Whether the Manchester summer sends you searching for chilled outdoor dining or a cosy fireside corner, Castlefield’s the Wharf has it covered.
Set in the Castlefield canal basin – once a hub of industry but now a peaceful haven just moments from the city centre hustle and bustle – The Wharf was re-opened last year by Brunning and Price. The company are well-known for creating successful large pubs providing high quality fresh food and a winning selection of ale, wine and whiskies in a great pub atmosphere.
Inside, the place is immediately welcoming, with plenty of polished wood, cosy rugs, and prints and posters featuring Manchester’s history. The downstairs bar offers informal pub dining and drinking, whilst the mezzanine level restaurant provides a sit down service. Outside, there’s a large terrace area, looking across to the canals where narrow boats are moored and water’s edge willow trees are backed by Victorian warehouse buildings and the Beetham Tower beyond.
With a team of 12 enthusiastic chefs, the Wharf is able to produces a constant stream of freshly-cooked food to a standard rarely found in large pubs. There’s a daily-changing à la carte menu, plus popular sharing platters and light bites. Dishes range from pub grub favourites (kid’s portions available) through to on-trend modern creations.
For starters, possible options include smoked venison with damson jelly (£6.75), and mushroom and tarragon soup served with crusty bread (£4.95). Sharing platters bursting with flavours and textures are available in meat (£19.95), vegetarian (£17.50), and seafood versions (£24.95). The seafood option includes giant king prawn cocktail, hot smoked salmon gribiche, crispy squid, Bloody Mary crab, smoked mackerel, cockle and samphire salad, lime and chilli cured seabass, roll mops, whitebait, caper berries, salad and brown bread – and the other platters are equally enticing.
There’s a varied selection of light bites including pub favourites such as rump steak sandwich with fried onion, tomato chutney and a few chips (£9.85) and a more exotic Tikka guinea fowl salad with char grilled baby gem, papaya, pumpkin seeds, tomato and a spiced apricot dressing (£8.95). There’s also a tasty selection of sandwiches.
Main courses cover a similarly broad range, ensuring there’s something for everyone. A typical vegetarian option is grilled aubergine, heritage tomato and mozzarella with confit tomatoes, rocket pesto and a parmesan crisp (£11.95), whilst sea food lovers won’t be able to resist dishes such as the harrisa king prawns, prosciutto ham and whitebait salad with saffron giant couscous, avocado and a lime and coriander dressing (£12.50). For good, honest comfort food, options include Dingley Dell rare breed pork sausages with parsley mash, buttered greens and onion gravy (£10.95).
To finish, there’s a small but seductive selection of delights including strawberry mille feuille, peppered strawberry coulis and lemon sorbet (£5.45) and hot waffle with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream (£5.45).
Whatever the weather, if you’ve not yet discovered the Wharf, it’s time to head over to Castlefield and see what’s cooking.
The Wharf, Manchester
6 Slate Wharf, Castlefield, Manchester, M15 4ST