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Monday, 6 January 2014

Volta Manchester.

We were on our way to meet Luke Cowdrey co-owner of Volta the new bar/restaurant in Didsbury. Mrs Bacon tells me that I had met him before, but I don't really remember it, being quite worse for wear at the time, about ten years ago. You see in those days DJ's Luke and Justin Crawford ran the best club night around; Electric Chair. Then our heroes were DJ's; Lil Louie Vega, Osunlade, Moodymann etc. Now we're older, it's more like chefs; Simon Rogan, Eneko Atxa, Ferran and Albert Adrià. You grow up and get old and the party has to stop at some point. When we stopped partying, we started eating. (I'm not sure which one is the most damaging to our bodies). When Electric Chair ended as all good things must, they opened up Electrik bar, for my money the finest bar in Chorlton amongst some very good competition. 
So when we heard about Volta, their new place, we were excited to try it out. The menu reads really well to me, simple and small with few tapas size dishes, sharing plates and a specialism in steak. 


People who know these sort of things (blogger Hungry Hoss) commented that this could be the best value steak in Manchester. The dexter rib is priced at just under £20 and I believe this cut is more often sold at around £30. I rarely order steak being often disappointed, but this was a must have dish.
The design of Volta is well thought out, simple and modern but with vintage elements. After chatting with Luke for a bit (Mrs B knew him a little from old), we set to order.

Pork Belly, cumin and Lemon (£5.50) was nice and juicy but a little overpowered by the lemon for me, but that's more of a personal thing as I'm not really into overly citrus flavours in food. Maybe it'd be better to let the customer add their own?
Then Crispy Baby squid and aioli (£5) These crispy little morsels went down very well with us, the most similar dish to what you'd find in a Spanish tapas bar. 
Fine beans, mint & feta. Mrs B insisted on having a 'healthy' dish.

Luke was telling us that he wanted to avoid the word tapas as people assume it's all Spanish, whereas it's more the concept of the no fuss casual dining that they're after. The Lamb Meatballs special with a quails egg were fine, I wanted to taste more of a meaty flavour in the meatballs, but it was enjoyable enough. 
The main course of Dexter Rib on the bone 350g (Chips, watercress, Béarnaise, £19.50) is the show stopper. He has spent some time sourcing the best steak he could find. The chips were spot on, and the meat although a little fatty was as tasty as. (The flavour's in the fat they say). 

It's a very decent steak this, we both enjoyed it probably more than the £50 British Wagyu we'd had at James Martin recently. The only thing was we'd asked for it rare, and for me this wasn't quite a rare as I like it. I also got to try a little of the chef's smoked salmon which was superb. They're keeping it simple using good quality ingredients. It seems to be working already, within half an hour every single table was taken up.
We also tried some lovely Herb flat bread from Trove (£3).

This was all washed down with various excellent beers, Brewdog Punk IPA, and 13 guns IPA in my case, Mrs B elected to drive. It'd be rude not to opt for pudding, the classic Panna cotta and an 'affugatto' finished it all off nicely.
We really enjoyed our lunch at Volta, we took advantage of the 50% off food offer on right now which is a real bargain. Volta isn't yet the finished article, as with any new venture, they need to tweak things, add new dishes etc, but an attention to detail (good bread for example) and a for quality ingredients (great meat) will stand them in very good stead indeed.

Price: It cost us £45 for 2 with the half price food offer.
It should have been £67 including a few drinks.
Service: Lovely.
Food: Good
Star dish:
Dexter Rib.
Score: 7/10.

Click on the menu here to enlarge.


Soundtrack ; Where will You Go When The Party's Over - Archie Bell & The Drells.
 Volta on Urbanspoon

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