Modern European restaurant in City Centre
14 John Dalton Street, Manchester, M2 6JR
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Panacea is often touted as the most stylish venue in Manchester. A 60-foot onyx bar, golden lighting and an inventive cocktail list has kept the venue in the hearts of Manchester’s beautiful people despite some difficult times over recent years. Drinkers who manage to get past the fashion police working the door may well find themselves sharing a booth with local celebrities or WAGs – though, of course, the clientele are far too cool to acknowledge them.
Given the elaborate cocktail list, you might expect that the food to follow suit, with dishes accompanied by a full family history for each ingredient. However, this is where Panacea seems to suffer from something of an identity crisis, with a menu offering up straightforward modern European fare and traditional British dishes at prices that make the drinks seem blisteringly expensive.
Starters range from £5.95 for king prawn noodle broth to £8.95 for scallops with crispy chorizo and balsamic roasted red peppers. Mains offer pub favourites such as fish, chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce for £13.95 or bangers and mash for £10.95, while the more adventurous are catered for by dishes such as crab and chili linguine at £10.95 or the spatchcock chicken with roast butternut squash and thyme gravy at £13.95. Desserts weigh in at around the £5.50 mark, with retro classics like lemon meringue pie alongside more contemporary dishes such as cookies and cream cheesecake with white chocolate sauce.
As you might expect from somewhere that trades on its stylish reputation, the service here is slick, swift and efficient, and taken on its own merits the restaurant is a success. Somehow, though, bangers and mash are never going to live up to the lure of sipping Bollinger from that onyx bar…
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