Jay Rayner visits ERST: "One of the best meals of the year"

The Observer critic visited the Ancoats eatery last week...

By Ben Brown | 28 September 2021

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Faced with a menu of just 9 dishes, The Observer’s food critic Jay Rayner decides that there’s “only one thing to do… order the lot.”

He was in Erst in Ancoats, which he proclaimed to be “one of the best meals of the year so far; a succession of modestly priced platefuls, which bring on low groans and delicate signs of happiness.”

Polishing off some Carlingford rock oysters dressed “with a precisely judged spoonful of mignonette”, he then declares the flatbread (spread with freshly chopped tomato pulp) to be “the best £5 I have spent in a very long time“.

What follows is a series of dishes that Rayner continues to fawn over and devour, at one point exclaiming “This is bloody good, isn’t it” to his eating partner.

It’s undeniably a hugely positive review for Erst, and one which no doubt will come as very little of a surprise to anyone who has had the pleasure of eating there.

Since opening a couple of years back they’ve been a welcome addition to the Ancoats restaurant scene, a small block of recently redeveloped flats and warehouses that is home to an impressive range of eateries, from Erst to Elnecot, The Jane Eyre, Rudy’s and of course, Mana – the city’s only Michelin-starred restaurant.

Well done to the team over at Erst for this undoubtedly impressive review – I’m sure they’ll be yielding lots of calls and bookings over the next few weeks as a result.

You can read the review in full here.


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