The Mark Addy has been a part of a shared history for hubby and I for many years. Originally a college haunt for him hanging out with his student chums and eating a staple diet of cheese and pate – the only food on offer – then later a place to share a beer in the sunshine with me in the waterfront beer garden by the Irwell.
Now its basic beery past has given way to gastro pub-ness with the well known Robert Owen Brown in position as executive chef presenting a menu of traditional dishes.
On the subject of the menus, they come emblazoned with the claim “Manchester’s original riverside pub” which struck me as odd, considering it’s actually the Salford side of the river but hey, what’s a historic boundary matter when it comes to marketing?
Onto the all important food.
I went veggie for my starter with the spinach and nettle dumplings stuffed with Garstang blue cheese stuffing and sauce. This was no limp lettuce of a veg dish with its full on robust flavours and spongy dumplings and the not-for-wimps attitude set the tone for the rest of the meal.
Take the classic game terrine for example, not only did Himself manage to eloquently describe the dish as “meat on meat…. with extra meat” it came with an accompanying sprig of green stuff – in a gun cartridge case.
My main of hot pot with pickled red cabbage was as good as I expected it to be with melting chunks of well-seasoned lamb and his pheasant breast (although a little over cooked) showed Owen Brown signature characteristic of packing meaty dishes full of flavour.
I was unable to pursue anything more to eat but, perhaps for nostalgic reasons, he insisted on having the cheese selection. The largest single cheese serving ever seen arrived with interesting regional varieties, mountains of crackers, grapes, chutney, celery.
Sitting in the long dining area under the stunning brick vaulted ceilings of the former boathouse waiting room and looking out across the water to the soulless glass of Spinningfield’s chain restaurants, the Addy gives some hope for those of us who want more than vertical drinking and burgers from their city nights out.
Oh, and you can still get plates of cheese and pate.
The Mark Addy, Stanley Street, Salford, just a stone’s throw from Manchester, M3 5EJ.
tel: 0161 832 4080 email: firstname.lastname@example.org