SUMMER holidays and an eight-year-old to amuse. The shinily re-vamped All Star Lanes offers children’s deals – meal, shake, bowling. Tie this in with an adult package including an hour’s karaoke and a first look at the impressive private bar area and bowling lanes and that was an afternoon sorted.
Not the usual Taste of Manchester assignment but it was a chance to taste the venue’s new ‘Nashville Menu’, available until the end of August. But first the game of bowling (huge success) and the singalong (hugely raucous) in one of the two new private booths, the first accommodating eight folk, the second 12.
’Stone Roses’, the smaller, was perfect for the four of us to explore the state-of-the-art system, offering some 60,000 songs. For some reason our default tunes were Nessun Dorma and something by Wiley, but that just demonstrates our hi-tech deficiencies.
The relaunch fit-out is really smart. In particular, the private Green Room, which has been given a makeover inspired by Manchester’s musical legacy. It boasts its own cocktail bar (drinks prices on the high side) with plush burgundy seating alongside two exclusive retro bowling lanes.
We dined in the Lanes Kitchen between the main bar and the alleys. The normal food list is burger heavy in line with the all-American theme. We were intrigued by the ‘limited edition’ Nashville Menu. It’ a city we love but not for its food, necessarily.
Johnny Cash’s favourite dishes were (sic) Ring of Fire Chilli, cornbread, meat loaf, catfish and fried chicken. Only the latter appears on a specials lists that is less Tennessee, more The Colonel’s Kentuckee. Cajun country’s a long way from the Gran Ole Opry and Cajun salmon bites with their chipotle mayo seemed a long way from fish.
To go the whole hog perhaps we should have ordered the BBQ for two with cumin-marinated chicken thighs, jalapeño and Cheddar cornbread, maple-glazed pork belly bites, American sausage, chargrilled corn, cheesy Hasselback potatoes and BBQ beans.
Instead we went for the healthy option of ‘Nashville chicken’ – Southern-fried chicken thighs with buffalo sauce, whipped cream cheese, crispy shallots and sweet potato fries. Well, we enjoyed the fries and the eight-year-old her shake and brownie. Otherwise, maybe wait for a Memphis Menu to roll into town.
For a limited period, for £25 ASL are offering a package that includes two courses from the set menu (including Nashville), a glass of Prosecco, bottle of Budweiser or Curious Brew beer, bowling and karaoke. The kids’ daytime deal costs £15. There’s a special karaoke launch offer of £5 per person, per hour until the end of August.
To find out more and other regular daily deals visit their website.
All Star Lanes, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4E.