By Jo Cooksey
A New Opening In Didsbury
The Cameron family have been brewing and running public houses in the North East of England since the 1860’s and now their Head of Steam pub chain has reached Didsbury, in Manchester. We were invited along to the soft opening a couple of days before they opened to the public.
The Head of Steam is on a run of shops on Wilmslow Road, between Croma and The Dog & Partridge pub. I believe it had been a tapas bar but had been unoccupied for three years before Camerons got hold of it. The interior is warm and inviting with quite an American feel. Think lots of rough hewn wood and beer signs. Vintage style bare bulb lights hang from the ceiling and the seating is an eclectic mix.
The menu goes through from breakfast to evening and serves up the kind of carby, comforting dishes you want with a few beers. From a full breakfast to burgers, hot dogs, handmade pies and pizza.
There were three of us eating the evening we visited ,so we choose a good range of dishes in order to sample a good breadth of the menu. Starters consisted of Korean Inspired Squid with a salt & pepper crumb coating and a lime and kimchi dipping sauce and Chicken Churrasco Brochette Skewers with a cucumber raita. The squid was crispy and hot and the kimchi totally moreish. I could have had that with everything. The skewers were spicy and flavoursome and the raita made a nice creamy counterpoint.
What A Treat
We all chose a main each but of course we all sampled each other’s. I love burgers and dogs but they don’t love me I’m afraid, so I chose a lighter option of Moroccan Harissa Marinated Salmon with sautéed new potatoes, artisan Mediterranean veg, sun blushed tomato and peashoot salad. I love Moroccan and Middle Eastern seasoning and I wasn’t disappointed. The dish was delightful. The salmon was cooked perfectly for me, a little crisp and seared on the outside yet still juicy on the inside.
One of my companions chose one HOS’s own recipe burgers, the Classic, which is a 6oz steak burger served with smoked streaky bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, giant beer battered onion rings, baby gem lettuce, tomato, and relish. This monster burger came in a glossy brioche roll. It looked and I’m assured it tasted fantastic. The sweet potato fries also went down well.
My other dinner pal ordered an own recipe 12” inch BBQ dog topped with pulled pork and crispy onions and served with French fries. These are actually English type sausages as opposed to Frankfurters, just so you know. To be honest the sausage was a little over cooked which meant the ends were dry and crispy but the middle was moist and the pulled pork very tasty.
The portion sizes were hearty and we certainly didn’t have room for a pud after but the selection looked good and we will absolutely make sure we have room next time to try the Knickerbocker Glory and the Strawberry & Rhubarb Cheesecake.
We were guests of The Head of Steam but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.