WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT:
- For the impeccable service
- To feast on small plates of delicious Mediterranean food
- Sit and enjoy carefully selected wines and cocktails
- Enjoy the modern and tasteful surroundings
Last month, my husband Steve and I had the pleasure of visiting new restaurant on the block in Manchester's King Street, Suri. With a focus on Mediterranean shared food inspired by the rich cultures of the Middle East, the name Suri is taken from the Persian word meaning Red Rose, representing the restaurant's ethos that beauty extends through the restaurant's aesthetics to its dishes.
Suri has a modern and spacious interior over two floors, with a long bar on the ground floor and an open kitchen on the first floor, and it is a bright and airy space. I loved the mixture of cosy booth seating and smart navy chairs and stools alongside the marble effect walls, statement pendant lighting and eye-catching artwork and it was a space I immediately felt comfortable in.
We were dining on the restaurant's VIP pre-opening night and with glass of prosecco in hand, were seated at a table for two right near the open kitchen, which I was pleased about as I love watching chefs at work.
The team had put together a set menu of a selection of the restaurant's grazing dishes, across Graze, Field, Farm and Waves from the menu created by executive chef Guy Callister, to enjoy alongside either white (Some Young Punks 'Quickie' Sauvignon Blanc) or red (Paranga Kir Yianni Merlot Xinomavro) wine.
To start with, we grazed on some Suri Rose Olives, Baharat Spiced Almonds & Salted Pistachios, Persian Spiced Bread and Josper honey'd Salmon with Avocado 'ran taheena'. The olives were a real eye-opener, arriving in a bowl of rose infused rapeseed oil with edible dried roses over the top, and were deliciously fragrant. The bread was soft and spongey with a light crust and we eagerly dipped it into bowls of oil and smashed vegetables and chickpeas. The salmon was sweet and smoky and the creamy avocado balanced it well.
Next, we were tasting dishes from the 'Field' section including Crunchy Cauliflower, Tahini & Spice and Chickpea Kibbeh with Spiced Yoghurt. Both Vegetarian, the dishes arrived in Moroccan style metal dishes that were perfect for placing in the middle of the table to share. The Chickpea Kibbeh were similar to falafel and the mildly spiced yoghurt was the perfect accompaniment. The cauliflower was actually one of the best cauliflower dishes I think I've ever eaten, and since Steve is not a fan of the vegetable, I polished off the whole bowl. It was perfectly cooked, beautifully spiced with Ras el hanout and wonderfully moreish. Had we not been mid-way through the meal with lots more dishes to come, I could have enjoyably eaten another bowl full.
After two vegetarian dishes, we were brought two of the menu's meat dishes to try - Lebanese Lamb with Roasted Garlic Tzatziki & Pomegranate and 35 Day Aged Steak with Harissa Hollandaise. The lamb came as a cutlet, which was slightly too rare for my liking, but it was juicy and full of flavour all the same and worked well with pickled pink onions and the cucumber and mint in the yoghurt. The steak was perfectly cooked with a smoky charred outside and it literally melted in the mouth.
Alongside our meat dishes, it was also time to taste some fish and seafood from the 'Waves' section of the menu. We were brought Whole Fish with Burnt Fennel & Shells and Hanout Split Prawns with Smashed Avocado. The whole fish was cooked over charcoal and simply done but it didn't need anything more as it was full of flavour. Prawns and avocado are a winning flavour combination and these didn't disappoint, with the Moroccan flavours adding a subtle spice. My only criticism was the absence of a finger bowl.
Alongside the prawns, we were brought a couple of accompaniments to try including the Za'tar Fries and Chorizo Beans. The beans came in a smoky tomato sauce and worked well with the fish and the lightly seasoned fries were tasty and very easy to nibble on.
We were pretty full up at this point but the wine continued to flow and it was hard to resist the delicious sounding puddings to finish the meal. Fortunately we were brought just a small taster of two puddings to try - Chocolate Slab with Burnt Orange Ripple and Cardamon Vanilla Cream with Rhubarb, Rose & Ginger.
The brownie was the perfect mouthful of chocolate goodness and it was as a brownie should be - crisp on the outside and gooey with a slight chew in the middle. The panna cotta, which is always one of my favourite desserts, was absolutely wonderful with just the right amount of rose and ginger and it was the perfect middle-eastern finish to the meal.
Throughout our meal at Suri, we were served by two different waitresses and both of them offered perfect service which was friendly and knowledgable without being overbearing. This is something that is often hard to get just right and the fact that Suri already had their service spot on before opening night is impressive.
Suri is a very welcome new addition to the Manchester dining scene. They have mastered the Mediterranean relaxed style of eating but teamed it with fine-dining finesse to create something that is quite unique. Pay Suri a visit, you won't be disappointed.
Dotty Dishes was a guest of Suri.
Suri, 6AG, 20-22 King St, Manchester M2