One glance at The Patron’s menu and I jumped at the chance to try out the exotic offering from this Oldham Street eatery. Just a stone’s throw from Hula Bar and Affleck & Brown in Stevenson Square, The Patron certainly has some very notable neighbours, but since its grand opening in 2017 the bar and restaurant has already established itself as a firm contender for most exciting food in the Northern Quarter.
Almost reminiscent of a bygone era, The Patron’s interiors are decidedly retro. Lamps look very 1960s, and the aesthetic is cool and pared-back, with foliage draped from the ceiling and vibrant neon furnishings to set the scene. Right in the main hub of Manchester’s coolest district, it is the ideal drinking den for young creatives and professionals to unwind.
To start with, the service was wonderful, with our waiter very keen to explain key ingredients, and he proved to be an expert at pairing food and wine. The food itself is impressive too, to say the least. Offering flavoursome fare, largely inspired by traditional Persian/Middle Eastern cooking, dishes are tantalising and unpredictable, with an excellent range of vegetarian options too.
We shared several tapas-style dishes, and certainly felt that we over-faced ourselves - there were just too many tempting options! We went for breads, dukka, zhoug and olive oil (£5.50), which was the perfect accompaniment to the bolder small plates, such as the puy lentil hummus (£4.50). As a dedicated lover of hummus, this uber-rich variation on an old favourite rivalled even the very best that I’ve tried.
The most memorable dish we shared has to be the filo wrapped crotin (£7.50) – an expensive goat’s cheese, with honey-soused tomatoes and lovage – that proved perfectly indulgent. The chargrilled asparagus (£3.50) offset the goodness of the packed cheese parcel wonderfully, creating different flavours and textures all at once. If you’re looking for a delightful attack on the senses, The Patron is the place to be.
Now, I must admit, we weren’t entirely sure what each dish actually was before we ordered it, but I think this is part of the joy of The Patron, as it is so experimental, and the presentation was always creative, as the chefs demonstrated more than a little flair. Plus, our choices were always an extremely palatable and pleasant surprise. This restaurant serves cuisine that errs on the side of unusual in the best possible way, and it was a welcome change from the usual choice of pizzas or burgers.
The beverages menu is just as daring – if you’re a dedicated martini sipper, I would highly recommend the Magnesia (£7.50). The Patron’s own unique take on the Espresso Martini, as well as the expected pop of caffeine, there is a hint of caramel and stout reduction, making the slurpable concoction great bang for your buck.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Having had little preconception of what to expect before we frequented The Patron, we left feeling extremely satiated, and adamant that we would return again to try the rest of the dishes on the menu. What’s more, we noticed that for those that live or work in Manchester city centre, they can pop in between 12pm and 4pm Monday to Friday and choose a main and a side for just £10 from the lunch menu – what’s not to love?