Whilst The French may be Simon Rogan's most publicised venture into the Manchester dining scene, his name also adorns the door at Mr Coopers House and Garden, which resides literally a few metres away from his historic heavyweight on the opposite side of the Midland Hotel. It would be easy to label this as an upmarket bar that happens to serve food, in reality what's on offer here is a very fine restaurant in its own right.
I visited with three friends on a Thursday evening for dinner; there's a dedicated entrance on Mount Street and the greeting was warm on arrival. The dining room itself I like; it's contemporary and the unmistakeable garden theme, with trees aplenty, works as a fitting reflection of the intended vision.
The drinks selection is impressive, with a good range of cocktails and even a few decent beers. I started with a "Northside Garden Fizz" as an aperitif which wasn't great, but I enjoyed a pint of local(ish) ale Tatton Blonde later. The service was generally good but there were some issues. When our initial order was taken, the particularly pushy waiter described the mains as "coming with what they need" and was desperately trying to push side dishes. It wasn't a polite up sell, more an assumption he had made, without any foundation, that our group had no concept of fine dining. In many ways it's quite perverse that some of the waiters in Mr Coopers are considerably more pretentious than those at The French, but fortunately we didn't see this particular gentleman for the rest of the night.
The food began for me with scallops; a food I love but they were served on a cucumber sambal. That's a combination you have to balance delicately, and in this case it hadn't been, the sambal massively over powering the nicely cooked scallops which was a shame. However my main of lamp rump was a much better dish and very enjoyable. The service unfortunately did again go a bit awry; three mains were served together but the fourth took around five further minutes to arrive. Even a pretty dire kitchen should be able to get a table of four out at the same time, so that was disappointing to see.
And that to be perfectly honest is that. It was an enjoyable but largely uneventful evening; this is just good quality modern food served in a very pleasant venue at a reasonable price. It sounds simple to execute, it often isn't but at Mr Coopers they are successfully pulling it off. Long may it continue.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||Listed||-|