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Manchester City Centre



This bijou, black-fronted Bridge Street bar does small plates and signature cocktails, and, with gold-tinged puma insignia and monstera-adorned menus, not to mention a Michelin-starred chef, you can bet your bottom dollar this is not just small plates and signature cocktails, this is…

You get the rest. The branding – including the name (a play on the old “there’s no I in team” joke, perhaps?) and mantras about yin and yang and not apologising for having high standards (“People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them”) – however, seems at odds with the opening night high-flying kitchen and bar team and the promise to use local Lancashire produce (Bury black pudding, Mrs Kirkham’s cheese, Strange Times lager…). Look beyond the glitz, though, and there are some solid-sounding dishes, even on the bar nibbles list (beer-pickled onions and duck scratchings ftw). Lamb cutlet with anchovy potatoes, beef cheeks Bourguignon and slow-cooked pork belly with Bramley apple would all satisfy the diehard meat-eater, and there’s more choice than that, even. Monkfish a la plancha and braised octopus with chorizo and smoked paprika both sound like seafood winners. In the “Plant” section, potato gnocchi with smoked mozzarella is elevated with the addition of black olive potato glass, while mushroom arancini gets the black truffle treatment, so is vegan depending on how vegan you go.

Sweets are equally interesting, from sherry-imbibed baked figs to chilli chocolate tart, but nothing is going to get between us and the cava and orange trifle. What’s more, there are no fewer than 24 cocktails, plus a spread of fizz (including Crémant), wines and beers, with the aforementioned Salford’s Strange Times Lorelei and Coyote on tap.

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  • Fine dining or fancy
67 Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BQ, UK
Tel: 0161 711 1267 www.exclsve.co.uk
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