Down to earth but a little bit special - it’s a rare breed indeed
When you team a third generation butcher with someone who’s worked in hospitality since they were twelve (in the likes of Michelin-starred Juniper and Claridge’s no less), you’re bound to get something special. Add in a commitment to quality British fayre and local produce, it’s easy to see why Beastro is so popular.
After beating off competition to win The Kitchens scheme last year - earning them a prime spot in Spinningfields - the Beastro boys have created a rare breed of restaurant: unpretentious and affordable, yet more than capable of wow-factor dining. Just take a look at the new dinner menu.
Available Thursday to Saturday, 6 to 9.30pm, this seasonal tour de force comes after months of development (James and Richard really are sticklers for perfection) and we can confirm it tastes as good as it looks.
Beastro doesn’t want to be a special occasion place - it’s too relaxed and accessibly-priced for that - but with these dishes it could be. Which means, whether you’re celebrating or simply popping out for a bite, the new evening menu will see you right.
We started off with heritage tomatoes, one of James’ specials. Simple but vibrant, it sees a mix of yellow and red cherry tomatoes - sourced from acclaimed local supplier Noones - slow-roasted with shallots, lemon, garlic and Leagram goat curd. Served on sourdough from Stockport bakery Thatchers, it sings with colour and flavour.
Pan-fried Scottish scallops were another starter highlight, scattered with Bury black pudding and crispy shallots. Pea puree adds a pop of green while lemon crumb cleverly cuts through the richness without the need for oil.
Beastro stemmed from two award-winning pop-ups - Bangers & Bacon and Well Hung - and it’s fair to say they’re meat masters. Meat is prepared onsite and all steaks are salt chamber-aged for 35 days: check out the blackboard for daily specials. You’ll also find prime lamb, pork, duck, pigeon and the famous Bobby’s bangers.
But that’s not to say Beastro is just for carnivores: from homemade hummus to maple-glazed heritage carrots and buttered tenderstem, there’s plenty for veggies too.
For mains, we opted for seabass - a perfectly crisped fillet from Smithfields Market served with cauliflower puree, roasted beetroots, salsa verde and new potatoes - and chicken salad. ‘A salad but not a salad,’ this healthy(ish) dish sees corn-fed chicken poached slowly in William’s Boltonian butter (yes, even the butter is local) with charred leek puree, heritage tomato, pancetta, a watercress garnish and tarragon dressing. Oh and chicken fat croutons, a taste sensation which beat those dry tasteless cubes you normally get by a country mile.
Last but certainly not least…puddings. Chocolate fondant was a triumph; made using premium Clarence Court eggs, dark chocolate and brown sugar for a lovely molasses undertone. Served in a pastry case with homemade vanilla ice cream, it looks and tastes sublime.
We also tried the famous Eccles Cakes, made by master baker Frank Andrew of Oldham (aka James’ father-in-law). Made to a top secret recipe, they’re served with Leagrams crumbly Lancashire cheese for a dessert that’s the perfect blend of sweet and savoury.
Of course, there are plenty more dishes where they came from, spanning lamb kidneys in spiced Madeira sauce to Bakewell pudding and Manchester tart. What with a brand new curated wine list, some top-notch beers and gins, and signature cocktails with a meaty twist (think bone marrow vodka and bacon-washed whisky), there’s more enough reason to pay a visit.
We’ll certainly be back…
Beastro’s new evening menu is available Thursday to Saturday, 6-9.30pm. Click here to book