There are three Victorian chop houses in Manchester and their reputation is impeccable, they’re known for their hearty British food and I’m already a big fan. What I wasn’t aware of is how child-friendly they are so that’s what we went to find out.
Cora is 18 months old and she’s smack bang into the fussy eater stage so I was a little nervous heading towards the restaurant. Knowing the building beforehand we knew there was going to be a lot of stairs so we folded up the pram and carried Cora into the dining room, we found out later that there is a lift on the side of the building that can take you straight into the restaurant and the staff are more than happy to help. This is perfect if I’m ever out on my own with Cora as a lot of grade listed buildings are unable to install a lift so this is nice to know!
Once seated we are given a highchair straightaway and extra glasses were cleared from the table. All these steps are extremely helpful especially when you are new customers and are unsure of your surroundings. Secondly, the waitress handed us a Manchester Bee colouring sheet which I just love and is very fitting for this time of year. The waitress did admit she can never tell when a child is old enough to draw or not and I love that she brought it anyway. That’s what I did when I was a waitress, it’s an added step of service which makes you feel like you and your child is welcome.
The Children’s menu is adorably called Little Albert’s menu and you have three courses to choose from, what I do like about the menu is that you don’t have to have the starter or you don’t have to have the dessert as all dishes are individually priced.
The starter choice is a bacon and haddock chowder served with crumbled crackers. This dish is also on the adult’s menu (which I will be covering in a separate blog post) and Mark wanted to choose this so we decided that Cora can share his. We didn’t know if she could eat a whole portion but to our surprise, she demolished a lot of it, so in the future, we will be ordering a whole one for her. The chowder is filled with fresh fish and vegetables which makes the dish amazing for children and the crackers on top gave it a great texture. Cora had more of that dish than any other dish I’ve made all week which says a lot… hopefully not anything about my cooking ha! We instantly relaxed after that course knowing that the meal would be a good one.
Any parent out there will know how difficult it is to keep a child entertained at a dinner table so yeah we had YouTube at the ready, it’s always a controversial topic bringing out a screen at the dinner table but nobody judged here (and obviously the sound was at a minimum). Between courses is the hardest part of a meal as there’s no food to distract Cora but amazingly the wait wasn’t long at all, considering all food is cooked to order we expected longer so we were very impressed by this.
The waitress was very efficient too as she made sure we had everything we needed at all times and even made Cora smile which if you know Cora takes a while haha.
As you can see from the photos above the portion sizes are impressive!
The main meals are smaller versions of the adult dishes which is always good to see. Most places add on ‘safe’ children’s dishes but I prefer this version as it teaches Cora to eat the same food we do. There are lots of great choices such as Albert’s famous corned beef hash, cheese omelette or chicken salad. They even have a Sunday lunch available on Sundays but we decided to go for the fish and chips.
The fish was cooked to perfection in a light bubbly batter, it was served on top of the chips and had the all-important mushy peas, lemon and tartare sauce on the side. We mixed the fish with the sauce and lemon on our plates to form easy spoonfuls. It didn’t take long for her to become full and that was great because it meant I got to steal some chips. I love that part of having a kid!
On to the dessert.
We decided to order an ice cream for Cora as a treat for being so well behaved and also because they serve Cheshire Farm ice cream which is my favourite, I only know of one other place in Manchester that serves it and as soon as the waitress mentioned Raspberry Ripple I excitedly said yes to that. She brought two spoons over so she clearly knew I was planning on stealing some. Again the portion was a decent size, two scoops and served with a shortbread biscuit! We thought Cora was full but it seems like her mother she has a separate dessert tummy because she ate a fair bit of the ice cream. That’s my girl!
On reflection, this menu is a well thought out one and the restaurant is definitely family friendly. Not just with their food choices but with the helpful staff too. There was no rush and the atmosphere was calm and we will be heading back there very soon that’s for sure!
Keep an eye out on my blog for a post on what Mark and I thought of our dishes (spoiler alert: I found a new favourite dish).
Disclaimer: The meal was complimentary but as always all my opinions are my own. Thank you so much for reading 🙂
If you liked this blog post, check out Booberrit’s post all about creating a better Happy Meal for kids!