Food: Banyan Manchester Review with The Blogger Dining Club

Back in September, myself and a lovely bunch of Manchester based food bloggers all gathered together at Manchester’s Banyan Bar and Restaurant, situated at the Corn Exchange. I’ve been here before, when I stayed at the lovely Roomzzz Aparthotel also situated at the Corn Exchange (you can read about it here), but it had literally been for a few cocktails and a catch up.

But on this occasion, we were ordering off the set menu and dining in one of the gorgeous private dining rooms. Nestled downstairs, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, we all sat around a huuuuge table, which could probably seat around 20 people for private parties or occasions.

It was lovely to be greeted to some rather nice blogger treats from brands such as Kiehls (one of my new favourites at the moment!), and Yusa drinks, before sipping on a glass of Prosecco and chatting to all the other bloggers.

The organiser, fellow blogger and photographer Georgie Glass, was super organised and asked us all to pre-order before the event. Which meant my lovely starter of a sharing platter – the Mezze Platter (VE) – came fairly quickly, ready for two of us to share!

The Mediterranean style sharing board consisted of chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables, hummus, falafels, balsamic pickled onions, tenderstem broccoli, olives, marinated artichokes, watermelon, pepperoncini, toasted seeds and warm pitta bread. It was huuuuge and you know what, you could actually get three people tucking into it, it was that large!

I’m quite picky with eating veggies, but the board featured that many tasty hummus style dips and seasoning that I kept nibbling away at the Broccoli. Not like me at all!

For my main, I went for the Smoked Haddock main – basically I LOVE this dish and when I see anyone serving this up I always chose it. It came as a grilled Scottish smoked haddock with new potato & leek hash, topped with a soft poached egg and chive hollandaise sauce.

The fish was soft with a light smoked taste, but the potato and leek hash with hollandaise sauce smothered over it really gave it an edge. It was so so delicious and would recommend this dish to anyone contemplating the menu!

I was driving on this evening, so I opted for the non-alcoholic cocktails on the menu.  I had a couple of ‘Blushing Mexicans‘, a mix of guava, almond, blueberry, cucumber and lime all topped with ginger beer. Sooooo sweet and ‘more-ish’, maybe a little too easy to drink!

Although I can’t review the alcoholic cocktails, the list was extensive and from the looks of it, some pretty yummy, fruity concoctions taking lead.

However, lets skip straight onto dessert, as I genuinely believe this sweet treat dish was one of the best desserts I’ve had in a long while, and it wasn’t even anything ‘fancy’.

I love nothing more than a good warm, comforting crumble, which is why I went for the Strawberry and Apple crumble complete with hot custard. It was crumbly and had that real ‘homemade’ feel to it, with warm, sweet apple and strawberry fruit muddle together under the soft and crunchy crumble.

It sounds a very ‘typically British’ dessert to get so excited about, but boy did I thoroughly enjoy it!

Overall, I left Banyan with a very full belly and a very happy heart. Perhaps I didn’t need to indulge in the Mezze Board between two as a starter – I’d highly recommend 3-4 of you picking at it if you’re planning on getting a main and dessert too (and sweet cocktails!).

Huge thanks to Georgie and the bloggers who attended. A fabulous evening with lovely good and great company.

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