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Podium Manchester
AddressHilton Manchester, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ
 Phone0161 870 1600
Directionsmap Barsbars    Nearby Hotels hotels

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Podium Spring / Summer Menu Launch
Restaurants Of Manchester (Tuesday 17th April 2024)

Podium - Menu Preview April 2024 Podium - Menu Preview April 2024
Hilton Hotel - Outside Podium - Menu
The last 2 years have been a supremely exciting time for Manchester’s hospitality scene, despite all the political misery in the media.  After a barren period due to the now ancient pandemic, and then a wave of closures enforced by the recent rises in both general living costs and also operating as a business, things have still been looking up for our city. 

For me, it’s been the most exciting and fast paced development which our city’s food and drink market has ever seen.  A handful of new openings have blossomed into something truly solid, and another wave of high-profile openings is due very soon. It’s evidence that that if you’re doing things right, then you’re likely to cope even in the toughest of market conditions. 

Now one of the venues which has seen a resurgence in recent months is Podium at the Hilton Deansgate.  Whilst the Podium name isn’t new, the guys working their magic in the kitchen are.  Exec Chef Dave Ashton, one of Manchester’s most respected Chefs, moved to Podium about 18 months ago and we paid close attention since that move.  Dave promptly went about assembling a strong team of stars from other high-end kitchens across the city, and the result is a must do addition to your city centre good itinerary.

We were invited to sample Podium’s Winter menu last November and loved it, so we were over the moon to be invited in again to take a closer look at their brand-new menu, especially when Chef Dave decided to take charge and send out all of his favourite dishes.
Podium - Menu Preview April 2024 Podium - Menu Preview April 2024
Podium - Holy Grain Sourdough & Cheese Custard Podium - Cheese Custard
Holy Grain sourdough (£10) is produced pretty much over the road from the restaurant, and was as fantastic as ever.  It’s served with what’s fast becoming a Podium signature; their whipped butter along with the sublime ‘cheese custard’.  Far from being sweet, it’s a light, aerated cheese sauce with bags of flavour.  You really need to try this dish.  And as if the bread course wasn’t substantial enough already, there was also a deep and comforting onion broth served with it.

BBQ British Asparagus (£11) with black truffle, cured egg and bresaola XO sauce, was outrageously good.  Perfectly cooked spears of great quality asparagus, dressed with a deeply savoury XO sauce that ticked all possible flavour boxes.  A solid start.

Smoked Ham Hock Ravioli (£9) was our second starter; served with fermented cabbage, pickled mussels, and watercress sauce.  A well-formed and generously filled raviolo, bathed in a vibrant and fresh sauce which screamed seasonality.  Both starters were generally outstanding value for money, and I can’t think of better cooking anywhere in the city for those kind of prices.
Podium - Menu Preview April 2024 Podium - Menu Preview April 2024
Podium - BBQ British Asparagus Podium - Smoked Ham Hock Ravioli
North Sea Cod in Bacon Dashi (£22) kicked off the main courses.  A generous slab of cod, cooked to translucent perfectly, dressed with a mini prawn toast, cauliflower and Monk’s Beard for a flash of green on the plate.  The saucing was outstanding on this course.

Pan Fried Halibut (£26) with Thai Green sauce, Cornish Crab and Calamansi was more seafood success.  Well cooked, meaty, buttery fish, plated with striking split green sauce.  Garnish was in the form of some lovely sweet, flakes of white crab meat, inside a savoury cracker for some textural pop. Delicious.
Podium - Menu Preview April 2024 Podium - Menu Preview April 2024
Podium - North Sea Cod in Bacon Dashi Podium - Pan Fried Halibut
At this point in the write up, I’d like to make special note of our server on the evening; Mario.  His service was full of charm and attention to details, plus the wine knowledge bestowed upon us was on point.  The suggested all-rounder, a 2017 Scotto Old Vine Zinfandel, proved to be a cracker.

Our mains were Saddle of Herdwick Lamb (£27.5); everyone’s favourite native Lake District breed. Plated in a well rolled portion, dressed with super-seasonal wild and also black garlic, asparagus, and Sheep’s Rustler cheese.  Bold flavours, super rich, and a fitting main course for any occasion.

As a cheeky side dish, we were given the Sourdough Flatbread (£7) with Polyspore sourced mushrooms and green pesto, which as toppings are real crowd pleasers.  Great quality mushrooms with that zingy pesto, backed up with lovely char to the bread itself.
Podium - Menu Preview April 2024 Podium - Menu Preview April 2024
Podium - Saddle of Herdwick Lamb Podium - Sourdough Flatbread
Rhubarb and Lemon Thyme Doughnuts (£8.5) with cardamom set custard and frozen sour cream, was a light way to end, with the sour cream being a particular enjoyable element, bringing come well needed balance to the sweetness.

