Review of The Bay Horse, Manchester NQ

Ever the explorers, we originally set out to find somewhere to go for lunch that we’d never been to before. Manchester’s Northern Quarter can always be counted on to offer something new, different and quirky so when we came across The Bay Horse on Thomas Street we thought we’d give it a try.

Having been to the venue in the evening before for drinks, we were already familiar with the cosy and contemporary decor, which sees a mix of leather seats, printed fabric sofas and paintings. My only criticism would be that it was quite cold inside – I kept my coat on for most of the meal. It was also very quiet when we arrived, although it did start to fill up a little later on.

The music was an eclectic mix of old school rock, and who doesn’t love a bit of the Rolling Stones and David Bowie?!

The menu was on the small side, although it would probably be described as ‘streamlined’. We started with the Smorgasboard, a selection of bites to share served on caraway, fennel and sesame seed knackerbrod crispbread. There was a wide selections of tasty toppings on offer at £4.50 for 4 and we went for the smoked salmon and capers, chilli and lime mackerel, goats cheese and cucumber and pesto and caramelised red onion (the best one by far!). Good food, but bearing in mind that we were the only ones in the restaurant ordering food, the service was quite slow.

Moving on to mains, the Knackerbrod pizza on a caraway fennel and sesame seed pizza base with smoked salmon, ricotta, beetroot and spinach topping was truly lovely. The beetroot added a slightly acidic tang and took away from the sweetness of the ricotta, which I have to admit there was slightly too much of. It was a bit of an NQ bargain at just £6 and was really filling. However, it was served on an extremely wobbly rotating board. I can see why this might have been a good idea if sharing, but for me it just made it much harder to cut and eat!

As we visited on a Sunday, we also had the roast beef, complete with all the trimmings (£7.95). The beef was perfectly cooked, pink and juicy, but the accompanying veg lacked a little lustre.

All in all it’s definitely worth going. The food was a different and made a nice change to other venues in the area and the staff were excellent and really friendly. More info on The Bay Horse can be found here.

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