LET’S celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a plate of sushi. OK, it’s a bit out of the ordinary but then so is the venue – Grand Pacific, latest restaurant/bar to occupy the first floor of the old Manchester Reform Club at the top of King Street and opening to the public coincidentally on March 17.
ToM popped in for a sneak preview of setting and food and we can’t resist sharing with you one of the most beautiful plates of food in town. The combo of rice, tuna and salmon sashimi, pickled mackerel, avocado, wasabi and soy sauce set the tone for a ‘colonial’ interpretation of combo of oriental and English classic dishes with cocktails to match.
We dare you to settle into this homage to Raffles Hotel bar in Singapore and avoid demanding a gin sling forthwith. We ordered and toasted the late Tim Bacon, head of Living Ventures, whose sumptuous legacy this project is.
It has long been potentially the most stunning dining room in the city and designer Michelle Derbyshire has done classy justice to it, given the constraints of a Grade II architectural listing. With deep button upholstery, palm trees, and cut crystal abacus inspired screens, Grand Pacific lives up to it pineapple logo a traditional symbol of prosperity, generosity and hospitality.
The 120 cover restaurant and bar, offers informal all-day dining, while at weekends a classical Sunday lunch is available with roast beef carved at table and live music from the Grand Pacific Palm Court Group.
High tea is an indulgent affair filled with exotic sweet delights from faraway places with specially blended fragrant teas and Champagne cocktails. The cocktails are bound to flow, too, every evening with DJs, lights turned low and a late license.
Living Ventures CEO Jeremy Roberts told us: "We are delighted to bring this beautiful room back to life and echo its glorious past as the home of the historic Manchester Reform Club. Its heritage as a place to relax, eat and drink and just enjoy some of the pleasures of life simply oozes from the walls and it is our privilege and pleasure to let it continue to be what it was always meant to be."
ToM is looking forward to reviewing soon, our appetite whetted by the sushi, gyoza, a cottage pie with Asian spiced duck and tempura Szechuan sea bass.
Grand Pacific, 50 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 4AH. 0161 839 9365. Open from 12 noon every day