Hotel dining can often be unpredictable. Given their inherent advantage of having a ready audience of guests not necessarily acquainted with the city, they might not always go the extra mile to ensure greatness, often settling for safe and universally appealing menus. Yet, the only thing that is ‘beige’ at The Alan is the intentional decor. Adorned with a contemporary colour palette of subdued shades, natural fabrics, set against an industrial backdrop, The Alan is celebrated as Manchester’s chicest hotel. Its restaurant has captivated not just the city’s discerning diners but also garnered appreciation from national critics, thanks to its creative array of small plates. With a change in the Head Chef’s role in 2023, the quality of the restaurant could have dwindled. However, with the appointment of James Hulme, previously from the ambitious independent establishment, The Moor, it has only grown stronger.
Standout dishes from the diverse ‘nose to tail’ menu include aged dairy cow tartare complemented by cured yolk, creamy bone marrow, and beef fat breadcrumbs; cavatelli pasta paired with brown crab and Yorkshire pecorino; and a butterbean hummus sprinkled with smoked salt, blood orange, and flatbread. In our conversation about his approach, James emphasised the critical balance of salt, fat, acid, and heat.