After hearing the buzz of a multi-million pound refurb, we head over to Pier Eight for a midweek dinner in Salford Quays.
MediaCityUk is fast building a reputation as Manchester’s own Big Apple; a sub-city of fluorescent lights, star-ship buildings, restaurants, bars and the much-loved Lowry theatre… And it all adds to the excitement of the venue. Pier Eight has its own entrance to the left of the main Lowry doors, introducing you immediately to a swanky-yet-welcoming bar space.
The restaurant is a leap further up, taking you aside from the foyer area, looking out onto the rippling Quays through floor-to-ceiling windows. Pier Eight didn’t stray too far from the luminous colours one expects from The Lowry, with warming candlelight and bright mini sunflowers on show. The dining area is large and open plan, so you feel as though you’re participating in the theatre’s atmosphere – not cubby-holed to the side. We imagine it would be a great spot to nosh on a three-course dinner before the red velvet curtain opens… without wasting a single moment.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
It was a quiet Thursday evening in January and there were only a few diners alongside us. Despite this, we excitedly chatted away with our next-door-table about theatre companies and shows we love, alongside the staff who all clearly share a passion and enthusiasm for the arts. It goes without saying that this is a convenient place for theatre-lovers to have dinner. But there’s no pre-requisite to be a Shakespeare scholar to be welcome. After speaking to Mike (General Manager), we soon found out the Pier Eight’s bar sometimes sees some of the stars that tread the boards. So it’s worth sticking around!
The Food and Drink
Nothing gets a meal off to a good start better than lovely wine. The Andean Vineywards Argentinean Malbec (£20) was wonderfully warm on a bitter cold winter evening and gave the meal just the right kick. The scallops at £9 were cooked to perfection, and the cauliflower puree, bacon, lentils and smoked red wine sauce that accompanied them all fitted together very nicely in a showcase of good, gastro inspire fare. The black pudding, crispy egg, tomato chutney and crème freche combo was great value, at £6. After polishing the earlier dishes off, the Scottish salmon (£16) for mains came with a delicious creamy sauce and my companion was extremely pleased with his Cheshire lamb rump (£17) – which I might have had one or two (too many) nibbles of thanks to Pier Eight's brilliant attentiveness to tender meat.
Dinner-and-a-show has long been the perfect date night combo. Pier Eight is brilliant for theatre-type date nights and those looking for everything under one roof.