For those of you who don’t know, Dr C is originally from Glasgow. And Alston Bar & Beef just so happens to be one of her favourite restaurants there. So when the invite to try out their new menu at Alston Manchester she grabbed her fella Dan and jumped at the chance.
Over to Dr C… Located in the new(ish) Corn Exchange development, the Alston Manchester restaurant completely made think of Glasgow and yearn for home a little. I adored the atmosphere and décor, and it is exactly the kind of place I like to find myself. Would the Manchester steak (and gin) be as excellent as the fond memories I have of Alston Glasgow? Spoiler alert: yes, but do read on to see what we enjoyed!
What we drank
Alston does their gin a little differently. As well as having an enviably stocked gin shelf, they also produce their own cold compound infusion gins. These infusions change on a regular basis, and vary with what’s in season and available. I opted for the Wild Berry, Hibiscus and Chai Gin Liqueur and Dan went with the Apple and Coriander Gin. I loved the sweet and spicy profile of mine, and I almost wish I’d stuck to drinking it without tonic! Dan really enjoyed his too, but again thought that it tasted all the better without tonic and wished it was just a little bit sweeter. To compliment our mains we went with a carafe of the Pencarrow New Zealand Pinot Noir on the recommendation of our server. It was a deliciously rich red and one that I’d very happily drink again.
What we ate – starters
Knowing that we were undoubtedly going to have steak for our main course we both opted for fishy starters. There was only one option for me, the Roast Scallops. They were served with prosciutto, a black pudding crumb and a pea vinaigrette. Often with scallops they can be overcooked and they lose their delicious sweetness. This wasn’t the case at Alston. They were cooked to perfection and completely balanced with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the earthiness of the black pudding. A winner of a dish for me! Dan went with the Scottish Salmon, and I have to admit there were pangs of jealousy. It was so perfectly cooked and the accompanying pickled fennel perfectly cut through the oiliness of the fish.
What we ate – mains
We love a sharing main, we’re soppy romantics at heart, and Alston had us covered on this front. We debated for quite a while about whether to go for the Chateaubriand, or the butchers cut selection. In the end the Chateaubriand won, and I’m so glad that it did. We had it served with chips and seasonal greens along with the bone marrow butter and the blue cheese sauce. When it came to the table it was obvious that it was a beautiful piece of meat and a serious size as well! It was cooked perfectly rare and completely melted in the mouth. Easily one of the best Chateaubriand that I’ve ever eaten. The chips were super crispy and the veggies cooked perfectly al dente. And that bone marrow butter was divine!
What we ate – dessert
When it came time to order dessert I thought I would go for something nice and light since I was feeling suitably full of beef. The Strawberry and Rhubarb Sundae called my name, even if it wasn’t necessarily that light! I loved the combination of flavours and textures and it’s something I would complete order again. Dan was a little more adventurous than me, and went with the Mojito Cheesecake. It looked incredible and from the little of it I got to taste it tasted exactly like a mojito!
After dinner drinks
We had such a lovely evening at Alston Manchester, it was just as excellent as I remember Glasgow being. Everyone at the restaurant were fantastic, made us feel super welcome and were passionate about both the gin and the beef. We loved it so much that after dinner we took ourselves down to 1837, Alston’s speakeasy style gin bar for a few cocktails. I can confirm that I had one of the best Dirty Martinis of my life. If you’re in Manchester (or Glasgow for that matter) and you’re looking for an excellent steak and some cracking gin – Alston is the place for you. In fact I’ve got a trip to Glasgow booked soon, and I certainly know that I’ll be adding a visit to Alston to my itinerary!
Have you been to Alston Manchester (or Glasgow) before? Would you check out Alston Manchester? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Dinner and cold gin infusions paid for by Alston Manchester, drinks in 1837 paid for by Dr C and her fella Dan.
P.P.S. Alston Manchester is located at Cathedral Street, Manchester M4 3TR.