When it comes to summertime eating, I want one thing and one thing only; a plate that is as colourful and bright as a summer meadow. I always think a good test for food can come down to colour, and if I am given a plate that is 50 shades of beige I know I am going to be disappointed.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I looked down at the new additions to the Brasserie Abode menu, which were all appropriately vivid to match the beautiful summer weather we are having for the first time in what feels like forever.
I am just going to dive right in and tell you about the Salt Baked Beetroot – in hues of purple and pink and gold. This beetroot was pretty salty (clue was in the name) which worked incredibly well with the soft, tangy goats curd, sweet orange segments, nutty hazelnuts and crunchy pumpkin seeds it came adorned with.
Also from the starters menu, we sampled the Smoked Haddock Scotch Egg, which albeit was not a new dish but instead an age-old classic that I am recommended at least once a week. This was a beautiful apricot orange colour and came sat in a little puddle of crab bisque which acted as the most delicious sauce. This centre of the Scotch egg was beautifully runny, and this dish worked out as a beautiful fishy alternative to a meaty picnic classic.
Another quintessentially English dish we sampled was the Ham Hock Pressing– which was, quite frankly a revelation in shades of pale pink contrasted with bright mustard yellow. Now, this is not something I would ever order at somewhere as sophisticated as Brasserie Abode, but I am sure glad that I did. The piccalilli really stole the show and just made me think of home. Top marks all round for the starters.
While the starters seemed pretty British at heart, the mains were more to the French side of the Anglo-French dining concept at Brasserie Abode. Steak Tartare is a favourite of mine, and it isn’t something you see on a menu very often, so I jumped at the opportunity. Abode has had a tartare on their menu for quite some time now as a starter, but they have just upgraded it to a main with a side of frites. It was a good size, very substantial for a main course and done the proper way complete with a raw egg yolk. Just delicious and again, it was a colourful plate- deep red, with flecks of green and a bright yellow yolk which sat on top like a happy sun.
We also sampled the Roasted Cod Loin which came with a herb crust and sat on a bed of pea, broad beans and shallot cooked with little nuggets of bacon. The fish was perfectly cooked and flaked off onto the fork, and into my mouth, with ease and with hues of white, pink and green it kept my hunger for something colourful at ease as well.
Finally, the meal was polished off with the Strawberry Pimms Trifle which was like summer in a cup. I usually hate trifle- there is something about jelly and soggy cake combo that just turns my stomach. The sponge cake in this trifle one, however, was just dipped in the liquid for a millisecond and was still light and fresh with minimal dampness.
The red and white of the cream and strawberries reminded me of the English Flag and weddings in the summertime. The Pimms flavour really came through as well and all in all, it was a fruity finish to a fantastic meal.
Brasserie Abode, 107 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2DB
0161 200 5665