review – the rose garden restaurant

Last Sunday was Mothers’ Day here in the UK and my husband and son took me for a lovely lunch at the Rose Garden in Didsbury. I’ve been wanting to go for a while and it seemed like a good choice for a special meal.

Dining out with a 10-month-old isn’t always easy, and we don’t always want to be limited to family-friendly chain restaurants or pubs. When making the reservation, we always mention that we’ll have our young baby with us – the reaction is normally telling! I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the Rose Garden to see that they had already placed a high chair in place of one of the seats at our table. I thought this was quite thoughtful and meant we didn’t even have to ask for one.

We’d had a quick look at the menu online before we left and so we were excited about the range of interesting-sounding dishes on offer. We went for the set menu, which was £15.95 for two courses or £17.95 for three. We didn’t even look at the a la carte menu as the selection on the set menu was great.

I went for the cider cream mussels to start and my husband chose the wild rabbit risotto. We also asked for some bread and butter for Lucas, which was delicious and tasted freshly-baked. My mussels were divine – cooked perfectly but not overdone, and accompanied with a brioche bun that strangely had the consistency of a scone, but was very tasty. The wild rabbit risotto was the real standout – the portion size was ideal for a starter and the rice still had a bite to it, which is how we like it.

For mains, we chose sea bass and clams (the special) and lavender duck, cooked pink. Both were absolutely delicious – the duck was tender but crisp on the outside, and the seabass came with cod cheeks, which I love! The accompaniments were potato rosti and greens (sea bass) and roast sweet potato (duck). Although the dishes were rich, they were extremely complex in flavour and the portion sizes were again perfect.

We managed to squeeze in dessert – chocolate orange for me and ‘aren’t mums mint’ for my husband. Although tasty, it was clear that savoury dishes are the real strength of the Rose Garden – but it was a perfect end to the meal nonetheless. And as an added bonus, I was gifted some special chocolates, just for being a mum!

Food: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Ambience: 9/10

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About Ellie Thouret

I'm an obsessive knitter based in the UK's North West. Passionate about good food, crafts, home decor and my family.
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