MANCHESTER RESTAURANT REVIEWS - Edinburgh Castle Manchester Reviews  
Restaurants Of Manchester
James Martin Manchester

Edinburgh Castle Ancoats Reviews
Address17 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5AN
Edinburgh Castle Review
Restaurants Of Manchester (Thursday 30th September 2021)
Key: 5 stars = World Class!   4 stars = Fantastic   3 stars = GOOD   2 stars = OK   1 star = Poor

"the saucing tasted of unrecognised yet clear talent"
Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021 Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021
Edinburgh Castle Menu Edinburgh Castle Drinks
Decor & Ambience Fantastic
There needs to be more pubs like this; old, moody, welcoming, bustling, with a sense of history.  You look around, taking it all in whilst wondering how many conversations, debates, arguments, laughs, scraps, hugs, good times and the rest have taken place within those 4 walls since its 1811 inception.  That kind of feeling is a non-tangible which you can’t replace with anything else, especially not a new bricks and mortar gaff that was thrown up in 2 months and designed around an Ikea catalogue.  A proper boozer with a hit of old-school charm and class.  I’d be more than over the moon if this were my local.  A lot of hours would be spent here.  
The slightly corridor-esque location of our table in the downstairs bar seating area was ideal for our 2 person plus a dog sized party.  It helped allay some semi-lingering anxiety over COVID that remains, and as per any good boozer its cosy inside the main bar area.  But some would feel left out of the vibe if seated in this area, as much as it was ideal for us on this occasion.
Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021 Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021
Edinburgh Castle Beetroot Salad Edinburgh Castle Game Terrine
Price Fantastic
We ordered from the Gastro menu as it wasn’t too different from the main a la Carte on our visit, and was also ridiculously cheap at just £24 for 3 courses.  Altogether we paid a shade over £75 for bread, bottled water, a couple of 3 course dinners, a side, two glasses of wine and a quality pint of Beavertown.  Even mid-week when there’s deals aplenty to be had all over the city, that’s very decent value indeed considering the quality of what came on the plate, and the manner in which it was served it to us along the surroundings. 
Absolutely no complaints at all here, but we did dine early (well 6.45pm) and from the Gastro Menu as mentioned.
Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021 Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021
Edinburgh Castle Campanio Bread Edinburgh Castle Green Beans
Service Fantastic
High levels of detail wrapped up in a pub type package.  You have to admire little yet often overlooked service details such as staff waiting to check back on us until we’d both actually tasted our food, and crucially, didn’t have food in our mouths at the time as to avoid the standardly awkward full-mouthed thumbs up.
Our side of green beans was forgotten, but then instantly served once mentioned, along with being taken off the bill for the minor hassle of us waiting a few minutes for something green which we only ordered to feel fake-virtuous anyway. Small service mistake, corrected with a perfect service response. We tipped a tenner, and it was well earned.
Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021 Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021
Edinburgh Castle Suet Pudding Edinburgh Castle Fish & Chips
Food & Drink Fantastic
Sure, this is a proper pub. But the food belies any such typical associations.  In the age of pubs also being restaurants, there’s often little difference in what’s on the plate and some of the best food in the land can now be eaten with a pint of IPA.

Starter wise we ordered the Beetroot Salad; varied chunks of perfectly cooked and acid balanced beet with a stunning beet sorbet, garnished with fronds and leaves.  Straight away, it looked a few rungs above anything served in my own local.  This dish, hand on heart, would comfortably sit on the menu at any of Greater Manchester’s top dining rooms barring our Star-level options, who do their own niche thing. High praise. 

Game Terrine with brioche contained cubes of venison, grouse and premium liver, all bound with silky parfait to form said terrine.  Seasonality tick box nailed.  The brioche came with a cracking HP chutney.  A simple, classic and timeless dish for good reason. 

We greedily ordered the bread (£4), which was a splendid 5 seed sourdough from the always excellent Companio just down the road.  It was great to see somebody using bread from somewhere which isn’t Pollen in all honesty.  We love them as much as anyone, but at times it feels like a case of Taco Bell in Stallone’s Demolition Man. We are a small city, and variety matters.  

