Hidden away behind an ordinary door, on an ordinary house, on an ordinary street in Chorlton some exceptional culinary magic takes place; the Drunken Butcher Supper Club. Drunken Butcher is featured at the top of “Manchester’s best supper club” lists; a firm favourite in the underground dining scene within the city. I was lucky enough to grab myself a highly coveted seat at the table of his first event of the year.
If you’ve never been to a supper club before, imagine an episode of Come Dine With Me, but more sophistication and less Dave Lamb narration and you’re pretty close.
On arrival we were greeted into the cosy living room/ dining room area, where we would spend the evening. A refreshing cocktail awaited; a Collins made with gin and a tarragon syrup to reflect some of the flavours later to be seen in the main course. This went down a little too well before I had chance to grab a sneaky snap. While we were getting ourselves settled into our seats for the night, bowls of perfectly formed gourgeres were on the table ready and waiting to be snacked on. Think profiteroles…but cheesey. Delicious little mouthfuls to get the taste buds warmed up for what was to follow.
Soon after, we were greeted with starters; pan fried halibut with a wild mushroom puree (mushrooms sourced all the way from Finland, the homeland of Drunken Butcher’s wife), also a parsley puree, finished off with potato crisps. Halibut was falling to pieces in the perfect “melt-in-the-mouth” way. Mushroom puree was deep and earthy. If green was a flavour, the parsley puree was definitely that – vibrant, vegetel, and splashed over the fish and mushrooms a la Jackson Pollock (someone’s been to Man Behind the Curtain recently!) The potato crisps on top adding a contrast in texture.
Next up was a palate cleanser of green tea sorbet with lime – which definitely served its purpose. Thoroughly refreshing and carefully balanced to not rock the palate off its savoury journey before mains.
The main event certainly had the wow factor. Pigs trotters stuffed with a chicken and tarragon mousse (told you that tarragon would pop up again!) and coated in veal and port sauce served with the famous Drunken Butcher mash, vanilla roast parsnips and thyme roast carrots. This was my first time trying pigs trotter – it definitely wasn’t what I expected. Tender in texture, full in flavour. The skin had beautifully rendered in the rich sauce so wasn’t rubbery. The flavour of the chicken and tarragon mousse singing through. All of the veggies cooked to perfection and making accompaniments.
The grand finale was a classic lemon tart with blueberry compote and vanilla chantilly cream; a firm favourite on the Drunken Butcher line-up. Beautiful, buttery, crumbly short pastry with the middle as tangy as you can get, mellowed by the fresh cream and the sweet hit of blueberries.
I’d been pre-warned to wear “forgiving clothes” and those people were not lying. Comfy pants should be provided on entry with complimentary belly rubs after. I’m definitely going armed with tupper-wear next time. Enjoyable in every way and a thoroughly refreshing alternative to the generic Saturday night options. Cannot recommend more enough
Some say staying in is the new going out, and with nights like this I can completely understand that!
Tickets for these events sell out faster than hot gougeres so you need to be quick!