The Clink is a charity scheme devised by chef Alberto Crisci. It offers convicted criminals the chance to break the cycle of crime by changing attitudes, creating second chances and transforming lives... through fine dining.
The Clink has 4 fine dining restaurants up and the down the UK all run by offenders who have gotten their NVQ.
So everyone wants a bit of class in their life, even convicted criminals. What you don't want is it breaking the bank.
Don't worry, we've got you. We've lined up some of the classiest restaurants in Manchester that aren't going to be too massive on the bill.
£50 Per head. Website.
With a menu devised by former Young Australian Chef of the Year, Paul Greening, Australasia offers a fine dining experiences that is by no means stuffy or inaccessible.
You'll find Australasia underneath the Armani shop in Spinningfields Manchester, and if you were hoping the 'down-under' jokes stop there, you'll be disappointed.
You won't be disappointed with the menu though. Taking inspiration from Australian culture, you'll fine Australasia to be a hotbed of different cooking traditions and styles. Pacific Rim flavours meet European. Southeastern Asian influences are fused with Indonesian and Japanese to create something wholesome and unique.
I went for the seared teriyaki beef which I rounded off nicely with a side order of chilli broccoli and the vegetable tempura. The decor is minimalist and subtle, with creme cushions in wicker chairs, glass tables and candle light.
For the party goers, Australasia is one of the few restaurants that holds a license to stay open till 3am. To boot, they hire DJ's and serve some of the best cocktails in the Spinningfields area.
Too pricey? How about 20% off your food bill? Just download the TableNow app to get started with saving.
The Podium, The Hilton Manchester, Deansgate
£50-£60 Per head. Website
The Hilton has quickly become a figurehead of Manchester. It dominates the skyline and is often the first thing you see as you draw closer to the ancient city. It is the reserve of the rich and famous and is sometimes invaded by the odd Groupon voucher.
But don't let this dissuade you. There is nothing wrong with a Groupon voucher, especially if they get you a meal at The Podium.
Intimate and informal, The Podium pits dark, luxurious reds against warm yellow light to provide the feel of a theatre in the evening. Black leather chairs meet white dressed tables to represent a touch of class. This is the Hilton after all. A relaxed lounge area is perfect for you to wind down with a fresh smoothie or a cocktail.
As for the menu, prepared by award-winning Executive Chef Stuart Duff, you won't be left wanting. To prove that this is accessible fine dining. I went for something down to earth. Fish and chips. Well, roasted cod with quinoa.
The good news is it turned out to be the best fish and chips I'd ever had in Manchester. The cod was crumbly and delicious. The tartar sauce and minted peas were fragrant, divine. The chips have to be tasted to be believed. They were fried to the point of perfection and seasoned just right. Incredibly moorish.
Sounds good, right? You know what sounds even better? 50% off food. We're offering this deal on TableNow. Download the app and get started with saving.
Artisan, 18-22 Bridge Street
£40-50 Per head. Website
Artisan has a 20 foot bar. If you can't find room to buy a drink on a 20 foot bar then you're totally out of luck.
Artisan, set in a vast industrial complex, provides a space that blends artist’s loft studio and concrete warehouse: stripped back & raw, showcasing paintings, print, sculptures, murals & art installations by contemporary artists. Concrete and exposed steel piping provides an industrial feel, while warm lighting, rugs and sofas bring the comfort.
The food, much like the decor, is stripped back to the essentials. Artisan's menu is all centred around the flame. You'll be choosing from stone baked pizza, the grill and fish. The 28 day aged Lancashire beef fillet steak has to be the jewel in the crown. It's a sumptuous, meaty, ode to joy.
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