Lunch Is Served Outside The Pacific Rim; Grand Pacific Reviewed
It's midday and you're hungry. You and your mates want to get out of the office for a little break in the day. There certainly is no shortage of places in city centre, especially around Spinningfields. Let's face it..you have a virtual plethora of options from pre-fabricated sandwiches at Waitrose to one of our fav spots Neighbourhood. But today we ventured to where we've spent a great deal of time in the past that sort of fell off our radar. It's that little cherub from one of Manchester's most creative Asian inspired kitchens, Grand Pacific.
The baby sister of Australasia opened to much applause last year, and the city's foodie/drinkie crowd couldn't get enough of its large, welcoming, sun-soaked patio area. With the beautiful, un-Manchestery weather last summer, we were like moths to a flame night after night at the eatery until winter reared its chilly head.
Fear not, dear readers....for Grand Pacific has gone and kitted itself out with everything required to keep you warm and toasty while you people watch on The Avenue. Which is exactly what the VIVA girls did today.
The menu is what you would find downstairs at the mother ship restaurant. Pacific Rim inspired sushi, sashimi and a wide variety of small plates and unique main dishes. We opted to order from the lunch menu, taking a steer from suggestions made by the very lovely servers. Having a bit of an appetite, we went with 4 dishes each, at the incredible price of £20 (options include 2 dishes for £11 and 3 dishes for £15).
The dishes came in two waves. The first tsunami of deliciousness; Maki Roll Selection of Tuna, Salmon and Mushroom; Temaki Seaweed Rolls with Salmon and Robata Beef; Vegetable Tempura; Onigiri Tofu and Soy. The sushi and seaweed roll were as perfect as you would expect from the Australasia team..perfect in every way. You have to love a good tempura; light, crispy, not greasy with a bit of snap still left in the veg. And we were surprised to find that of all the options on the table, the Onigiri Tofu and Soy was our favourite.
Round two commenced with the delightful Collingwood Dinkies (a trio of mini meat filled pies), Sate Chicken on Noodle Salad, Seared Teriyaki Beef with Sweet Soy and the Vietnamese Pork Egg with Vegetable Noodles and Nouc Cham. We found ourselves not speaking much at this point, as our mouths were fully engaged in hoovering up the plates in front of us. Sure, there were many groans and grunts of appreciation when a new dish was tasted, but other than that there was a hush at the table.
We went into the lunch agreeing that we would skip dessert since we were going large with the 4 dishes each, but as the plates were cleared, we couldn't bring ourselves to leave just yet. Not when we had a glance at the puds menu. After much deliberation, along came a delectable little pot of light, sweet lemon crème brulee with a raspberry sorbet, and a banana ice cream with caramel, a scoop of chocolate mousse and a cute little tea pot full of rich chocolate to drizzle as desired. Oh yeah.
It was hard to tear ourselves away from our table, which we begrudgingly did after more than 2 hours of thoroughly enjoying the summer-esque atmosphere in the middle of a cold, damp Monday afternoon. But Grand Pacific has firmly cemented their place as a VIVA top spot for lunch. Even when the sun isn't shining. Or should we say ESPECIALLY when the sun isn't shining.
Address: 1 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AP
Tel: 0161 831 0288
A menu of Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European cooking tradition, an exotic blend of Indonesian and Southeast Asian influences. Australia's strong ties with Japan also help determine taste and style.