Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Rose Garden - West Didsbury

Situated in the middle of Burton Road, which is West Didsbury's equivalent of a high street, The Rose Garden shines out as a paean to modernity and minimalism. Located in an area overloaded with faux vintage, twee cupcake shops and folksy frontages, the clean lines and stark white interior of The Rose Garden make a refreshing change.

The Rose Garden exterior - with thanks to Deanna Thomas and Didsbury Life

The restaurant is totally family run; William Mills is the chef, his dad designed the restaurant, his brother kitted it out, his sister works there (and was our very eloquent, attentive and excellent waitress for the night) and I've heard a rumour that it's named after his mum and she does the books.

With seasonality and locality underlining the restaurant's ethos coupled with the stunning interior design  I was already smitten with the restaurant before eating there. All I needed was some good food and I can say I wasn't disappointed.

Starters were large and flavoursome - a fish pie was just on the right side of heavy without being too filling and the mussels in cider with bacon melted in the mouth. The combination of seafood and porcine sweetness highlighted Chef Mills' ability to pair complimentary flavours in order to create something simple yet stunning.

Mussels with cider and bacon

Mains carried on excellently; beef two ways was a big, burly dish of succulent, rare fillet and and tender slow cooked shin. The perfectly pink venison with 'rubik's cube roasted veg' further highlighted the chef's brilliant cooking skills. However this dish was priced at £21.95 and was tiny compared to the beef, plus the rubik's cube was far too faffy and the veg cubes far too small. I can think of better things to do with roasted root veg than spend my time arranging them into a neat little box.

Teeny, tiny venison portion

A pistachio tart was the final flourish to an exceptionally well put together meal. The taste was very subtle, but in no way would I call this tart bland; the flavours sweetly whispered their existence. Underlying fragrances of orange blossom and cardamon layered beautifully and I can say this is one of the best puddings I've had this year - and I'm not even going to gripe about the price!

Wonderful tart with an intense blackcurrant tuile - more please!

The Rose Garden is a special place; great food put together with great care by a great family, the only issue is the great (as in expensive) price of the mains, bring these down a few quid and then the future is, well, rosey.

Ps - The Rose Garden does have a cheaper set menu that's available all day early in the week and then as an early bird later on in the week - check it out here.

Price for two starters, two mains, two puddings and a glass of wine: £70.80

Food - 9/10
Service - 9/10
Atmosphere - 9/10
Value for money - 7/10

Total - 34/40

Go again? Yes, for a special occasion or if I wasn't having three courses.

The Rose Garden, 218 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LW - 0161 478 0747 -
the-rose-garden@hotmail.com - Twitter - Facebook

therosegardendidsbury.com

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