Restaurant review: Grand Pacific, Manchester

Chocolate fondant cut open with centre oozing out - Grand Pacific Manchester

A chocolate fondant worth making a return for... - Credit: Lucas Smith

What’s better than a Sunday Roast? A Grand Pacific roast dinner

Sunday is, for most of us, the most relaxing day of the week, usually involving lazy lie-ins, favourite coffees, and a traditional roast dinner. I’m someone that is always on the lookout for a new favourite place to indulge in the classic lunch-time meal and I believe I’ve found it, in the beautiful Grand Pacific. Located in Manchester city centre, Grand Pacific is a colonial-style bar and restaurant at the top of King Street, in the Grade II listed Manchester Reform Club building.

A tray of Yorkshire puddings being pulled from the oven

Hot, crispy and perfectly puffed up - fabulous Yorkshire puddings - Credit: Lucas Smith

I haven't visited Grand Pacific before, so went with no expectations and was immediately blown away by the setting. When you first walk in, you’re met by a grand staircase leading to the bar and restaurant. Beautiful birdcages lined with lights lead the way and gorgeous wood panelling and panelled ceiling, with fabulous pineapple leaf chandeliers, give the place an air of a grand colonial gentlemen's club in some far off exotic locale. Pineapples are a motif throughout a fitting choice, as they once symbolised prosperity, generosity and hospitality – Grand Pacific aims to recreate the golden age of high society, and the décor, ambience and service reflects that.

What really set the mood was the string quartet playing modern theme music – the James Bond theme tune was a wonderful touch - and very Bridgerton-esque.

A spoon lifting cauliflower cheese from a dish, the sauce running back

Does cauliflower cheese get any better? - Credit: Lucas Smith

Since I’m partaking in dry January, I ordered a Thai basil and passionfruit mocktail. Refreshing and fruity, I didn’t miss the alcohol one bit. 

The menu has a pan-Asian twist on classic dishes, so for my starter I ordered duck gyozas. The crispy dumplings are served with sweet potato, miso and hoisin sauce. |They're sweet and delicious and incredibly moreish. My friend ordered the salt baked beetroot, which came with whipped goats' cheese and candied walnuts. She was slightly underwhelmed and wish it had come sliced or whole instead of shredded.

A roast beef fillet being sliced on a silver platter

Perfectly pink roast beef - Credit: Lucas Smith

For the main course, I went traditional and ordered the roast English topside of beef. It was perfectly pink and came with a huge Yorkshire pudding. My favourite thing about this roast was all the trimmings were served separately on a silver tray. It really complimented the royal feel of the place. The trimmings included crispy roast potatoes, creamy cauliflower cheese, buttery carrots, fluffy mashed potatoes and seasonal greens, and let's not forget the small jug of gravy. It was delicious and I’m already thinking of the next time I can tuck into those potatoes again.

roast cauliflower steak, very dark around the edges, with yellow oil drizzled and green shoots

Roast spiced cauliflower steak - colour me hungry - Credit: Lucas Smith

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My friend opted for something slightly different and ordered the spiced cauliflower. The menu made it seem it would come with all the traditional trimmings, but instead it came with curried mash, pak choi and a Yorkshire pudding. Though the dish was pleasant, it wasn’t what she was expecting. She still shared in the trimmings from my roast and used her fair share of gravy.

Silver tray with dishes of cauliflower cheese, mash potato, roast potato, gravy, spring greens, carrot, Yorkshire pudding

When they promise all the trimmings and you feel like a Duchess - Credit: Lucas Smith

Dessert was a high point. The choices all sounded delicious, and I eventually settled on yuzu crème brulee. It had a delicate sugar topping and was served with buttery shortbread. My friend ordered the chocolate fondant with salted caramel sauce, honeycomb and vanilla ice cream. The chocolate centre oozed out and I was very jealous. I will be ordering that next time.

I had a simply fabulous Sunday lunch experience at Grand Pacific, the service, the food and the overall atmosphere was excellent...the only thing missing was the duke. I’ll be returning.