Lunch break: Luso

HALF way thorugh February and not a single lunch review for 2007? I’m obviously a lady who doesn’t lunch enough.
Gathering up my Fussy Female Friend (FFF) I decided to try out Luso on Bridge Street and make amends. It opened late last year and I’ve often walked past and meant to call there much sooner.
We settled in to the bright, uncluttered space and were presented with two menus. There’s a tapas style lunch menu and the general restaurant one. The waitress advised that we’d probably need three tapas dishes to make up a meal so, at almost £5 a dish, lunch was going to cost about £15 a head whichever way we want.
I plumped for the tapas while FFF went all out for the main course and then had to order a further green salad at £3.50 because it didn’t come with vegetables. (She might be fussy but she’s got an appetite). As the price of the bill continued to rise, I was starting to get the idea – not a cheap lunch venue.lusocod.jpg

At least FFF’s salt cod (£14.50) was a generous sized portion. Riding on top of a disk of potato and olives with a poached egg balanced precariously on top it looked fantastic.

And it passed the FFF test with well cooked, well seasoned cod which sat well with its accompaniments.
In comparison my three, tiny salt cod fritters (pictured) lusofrit.jpg
which cost £3.95 and single mushroom with goats cheese (£3.95) looked positively mean(pictured top).
I accompanied this with a house speciality – potatoes Luso (£3.25). lusopot.jpg
This was a take on potatas bravas – I think. I can’t really be sure if that was the intention as they were so overpoweringly hot with chilli I didn’t manage to finish even this small portion.
So a tale of two lunches. FFF left feeling satisfied while I wished I’d followed her lead into the full menu option.
Style: Contemporary, fresh and airy.
Cooking: Modern Mediterranean.
Plus: Beautifully cooked and presented main course.
Minus: The standard and value of the tapas selection.
Value: Pricey. More than £30 for two lunches with water.
Luso is at 63 Bridge St, Manchester. 0161 839 5550.


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