First things first – I’m assured that the correct pronunciation is mamu-k-ium, and yes, it was the name given to the small fort that was our city by the Romans way back when. (If you haven’t already, you can head over to Castlefield to see the remains of the fort itself).
Back to the present day, and this Mamucium is part of the Indigo Hotel that has recently opened near Victoria Station. At the front, they’ve kept the original building, which houses the Mamucium Cafe, then around the side is the hotel entrance, and then the hotel. This is perhaps a little bit that disappoints me. I’d have put the restaurant in the building at the front. Show case it. Use the high windows and the original structure, make it all a feature.
But I’m not an architect, or designer, and maybe that wasn’t possible. Mamucium the restaurant is in a new section of the building, banks of teal green, and tan seating, plenty of wood, and open ceiling with the foil covered piping bare. Which too seems a bit of a shame, it works in industrial style venues and this one just isn’t quite pulling that vibe, so it feels a bit, unfinished.
We had planned to take advantage of the January offer that they have on – three courses, bottle of wine, £20 per head. I know, right, bargain. The options under the offer are limited to their Statuto set menu, and as both of us were ogling items on the main menu, that’s where we went. Both menus have hints of Manchester and Lancashire about them – locally sourced ingredients, Mancunian smoked salmon, Lancashire beef, locally cured bacon.
So, onto the starters.
Mr GFB went for the Cumbrian pressed pork. Soft pink pork, honey mustard, pickled vegetables, and a toasted Lancashire muffin (or oven bottom).
Whereas I went for the Smoked Cheshire Beef Hash. Rich beef, crisp potato, slow-cooked Burford brown egg, with caramelised onions, and a spiced ketchup
And the filming didn’t stop there. For any lovers of a runny yolk – this is for you.
The pressed pork was perfectly lovely (I did love the idea of an oven bottom on a starter plate!) the hash was far more what I was hoping for. A little finesse, good flavours, a good solid dish.
Mr GFB’s hot pot was a little deconstructed. Which is a shame in many ways. It was a cold day and the thought of buttery lamb and meat juice soaked potatoes was just what we had pictured in our heads. This was perfectly lovely, but the confit leg managed to be a little dry, and it was just missing the unctuousness – that rich, fatty buttery flavour you get from a hot pot. It should be like a meaty version of ready brek – warming you up.
Maybe I have a romanticised vision of a hot pot in my head.
My main however, was bloody lovely.
Mr Green’s Pie. Spinach, Portobello mushroom with Sandam’s goat’s cheese in a crispy pie crust, with earthy, salty cheese sauce, roast celeriac. It was proper veggie comfort food. Oozy, cheesy, hits of earthiness from the sauce and the celeriac, I scraped the plate clean.
Somehow we had room for pudding. Mr GFB went for the classic, Manchester Tart.
Custard tart, topped with banana, coconut, meringue and raspberry. A version of a Manchester Tart if you will – I suspect it avoids the soggy bottom you tend to get if you have banana on the base (it also has a tendency to go a little brown), and again was perfectly pleasant.
Mine too was perfectly pleasant if a little large. Blueberry pavlova, with berries and Vimto gel. To be honest, I had to ask Mr GFB to help me with it, the meringue was so vast, and I was concerned that digging into it the wrong way would result in it pinging clumsily across the table. When it comes to inelegance, I need no encouragement.
Overall, some hits and some not quite. But it’s early days – and as the formal launch isn’t until the end of the month, maybe we’ll see a little refinement over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, if you’d like to take up their bargain January offer, just book online and mention it when you arrive.
All food and drink was paid for by ourselves.