I have found a definite advantage to being a greedy-faced glutton who will eat pretty much anything: it allows you to take advantage of excellent-value set menus across Manchester, in places who will fall over themselves to bring you a succession of seasonal dishes for a ridiculously low price. As the only things - in the world - I dislike are coffee, celery and desiccated coconut, I am fairly safe as far as set menus are concerned: even a coffee dessert sent by the devil himself can be safely dealt with by accompanying friends or husbands.
After the recent triumphs of The Mark Addy's Gourmet Evening, the latest local venue to offer an exotic taster menu is The Didsbury, always a favourite location but even more alluring when it's Game Taster Night (please insert own joke about being game for anything here, if you really must sink so low.) For a measly £18.99 per head, we scoffed the following:
1. Mini Wild Boar Burger, served with fried egg and chips. Absolutely delicious, although I was rather put off by the drawing of wild boar in the accompanying menu, who smiled sadly at me throughout my consumption of what was presumably him or a close relative.
2. Grilled Breast of Guinea Fowl, served with chorizo, chilli jam and sweet potato mash. I would like to point out that this course clearly contains one of my five-a-day, thereby negating any potential downside of eating such a large meal.
3. Roasted Pheasant Breast, stuffed with apple, pork and honey, wrapped in bacon and served with coq au vin sauce. This was my husband's favourite course: he went a bit like Homer Simpson does when he goes "aaaggggghhhhuuuugggggg" and starts drooling.
4. Wild Venison Medallions, served with braised red cabbage and a cherry and red wine sauce (red food = healthy, I know this for an actual fact). This was MY favourite course.
5. Apple, Cinnamon and Sultana Crumble. I confidently said I didn't want this. I ate every last scrap and then complained all the way home about having eaten too much (humour me - at least TRY to look surprised.)
The menu also includes a glass of wine, which I sipped very slowly and made last for five whole courses in a bid to prove that I can be restrained if necessary on a school night. The menu is available again on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th October, and if I weren't in Edinburgh I would definitely go again. You can book by ringing The Didsbury on 0161 445 5389.
Many thanks to Paul, the lovely gaffer at The Didsbury for letting us sneak in pretty late on in the evening for our repast, for in an unprecedented double bill of Tuesday night action we had snaffled some free tickets for The Social Network at Cineworld. I did some predictable chuntering about how I was expecting a dreary couple of hours watching a bunch of IT geeks doing dull things with computers, but I take it all back. This film is brilliant - superbly acted, full of fantastic pantomime villain-type characters and with a sparkling script from the mighty Aaron Sorkin. I got home and posted a facebook status about the film about facebook I'd just watched, and fell blissfully asleep full of game and my own cleverness.