I had been wanting to try Grafene for some time, so when friends of ours suggested it for dinner one evening, I was all in! Grafene is a new(ish) restaurant in Manchester located just off of King Street, where many of my favourite shops and restaurants are located.
After a quick pre-dinner drink in Browns around the corner, we headed to Grafene for our reservation. We were greeted as soon as we stepped inside and guided to our table.
I immediately was captivated by the beautiful decor from the blue and yellow tiles to the grey detail in the chairs, Grafene was beautifully presented. The only thing that confused me was how quiet the restaurant was for 8pm on a Friday evening. I think there were about 5 or 6 other tables in and that was it. I had read good reviews and heard good things so I tried not to let that deter me early on.
We were handed our menus and the waiter offered to talk us through the options and gave some good advice on the size of the dishes, and whether we needed to order extra sides or not (some dishes he suggested we ordered extra, others he said were fine as they came).
We ordered a bottle of Mendoza Malbec which was served to our table quickly and we sipped our wine as the chat began to flow. Not long after, our starters arrived. I had opted for the tomato, consomme, black olive and mozzarella starter. It was delicately served and a beautiful start to my meal.
Chris and Martin went for the parfait, which was again, stunningly served. The parfait was incredibly smooth, almost like a scoop of ice cream and they both really enjoyed the dish, although they said say they would have liked more bread.
Amy went for the treacle cured salmon which was beautifully presented (as everything was in Grafene actually) and she said the combination of flavours with the smoked, treacle flavour of the salmon against the zing of the horseradish, was delicious.
With big smiles on our faces, we looked forward to the main event. I had opted for the cod, daikon, seaweed and ponzo, which was a Japanese inspired dish and was absolutely delicious. I pretty much wiped the plate clean, along with my side of insanely creamy, champ mash. I was one very happy lady.
The lads went for the lamp rump, kidney,leg pie which they were raving about from start to finish, mainly because it was served with a side of shepherds pie! Chris is still talking about this dish now!
Amy opted for the guinea fowl as she was feeling somewhat adventurous and fancied trying something new, she said she really, really enjoyed it it but it wasn’t quite the flavour sensation that her starter had been.
Another bottle of Malbec down and our after dinner drinks arrived. I had ordered my favourite cocktail of all time, a lemon drop martini, and the Grafene take on this, with the vanilla vodka, was delicious. I enjoyed every single sip. Our waiter also presented us with the signature Grafene cocktail for us all to try. This was stunningly presented with all the showmanship a dry ice cocktail provides. We were given little straws to try the cocktail and it was nice, but no lemon drop (slightly biased towards my fave here) but Chris loved this cocktail and pretty much drank the whole thing himself!
Not much later, our desserts arrived. They were again all stunningly presented. I went for the mango and coconut dessert, two of my favourite flavours, and it was so good. I almost licked the plate clean and to be honest, could have eaten it all over again.
Chris went for the chocolate dessert, which gave us all serious dessert envy. It looked so good and given how quickly he ate it, I am guessing it tasted as good as it looked!
Martin went for a deconstructed crumble with frozen custard, and I mean frozen, he said the dish was freezing! Delicious but not one for sensitive teeth!
Amy went for a strawberry dessert with shards of meringue and mini macaroons, she said it was beautifully refreshing and ended the meal perfectly.
We finished our drinks and then sadly bid farewell to Grafene. We swore we would be back and shout its praises from the rooftop because a restaurant this damn good should be packed to the rafters all day, every day. We genuinely all had a stunning meal. The service was outstanding, the food incredible and the decor beautiful. Grafene, you may well be my new favourite Manchester restaurant, and that’s a bold claim.
Have you been to Grafene? What did you think? You can check them out here.
You can check out my other Manchester restaurant reviews here.
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