Restaurant review: Cosy Club, Corn Exchange, Manchester – summer menu

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.
Adam Lowe

The Cosy Club is a snug little restaurant with ornate furnishings and warm wood fixtures. It intentionally feels arty and bustling, and yet relaxed at the same time. To welcome in the summer, the restaurant – located in Manchester Corn Exchange – has launched a brand new summer menu.

The restaurant’s delicious summer menu includes tapas, mains, burgers and some stunning desserts, matched by the summer cocktails now on offer for the sunny months. With the trendy but homely atmosphere, and a great track record for food, we were pleased to head down to the Cosy Club and check out the new additions.

Amber Wood, Managing Director of Cosy Club, said: “We’re thrilled to be launching the summer menu, the new dishes are truly delicious and has something for everyone whether it be brunch, a light bite or a hearty main you’re after. We’ve also adding new vegan options to add to our PETA award winning vegan menu which has gone down a storm. Our menu is always responding to the growing trends and demands of our customers and we look forward to everyone trying out these new summer dishes.”

 

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Starting our wonderful evening, we nibbled on some juicy mixed olives and sipped refreshing cocktails. Served by the lovely Taneka, we opted for the White Sangria with a topical banana, pear and lemon base, plus a little spritz. This was my fave of the two. It was so festive and fruity – the pear and banana makes a fantastic combination.

My fiance, meanwhile, tried the English Rose  with Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, rose water, fresh strawberries and fizz. It was summery, grown up and very, very English indeed. I loved it.

Other delights we spotted on the the Cosy Club cocktail menu for next time, include wonderfully refreshing seasonal options such as the Cosy Colada and the Botanical Bliss – the latter rich with Rose Vodka, elderflower, lime and finished with petals.

If you do head down to try out the cocktails at the Cosy Club, bear in mind that it’s two cocktails for £9.95  from Sunday to Thursday, 4-8pm. They’re strong too, so a couple is more than enough.

 

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The starters were lovely. I ordered the squid and chorizo. It was fabulously tender and succulent. Pan-fried with red wine and garlic, it had plenty of flavour. The chorizo infused the whole dish with paprika loveliness, and the velvety butter bean aioli offset this perfectly.

 

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Next up for starters, my partner tried the crispy sesame chicken. The soy and ginger dipping sauce was superb – and the ginger really zinged! Served with a zesty coriander, chilli and lime salad, it was truly delicious!

The starters can also be eaten tapas-style, so if you fancy more of the little plates, you can try some exciting dishes such as the roast turmeric cauliflower with dukka and tahini cauliflower puree, pomegranate molasses, flaked almonds and harissa oil to the pulled beef brisket with blue cheese and ciabatta.

 

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For mains, I opted for the pan-fried chicken breast, filled with mozzarella, balsamic tomatoes and basil pesto. It was wrapped up in smoky bacon and served with crispy baby kale, wood roasted peppers, crunchy Parmesan new potatoes and a balsamic dressing.

It was a very rounded, satisfying dish. I highly recommend it.

 

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My fiance tried the epic Thai green chicken curry. This was fragrant and creamy. The fresh herbs and spices really brought it alive and the recipe beat any sauce from a jar, hands down.

Served with ample sides, it came with a portion of tasty coconut and coriander rice, prawn crackers, spring rolls and sweet chilli dipping sauce. You’ll be stuffed afterwards, but it would still be rude not to try dessert, right?

There were also some great veggie and vegan options on the menu, including the pioneering Beyond Meat Burger, made of a meat-free patty, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, gherkin, red onion and burger sauce; and the vegan fish and chips, which we saw at another table and definitely looks like one dish to try.

 

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We had one last round of cocktails to report back to you, our eager readers. I tried the Passionfruit and Basil Margarita (left). And trust me when I say there’s nothing Fawlty about this Basil! (Sorry, I know…) It was packed with Jose Cuervo tequila and finished with basil and a pink Himalayan salt rim.

This was a drink recommended by Taneka, and wouldn’t have been my first choice (maybe third or so), but I’m glad I gave it a try – it was really enjoyable. Basil works great with tropical flavours (it’s often used in Thai food, for example) and here the two flavours really combined to create something subtle and tasty.

My fiance also tried the Vanilla Espresso Martini, which was made with Cosy’s own in-house cold-brew coffee syrup, shaken with Smirnoff Vanilla, a hint of cheeky Tia Maria and a dash of chocolate bitters. It was frothy, and guaranteed to give you a kick.

When it came to dessert time at the Cosy Club, we were pretty full but refused to go home without at least trying the sweets. So I let my belt out a couple of notches and carried on.

 

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I ordered the retro Pimm’s & Strawberry Trifle: jelly, custard, strawberry sponge and wickedly naughty fresh cream. Oh, and did I mention it had a Swiss roll parked in the top?

The Pimm’s really came through in the jelly and went well with the cream and strawberries. It was like a sundae glass of Wimbledon coolness flung together with all your favourite childhood treats. It was a veritable vintage dessert mountain.

 

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My partner, who prefers pastry to cream and jelly, opted for the Caramelised Apple Tart with toffee sauce, crushed honeycomb and vanilla ice cream. I have to say, he chose well.

The pastry was thin, delicate, light and luxurious. The apples were nicely cooked and perfectly seasoned. The swirly design made the whole thing look like a gorgeous galaxy of pastry. We also had our eye on the Vegan Berry Cheesecake, which we’ll be sure to try next time!

Our service on the night was excellent. Taneka and her colleagues ensured we had a fantastic night – never having to wait too long, nor feeling rushed. It was very laidback and professional, with great food and a great atmosphere.

If you want a flavoursome, summery and fun menu to enjoy on a date or with friends, then check out the Cosy Club, with its great mix of dishes and excellent cocktails. You will not be disappointed.

For more information, visit cosyclub.co.uk. / The Cosy Club, Corn Exchange, 37 Hanging Ditch, Manchester M4 3TR / 0161 933 8255 

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