When the Oast House was built a year ago I considered it to be a very quixotic project. A replica of a south-east England building designed for drying hops, in Spinningfields?- the 21st century capitalist quarter of Manchester and full of the suited and booted? It seemed incongruous to me.
I had deliberately avoided it until last week but once inside I was won over by its quirkiness and charm. Certainly Spinningfields needed some architecture that was different to the glass and steel square office blocks that dominate the heart of it. The design with wooden beams, shabby chic furnishings and rustic doors with metal latches somehow all works. The staff are lovely too, bright and cheery and well intentioned, in fetching pink and white checked tops. Their enthusiasm shines beyond the meagre wages they are probably earning, like so many of the waiting and serving staff in the catering trade.
I enjoyed the atmosphere but my only gripe is with the food. There is nothing for vegans on the menu and not enough choice for those who would like to eat vegetarian. It is all heavily meat-centric and although the barbecued skewers are well presented on little stands, I would expect there to be veggie options for this too.
I went for a Waldorf salad, which was so disappointing. The bed of salad leaves comprised about 95% of the dish. Far too much salad, and only a handful of grapes, a few pieces of celery and a couple of bits of broken walnut. The dressing was ok but too sweet for me. There may have been apple too but I cannot recall it.
A Waldorf salad is so simple to get right and a healthy dish of beauty, but not at the Oast House on this occasion sadly. At least the Waldorf salad in Fawlty Towers got a few laughs...
I previously posted about the Oast House's exterior in summer: http://mancunianwave.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/oast-house-olympics.html
Linked to ABC Wednesdays , the Sesame Street of the bloggers' world. This week it's the letter "Q".