Browns Bar & Brasserie
Reviewed by Rebecca Singleton
My sister and I ate out at Browns on Tuesday 24 September 2013. Browns is located on York Street just a short walk from Piccadilly Gardens. From the moment we walked in it felt as if we had taken a step back in time. The building was designed back in 1902 by Charles Heathcote and was originally the imposing banking hall of Parrs Bank. Today the bank has been converted into a bar lounge and restaurant but kept much of the Edwardian baroque architecture and art nouveau details that are original to the building. From the beautiful marble columns and flooring to wooden panelling and the world banking clocks it helps create a unique sophisticate yet relaxed ambiance.
We were shown to our table by our waiter Tibor who throughout the meal proved knowledgeable about the foods and wines he was presenting, even recommending wines that would complement our main dishes. The menu had a diverse range of food which would accommodate the tastes of most. It took us a while to order but only because I couldn’t decide what I wanted.
For our started we opted for the Browns Sharing Platter priced at £16 to give us a small taster of several foods available. It consisted of honey mustard chicken, crispy chilli duck, chorizo sausage roll, salt & pepper squid, prawn cocktail, goat’s cheese stuffed picante peppers, lavash breadsticks with harissa hummus, aubergine caviar and a lime & chilli mayonnaise. It came presented on a large slab of black slate and was very generously proportioned it would easily have been a started for four. My sister and I both agreed that everything on the platter was delicious and it had been one of the best sharing starters either of us had ever eaten. It would be worth coming back to the restaurant for it alone.
For our main meals we ordered Crab and King Prawn Linguine tossed in a lime, chilli & coriander pesto priced at £12 and Hand-made Lamb, Feta and Mint Burger with tzatziki priced at £13. The only criticism I would add was that the Lamb, Feta and mind burger was on rather the small side, the bun was twice the size to the filling. Also I would have liked more pesto on the linguine as it was barely covered. However they did both taste delicious and I had a generous amount of prawns in the Linguine.
We were both feeling pretty full by this stage but our waiter Tibor recommended we try one of the dessert platters which we were glad he did. We had a Trio of Brownies prices at £10 again it came presented on a large slab of black slate and was generously proportioned enough for more than two. The brownies themselves were ginger, cherry and chocolate and were cooked how brownies should be oozing and gooey in the middle it was a delicious way to top off a lovely meal.
The drinks at Browns were very reasonably priced for it being in Manchester city centre starting around £4.40 up to about £6 for a large glass of wine, with offers on different cocktails throughout the week. The drinks menu had a large selection and my sister was impressed to see they had her favourite Red wine on the list the Malbec, Casa Juanita, Argentina.
All in all I found this restaurant to be warm and welcoming with a special ambiance that would be hard to recreate without such beautiful surroundings. I would recommend you visit this restaurant, with such an enticing menu and reasonable prices it’s sure to be a hit with anyone you take.
For more information, to view menus or book a table click here.