It’s quite something for a small local restaurant which has only been open a few weeks to already have created a buzz in it’s city, get itself a great reputation and be nominated for Best Newcomer of the Year, so Mr M & I knew we were missing out by not having eaten at West Didsbury’s The Rose Garden yet. The perfect opportunity arose last night, when as part of the Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2011, chef and owner William Mills and his team hosted a taster evening to showcase their skills. We headed over for a 7pm sharp start and met the Didsbury Life duo, Pete & Helen, our culinary partners in crime.
Wow. Do I need to say anything else? Just take a look at the images from the quite spectacular six course culinary extravaganza we were treated to, well, 8 courses if you include the amuse bouche and truffles, along with wine lovingly chosen for each course by our gorgeous local independent Reserve Wines. The mouthwateringly tender wild boar, mutton and venison came from Chorlton butcher Lee at WH Frost, and the delicate but full of flavour lobster and monkfish from Dave’s team at Out of The Blue. Before we’d even started eating I felt a warm glow of love for the South Manchester food & drink independents who make my life as a confirmed foodie so blinkin easy!
I will be attempting beetroot sorbet, demanding wild boar from Lee next time I’m in Frost’s and dreaming of lobster all weekend…. the first three courses were delicious. I didn’t try the goats cheese as it was part of the veggie option but it looked very pretty. The carpaccio was my favourite of the above, melt in the mouth and wrapped in a delicious black pepper crust balanced by the sweetness of the salad – perfection.
I can’t even pick a favourite from the above three courses, they were all so different but stunning in their own way. The mutton pudding was an absolute hit on our table of four, packed full of a deep, rich, solid meatiness you just don’t get with lamb. The pea mousse was light and delicate, complimenting the seared roast softness of a piece of monkfish tail full of succulence. Then the venison, heavens above, flawlessly pink & tender with a cherry chocolate drizzle. The stuff of dreams.
I’ve been accused of being a bit unadventurous when it comes to desserts, always plumping for the chocolate option, but on a taster menu you get what you’re given and give it a go. Very glad I did, as I’ve now developed a love for pistachio souffle and tart, though it wasn’t very ladylike to pick the raisins out of my ice-cream and just eat the rum bit 😉 Mr M’s dislike of puddings bagged me two truffles as well #result.
I hope all you foodies are GREEN with envy and immediately book your table at the next available sitting because The Rose Garden in a local gem using local suppliers, a restaurant which deserves to be supported and cherished and one which will not disappoint. To have produced such spectacular looking and tasting food, everyone served at the same time, everyone happy, lovely staff, in such a small local restaurant – we were blown away. It put the big boys to shame, William Mill’s small family team have created a winner in The Rose Garden. At £55 a head the evening was a total bargain, how incredibly lucky we are in West Didsbury to have such a treasure on our doorstep. I’m so so glad we booked our places for an evening which will go down as one of our best meals of 2011.