I really do hate to moan, but it would be completely wrong of me to not inform you guys about the roast dinner experience I had in Manchester on Sunday.
To clear a few things up first, I was invited to this venue to sample a new offering and write up a review.
For anybody who’s not aware, sites like your Lovin’ Manchester, I Love Manchester (etc.) often get invited to restaurants in the city to sample a new menu or food item – in return for writing up a review of said restaurant/menu item.
So yes, I am ultimately complaining about free food. But I would hate to be somebody who writes up misleading reviews and fake news.
And, as I’ve eluded to already, this roast dinner was exceedingly bad. The thought of somebody spending £14 on it hurts me. So the more people I can help to not make this decision, the better.
(Also – everything stated in this article is entirely my own opinion, and not that of Lovin’ Manchester).
Anyway, onto the big reveal.
The roast dinner was served at Gorilla, just under Oxford Road Train Station.
I’ve eaten at Gorilla three times over the years, and have really enjoyed the food every time. So I was particularly surprised at the experience I had last Sunday.
We were invited to sample Gorilla’s Mother Mary’s Disco Disco Social.
There was a good vibe when we arrived – it was busy, there was some funky disco music on, and everyone was glittered up.
Our glasses were filled with prosecco, and our orders were taken. As it was a Sunday and my food-eating partner and I were both starving, we opted for a roast dinner each; one with chicken, and the other with pork belly.
The food took about 30 minutes to be served -an ideal amount of time for us. But it all went down hill from there.
There was not one thing about this roast dinner that I enjoyed.
Let’s start with the star of the show – the chicken. Allegedly a Cheshire Chicken, I was expecting big flavour. It turned out, in my opinion, to be the second driest piece of meat I’ve ever tasted. It was barely lukewarm, which didn’t help…
Then onto the gravy situation. What evil sorcerer poured this gravy? They neglected to pour it over ANY item of food, including the Yorkshire pudding, which is just a bit out of order in my eyes. I thought that it was devoid of flavour, and clearly hadn’t been made using any juices from the meat.
I’m dragging on a bit here but to be more concise – the Yorkshire pudding itself was cold, chewy, and genuinely inedible (in my opinion); the roast potatoes I thought were soft and had clearly been neglected of any meat fat or salt; even the vegetables (brocolli and cabbage) were chewy and barely lukewarm.
The best part about the meal was the stuffing. In large part down to the fact that it was the only somewhat warm item of food on the plate – and it did have some of that flavour you associate with a good old roast dinner.
I’ll very briefly talk about my friend’s pork belly. I really don’t want to reminisce about it for too long. I thought it was the driest piece of meat I have ever had the displeasure of eating. And that’s that.
The prosecco was lovely as always, and I also had a really enjoyable Bloody Maria from their new Bloody Mary menu – with tequila instead of vodka!
Obviously we made the wrong choice. I know the chefs can cook here. I’m just not sure how somewhere with such a great reputation can get a roast dinner, or any food offering, so wrong.
It’s uncertain times out there in the Manchester hospitality scene. With the likes of MAD Development going into administration, and more recently Kettlebell Kitchen closing two city centre sites and leaving staff without pay – there’s never been a more important time to raise the game on meaningful and high quality dining experiences.
Hopefully this was a blip – I’ll certainly give Gorilla another chance before writing them off!