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Rhubarb Raises The Bar…

March 14, 2011

Now, if there’s one thing we’re not short of in West Didsbury, it’s fab places to eat. We are very spoilt for choice. In fact, our kitchen, as our friends know, is somewhere we only venture into on rare occasions. We’ve got an amazing fish & chip shop, a taste of Spain, a boutique bistro, a nationally renowned vegetarian restaurant, a gastro pub, a number of Nepalese restaurants. In fact, most cuisines & most tastes are catered for.

We also have Rhubarb Restaurant, the only restaurant in West Didsbury to be recommended in the Michelin guide. We make no apologies for liking Rhubarb as much as we do. As well as always having had fabulous experiences there, owners Mark & Lisa have embraced events such as WestFest with real vigour and have also been really instrumental in helping us to promote the garden at Thyme Out Delicatessen, by using some of the rhubarb to produce desserts and cocktails with *very* locally sourced ingredients.

Rhubarb has recently appointed Bryn Evans as Head Chef. Working alongside owner Mark, a new menu has been created – and what a menu! Being a lover of soup, I’m always keen to try & test any kind of soup based offering. But this was just a little bit different. Described on the menu as “Celeriac soup with Cox’s Apple & Local Blue Cheese”, I can only describe it as being like warm ice-cream. Soft, light, melt-in-the-mouth. But then with a blue cheese twist. Sublime…

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

The other starter choice was Loch Tarbert Scallops, consisting of fried scallops, caramelised cauliflower purée, juniper and soaked raisins. Scallops were given 10/10 but there was a criticism with this starter. Cauliflower purée. Not enough! This was deemed to be very delicious and more was wanted…

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed in a restaurant. Sometimes, no sooner are you finished your starters, than your main arrives. It’s nice sometimes to slow down a little and be allowed to take your time. And again, this is what Rhubarb seems to get right. The restaurant was full – there was only one spare table on a Wednesday night – but not once did we feel that rush to get courses out.

So, when mains arrived, we were ready for them. Goosenargh Chicken and Conwy Valley Lamb. Stunning. And there aren’t too many places where lamb would be first choice. However, we trust Rhubarb and that’s all we need to say…

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Desserts I can often take or leave – savoury, rather than sweet does it for me, but I have to say I was rather tempted by the Pistachio Cake. However, tweets from Bryn had suggested the cheese board was a bit special, so the award winning cheese board had to be tried. Now, don’t know about you, but whenever I put cheese out, I over estimate (grossly) how much people will eat & end up wrapping, in silver foil, the left over cheese. But Rhubarb just get it so right. On first sight – beautifully presented cheeseboard but small portions. Almost disappointing. But, just so well judged – and so well selected. Kinderton Ash. Cornish Yarg. Cropwell Bishop Stilton. Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar.

And that’s when we realised what a perfect cheeseboard it was. Not only beautiful cheeses, but beautifully sized too. The perfect portions…

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

Rhubarb Restaurant, West Didsbury

So, it looks like Lisa & Mark go from strength to strength with the new Rhubarb menu and the addition to the team of Bryn Evans…

To make a booking, call 0161 448 8887.

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