Restaurant review: Albatross & Arnold, The Range, Spinningfields – Manchester

Adam Lowe

Albatross & Arnold is the gorgeously sophisticated dining space at The Range, in Spinningfields. The talented kitchen team is overseen by award-winning executive chef consultant, Curtis Stewart. The 32-year-old from Bury has worked at a variety of high-profile venues around the South of England, before returning to Manchester. It’s certainly Manchester’s gain!

On Thursday, we were lucky enough to sample the fabulous new menu at the restaurant. The dishes are large enough for one, although they’re plated with a view to sharing, which makes the menu perfect for couples or small, intimate groups.

The restaurant sports a 13-foot polished concrete, oak and brass bar, velvet furniture and a suspended light installation featuring over 1,000 beautifully lit golf balls. It has a chilled but smart atmosphere, full of plush furniture and plenty of leg room. With only 40 covers, you’re ensured a high level of service and a relaxed, secluded atmosphere.

We started the night with Ketel One infusions before tasting the exciting new menu. These were refreshing concoctions of soda water and vodkas from Ketel One’s Botanical range. The three options were Cucumber & Mint, Peach & Orange Blossom, and Grapefruit & Rose – each subtly refreshing in its own way, and perfect for sipping while reading the menu.

After these, we got to try some of the in-house cocktails. On the left: the Art of Aviation (Violette liqueur, Aviation Gin, grapefruit, dry cherry). This is a fragrant, delicate drink that tastes of Parma Violets – perfect for fans of that beloved childhood treat. On the right: the Champagne Cobbler (Champagne, fresh orange, fresh pineapple). This is a fruity and exotic take on the mimosa, which I really enjoyed.

We started off with olives, which were succulent and flavoursome, followed by the fabulous chorizo and saffron croquettes with red pepper emulsion. The dish was a lovely blend of flavours: smokiness from the chorizo, sweetness from the pepper and saltiness from the crumb. Apparently, it was a very popular dish that night, and I can completely see why. Three large croquettes are enough to share, but you might not want to when they taste this good.

Other dishes that caught the eye included a Welsh rarebit with toasted sourdough and rocket pesto, whitebait lightly battered in seasoned flour with smoked cod roe, a pork and black pudding Scotch egg with mustard mayo, and lamb kofta with yoghurt and mint. If there’s a group of you, you could sample a bit of everything and leave very satisfied indeed.

Next up we had hay smoked salt marsh lamb rump, Jerusalem artichoke and rosemary oil – an absolutely amazing, carnivorous delight. I love lamb at the best of times, but this was packed full of flavour, and the artichoke puree was a great complement.

We also tried the shell-on charred tiger prawns with chilli and garlic and a hint of citrus. It was certainly worth getting your fingers messy for! These bad boys were huge.

Other mains worth a try include the pork belly with miso caramel, burnt apple and Asian pear; the carrots baked over hay, with smoked cod roe, citrus and pistachio; and roasted monkfish fillet with chicken butter sauce and herb oil.

On the side, we had some Parmesan grilled asparagus, which was a great pairing. The portion was large enough for two to share. We also tried the skin-on fries with a ridiculously naughty bacon aioli, I couldn’t help but indulge. The aioli was so moreish I immediately went home and looked up recipes.

We followed with another round of cocktails: this time, the Pampelle Negroni (Hayman’s sloe gin, Montenegro Amaro, Pampelle aperitivo) for a nice, dark edge; and the Worker Bee (Thomas Dakin Manchester Gin, truffle, honey and lemon) for something soothing.

We wound up dinner with a sizeable and tasty dessert. We shared the incredible banoffee pie, although we probably could’ve crammed in one each. It was creamy on top, with crunchy pastry, and fruity banana goodness – a perfect way to end the meal. Also of interest was the chocolate torte, which looked gorgeous and is next on our list to try.

Albatross & Arnold’s food menu is perfectly complicated by an incredible wine list, that includes twenty by-the-glass options and some rare finds such as 2014 Rancho Zabaco Sonoma Heritage Zinfandel and FMC Chenin Blanc. A wide range of exclusive whiskies, cognacs and cocktails are also available, all expertly prepared by highly trained mixologists.

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About the Range

The Range, Spinningfields, is an exclusive members’ club founded and independently owned by former top level golfer, Andrew McLoughney. The Range houses five state of the art golf simulators, all of which use industry leading Foresight Technology. Each simulator is situated in a private pod with comfortable seats and personal service and, if required, the venue also has a private entrance. Non-golfers can enjoy other games on the simulator.

The Range is for all levels of golfer, from total novice to established pro. Guests can play over 80 of the world’s best golf courses, compete with friends or colleagues, practice on the industry-leading virtual reality driving range, receive private tuition from an industry professional.

Both personal and corporate memberships are available at The Range (offering a variety of benefits), with a cap imposed to ensure each member enjoys exceptional service and a bespoke experience. Non-members are able to book the simulators, but members are given priority.

There is also an option to hire out the entire venue for up to 300 guests.

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About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people. He sometimes performs as Beyonce Holes.