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The Three Arrows

Philip Hamer finds a pub at Heaton Park with a pudding called Heaton Mess

Published on January 31st 2008.

The Three Arrows

There are pubs that serve drink and offer food like some sort of guilty secret but there are others who put food at the forefront of their business. The Three Arrows on the outskirts of the city in Middleton falls firmly and proudly into the latter category.

t was also the perfect foil for the flavoursome cacophony that came from the Heaton Park Hotpot (£9 50). The lamb was nicely tender and the rosemary infused stock had its richness offset by pickled beetroot and warm spiced red cabbage.

The achievement of chef Stuart Norman and his wife Sue who works front of house is nothing short of a miracle. Five years ago they took this early nineteenth century building near Heaton Park from a dilapidated, down at heel business venture and turned it into a serious rival to any of the city’s flourishing food pubs.

Prior to taking over here Stuart was a sort of gastro journeyman working in numerous Manchester kitchens eventually becoming Steve Pilling’s chef at the legendary central Manchester pub/restaurant Tom’s Chophouse where PR trained Sue honed her act as a vivacious front of house. Tony Holden his fellow chef from Tom’s has joined him in the kitchen at The Three Arrows.

Stuart cites food as the essential comfort provider in troubled and turbulent times and his extensive and innovative menu makes the most of local produce. Stuart is proud to say that he makes everything he serves from scratch even his own piccalilli.

We sampled across the menu and the first starter of devilled lambs kidneys served on a thick crouton and garnished with lots of coriander (£4 95) was beautifully tender and well balanced. This was such a tasty dish I could’ve eaten it as a main. Pleasantly contrasting was a ham hock terrine served with that piccalilli and his homemade pudding pot bread (£5 45). This had a good salty taste that was not overdone.

One wine caught my eye: a Gran Reserva blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo from Spain’s Tarragona region. It’s a 2001 vintage for £12 50, truly complex and a match for any £30 Rioja.

It was also the perfect foil for the flavoursome cacophony that came from the Heaton Park Hotpot (£9 50). The lamb was nicely tender and the rosemary infused stock had its richness offset by pickled beetroot and warm spiced red cabbage. Two varieties of savoury pudding then vied for our attention (both £8 95). I personally preferred the Steak and Kidney with a subtle gravy to the rather rich Chicken and Mushroom Pudding.

Though there was little room for puddings the pub’s novel take on the legendary Eton Mess was too tempting to resist. Re-named Heaton Mess to acknowledge the pub’s locale, this melange of fresh crushed red fruit, broken meringue and lightly whipped cream was very refreshing. But more apt for a cold and wet winter’s night was the Bramley apple crumble custard (both £4 50).

Vegetarians are also remembered in a menu dominated by meat dishes. The Wild Mushroom and Broccoli hash (£7 95) looked particularly appealing.

The Three Arrows is great food pub. Readers who venture along might also remark on how compared to its central Manchester rivals prices are very reasonable.

Rating: 15.5/20
Breakdown: 4/5 Food
4/5 Drink
4/5 Decor
3.5/5 Ambience
Address: The Three Arrows
315 Middleton Rd
M24 4G7
0161 6435278
Food: Mon-Sat noon-9pm, Sun noon-8

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

mark mJanuary 31st 2008.

About time Stuart got the sort of review that he deserves. Pub prices for Gastro food. Keep it up mate

elliemayrayJanuary 31st 2008.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED for being nonsense

LesleyJanuary 31st 2008.

I live aaround the corner in Prestwich and it's a fabulous place to eat, drink and relax.

yvonne salonnantiJanuary 31st 2008.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED for being nonsense

Sartor ResartusJanuary 31st 2008.

Flavorsome Cacophony? Straining for the bon mot, Sir? Does not slow cooking tame loud, discordant flavours into a sweetly melodious slumber, to be re-awakened only by the polyphonic possibilities of pickled cabbage accompaniment? I was at the Halle's 150th anniversary last night you see (was ManCon there to witness one of the City's most significant cultural achievements of all time, and indeed, the Halle's most memorable performances? I hope so. It received a standing ovation - a rare thing in Mancunian circles). And was it really coriander, or parsley with the devilled kidneys? Coriander would, I suppose, speak of the dish's original eastern influence, but it sounds a bit weird to me. I'll have to go and give it a go though, eh? Nice one, Hamer.

Review ReaderJanuary 31st 2008.

Went there on Wednesday 11 Nov '09 to be told the place is under new management and it seemed in a state of flux. Hope it continues to be as good as it was.

mark mJanuary 31st 2008.

i think the previous post was from someoine who has not been there for some time.this place is well run and rivals places like the chop house in town

DogwhispererJanuary 31st 2008.

Sounds great - does anyone know if they let dogs (the canine sort!!) in? Sounds like just the place to warm up after walkies in the cold and rain!

spacebeagleJanuary 31st 2008.

Nice to see the three getting such a good review, 'cos the food is fantastic. You really ought to have mentioned the lovely fat chips by the way, which are always wonderful. For DaBurg, they have Well's Bombardier and Old Speckled Hen on hand pumps, I've always been more than satisfied by the quality, although I do keep cheking, purely as a quality control measure you understand....

DaBurgJanuary 31st 2008.

It's a pub so why not mention it's beer? I'm not going to spoil my meal by drinking some cream flow keg rubbish am I!

FrecklesJanuary 31st 2008.

Went today for Sunday lunch after a nice walk around Heaton Park. Would definately recommend it. The steak and kidney pudding was tasty mmmmm............

MaggieCJanuary 31st 2008.

Having read the review we gave the Three Arrows a try on Saturday lunchtime and were glad to find that it lived up to expectations. We had a great lunch and walked it off round Heaton Park.

yvonne salonnantiJanuary 31st 2008.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED for being nonsense

Jo WJanuary 31st 2008.

Fantastic pub with lovely atmosphere. We quite often go at a weekend for lunch with our toddler. Food gorgeous, Great Prices and friendly staff.

Levvy DebbieJanuary 31st 2008.

Best pub in Manchester! Staff are great and the food is fabulous. Bit of a trek for me from Levenshulme to Heaton Park but always worth it.

CCJanuary 31st 2008.

I'm glad this place got a good review. What you forgot to add was that this place is very family friendly, yet doesn't mean children are running around. I usually go on a weekend with my husband and children and have never had a bad meal yet. I love the Three Arrows, and hopefully now you have reviewed it ... I can still get a seat!!

user32664September 8th 2010.

dont even think about eating here now. its sad to see how such a good pub selling good food has gone downhill so quickly.

Tim CatterallAugust 23rd 2011.

interesting stuff - well in 2011 things are definitely looking up again, the big review above I note is from 2008 but it really captures the spirit of the pub/food well, even now. The menu is really strong english based wholesome food but there are little twists here and there ... the beef hash was amazing when I went, anyway, back in June. I went back again the other week with my new girlfriend and we were both impressed, this time I had a mixed grill. I think what's missing from the review is how the latest owner has done the place out. My girlfriend was totally intrigued. I must admit its hard to keep your eye from wandering around the rooms with the varied antique-like bits and pieces. Hopefully this will become a regular place to eat at, as we had a great night and were so relaxed that we moved the relationship on resulting from that night haha!

Maggie MilnerAugust 23rd 2011.

Thanks for the update Tim - we have not been in since the last ownership change but must admit to being slightly puzzled by the recent shocking pink paint job on the outside - whats that all about???? will give it another go now - after all you go for the food not the exterior decor!!!!

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