I love earwigging other peoples conversations.
In a fine country pub in Lancashire I over heard:
Him (to the waitress in a broad Lancashire accent):
"Did you forget to take our order for the tart?"
Waitress: "Sorry I missed your order."
Him:" "It's ok now we'll just take our bill."
Waitress: "Are you sure?"
Him: "Yes it's ok."
Waitress walks off... Him to his wife:"Why do they all have to be foreign?"
The waitress on this occasion was from the Czech republic I believe. Casual daft racism aside, why are so many waiters and waitresses not from originally this country? Well because you can't get the staff over here that's why. (I wanted to tell him but didn't). In my experience as a punter (and generalising of course), foreign waiters tend to work harder and to take the job very seriously - in that it's a proper career rather than a stop gap whilst studying. It's even more the case in Michelin star restaurants, very few would seem to run at all without importing foreign staff members, especially sommeliers it seems.
It's also true for us that quite a few of our favourite waiters and waitresses in recent memory all seem to be from abroad. Jana the waitress at L'Enclume comes to mind, originally from Poland she started off washing dishes, but she's now a waitress at Britain's best restaurant. How come? By working extremely hard for long periods, but having a natural aptitude to the job helps too. (As I'm dead nosy, I find peoples back stories fascinating, Mrs B said you could write a book of waiters/waitresses stories who work in places like this).
It's also a truism that good service can really make the difference between a good and a fabulous experience. Or totally spoil what would have been a great meal. So onto Mr Cooper's House and Garden
. We remember Maria our Spanish waitress from Galicia from our last visit. The one thing I don't think you can train for is charm
, and she has this in abundance. She's also brilliant at her job. So much so that she's got quite a fan club over on twitter. She's normally quite shy, but I managed to persuade her to let me take a photo:
|We all love Maria.|
We returned to Mr Cooper's House and Garden as we'd so enjoyed it last time, and this time didn't disappoint either. Great food from Simon Rogan
and head chef Gareth Jones
, fantastic service and a fine interior I'm not sure what else you need? This is why it's my favourite Manchester restaurant along with The French
To start with we all had some cocktails.
For me a fabulous Rum & Raisin Old Fashioned
For our friend Dr Gambas A Turn of the Century
: Gin, Lemon, Lillet Blanc, Crème de Cacao, Lavender Honey.
For our friend Ms Arroz A Cinema Swill
: Butter Popcorn Infused Bourbon, Fig Bitters.
Then we mixed and matched between the Sunday lunch menu and the a la carte.
Crisp Kale, Golden Raising & Violet Mustard.
We couldn't resist a few old favourites, Smoked Eel torte
and the Mexican Gazpacho
, wasabi and avocado.
Cumbrian rib steak
, truffle pudding and purple potato latkes and sides of Cauliflower Cheese
To follow: Rhubarb dessert
, meadowsweet, custard and black sesame wafers (again).
Passion fruit Brûlée Coconut Ice Cream, Cumin Short Bread
Red Dessert wine.
It was pretty much all fabulous as anticipated. I was a bit jealous of my friend when she got her Sunday dinner with the Yorkshire pudding, but I couldn't resist the Cumbrian rib steak with
truffle pudding. This was really lovely although at times the meat was a tiny bit fatty, but this is the nature of the cut.
I spent more than I anticipated (approx £50 per head and it was my turn to pay, this included a cocktail, wine and dessert wine.) But all was good. We said our goodbyes to Manchester's Best Waitress
until next time and made our way home for a snooze on the sofa. There are not many better ways I can think of spending a Sunday.
See my earlier review here
Soundtrack: Happy People - R Kelly.
and i still havent been ;-(