Situated in the heart of Manchester - just off Deansgate - London brand Dirty Martini has landed up north. For the occasion they’ve refurbished a three-story office space for the hefty price tag of £1.5m, taking it from dreary to damn sexy. Promising 'spirited sophistication' and a lengthy cocktail menu, including 15 different twists on the classic martini, Dirty Martini is THE place to be in the city.
Venue And Atmosphere
With eight branches in the capital and one in Cardiff, Dirty Martini are no stranger to creating buzzy and fun bars, and the Manchester outlet is following suit. Spread across several floors, the entire venue felt classy, elegant and put together while still maintaining the true unique Dirty Martini style. As well as slick decor features such as a mix of geometric designs, florals and metallics, the spot also keeps things fun with the iconic ‘Get Your Halo Dirty’ and angel wing wall, which made for a great photo op.
Shortly after we arrived, the friendly staff led us through the upstairs area which was busy but had a relaxed feel, with the sound of background music and light chatter filling the room. Passing that infamous angel-wing wall, we continued downstairs to an intimate bar filled with booths, tables with 'reserved' cards, moody lighting and an incredible atmosphere. The venue's DJ played out all the current hits while the room chatted, sung and danced; even though it was shortly after 8pm on a Thursday, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was much later on a Saturday night.
Food And Drink
The clue is in the title when it comes to Dirty Martini’s drink offerings; the spot knocks up a mean martini in more ways than one. It also has a killer Happy Hour, with drink prices slashed in half for at least five hours a day. Clearly there was only one thing for it; we had to try several of the bespoke cocktails - all in the name of research - starting with the Kiwi & Coconut Martini (£9/£4.50 at Happy Hour) and Passion Fruit Martini (£9). Both pack a punch with a generous amount of Beefeater Gin, underlined by a sweet smoothness thanks to the fruit liqueur topped off with juice and a garnish.
There’s also a food menu featuring a range of inspired small plates and sharing platters. We were keen to sample a little bit of everything so went for the Distinctively Dirty Sharing Platter (£14.50). Serving two people, the plate could feed a small army with fried buttermilk chicken, Venetian mozzarella & bacon arancini, Korean vegetable samosas, grilled flatbreads with a range of dips and the bar's signature beef and cheese sliders. It tasted as good as it looked (which was VERY) and with the amount of choice, even the fussiest eater had something to gorge on.
After enjoying our food, we finished off the evening with another martini. This time we opted for the Spring Peach & Hibiscus (£9), a delightful mix of Absolut Blue Vodka, Teichenne Peach Schapps, Briottet liqueur de Thé Vert Hibiscus, coconut water, gomme syrup, fresh lemon juice and Fee Brothers Grapefruit and Peach Bitters, which was then garnished with an edible hibiscus flower. We decided to shake things up a bit and opted for a classic Mai Tai (£9) which was just as delicious as the martinis, even if it was a little bit on the strong side.
Whether you're looking for after-work drinks or somewhere to celebrate a something special, Dirty Martini really do know how to get the party started. The venue is located in an ideal location, perfect for any occasion. Offering arguably the happiest happy hour in town and a buzzing atmosphere, once you visit Dirty Martini, you'll soon find yourself wanting to go back for more.