More space for parties, big groups and busy periods
NO matter how good the food is, if you're not likely to get a table, you're not likely to go there. Volta in West Didsbury know this – that's why they leave a decent portion of their tables free for walk-ins, rather than letting them all get snapped up by advance bookers.
Even so, on busy days, Volta fills up fast downstairs.
Don't be put off if you're passing and all the tables seem taken
But fear not, there's a whole other floor upstairs with plenty of space for snaffling a few cocktails, delectable cakes from local bakery Silver Apples, or a bowl of their award-winning bistro food.
As you can see from the pictures, Volta's middle floor is ideal for bigger groups. You can even hire the whole space for a party or private dining if that's what you're after.
The middle floor is usually open for passing trade though and it comes into its own during their most popular periods. Volta is always bustling on weekday lunch hours thanks to the introduction of The People's Lunch – an idea from their sister venue, Refuge at the Palace Hotel. It's a worker-friendly bowl of something fresh and flavoursome for just £7.50.
The Small Plates are a popular choice for those who want a lighter option (or can't bring themselves to decide on just one dish). We recently had the sea bass with pak choi, soy, chilli and lime (£6.50) and the slow cooked pork belly with kimchi, black garlic, pear, miso and ginger beer glaze (£9.50). Each dish was a gourmet meal in miniature – distinct yet complementing flavours, skilfully cooked and presented. It's a very enjoyable way to experience Volta's kitchen at its best.
Likewise, Volta's Saturday brunches and Sunday roasts are big crowd-pullers. The Sunday Rare Breed Roasts can be served as a platter for the whole table to dig in – just the thing if you want a communal, family-style Sunday dinner without having to cook it yourself. The space upstairs means even Waltons-size clans can gather around the same table.
Volta took the title of 'Casual Restaurant of the Year' at the 2016 Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards, so it's unlikely that it'll ever be quiet. But busy doesn't always mean full, so don't be put off if you're passing and all the tables seem taken. There may be one waiting for you upstairs.
Book at table at Volta (but don't be disheartened if they don't have any tables available - remember they leave two thirds of their tables free for walk ins).