The Bistro delivers again

I have written before about our love for one of our all-time favourite restaurants, Bistro West and last night we had reason for a little personal celebration (which I won’t write about on here yet, but which I feel incredibly happy and relieved about) so it was the perfect excuse for our first visit in a while! Even better, the tram line extension to neighbouring Didsbury has just opened, which meant we could hop on for a quick two stop ride to get there! (Dangerously easy!)

For starters I plumped for the baked piri piri king prawns, red pepper and manchengo cheese. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the description of baked prawns, but it was delicious! It came in a sort of mini lasagne dish with some handy bread to mop up the melty cheesy salty deliciousness. Happy.

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Rob meanwhile went for the lamb and cashew nut kofta with mini falafel. These mini falafels were actually the real stand out, so full of flavour, they were like mini taste explosions!

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For mains I knew as soon as reading the menu description I had to have the rosemary, lemon and garlic chicken kebabs. These came with a “warm Sicilian salad” of aubergine, tomatoes, olives, chorizo and baby new potatoes – five of my most favourite things! All on one plate! And  I was not disappointed, it was insanely tasty! Only problem was the massive portion, I couldn’t quite finish it!

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Rob couldn’t resist the fillet steak. This had a nice summery twist as it was served with battered courgette strips (deliciously crispy and creamy) and summer cabbage, peas and grean beans. The cream and Dijon sauce was to-die-for, and, even better, came with big chunks of mushrooms  in it which I was allowed to pick out (as my dining partner insanely claims they are ‘mould’ – missing out big time!!) Oh, and the chunky chips were damn good too – cooked to perfection (I had to eat one or two, just for check for the sake of the blog post you see).

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Dessert had to be one of the famous Bistro Trios. This time the theme was orange – orange creme brulee, orange and almond cake and, the pièce de résistance, a COINTREAU ICE CREAM. I won’t even try to convey the deliciousness of this in words but let you imagine for yourselves! Thanks to the Bistro for another stonkingly good meal on a very happy occasion 😀

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Bistro West, I love you

Last weekend my mum and dad came down to Manchester for a visit. Much as I love living here, I do miss Scotland and wish that I could see my family and friends that live north of the border more often. So a visit from the parents is always a treat, even the more so as it’s also usually an excuse for some indulgent food treats! (plus my mum always brings down some of her unbeatable homemade chicken and rice soup and some of the delicious granary bread from the local baker that you can’t get down here)

We decided to treat ourselves to a really nice meal out and I knew just the place to take them – Bistro West 156 in West Didsbury. This is a small, perfectly formed bistro where you are always guaranteed a warm welcome and an outstanding meal. The other half and I have been delighting over the famous fish pie, the black pudding salads and desert trios here for many years, in fact he used to live just a two minute walk away, so the temptation was all the more! Anyway, for all these reasons, plus the fact that this is usually our restaurant of choice for celebrating special occasions, the Bistro holds a special place in my heart.

The meal last weekend didn’t disappoint (aside from the fact we still weren’t quite in season for the winter fish pie! 😉 )

I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo in before my dining companions began demolishing the starters, but we shared some incredibly moreish fried salt & pepper squid with chillis, spring onions and a sweet chilli dressing as well as a lovely rustic ham hock.

We then moved on to the mains and I ordered salmon baked in filo pastry with sundried tomatoes, basil and cream cheese, on a bed of creamy crushed potatoes, peas, leeks and little gem – I’ve never really put salmon with tomato before, but the flavours worked really well and the filo pastry was beautifully flaky and crispy.

My mum and dad both picked the mixed fish grill which consisted of seabass, salmon and beer battered haddock. This batter was definitely a contender for the best batter any of us had ever tasted – batter perfection! This came with chunky chips, peas and tartare sauce, yummy!

Rob had an amazing Moroccan-spiced slow roast lamb shank with sweet potato couscous, crispy onions (ohmigod these were insanely good!) and lemon and corriander yoghurt.

This dish was a beast, but sadly he didn’t need as much help as we anticipated!

Having eaten all this delicious food, washed down with equally delicious wine, we were all feeling really rather full. The deserts in Bistro West are however, in my opinion, legendary, so there was no way we were missing out! After a little rest we were ready to peruse the desert menu. I’m not going to lie readers, this was a stressful situation for me – how the hell am I supposed to choose between plum and almond frangipani tart with CRUMBLED AMARETTO BISCUIT ICE CREAM, a trio of creme brule with sticky ginger cake and STEM GINGER ICE CREAM or a melting chocolate and orange pudding with, get this, COINTREAU AND ORANGE ICE CREAM!!? (excuse the ice cream excitement, but oh my god, how amazing do they aaalll sound?!) I had already discounted the sticky toffee pudding with god damn honeycomb ice cream as I knew there was absolutely no way I could squeeze in a sticky toffee pud. I agonised over the other three for a while and eventually after much soul searching plumped for the tart – I adore both frangipani and amaretto so this swung it in the end!

Here’s the creme brule trio

And the melting chocolate and orange pudding (which you’ll see I didn’t get a chance to photograph before it was half demolished! You get the oozy chocolatey picture though…)

All in all, I think you’ll agree, a truly scrumptious feast and the perfect place to spend some time with my parents. Everytime I go, I just love the Bistro more!