With dinner behind us and tummies full, we sat down with Chef Dave and had a long chat about all things Podium and the Manchester hospitality industry, along with sharing a few bits of gossip whilst generally putting the world to rites.  Well over an hour passed in no time at all, which is always a good sign. But it was time to bid farewell after another great evening, knowing that we will return soon.

So, Podium is absolutely flying at the moment, and is easily in the city centre’s short list of must try premium dining experiences, and all at amazing value for money. Get booked in to see for yourself.
Podium - Menu Preview April 2024 Podium - Menu Preview April 2024
Podium - Rhubarb and Lemon Thyme Doughnuts Podium - Scotto Old Vine Zinfandel

*** Our experience was gratefully comped ***


Podium Winter Menu Launch
Restaurants Of Manchester (Wednesday 29th November 2023)

Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium - Outside Podium - Best Of Podium Menu
If you’ve been watching over Manchester’s hospitality scene for as long as me, then one, you’re getting on a bit, and two, you’ll remember the days when the Podium Restaurant in the Hilton Deansgate was lauded as being one of the best places to eat in town. 

But over time, despite holding a coveted 2 AA Rosettes, it’s probably fair to say their reputation slowly became overshadowed as Manchester’s dining options began to blossom during the last decade or so.  Talking to colleagues and associates, Podium was largely seen as just a ‘decent restaurant hotel’, and unlikely to be the kind of place that you’d head to for an evening of great food.
Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium - Aperitifs Podium - Holy Grain Sourdough & Cheese Custard
So when we heard that Exec Chef Dave Ashton, one of Manchester’s most respected Chefs, had moved to Podium over a year ago, our ears perked up and we’ve paid close attention since.  Dave has since assembled a strong kitchen team, containing superstars from various high-end kitchens across Manchester, from The Lowry Hotel to The French.

We were invited in to take a closer look at the new Autumn menu, which also showcases the new Podium ethos.
Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium -Mackerel Tartare Podium - Tapioca Crisps
Holy Grain sourdough, made a literal stone’s throw from the restaurant, was fantastic.  You could smell it coming to the table and the crust was absolute perfection.  This was served with a superb salted/whipped butter as you’d expect, but also some cheese ‘custard’; a light, espuma’ed cheese sauce, full of aerated goodness and heaps of flavour.  As if that’s not enough for a bread course, there was also a stunning onion broth which added a third dunking option for that bread.  The perfect start.

Mackerel Tartare, served with striking tapioca crisps, grabbed the attention of the wider dining room as it was served.  A ring of delicious chopped mackerel, laced with punchy gooseberry, all bathed in a rich sauce to pull everything together.  Using the crackers to scoop this up, was a total pleasure.
Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium - Herdwick Lamb Ragu Podium - BBQ Monkfish
Our second starter, Herdwick Lamb Ragu, was a seasonal delight.  Shredded lamb, with a lamb fan muffin to soak up all that delicious gravy. Rich and indulgent, warm, and comforting; just what you need when its minus 2 outside.  By this point, we had all the confirmation needed that things had indeed moved on at Podium since our last visit many years ago.

BBQ Monkfish was our choice of main.  Robust fish fillets, cooked really well, sat in a rich, super buttery sauce which was balanced to a tee with some pickled mussels.  Garnish was completed with fermented onion and some earth Hen of the Woods mushroom.   Delicious.
Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium - Scottish Venison Loin Podium - Driftwood Goat’s Cheese
Scottish Venison Loin was a plate fitting for any occasion. Perfectly cooked blushing game protein, garnished with beet, BBQ kale and blackberry for more seasonally tied-in flavours. Perhaps some carb on the plate could have made it feel totally complete, but this was still a dish which would proudly sit on any menu and hold its own, anywhere in the city.

Driftwood Goat’s Cheese was a dream. We love a good cheese course, especially when it’s a proper course with cheese used as the core ingredient.  This one was very clever, fennel sugar shards and lemon sorbet completed the classic flavour profile.

Valrhona Manjari Chocolate was the main dessert, and showcased some top end pasty work.  A cylinder of Valrhona Chocolate filled with nougatine and malted milk foam completing the cylinder’s filling.  On the side was ‘Gold of the pod’ sorbet, made from the innards (the mucilage) of a cacao pod, for some uber-sustainability on top of a novel preparation.
Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium - Valrhona Manjari Podium - Petit Four
So, Podium is once again a place to put on your list of must visit dining destinations in the city, and truly warrants a trip to that iconic hotel, for the food alone!

The Best of Podium 5 course Autumn menu is priced at an incredibly reasonable £55.
Podium - Menu Preview November 2023 Podium - Menu Preview November 2023
Podium - Table Podium - A La Carte Menu

*** Our experience was gratefully comped ***

Podium Restaurant Reviews

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