Simon Rogan has worked his culinary magic on Manchester once more with the opening of his new restaurant Mr Cooper’s House and Garden only a few floors away from his initial venture, The French.
With an entirely different purpose to The French, Mr Cooper’s offers an affordable yet exquisite menu with a relaxed, homely feel. The interior, led by Simon Rogan’s vision, literally depicts Mr Cooper?s house and garden from library to summer house. Not to mention the kaleidoscopic artwork that covered the walls taking us in Mr Cooper’s magical garden.
The original Mr Cooper owned the house that was on the land beneath The Midland, where he grew vegetables and fruit for Manchester. Even with this rich background of home grown food, Mr Cooper’s is the only of Rogan’s restaurants to not use entirely British ingredients, including produce from aroundthe World to create an exciting menu.
We spent an autumnal, Sunday evening with Mr Cooper and were instantly enamoured with the surroundings, marvelling over the secret summerhouse and questionably shaped hedgerows under the huge windows.
The meal began with a cocktail chosen under pressure as my companion had already ordered, I didn’t want to keep the waiter waiting so plumped for a cocktail which to my surprise appeared in a china teacup. The first of many unexpected treats from Mr Cooper.
I chose the Chicken wings in pomegranate molasses, chives and sepia noodles (£6.50) to start, the chicken wings were small but perfectly formed little parcels of goodness beautifully complemented by the sour yet sweet noodles. My companion opted for the Smoked eel torte, lovage and porkbelly (£7.50) which delighted him but wasn’t quite to my taste. The Parmesan Patties (£4) proved very popular judging by the tables around us.
My main course was something that had not left my thoughts since the last morsel passed my lips, the minted chargrilled courgettes, lamb rumps and spiced lentils (£16) is perhaps my perfect dish, the lamb was cooked to perfection and the lentils in spiced sauce was the perfect partner. My other half was won over by the sweet potato casserole and spiced duck breast (£16.50),the duck was beautifully rare but overall the dish seemed a little uninspiring as he kept attempting to poach my lamb.
To round off the evening, I went straight for the apple butterscotch pie with cinnamon crème anglaise (£6.50) which did not disappoint.The warm, gooey, butterscotch oozed over the cinnamon tainted apples, it was the perfect dish for a cold Autumn night.
For an affordable but intriguing, beautifully imagined menu,Mr Cooper’s House and Garden is something unparalleled in Manchester, it’s definitely worth a visit. Next time, it will have to be The French.
Find out more and to check out the menu at Mr Cooper’s House and Garden here.
Words by Clare Potts. Images courtesy of Mr Cooper’s House and Garden.