Word on the Mancunian grapevine is that All Bar One has had a bit of a makeover.
Located in the fashionable hot-spot of King Street, All Bar One is situated in one of my favourite areas of the city. Deborah and I went for a spot of lunch and afternoon Bellinis one Saturday afternoon to catch up and celebrate my new job.
We sat in the quieter side of the restaurant which was nice as we were surrounded by couples and family gatherings. The restaurant wasn’t too overcrowded and it was nice to be able to sit and talk without feeling overshadowed by lots of other tables and groups.
Our waitress was lovely, polite and offered suggestions on what dishes to have as the menu is so diverse. From world style tapas dishes and diverse sharing plates to juicy, big burgers and old style British classics, the cliche that ‘there’s something for everyone’ is rather true! One of the things I noticed was the great deals which All Bar One have on offer which are especially good value for money, in such a high-end part of town.
After scouring the menu to see what was on offer, I couldn’t decide on just one thing – so I ended up ordering three of the tapas dishes (3 for £14 – a winner) and Deborah had rib eye steak with fries.
As we were in a celebratory kind of mood, we ordered two Bellinis. Deborah had the peach flavour, whereas I picked the strawberry – you might have guessed, we were dreaming of summer days at this point!
After a short wait, our food arrived. At this point I realised how big my tapas dishes were and in all honesty, I felt a little bit embarrassed about ordering THREE of them. But I shared with Deborah so some of the guilt kind of slipped away…
Deborah’s steak arrived looking tender and extremely juicy. I don’t often order steak but it looked and smelt so delicious and it really made my mouth water!
The first bit part of my three dish main, was the tomato and mozzarella arancini balls with spiced plum chutney (£5.00).
The arancini balls were served as a trio, but they were quite large. The most memorable element of this dish, for me, was the spiced plum chutney. I absolutely love plums in sauces for sweet/savoury dishes and this was definitely the highlight.
However, I found the filling in the arancini balls to be slightly weak in flavour. I loved the crunch of the breadcrumbs, but found the rice and cheese inside to be a little bland without the rich chutney. For some reason, my tastebuds weren’t exactly thrilled with the entire combination. I think a smaller version of this dish would have been just right for me.
Next up we have the homemade mini thai crab cakes (£5.75)
Usually the crab cakes which I’ve either cooked myself or had in restaurants are a little more crispier, but these were quite soft on the outside. I found the size of the mini cakes to be perfect and they weren’t overbearing compared to the arancini balls.
For some reason, it seems my Saturday was rather saucy and fruity – and by that I mean… food wise! I absolutely love lime and I wanted to try the lime yoghurt dip to see how it compared to others. It was really creamy and had just the right amount of zingy lime juice.
But my absolute favourite of the three tapas dishes was the tempura prawns. Clearly, not the usual kind of thing to order at a bar – but I was in a bit of a strange mood and felt like combining a variety of flavours with lots of fruity sauces.
Although they weren’t the best tempura prawns that I’ve had in the city, once again the dressing just absolutely blew the dish away. The prawns were served on a bed of pineapple and red onion salsa with a creamy lemon mayonnaise.
I’ve never tried prawns with pineapple and I tend to just stick with regular flavours such a lemon, but I was pleasantly surprised by this unique combination. The pineapple gave the dish a succulent sense of sweetness whereas the salsa dressing was crunchy and tangy which complimented the tempura prawns perfectly.
I didn’t really need too much of the lemon mayonnaise as I was just obsessed with the gorgeous tasting pineapple salsa and felt it infused the prawns with so much flavour. I also think the colour of the dish was gorgeous as it was dressed beautifully with mini segments of pineapple, onion and the salsa. I could imagine having the tempura prawns with my Bellini on a lovely, summer day whilst dining al fresco… But for now, unfortunately the thought of summer is quite a while away!
I had wanted to try All Bar One for some time and I was really happy to be invited by their team. It was such a great way to catch-up with my friend, to have great drinks and very tasty food in a really pleasant atmosphere. I would definitely return again and I look forward to trying more of their menu – plus a few extra Bellinis and cocktails!
Thank you, All Bar One! x
Disclaimer: All Bar One very kindly gifted me the meal, however all views and opinions are my own.