Mains arrived, starting with the (p)ubiquitous Fish and Chips.  The chips were hand cut, reassuringly uneven in length and fried to perfection with a pot of house-made mushy peas.  The cod was plentiful, cooked to a translucent ideal, and the batter was largely crispy and delicious.  A lemon wedge with its ends cut off is a minor detail which speaks volumes to the trained eye.  

Suet Pudding is a personal favourite dish, especially in pub realms.  This was textbook.  The filling was accurately cubed beef, cooked as it should be and well-seasoned with huge depth of flavour.  The pastry was just the right thickness, and the saucing tasted of unrecognised yet clear talent.  We wanted more of Chef’s work.  

Sticky Toffee Pudding was pleasant and admirable in size too.  The pud itself was rich with the right amount of bounce, and served in a cast iron pot, with a ball of ice cream on the side.  

Champagne and Figs was as fancy as it sounds, but nowhere near as pricy.  Slithers of fig, sat between numerous ice creams and mousses, dotted with gel and leaves along with some textural change from the champagne jelly disk and scattered crumb.  Another quality plate which you don’t expect to find in a pub for this much money
Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021 Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021
Edinburgh Castle Figs & Champagne Edinburgh Castle Sticky Toffee Pudding
But; the brioche which came with the terrine was possibly a touch over-toasted.  That superb beetroot may have needed a few grains of Maldon.  The fish batter was very thick and cakey in places.  That excellent suet pudding could have been a bit bigger to be in keeping with the other courses and 100% needed a side to complete it. And the toffee sauce was a touch treacle-heavy in taste for my tastebuds.

Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021 Edinburgh Castle Manchester Review - September 2021
Edinburgh Castle Logo Edinburgh Castle Sign
Overall Very Good
On the way home we digested things, mentally and physically, summarising that; when the more technically demanding dishes (Beetroot starter and Fig dessert) are pulled off better than the seemingly simple ones (Fish and Chips and STP), you know that a Chef is aiming high. 

It’s rare that we eat somewhere which surprises us these days, and 95% of the time come away from places feeling as if we’d got exactly what we’d expected and what the venue intended to deliver, whether you personally like their intentions or not.  But last night, that somehow didn’t happen.  We felt impressed and a bit surprised, not only due to the quality of our experience but also the value for money too.

Head Chef Iain Thomas has quietly and confidently taken the reins at The Edinburgh Castle following a stint at the ill-fated Wood in Chester, which Simon Wood closed during the pandemic to focus on his Manchester outfit.  Simon Wood’s loss is TEC’s gain, and Iain has created another classy performance in Ancoats.

Iain was stood talking to other staff at the bar as we left.  We discreetly nodded and said thank you, already knowing that we’d be writing good things the next day, without him having a clue who we are because that’s how we prefer it to be.

Now literally as I’m typing this, Michelin have bestowed a prestigious ‘Assiette’ aka Plate upon a lovely little Scandi inspired place in Prestwich.  Much of our experience at The Edinburgh Castle last night was on that same level, which when you consider there’s only 10 venues within the M60 with that award, is high praise.
You get the feeling that Chef’s real love is producing things that are a bit higher up the technical ability chain, and bravo to that.  Our only comment would be to have consistent standards, whether it be a Michelin plated level dessert, or just a good old simple sticky toffee pudding. ~ Restaurants Of Manchester (30th September 2021)

Join Pride Of Manchester
Also See...


Disclaimer: and can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed.

All images and information © 2002-2019 Pride Of Manchester


Best Bars in Europe
Best Restaurants in Europe
Best Hotels in Europe
UK Theatre Guides
London Theatres
Manchester Theatres
Edinburgh Theatres
Liverpool Theatres
Birmingham Theatres

Amsterdam Bars & Restaurants
Barcelona Bars & Restaurants
Berlin Bars & Restaurants
Bratislava Bars & Restaurants
Copenhagen Bars & Restaurants
Gothenburg Bars & Restaurants
Helsinki Bars & Restaurants
Krakow Bars & Restaurants
Lisbon Bars & Restaurants
London Bars & Restaurants
Madrid Bars & Restaurants
Milan Bars & Restaurants
Rome Bars & Restaurants
Vienna Bars & Restaurants
Zurich Bars & Restaurants
~ other cities in Europe ~