Revamp your midday meal with a revamped menu
HOT food for cool people – that’s the first thing we spot as we sashy into Impossible Manchester on a sultry Thursday lunchtime. It’s a bright neon sign, but we take off our sunnies anyway as we’re shown to our booth, glad to get out of the heat and into the airy bar, all high ceilings and large open windows with billowing floor-to-ceiling curtains.
We’re here to check out the daily lunch menu, served from midday until 5pm (when the evening choices kick in). Rumour has it there are some tasty new numbers worth trying out. Our server suggests the fishfinger sandwich – one of the £5 small plates – and tells us it’s one of their bestsellers. We’re mulling over the chicken and avocado salad (the salad section also includes a classic Caesar, plus halloumi, and all are £7), but we plump on the beef salad to share instead. It’s a winner – a healthy pile of crunchy leaves and shredded raw carrot tossed with beef strips stirfried with sesame seeds and peanuts, and topped off with fresh microherbs such as coriander and red chard. For our halloumi fix, we divide a veggie kebab, the chewy cheese cubes charred with red pepper and served on a gold mirrored platter with a peashoot and edible flower salad and cool yoghurt dip.
For our mains (£9 a throw), we pick one veggie, one fish and one meat. The truffle macaroni is served in a gratin dish – unctuous pasta tubes with a strong hit of the flavoured oil and a crunchy crust. It has a dressed rocket and sweet sundried tomato side salad, as does the steak fritas – a grilled minute steak topped with a melting pat of garlic and herb butter and a copper bucket of skin-on skinny fries. Skinny fries also replace fat chips with the classic battered cod – quite a big fella – all delivered to the table in a frying basket lined with faux newspaper atop a wooden board also holding a ramekin of Manchester caviar, another pot of slaw-like tartare sauce and a chunk of fresh lemon.
There are no puds, but we’re only in for a quickie lunch anyway. However, if you fancy stopping fora lazy sunny afternoon, it’s the perfect place, with plenty of blond wood benches and tables on the large outside terrace overlooking the Great Northern Square ampitheatre, that are just made for people-watching – and sipping one of the many gins on offer.