THIS is such a satisfying still life. A 250g sirloin steak, cooked rare, handcut beef dripping chips, homemade bearnaise, charred leeks, a bottle of Blackjack Red Rye Saison beer and a sunflower.
We’re in Beastro relishing their Early Bite of the Beast menu, available between 5pm-7pm Thursday and Friday, 2pm-6pm Saturday and all day Sunday, two courses £15, three for £18. There’s a £5 supplement for the steak, but it’s still a beastly good bargain and they’ll chuck in a glass of house wine for a further three quid.
Here at ToM we’ve long been admirers of James and Heather Taylor and business partner Richard Brown and their transition from sausage making and street food to this handsome all-day eaterie on the Leftbank.
Beating off five other contenders on the site in the trader competition set up by landlords Allied London was a big deal. Now as a permanent fixture they have to battle for Spinningfields custom against the likes of soulless but slick incomers such as The Refinery across the way.
Deals like this early menu are leading the charge. These minnows have always been meaty, but it’s good to see fish and vegetables jostling for attention.
Among the starters, including chicken pate and pea and ham soup a beetroot and goat’s cheese terrine with toasted wholemeal caught the eye and tasted equally well, even if the advertsied celeriac remoulade wasn’t evident.
I begged a portion of creamy kidneys on toast from the main menu, a slightly mustardy but surprisingly delicate offal kick.
The sirloin, as you’d expect from the Taylors with their butcher’s background was spot on, sweetly charred on the outside, pink and yielding inside. Rarely do I finish a side of chunky chips; these were so good this time I did. Which meant I needed further beer, this time a Cloudwater Session IPA from a comprehensive local beer list. The wine menu is interesting too for a place this size, even if they have listed wines on name such as the South African red, Wandering Beeste!
My companion’s lamb rump on its bed of green veg didn’t suffer in comparison, maybe a notch behind a recent serving up at David Gale’s One88, Whitefield, but that was utterly sublime. Like Beastro, this is an independent all-day operation. Such places need our support against the corporate culinary carpetbaggers. Our local duo have soul and in Beastro’s case fabulous sausage swirls – thanks, Richard, for that extra Bite of the Beast.
Beastro, Irwell Square, Leftbank, Manchester. M3 3AG 0161 327 0265.