<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Restaurant review - The Refuge by Volta, Manchester

PUBLISHED: 00:00 12 May 2017

The bar at Volta (credit: Tim Winter)

The bar at Volta (credit: Tim Winter)

not Archant

Didsbury cool meets Manchester’s cosmopolitan appeal at the Principal Hotel’s stunning restaurant, The Refuge, says Rebekka O’Grady.

If you heard the sentence ‘DJs-turned-restaurateurs’, you might be doubtful about the quality of food on offer. Surely just because you’re good behind the decks doesn’t mean you know about hospitality?

However, uber-cool duo Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford have proved that this misconception is very wrong thanks to the success of their award-winning West Didsbury restaurant, Volta. In fact, their global DJing trips helped to inspire the mouth-watering menu, one that is now on offer in Manchester city centre.

The business partners turned their golden touch to The Refuge, the dining option at the newly refurbished Principal Hotel. Previously known as The Palace Hotel, the former Refuge Assurance building on Oxford Road underwent a £20 million refurbishment last year, transforming it into a landmark destination.

From the well-stocked public bar, crafted from 40ft of granite bar, to the Winter Garden, a stunning atrium where elegant cocktails and afternoon tea are Instagram worthy, it’s an interior feast for the eyes. However, I was more concerned about what feast I was about to eat in the Dining Room.

The menu at The Refuge is based upon small plates and sharing dishes, created by head chef Alex Worrall. These dishes change regularly, but I find a Spanish theme runs strongly throughout. My sister and I start our evening with a meat board (£11) to share. A highlight is the Serrano gran reserve and duck ham.

We promise to share a bit of our own dishes, but when my slow-cooked ox cheek with egg and sriracha (£9.50) was served, I’m afraid Saira didn’t get a look in. The meat was extraordinarily tender, swathed in a rich sauce. The salt cod croquettes with parsley aioli (£6) were on a similar par, two of these moreish bites just weren’t enough for my suddenly insatiable appetite.

My sister’s chargrilled 6oz flat iron steak (£10) was cooked to perfection, the chimmichuri and B.N. Hollandaise sauce the ideal accompaniment. She said her grilled tiger prawns (£10) could have done with a bit more chilli, but the meat itself was delectable. The one thing we did actually share was the sweet potato mash (£4), which we both agreed was the best of its version that we had ever tasted.

Sadly we were both too full to order desserts, but with tempting options like pear and hazelnut tarte tatin with espresso custard, I am sure to make a very swift return.

The Refuge by Volta, The Principal, Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 7HA

Tel: 0161 288 1111, www.refugemcr.co.uk

Short break - Principal Hotel, Manchester

More from Food & Drink

Mon, 13:05

Take a look at some of the finest hampers available in the county.

Read more
Christmas
Monday, November 13, 2017

There is no challenge too small for cake maker Molly Robbins, writes Mairead Mahon

Read more
Sunday, November 12, 2017

It’s the home of the UK’s longest running vegetable box scheme and is showing no signs of slowing down. Mairead Mahon reports

Read more
Lancashire Food
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Beat the Autumn chills with Soup and a Sandwich for just £7 all throughout November.

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Throughout November The Top Lock will be serving up some delicious Vegan dishes for you to try!

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Curry Club at The Top Lock - All throughout November!

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

Cheese & Wine Offer at The Butlers Arms, Pleasington - November 2017.

Read more
Monday, November 6, 2017

After the success of our Curry Week in October we were asked to bring it back...

Read more
Friday, November 3, 2017

The beautiful woodland John Collinson’s hens explore on Longridge Fell is what makes Bowland Forest Eggs taste so good. Emma Mayoh reports

Read more
Lancashire Food Bowland
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The inaugural Taste Lancashire conference united the county’s food industry

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Saddleworth actor is relishing a new career as a restaurateur, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Oldham
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tom Parker and the team at The White Swan are taking flight, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

You don’t have to go to Michelin starred venues for a fine dining experience. Foxholes Restaurant at Runshaw College is coming up rosettes, as Mairead Mahon discovered

Read more
Lancashire Restaurants
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Harvey Nichols doesn’t just do fashion darling, it does fab food too, as Janet Reeder discovers

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Lancashire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search