Manchester has seen quite the explosion in the last five years in terms of worthwhile restaurants and bars. One could even say that Manchester has nearly caught up with London and has become the city that any young 20 something would love to work and live in. In particular, the Northern Quarter area of Manchester has seen such a transformation which independent shops springing up every other day. Evelyn's which has reopened with a new owner and menu caught my friend, Hydar's eye having and he decided that we would visit for dinner.
The restaurant is located on Tib street right where the Superstore was once located. It now joins the other lovely joints on that stretch like North Tea Power and Wood. The restaurant itself is a cafe style with plants dotted around with that local and welcoming feeling to it. It also has a full length breakfast bar along the window and an open kitchen.
The menu itself is simple and clean with great fresh ingredients. I was expecting standard fare as I had not researched the restaurant prior to visiting. Although the menu has been kept quite simple, it boasts a breakfast menu, a la carte lunch and dinner; and a Sunday menu with a roast. The dishes has been crafted to be inspired by asian flavours which all seem to be quite healthy as well. For my main, I settled on the seared mackerel with black rice which I could have over and over again. This gluten free dish is packed with so much flavour and comes with a thai flavoured sauce. The asian flavours in many of the dishes are quite distinct and were quite unexpected but very welcoming. It is very nice to see a restaurant in the Northern Quarter moving out of the burger joint phase.
Unfortunately we did not try the desserts cause our bellies were quite filled up with their yummy food. However, my friend had been previously and tried the avocado cheesecake. The verdict was that if you have a sweet tooth then this might not be the best dessert to try on the menu. I can really see my self loving it. Something to try when next i'm in there. Quite interestingly, as I could see on another table, if you order the apple crumble and custard, a waiter will literally bring a large tray of apple crumble over to your table and serve it directly. This was inspired by the owner's memories of the way his mother made the dessert.
[Small Plate] Calamari, Papaya, Lotus Root, Nuoc Cham
Seared Mackarel, Chilli, Ginger, Vegetables, Black Rice
Aged Sirloin Steak, House Sauce, Radish, Chips
Ginger and Mint Lemonade
I was not drinking that day so we decided to try their freshly made lemonades. I decided to try the ginger and mint lemonade after deciding that it would probably be best to stay away from the Brazilian lemonade made with condensed milk. My lactose intolerance would not let me! The kick from the ginger was so strong and was a nice contrast to the sweet and tart taste of the lemonade . If you don't mind that then this drink is for you.
I had such a lovely time at Evelyn's and I really implore everyone who lives in Manchester to visit. Great dining experience, atmosphere and the loveliest waiters in the Northern Quarter. What more could you ask for.