The other week I was invited on down to The Pen and Pencil in Manchester’s Northern Quarter to check out their evening menu.
For the evening I took my friend Ms M along for the experience in the hope we could have a good catch up over dinner. The Pen and Pencil now offers a small plates and main course menu that runs 5-9pm every evening.We’d been for brunch before and I’ve been to try out the cocktails, so we were rather looking forward to checking out what is on offer.
We started off with some small plates, me opting for the Crab and Avocado and Ms M picking the BBQ Pork Rib. Both looked wonderful when they arrived. The Crab and Avocado was bigger than I expected it to be, wonderfully fresh, although not great if you’re not a fan of dill (I have no issue there though) and yes, huge. I did find it a little too big for a starter, but if you are ordering lots of little plates it is a great for a sharer. Ms M’s BBQ Pork Rib was divine, it fell of the bone and the BBQ sauce was very flavoursome. The only issue is the slate, why a slate? The juices from the meat ran on to the table. Come on Pen and Pencil, we need a plate here I think!
For cocktails we picked the Long Tall Poppy (something I had already enjoyed at the cocktail menu launch) and a Copper Pot Punch. This was a sweet rum cocktail, not sure about the banana as a garnish but it was very tasty!
For mains Ms M opted for the New York Strip Steak (medium rare) which did come out a bit more medium than rare, but was still very tasty. I picked the Buns of Anarchy, which are 3 slider burgers- I went for the halloumi, atlantic cod and beef burger sliders. My only gripe here is that all 3 appeared to have the same spicy mayo on them, which wasn’t the case on the menu. I did mention it to our server but they never came back with a reason as to why. Disappointing here as they all ended up tasting a bit samey, although the halloumi was grilled perfectly, the cod was flakey and the beef burger was pink in the middle- perfect!
The fries that came with both mains were delicious and we had plenty of ketchup on the side for dunking. Although again, a plate wouldn’t go amiss here, I’m really over the food served on boards thing personally.
Overall, we had a tasty dinner at The Pen and Pencil, despite a couple of issues here and there, the service was good and the food was obviously cooked freshly and to order. Thanks to The Pen and Pencil for inviting us down.
Have you been to The Pen and Pencil yet? What would you order? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Our meal was given for free in return for an honest review. As ever all words, photos and opinions are my own.