The Cornerhouse: 70 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5NH
The Cornerhouse is home to some of Manchester’s most interesting art exhibitions, lectures and some brilliant small-release films. Upstairs, however, there’s a place to unwind, chat and eat some casual but very refined and classic dishes.
Service was a little bit slow but it was peak lunch time on a Monday and there were only two floor staff; both were friendly and helpful however, and the polished wood surroundings are pleasant enough to wait in. Despite being busy, the restaurant was fairly quiet and easy to talk and hear in, unlike some places even when they are only half full.
The menu is made up of pizzas, some sandwiches, salads and precious little small plates that you can share with friends or have with some side dishes. There is also an excellent value Worker’s Lunch that includes a meal (a BLT with chips for example, or mushrooms on toast) as well as a drink for £7.50.
The superfood salad wit chicken was beautifully presented and stuffed full with cucumber, broccoli, peas and avocado. The grains were soft but retained their chewy texture and the chicken was tender and added a nice kick with the Cajun spice. Mackerel pate looked pretty in a glass jar and the hunks of toasted granary bread made a big difference than if it had been sliced bread. The mushrooms on toast came with wilted spinach and goat’s cheese, drizzled over a slab of bread in a creamy sauce. The cayenne pepper could have been stronger but it was creamy, chewy and nutty all in one. Finally, there was the wild mushroom macaroni cheese, served well again in a miniature glass dish. The topping was crunchy which added good variety to the softer texture underneath. A portion of chips were well-cooked and coloured but the fingertip lengths were a little too small. The portion sizes may be a little small in places but the prices do not ask for much more anyway.
The Cornerhouse has a great art décor atmosphere and is a lovely place for a casual or quick lunch with friends. They also do deals on films, pizzas and drinks on certain nights. Do not be put off by the sleek and simple exterior; the food here is warming, filling and makes you smile!