Visiting Erst: The Ancoats retreat for simple but sophisticated seasonal food & natural wines

With an ever-changing menu, Erst truly is a foodie wonderland where you'll find different treats every time you visit.

By Ben Brown | Last updated 21 August 2019

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It must be said that Erst is certainly a unique venue – a place where the only thing that’s guaranteed is the highest quality food and spectacular dishes – everything else is up for grabs.

In essence they have their main menu, but the team at Erst are also constantly experimenting, reviving and tweaking a large arsenal of stunning dishes – many of which you’ll find available as specials on any given day.

Therefore when you head down it truly is an unique experience every time – you never really know what you’re in for!

This week I went for another visit to the sophisticated neighbourhood spot, photographer in-tow, as I tucked into a range of dishes that I’m still salivating over now. Here’s what we devoured…

No visit to Erst is complete without a plate of their Deep Fried potatoes with Tartare Sauce– an indulgent treat that manages to evoke a real Mediterranean vibe when you’re sat in rainy Ancoats. Perfectly crispy and with a soft fluffy middle – the word perfection certainly sums these little beauties up.

Now, courgettes aren’t exactly the most glamorous of vegetables, sitting somewhere down near turnips and leeks in my league table – but the team at Erst have created a fresh and sexy dish in their Marinated Courgette with fresh curds. Pairing the earthy courgettes with the tangy curds is a genius move by the way!

All the while we were eating we were treated to a couple of bowls of Erst’s Salted Almonds, which are perfect alongside the one-too-many glasses of wine that we tried.

Similarly, the White Anchovies and guindilla chilli was also a surprisingly good finger food to enjoy alongside some of the wine, with small morsels of the salty fish working perfectly with the fresh crunch of the chillies.

We were also pleasantly surprised by one of the flat breads on offer – this one came drizzled in a North Italy condiment – Gremolata – which takes garlic and parsley, chops them up and adds the zest of a lemon. What you’re left with is a rich, tangy bread that’s a perfect accompaniment to a lot of other dishes on the menu.

I found myself making dipping the flat bread into the oil on the next dish – Salt Cod with blistered tomato, capers and oregano oil. Not only does this dish look stunning, it was gone in minutes.

I was a little apprehensive about the next dish too, but for entirely different reasons. The Lambs heart with beetroot, labneh and mint contains three of my favourite things in the world ever but the fourth – the actual hearts – I’d never tried before.

Well, I was certainly impressed, not just with the rich, meaty flavour, but the dish as a whole was perfectly balanced. It looks great too – with all those dark and brooding reds.

We finished with a right indulgent treat – a Rum Baba (A rum soaked French cake) with plum jam and sour cream. I’m not usually one for dessert but if you can save enough space in your stomach – do so and enjoy.

It’s not just food that Erst specialise in though – they also serve up some of the best wines from all over the world – in particular – natural wines. With all of this lovely food – of course we tucked into a few tipples…

Toscana Bianco Procanico Camillo Orange Wine
A robust and full bodied orange wine hailing from Western Tuscany. Perfect for any orange wine lovers, you’ll get notes of ripe stone and dried fruits, and a real burst of freshness with each glug.

The Pink Moustache 2018
An organic and natural wine from Swartland, a light red wine that’s perfect for a hot day with it’s low ABV, freshness and plenty of fruity notes. Called ‘fun wine in its purest form’.

Tillingham PN18 Natural Rose 10.5%
With fruity hints of rhubarb and cream soda this Rose is certainly something special. It’s refreshing and easy to drink and is great when paired with seafood and cheese.



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Erst, 9 Murray St, Manchester M4 6HS
0161 826 3008