So, working on the basis that weekends will seem longer if Sunday evenings are spent profitably in pursuit of nice things, three girls strapped on their finest shoes and ventured into Manchester (clutching tickets for Anton and Erin at the Bridgewater Hall, but that's another matter - no need to discuss that here) for an early dinner at Livebait. First stop was Beluga, on Mount Street just off Albert Square for a bonus cocktail - the bar was surprisingly busy, suggesting that perhaps lots of people have determined to make more of their Sundays.
Livebait was also quite busy, particularly since it was only 5.30, but the average age of the other diners (somewhere between 50 and 150) indicated that the business was perhaps down to the formidable pulling power of Anton and Erin. The restaurant is doing some pretty good offers at the moment though - you can download a voucher from their website worth £15 off the bill when two people order two courses from the a la carte menu during January, and there is also a very reasonably priced set menu available.
I chose the mackerel fillet (massive) with pickled cucumber (nice - like a slinky gerkin) and horseradish cream (a bit stingy on the portion size) at £5.95, and also snuck my fork into other people's calamari. The mains were slightly less inspiring than the starters, but the thai red fish curry was nice enough and pretty spicy (cue lots of wine for medicinal reasons). No time for pudding (sequins were calling us) but the bill came to a very reasonable £72 inluding service after the £15 reduction.
- Livebait is at 22 Lloyd Street (off Albert Square), Manchester M2 5WA, tel. 0161 8174110
- Download your voucher from www.livebaitrestaurants.co.uk