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Restaurant Taste - Carol Emmas reviews the Obsidian

Published:  16 April, 2010


More restaurants  should take a  leaf out of  Obsidian's book  when it comes to  covering every base in a subtle but effective way.

More restaurants should take a leaf out of Obsidian's book when it comes to covering every base in a subtle but effective way. Part of Manchester's Arora Hotel, but tucked away in the basement, Obsidian's general manager Chris Eigelaar says: "It is quite difficult to get diners to come down the stairs . People seem to have a fear of descending into what they consider the unknown."

So the challenge is to get people to make the descent and also return once they see this 120-cover restaurant is stylish, serves good food and wine, has excellent service and caters for everyone's budget. The clientele differs widely, with people coming in from the hotel or off the street, enticed by offers such as three courses and unlimited house wine for £25, Monday to Wednesday. Or £14.99 for two courses and a glass of wine between 5pm and 7pm daily, except on Sundays.
At the other end of the scale, the Manchester celebs are making it their weekend hangout, perhaps lured by the Louis Roederer Cristal at £250 a pop and the in-house cocktail bar that stocks 220 different bottles and boasts a comprehensive cocktail menu.  2005 (£21.50 for 37cl or £7.50 by-the-glass). Wines such as Petaluma Tiers Chardonnay 2002 from Adelaide Hills(£98) and Barolo Bricco Rocche Brunate Ceretto 2004 from Piedmont (£98) grace the wine list, which is categorised by style rather than country.

There are also the fine diners who appreciate dishes such as celeriac soup, with blue cheese and truffle oil (£7) , or fillet of Cheshire beef, with Rossini potato confit and pot roast vegetables (£25). All are cooked by chef Bryn Evans, who previously worked at the Michelin-starred Chester Grosvenor. Plus there's a cheese board featuring more than 20 cheeses, along with a good selection of ports and fortifieds such as D'Arenberg vintage fortified Shiraz Manchester's Obsidian restaurant has something to suit all tastes and purse sizes Eigelaar says: " Ordering from the wine menu by taste means our wine list doesn't intimidate. We want people to feel comfortable about what they're ordering."

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24 Princess Street
Manchester M1 4LY