loss.

AnonymousApril 30th 2014.

The polarised opinions L'Entrecote brought out i people tells me that it was a talking point if nothing else... I tried it once and enjoyed it, would have gone again if it had stayed open. The size of the unit was probably its downfall but I doubt this will be a problem for Pizza Express. One thing is for certain, Pizza Express won't bring out the debate that L'Entrecote did, and Manchester's the poorer for that.

James CunninghamApril 30th 2014.

The sheer amount of Pizza Express', Café Rouge, Bella Italia etc in the city centre is down to the amount of people who use these vouchers they send out to visit. AT least King Street still has Room and Panama Hatty's for some individualism... there's no wonder the NQ does so well for the amount of choice there is there...

DanApril 30th 2014.

I was put off of eating here all together whilst drinking in the near by Liquorice bar, from the bar you can see the doorway (which I assume is at the back of the kitchen). There was what can only be described as a gang of chavs in chefs whites standing outside smoking, spitting and scratching themselves. Vile.

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkApril 30th 2014.

Sounds quite sexy to me

AnonymousMay 1st 2014.

L'Entrecote was excellent. In its place Yet Another Fucking Italian YAFI. Nice one ManCon, I've not eaten DoughBwalls in ages.

Andrew JonesMay 1st 2014.

Don't forget your vouchers. Sigh.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMay 1st 2014.

Now now Andrea nowt wrong with Vouchers

Mika JonesMay 5th 2014.

It may be great but no one can tell if it will work out. This pizza joints are great I hope they will succeed.I hope they have an outdoor pizza oven too. www.mightypizzaoven.com/…

Rebecca PedleyMay 15th 2014.

I can rarely stomach steak and yet when I went to L'Entrecote, I actually enjoyed it. I don't mind the occasional Pizza Express but frankly, do we need yet another one? That building definitely deserves something better.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


I am sharing a great website with where instahacker.xyz… you can learn how to hack an Instagram…

 Read more

If you did not receive any such welcome e-mail you have to call 1300 692 653 for help Those who…

 Read more

Pita Pit are a weird one. Tasty but a bit pricey and I wish they'd just get on and provide you with…

 Read more
Gradyn Thompson

Pita Pit never again expect a PITAfully tiny amount of meat and loads of salad,overpriced and and…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord