Restaurant review – Three Little Words, Manchester

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

We recently got the chance to pop into the newly opened Three Little Words for the soft launch of their restaurant and bar. Three Little Words is Manchester’s newest destination and the new home of Manchester Gin.

The venue

The venue itself spans six railway arches, making for a very unique space with bags of character. The distillery experience includes guided tastings highlighting key botanical notes, an exciting and interactive chronology of Manchester Gin and a look at the spirits connection to Manchester all in the very distillery where every single bottle of the gin is made.

Guests can also distil their very own spirit in intimate gin-making sessions, if you’re serious about the spirit or want an interesting night out with your friends or colleagues.

Guests are also able to view the impressive new 1000-litre still, which is capable of producing over a million litres of gin a year on site. Standing at 4.2m tall, ‘Wonder Wendy’ is a traditional copper still and is the largest of the four stills.

At Three Little Words guests can enjoy lovingly created cocktails from fantastical and original concoctions to the perfectly made classics. Drinks are complemented by a fresh, seasonal food menu that takes inspiration from the botanicals that define the gins distilled on site.

It’s no wonder their gin cocktail menu is so extensive – and appealing! The Three Little Words cocktail menu will be ever evolving to explore new concoctions.

Volume 1 of the menu riffs on the venue’s name (Three Little Words = ‘I Love You’), moving through Lust, Rapture, Devotion, Eternity and finally Ultimatum.

Three Little Words supports local suppliers and businesses. The menus are seasonal, and the restaurant works with Carbon-Free Dining in an effort to reach carbon neutrality within a year.

The food and drink

Let’s start with the gin, since it’s such an integral part of the Three Little Words experience. We sampled two delicious cocktails and were completely blown away.

 

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First we tried the Making Moves: a concoction of the house’s signature gin, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, amaro and pear garnished with a bourbon-soaked cherry. This was rich, slightly smoky and darkly seductive.

Then we tried Into the Wild: a blend of wild spirit gin, lychee, macadamia, celery and apple. It was a smooth, exotic and flavoursome journey into the wild.

Thanks to our lovely server, Chynna, these were brought out in decent time as looked over the menu.

Food-wise, the menu includes both small plates and large plates. You can mix and match small dishes, tapas-style, or have one as a starter with a large plate as a main course.

It was from the list of small plates that I discovered my new favourite food: chicken lollipops with dandelion and burdock glaze. Who would’ve thought our favourite British pop would make such a distinctive coating for chicken? Call me a convert!

 

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The second small plate was a delectable dish of seared beef with a rice noodle, coriander, soy and sesame salad. The beef was succulent and flavoursome. The salad was light, nutty and satisfying.

 

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For mains, I’m pleased to say I ordered a fantastic ribeye steak with chicory, and crisp onion and potato. It was ridiculously tasty and plenty of fun.

 

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For dessert, we shared a fabulous knickerbockerglory. Packed with peach, basil, blood orange and vanilla, using sorbet instead of ice cream, this felt like a lighter option.

Admittedly, I was curious about this particular blend of ingredients (I’ve had basil and strawberries but not peach and basil). My first bite was a little hesitant.

Then I stirred the lot together and took another bite and I was smitten. This was a clever, unique dish which I’d certainly order again.

The verdict

Three Little Words might mean ‘Oh my God!’ if you’re a foodie like me. The restaurant serves up a mean steak (and when it comes to steak, I am picky!) and the best gin cocktails in Manchester.

Head on down to try something satisfying and unique that won’t break the bank.

More information

For more information, please visit threelittlewordsmcr.co.uk.

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