I've been planning a trip to the Mark Addy for some time now, as intermittent glances at the menu on the website have had me salivating for months. Friday was pretty much the last window of opportunity before I move back over the hills to Yorkshire. I'll still be in Manchester from time to time, but far less frequently in future.
Four of us stopped off for lunch, midway through a tour of some of Manchester's finest hostelries as a way of bidding farewell to my home for the last year. As chance would have it, the Mark Addy has been getting a lot of coverage of late, with reviews from Jay Rayner in the Observer and Sarah on the North West Nosh blog. Both of those two gave the menu a more thorough going over than we did, so I'll try to keep my thoughts relatively brief and point you in their direction for a more detailed review and a bit of background about the place.
First up we ordered various bits and pieces to share with a couple of pints. I can't remember what we drank, other than that it was ale, and very well kept. Homemade pork scratchings were spot on, with just the right blend of crunch and softer fatty bits.
Spam fritters were also crunchy, piggy and lovely, and came dressed with brown sauce and ketchup. I don't think they used actual spam though, which seemed a little strange (unless they cut it into semi-circular pieces).
Welsh rarebit was intensely cheesy, but just the one small slice seemed a little stingy for £5.50.
For the main meal two of us ended up having scallops and black pudding starters and a shared side of chips with tarragon sauce. Both scallops and pudding were high quality and cooked just right. The chips were very good but the tarragon in the sauce was barely detectable.
The other two had roast beef sandwiches which looked great, stuffed with generous amounts of pink meat. Feedback was positive.
We sat on the riverside terrace, which really is a splendid place to be on a sunny afternoon. Don't be put off by the less than pleasant entrance to the pub which requires you to pass the door to the Gents and descend a flight of stairs carpeted in the style of a cheesy nightclub circa 1995. They really ought to sort that out. We had no problems with service but were probably there in a quieter period (around 2-4pm). Good value too for the standard of cooking, we paid just under fifteen pounds each for all of the food, a couple of pints and service. I'm definitely planning a return visit.
The Mark Addy