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The Rose Garden. It’s A Family Affair…

October 14, 2011

If there’s one thing that we’re not lacking over here in West Didsbury, it’s really fanastic places to eat out. We’ve got some really long-standing favourites such as the renowned Greens Restaurant, Cachumba (which has recently undergone the most remarkable transformation) and Gurkha Grill. Some have come and gone. Many however, have emerged over the years since we moved here and we can honestly say that as residents we are truly spoilt as diners.

Sometimes an area can become saturated with restaurants and the effect is diminished but we don’t believe this has happened in West Didsbury. Each new one seems to complement the exisiting ones, and provide an even greater choice – as has happened with the Manchester Food & Drink Awards 2011 nominee (best newcomer, no less) – The Rose Garden.

This little beauty only opened in the summer, but already it’s blooming and has been receiving rave reviews since its doors opened. So when we found out that two Taster Evenings were being planned as part of the Food & Drinks Festival, places were booked pronto. These taster evenings are amazing – it’s not often a restaurant gives you the opportunity to have a sneak preview of the dishes being considered for the next menu. And actually takes your comments on board…

So, at 7.oopm last night, proceedings were started with a glass of palette cleansing pink fizz to accompany the amuse bouche – a scotch quail’s egg (with veggie option using quorn and vegetarian black pudding) with a beetroot sorbet. A sublime start…

Amuse Bouche, The Rose Garden, October 2011

Amuse Bouche, The Rose Garden, October 2011

The food being served had been sourced from two local fellow MFDF2011 nominees, W.H.Frost & Out Of The Blue – and it’s fair to say that the meat and fish were first class. Wines, perfectly matched to each course, were supplied by another local lovely, West Didsbury’s Reserve Wines. Meat first course was wild boar carpaccio with apple and pear salad, accompanied by a 2008 Bordeaux. The carnivores on the table agreed that the carpaccio was melt-in-the-mouth & with a real peppery kick. The vegetarian option was a watercress soup with roasted yellow pepper creme fraiche – absolutely gorgeous and complemented perfectly by a 2010 Pieropan Soave –

Wild Boar Carpaccio

Wild Boar Carpaccio

Watercress soup with roasted yellow pepper creme fraiche

Watercress soup with roasted yellow pepper creme fraiche

Often vegetarian dishes can pale in comparison to the non-veggie dishes on a menu, and sometimes can be almost an after-thought (veggie lasagne anyone?),  but not so at The Rose Garden. It was very clear that as much thought and creativity had gone into these dishes as the meat and fish dishes. Course two was deemed a roaring success by the meat/fish-eaters – medallion of lobster tail, lobster claw and concasse tomato bisque served with a crisp 2010 Soave. Sadly no photos of this course, as it was wolfed down by the three others quicker than I could pick up the camera! My goats cheese parfait with pickled pear and brioche crouton was luscious – perfectly creamy cheese with a tangy after taste to the pickled pear :

Goats cheese parfait with pickled pear & brioche crouton (& I think a delicious parmesan crisp...)

Goats cheese parfait with pickled pear & brioche crouton (& I think a delicious parmesan crisp...)

Now, I’d chosen the vegetarian options, not because I’m a veggie, but so that we could sample all dishes. I’d been advised before hand that the bubble & squeak artichokes may not be available and would I mind having the meat taster option. After devouring the mutton, caper and anchovy steamed pudding (washed down with a mouth tingling 1999 Rioja), how delighted am I that I had this dish? If I had to choose a favourite of the evening, as difficult as that choice would be, I think I’d have to plump for the steamed pudding. The mutton was again melt-in-the-mouth (thanks Lee at Frosts) and the anticipated strong taste of caper and anchovy didn’t happen – it was all a very subtle combination of utter loveliness…

Mutton, caper and anchovy steamed pudding

Mutton, caper and anchovy steamed pudding

Next up was a roast monkfish tail wrapped in air dried ham with a sweet pea mousse and for the veggies, roasted butternut squash & ssage ravioli with lemon butter & sage sauce, again both stunning in terms of taste, flavour and presentation –

Roasted butternut squash and sage ravioli

Roasted butternut squash and sage ravioli

Roast monkfish tail wrapped in airdried ham with sweet pea mousse - image Si Astley

Roast monkfish tail wrapped in airdried ham with sweet pea mousse - image Si Astley

Course five consisted of loin of venison with fondant potato and a cherry chocolate sauce – even Mr M, a stauch non-eater of chocolate declared this to be a winner. This dish was accompanied a 2010 wine with the curious name of “Majella the Magician”. The veggie option was a crumble, with a wonderful combination of apple and beetroot, with a sweet onion gravy and accompanied by a delightful Pinot Noir.

Loin of venison with fondant potato & cherry chocolate sauce

Loin of venison with fondant potato & cherry chocolate sauce

Apple & beetroot crumble with sweet onion gravy

Apple & beetroot crumble with sweet onion gravy

So, five courses down, plus the amuse bouche, all accompanied by delicious and perfectly matched wines – and we were just ready for dessert. I had thought that dessert would be one taster dish – which was quite frankly, about all I had room for. So, I wasn’t expecting a platter of desserts! A pistachio souffle (done to beyond perfection), a slice of pistachio tart, a sticky toffee fondant and a scoop of rum and raisin ice cream, served with a sweet red dessert wine, by  the name of Banyuls. And – followed by homemade white chocolate truffles…

The Rose Garden desserts

The Rose Garden desserts

The Rose Garden White Chocolate Truffles

The Rose Garden White Chocolate Truffles

The man of the evening - Mr William Mills

The man of the evening - Mr William Mills

If you’ve not tried The Rose Garden before, please do. As well as being a totally gastronomic delight, it’s also an independent family affair. Run by Bill and his partner Emma, managed by very good friend Alex, designed by Mr Mills Snr and staffed by a variety of family members and friends. The feeling of warmth and friendliness is absolutely tangible – and as cliched as it may sound, you are welcomed into the restaurant as if you are a part of the family. The Rose Garden family…

The Rose Garden, West Didsbury

The Rose Garden, West Didsbury

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 10:33 pm

    Fantastic review. The Goat’s cheese parfait look spectacular. I would love to know what a brioche crouton tastes like.

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