Monday, 2 July 2012

The Cornerhouse - Manchester

Located at the top of Manchester’s long and busy Oxford Road, The Cornerhouse is a legendary landmark in Manchester’s cultural heritage and is Manchester’s centre for contemporary and visual arts. Founded in 1985 by the Greater Manchester Visual Arts Trust it has lately merged with The Library Theatre and is now at the forefront of Manchester’s vibrant cultural scene.

The Cornerhouse Cinema - with thanks to The Guardian

As avid readers of this blog will realise; I’m not bigging The Cornerhouse up for the visually exciting galleries or the small, independent film showing cinemas it contains; nor for their support and funding of new arts projects; or for the well-stocked shop on the ground floor brimming with contemporary arts, visual and cultural materials – you all know there’s got to be some food link somewhere.

Cornerhouse main building - with thanks to Viewfinder General

The Cornerhouse does indeed hold a café-bar-restaurant: split over two floors it serves from first thing in the morning, to pretty late at night and is always filled to the rafters with students, workers, lovers and cultural explorers chatting over coffee, relaxing with a local beer, sharing tapas or eating something a bit more substantial. We visited on a Tuesday night and were hard-pushed to find a seat, sneaking in to a corner foursome by the big plate windows with a great view of the hustle and bustle of a rain-drenched Manchester evening.

The menu’s a mix of laid-back, comfy food taking inspiration from around the globe with a good smattering of veggie options, so there’s something for everyone. Being ravenous pigs on a budget, we decided to have the pizzas – nothing like a big hit of carbs to fill you up!

Pizzas at The Cornerhouse are stone-baked, thin and charred – the edges bubbling, blackened and crisp on the tooth. They’re not stingy on the toppings here; the polpette was covered with mini, juicy pork and beef meatballs and a big sprinkling of red onions. The tomato and chorizo sauce added a pleasing sweet, smokiness that was tempered by the milky, creaminess of the cheese.

Sweet, smokey, sexy polpette

A good old Americano was spicy sassiness; a salty plate full of salami and jalapenos that you could actually taste (rather than green mush tasting of pickling spices). There was little bit too much cheese for my liking, but I’m notorious for asking places to half the cheese (so I’m not going to listen to your complaints then - Ed).

Spicy, sassy Americano

Pizza’s aren’t anything extraordinary and there’s no shocks or surprises here – it’s just good food done really well, for a not too outrageous price. The added good value of The Reel Deal makes the food taste even better – a pizza, a drink (alcohol inc) and a film ticket all for £14.50 – that’s cheaper than an Orange Wednesday!

Price for two Reel Deals - £29
Usual price of pizzas – between £6-£9.

Food – 7/10
Atmosphere – 9/10
Service – 7/10
Value for money – 9/10 (for The Reel Deal)

Total – 32/40

Go again – Yes, the Reel Deal is excellent and I love the small, old skool cinemas at The Cornerhouse. I’d like to taste the main menu too as it looks pretty tasty and the portions seemed massive (when we were spying on other people’s food!).

The Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH – 0161 228 7621 – – TwitterFacebook

Cornerhouse on Urbanspoon


  1. I like the Cornerhouse a lot.

    The pizzas are OK (found the bases a bit tough actually) and I think the menu could do with trimming down - it tries to cover too much. And I think the chefs sometimes get a bit over eager - who wants garlic bread at 11am with their scrambled egg!?

    HOWEVER the daily salads and deli-style food they do in the afternoons is some of the best food I've had in Manchester. Fresh, tasty and colourful (all important, obviously). Seriously, sometimes it arrives and I just have to admire it in all its splendour.

    Staff are efficient and the prices are spot on.

    1. Yeah they can be, but when we wnet they were really crisp but soft (if you can have that?). The Reel Deal is a fab price and I like the fact they actually care. I'd rather have one or two extra things on then menu than no choice at all. But I disagree, it's never too early for garlic!

  2. I'm going, great article, thank you!