MANCHESTER RESTAURANT REVIEWS - Grafene Manchester Reviews  
Restaurants Of Manchester

Grafene Manchester
Grafene Manchester Reviews
Address55 King Street, Manchester, M2 4LQ
Phone0161 696 9700

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1761 Restaurant Manchester Review 1761 Restaurant Manchester Review
Grafene Manchester Review
Restaurants Of Manchester (Tuesday 27th Feb 2018 & Mother's Day Sunday 11th March 2018)
Since opening in 2016, this hidden away fine dining restaurant has struggled to grab the attention despite going through various accredited chefs. We returned for two visits in February and March 2018, to check out the new menu from freshly unveiled Head Chef Ben Mounsey, who comes to Manchester from the 2 AA Rosette Thornton Hall and the Michelin Star Fraiche on The Wirral...
Key: 5 stars = World Class!   4 stars = Fantastic   3 stars = Good   2 stars = OK   1 star = Poor

Decor & Ambience 4.5 stars


With a nod to Manchester's scientific discoveries, in the form of hexagonal tiles and exposed pipes, Paul and Kathryn Roden's city centre baby to their Peak District Losehill House Hotel & Spa, delivers a luxurious industrial chic that is not only comfortable and inviting but light years away from the awful Brasserie Blanc which once resided in this backstreet venue. As well as intimate booth seating, and an al fresco terrace (no use to us in the coldest February known to mankind), there's also a private dining room.

We're not sure about the confusing artwork in the private dining room.
1761 Restaurant Manchester Review 1761 Restaurant Manchester Review
Concillo et Labore (£8.50) & This Is The Place (£9) Needle & Thread (£9)

Price 3.5 stars


There are various menus to match your budget (even the seven course Taster Menu is only £65), however the Restaurants Of Manchester February/March Exclusive offering of five "British Tapas" plates and a glass of wine for just £25, was incredible value, with each dish being large enough to share.

If you dine a la carte, the cheapest three course option will set you back £37 + 10% service charge (£9 for Pork Cheek, £20 Spiced Brisket, and £8 for Rice Pudding).
1761 Restaurant Manchester Review 1761 Restaurant Manchester Review
Smoked Duck Breast (£7.50) Salt Cod Scotch Egg (£7.50)

Service 4 stars


On our initial visit on a snowy February Tuesday, we were the only diners - scarily, the case for the fourth Manchester restaurant review in a row, including a Friday evening visit elsewhere. For that reason, service was hard to judge, however our Bulgarian waiter, Lucas, was brilliant; describing each dish in detail, he was knowledgeable, friendly and, as you'd expect given the circumstances, attentive. Chef Ben Mounsey joined us at the end of the meal for feedback, something he apparently does with diners on each shift.

The service on our second visit, a busier Mother's Day sitting with a different team, was less impressive whilst still being acceptable and incredibly friendly. The dishes were delivered a lot slower and with no introduction, possibly because the special menu for the day already detailed each of the ingredients in full. The boothed area of the restaurant, where we sat, also seemed to be less attended than the busier area near the bar, with many neighbouring tables also suffering the same fate as us with prolonged periods of empty glasses.
1761 Restaurant Manchester Review 1761 Restaurant Manchester Review
Fish & Chips (£13.50) Spring Lamb Rump (£19.50)

Food & Drink 2.5 stars


Our experience from both visits, reiterated that Ben Mounsey is serving up some of the best food to be found in Manchester. His creative, technically and aesthetically brilliant British dishes boast an obvious local influence and are best sampled with either the Tasting Menu or Tapas offer. Choosing a stand-out dish is hard, given the high quality of each and the constantly changing menu, however if it's available, you should try the Burnt Ends of Brisket (£7 on the tapas menu) and, this being Manchester, his glorious take on the Eccles Cake (£11). Veggies and vegans are well catered for, as are oenophiles with 110 wines available, 40 by the glass. The cocktails are amongst the best in town; the Vimto Gardens (£9), a refreshing Manchester twist on a Bramble, and The Mancunian (£10), an inappropriately named but delicious walnut and cinnamon spiced mix of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon and Salzburg's Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, being highlights.

The grill menu, surviving from the previous chef, is perhaps out of place given what else is on offer from the kitchen, which is certainly worthy of an AA Rosette or two (if not more), without aiming to be Michelin Star standard.
1761 Restaurant Manchester Review 1761 Restaurant Manchester Review
Manchester Tart (£6.50) Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6)

Overall 4 stars 83%


There's no doubting that the food on offer here at Grafene is fantastic and, having gone through various accredited chefs without much luck, it looks like Paul and Kathryn Roden have finally found their man. My dining companions on both occasions - all well travelled and from within the restaurant industry - have already made repeat bookings and are singing its praises to colleagues.

The score on our initial visit was the highest we have given to a restaurant in Manchester since the opening of The French and Manchester House. Whilst scoring extremely high, it was only let down by slow service and a less polished approach on our revisit, during a busier sitting.

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