Monday 22 June 2015

Tariff & Dale, Manchester.

My sister came up to Manchester for the evening and as I want to take her somewhere new, we decide on Tariff & Dale. It's a handsome newly converted old warehouse on the corner of my favourite street in the Northern Quarter, Tariff street. (You'll find Kosmonaut , El Capo ,Takk and The Whiskey Jar on the same block). We head downstairs and claim a booth at the end of the row near to the kitchen and impressive wood fired pizza oven. Naturally it's all exposed brick and industrial styling but it is cosy enough. 
The beer selection is pretty good with cans from Beavertown (my go-to brewery right now, always fantastic) although I'm not sure why Kona always appear on these menus, they must have a really good rep is all I'm saying. I try a few Outstanding IPA's and Pale Ales which at £3.60 for cask seems a relative bargain for the area.
I go for three starters which our waiter presumes we're all sharing equally. You presume wrong my friend, I may let Mrs Bacon and my sister sample a little bit though!
The Pork Nuggets (£5.50) are tip top. Well moist porky croquettes, I'm guessing chef Chris Vernazza may have picked these up when working at the likes of two starred The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. The Sausage Rolls (£7) are equally as impressive, beautiful flaky pastry and more porky juicy, goodness. I pop them in my fat face in one go with great pleasure. If there are better sausage rolls in town, I've not had them although I'm willing to try.
The Beef Tartare (£8.00) needs tweaking. Frost's quality meat is lost as it's over seasoned and unbalanced, you don't get that lovely fresh clean raw beef flavour coming through enough. My sister thinks it tastes 'weird' Mrs B agrees that a little holding back on seasoning and it'll be reet.
I'm not a fan of thick cut chips like these, much preferring fries, these are more like wedges than chips, the problem being that the potato can be too hard and bland in the middle as they're way too thick. These are slightly undercooked and they're as dull as ditchwater to eat, barely better than boiled potatoes, not a treat at all.
 I watch the Sourdough Pizza (N'duja + goats cheese, £11.00 + £2) come out of the impressive wood fired oven. I'm happy to see they're unusually generous with the toppings. I plough through the spicy hot sausage and half of Mrs B's too. (I ask them to omit any green salad leaves on my pizza, a pet hate).
The base needs a bit of work though. It's much too thick for a start and there's precious little leoparding. As you may have seen, this has had a fair bit of discussion on-line, #Leoparding. Much I suspect is due to us pizza geeks being able to use the little leopard emoji at free will. Leoparding if you didn't know refers to the charred spots you get on the edge of pizzas (not on the underneath, that's charring). If you want to know what it looks like, see the finest pizzas in Greater Manchester from Honest Crust.
Getting great pizza from an oven like this is not as easy as is may first appear.  It takes time and trial and error to perfect. That's not to say the pizza here is bad at all, in fact we all enjoyed it and Tariff and Dale (more than I thought if I'm honest). A few minor tweaks and they'll have the makings of a very decent restaurant and bar and a fine addition to the Northern Quarter.
There is a cracking soundtrack too. They played quite a few real favourite tunes whilst we were there ~ Dirty work- Steely Dan, Come live with me Angel - Marvin Gaye, Jazz Carnival - Azymuth, Erykah Badu - Honey‬, La Fleur - Minnie Riperton....

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