Many changes have been made at 20 Stories since we first visited during its opening week in 2018. We have been to try various menus/launches over the years and were delighted to be invited to check out their latest offering, a special seasonal taster menu that is to be launched to the public from next week.
For those that still haven’t visited, 20 Stories is one of the few restaurants in Manchester that I always include in recommendations, especially for those dining out for a special occasion or want to make a day/evening of it.
Located on the 19th floor of No1 Spinningfields the restaurant originally opened with 2 different styles of restaurant, one a grill style and one a fine dining.
This concept was soon scraped and the menus combined, however for me it was always the fine dining restaurant that gave the most appeal, along with the stunning bar and outside area, which is perfect for pre or post dinner/theatre drinks.
The launch of a tasting menu excited me as they encourage you to try something new, that maybe you wouldn’t order from an A la Carte menu.
Along with its food, and always friendly service, one of the other attractions of 20 Stories is of course its location with views, and although its no where near as high, the dining experience is not too far removed from other great restaurants such as Duck and Waffle in London.
We were lucky to have a table right next to the windows, which gives such a beautiful backdrop to your dining experience, especially at night.
The new taster menu is made up of 5 courses and it wasn’t long before we were bought the first.
Seared King Oyster Mushroom with Pear and Turnip with a Dashi (A Japanese style stock) was up first. So its here that I have to confess to not being a massive mushroom fan, however as previously said, the point of a taster menu is that it allows you to experience so much, that otherwise you may avoid.
I actually finished every one of the little round, perfect cooked discs, they were beautifully cooked with a texture I enjoyed and a great earthiness, blended perfectly with the umami of the Dashi.
Along with the menu, we were also served an accompanying wine flight and with this course came a stunning Gevrey-Chamertin which like the dish was intense in flavours, yet elegant.
Next up was a mixture of Citrus Cured Salmon, Beetroot, Wild Rice and a Fennel Cream. The Salmon, Beetroot and Fennel flavours all stood proud in this dish, with not one giving way to the other, however what really wowed me with this dish, was the wine pairing, it actually lifted the dish so much further. A Mosel Riesling which was off dry added just the right amount of sweetness to the beetroot and highlighted how a good wine flight really can lift a meal.
The main was next with an 80 day aged sirloin, Maitake Mushroom, Artichoke Purée and Lovage. This was one of my favorite course and I literally wanted to lick the plate to get every part of the sauce. I have clearly been living in Manchester for too long and developed an immense love of sauces/gravy that pack a real flavour punch, which this one really did.
Unlike the previous courses, which were more about the great use of delicate flavours, this was a flavour bomb on a plate, thankfully the accompanying wine was too. A Rioja that I think was a 2001, yet still had some great berry fruit flavours along with chocolate, tobacco and forest floor.
The pre dessert was a light and refreshing lemon parfait, lemon crumble and candied lemon, which cleansed the palate and prepared us for the finale.
The Blackberry and Hazelnut Pave was rich and luxurious, but was made so easy to eat when combined with the yoghurt sorbet. This final dish was served with an ice wine from Canada, an ideal candidate to match the sweetness and intensity of the dish.
I hadn’t eaten at 20 Stories this year until now however new executive chef, Daniel Scott has definitely impressed with this menu. He has previously been at both Mana and Bull and Bear and this visit has made me look into when I’m free to get back down and try some of his other dishes.
The tasting menu that we enjoyed costs just £65 (Wine flights extra) and is available from next week, but only by pre booking . Email RebeccaH@danddlondon.com to book.
Disclaimer – We were invited to try out the dishes by 20 stories in return for feedback and were not asked to pay. The review and all thoughts and opinions are honest and those of Manchester Food Tourist.