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The Pearl Prestwich
Address425 Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1AF
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The Pearl Launch
Restaurants Of Manchester (Friday 10 November 2023)

The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - Sign The Pearl British Dining Room - Menu
Prestwich has been one of Manchester’s nicest ‘burbs as far back as I can remember, and Im pretty old.  Just a short tram ride from the city centre, directly connected to motorway links in a generally leafy spot, sporting a hospitality scene that’s come on leaps and bounds in recent years.  So when The Pearl announced their launch with locally esteemed Chef Iain Thomas at the stove, our press invitation followed and it was hard not to get just an iota excited about things. 

We arrived on their first Friday service since launch, and as you’d expect it was absolutely rammed which was fantastic to see.  We gladly sat at the bar with a couple of tipples to ease ourselves into the evening gently, taking in the buzz around us.  After a short yet perfectly acceptable wait, our table was ready so we moved to a lovely corner window seat complete with old-school candle holder, and were presented with The Pearl’s compact yet wide ranging menu to delve into. It didn’t take long to make our selections from the carte of snacks, small, and also not so small plates.
The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - Drinks The Pearl British Dining Room - The Pearl Chips
The Pearl Chips (£6) were an essential, and you’d imagine that every table in attendance ordered them.  If not, then shame on them.  Thinly mandolined potato, stacked, pressed, cut to size and then deep fried (at a Cheffy guess).  Absolutely delicious, and they’d have made the perfect bar snack on arrival too.  Perhaps an extra minute in the fryer would have made them even more texturally sound, aka crispy, but still delicious and a must order plate. 

Polyspore Mushrooms (£11) were as sensational as you’d expect from such a top-quality local supplier.  An array of fungal varieties including the amazing Lion’s Mane, bathed in a mushroom ‘tea’.  Said broth deserves special note.  Rich, deep, earthy, and an absolute spectacle for any mushroom lover; as per me.  A straight up party of umami in the mouth.

Omelette Arnold Bennett (£10), a Savoy Hotel institution, was stellar.  Perfectly cooked semi-translucent flakes of smoked haddock, distributed throughout a perfectly cooked omelette, topped with a textbook bechamel and of course an ‘ample’ amount of cheese, in this case Yorkshire Pecorino.  Perhaps the edges could have even a bit smarter and it served in a vessel, but still, a brilliantly iconic dish for good reason.
The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - Polyspore Mushrooms The Pearl British Dining Room - Omelette Arnold Bennett
With the starters down, we already had a warm and fuzzy feeling, with our quiet expectations being satisfied.  Quite often new launches leave you feeling flat, falling short of what your professional barometer leads you to subconsciously anticipate.  Not here.  So far everything was in line with what Iain’s previous standards.  We wanted more. 

And so; Roast Shetland Cod (£22) was another triumph.  A hefty chunk of perfectly cooked cod loin, topped with a slice of crispy confit chicken, in a well-rounded clam and caviar sauce; applied at tableside for some theatre.   The flavoursome sauce could perhaps have been reduced a touch more, but still, I’d order this again in a heartbeat.

Konro Beef (£24) was high quality protein, cooked just enough, with flaky braised short-rib on the side.  It was a main course in keeping with the culinary hotspot that The Pearl is surely due to become.   The mash was stunning and clearly contained an awful lot of love, with a well-executed sauce which took me back to the first time we ate Iain’s food, where we announced his then ‘unrecognised talent’ long before Jay Rayner spotted him, ahead of everyone else finally getting onboard.
The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - Roast Shetland Cod The Pearl British Dining Room - Konro Beef
Drinks deserve a note at this point.  We were invited in, aka not paying the bill, so chose not to go too crazy on the wine ordering, but both the house red and white are superb value and great quality.   The wine list is generally compact yet punchy just like The Pearl itself.  Cocktails were similarly well curated, with our Sussex 75 (£14) hitting the mark.  Well balanced, served classically, using top quality liquids.  There’s also a great selection of beers on offer too.

So we arrived at the final food course; and it was a tough decision to go with just two, but we marched on.
The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - Cheesecake The Pearl British Dining Room - Chocolate Tart
Cheesecake (£9) was another which stoked memories of Iain’s previous work down in Ancoats.  A delicate yet substantial plate of figs, meringues, and pretty gels.  The ideal orchestra of balance, texture and pure enjoyment.

Chocolate (£9) was a simple affair which still delivered on flavour.  Chocolate crust with ideal shortness filled with an uber-rich ganache. No milk chocolate here, just a proper grown up 60% dark chocolate hit, topped with some spiced poached pear, side aside a rocher of cream.  On point.
The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - The Crafty Cheese Man Unagi - Candle
By this stage we were done, and felt more than satisfied.   However, great hospitality demands that everyone leaves feeling more than happy.  Service was handled by the superbly friendly and charming Sam Taylor, who also happens to be the boss so we didn’t want to object when offered a cheeseboard (£12) before we headed off into the night.  A nice variety of cheeses supplied by The Crafty Cheese Man, with quality crackers and some house-made chutney.  Delicious.

As a side note, a small group landed very late into service, in search of that final nightcap and a bite to eat, probably without realising that they’d walked into one of Mancheseter’s most talked about new venues.  The kitchen was closed by this point, but drinks, cheeseboards and a cosy booth seat were still provided, which was a nice touch.  More fantastic hospitality, and you’d imagine some soon to be fully fledged guests.

So, The Pearl is no longer hidden in its shell.  She looks like a dead cert winner with bags of USP in the immediate vicinity, and should be a huge feather in Prestwich’s culinary cap.  We will return very soon as paying customers and have already guided a score of people towards their booking links.  And that’s always the benchmark of how much we enjoyed any press invite.

Get yourselves booked in!
The Pearl - Launch November 2023 The Pearl - Launch November 2023
The Pearl British Dining Room - Menu Cover The Pearl British Dining Room - Drinks Menu
The Pearl British Dining Room Reviews

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