Wednesday, 19 October 2016


A Friday night visiting Manchester for a little boogie at it's famous arena meant that it was time to give another of the city's new food and drink offerings a whirl and this time it was the turn of Albert's Schloss in the trendy Deansgate area of the city centre that caught our eye. Inspired by the Bavarian and Bohemian areas of Europe; it boasts on its website of being the first Tankovna in Manchester as well as having its very own bakery and "cook haus". I didn't know what what a Tankovna was but it sounded intriguing so off we went to go check it out.
Albert refers to Queen Victoria's famous husband whilst a Schloss is a German palace or stately home. Think Bavarian Downton Abbey but with more booze and you're on the right lines. This isn't really the vibe we got when we initially walked in on a chilly Friday evening, it was only when you started noticing the more finer details that the Bavarian elements start shining through. The wooden fixtures and fittings and the greenery entwined around the central columns could make you think you were in a tavern in the Black Forrest. I'll forgive the slightly hipsterish style of the staffs uniform and facial hair (the males of course!) as they were all helpful and enthusiastic.

Albert's Schloss was heaving when we arrived. Well, it was a Friday evening in fairness but we had quite cleverly had the foresight to book a table and so we were taken straight over to the quieter dining area just behind the welcome desk and jumped straight into ordering some cocktails. At the time of writing this blog post, some of the amazing sounding cocktails are just £5 before 7pm! No brainer really isn't it! I went for the apple strudel cocktail first and it was an instant smash. Slightly dangerous as it tasted so much like a strudel that it took a bit of restraint not to down the whole thing in one go but no; I took my time and savored every last drop.
Some of the cocktails might sound a bit weird and one in particular did divide us. It was this thyme and rhubarb creation. In fairness it was very hard to taste the rhubarb in there as the thyme was the main flavor going on at this party. I loved it and found the thyme to be really refreshing and delicious. I think on the other hand if you were expecting rhubarb you might be disappointed as there were comments that the thyme was just too overpowering. If you fancy trying something a bit different and maybe challenge your palette a little bit 
then give this a whirl, you may find that like me, you will love it.

My final cocktail of the evening took me right back to my childhood (without the alcohol of course  - well not until I was about 13 anyway (sorry mum!)). This strawberry based cocktail had a terrific bubble gum flavor to it which was very reminiscent of those bubblegum flavored bright blue carton drinks you used to get when you were younger that were obviously filled with tonnes of chemical coloring's, preservatives and flavorings! The fizz in the cocktail gives a little sour undertone that made it seem like there is sherbet in the drink (maybe there is is! I can't remember now that I'm three cocktails in.) to further add to those memories of childhood. A fabulous cocktail for any big kids out there.

So what about the food, was it as tasty as all the delicious cocktails we had? Well the first dish to arrive was the griddled halloumi schnitzel burger. The quote at the table was that it was "the nicest halloumi burger ever eaten". The halloumi was perfectly cooked and was fried in a light yet crispy bread crumb coating to give it a satisfying crunch. The beetroot slaw however, which resides inside the focaccia bun with the halloumi was amazing and really gave the burger a proper lift. Finish it off with a lemon mayo, grilled courgette and mint and you have a really inventive vegetarian burger option that I would love to be able to try at home!

To go alongside the halloumi burger, we kept going with the Bavarian theme by having some potato salad. Quite frankly I wish potato salad was more widely available as a side in restaurants as I love the stuff especially when it's as scrummy as the version at Albert's Schloss. Firstly, everything tastes better when it has crispy onions sprinkled on top. Instant winner! Add to that the fresh dill and creamy mayo all mixed together with the tender potatoes and you have a truly epic side dish that stands up again the mains.  If it was me, I'd add some chopped gherkins just to really made it an A+ dish but as it stands it's an A- from me!

The menu contains a selection of delicious sounding main meals (the "Haus Wurst" seem to be the signature dish!) but for this visit I was more intrigued by the small plates. For my first plate I went for the meatballs in mother sauce. I don't know what mother sauce is exactly but what I do know is that it was packed with an intense and vibrant tomato flavor that compliments the oozy melty cheesiness of the cambozola cube placed on top. The meatballs were moist and juicy, perfectly cooked. An absolute delight and I can understand why people were raving about them on social media!

I also decided to try the smoked salmon and hake fish cake and to my surprise I actually enjoyed it more than the meatballs I'd been looking forward to all day. The fish cake was packed with flaky fish. It was all killer and no filler inside that golden breadcrumb crust. The menu advertised a dill and cucumber salad which appeared to be absent from my plate but I only noticed this once I had finished as the delicious sweet mustard creme fraiche sauce was a perfect accompaniment with its slightly lemony edge. The greens garnishing the top of the fish cake gives it a fresh little finish that brings everything together. Definitely one of the highlights of my meal.

As it was Friday night and the weekend had well and truly arrived we really indulged ourselves and decided to order some desserts. So happy that we did! Our first dessert was a red cherry trifle. Imagine the love child of a black Forrest gateaux and a traditional trifle and this is what you get. The combination of the classic lady fingers, vanilla custard and Chantilly cream give you those trifle elements that take you right back to puddings your Nan would make at family gatherings when you were little whilst the addition of the cherries in kirsch syrup give it a grown up Bavarian twist. Well executed and a stroke of genius, it was a perfect way to finish a meal.

For me however, the standout dish of the day were the Olibollen. Essentially, these are doughnuts but my my they are good doughnuts. A trio of soft, sugar coated golden brown dough balls, they were stuffed with delicious fillings. The raspberry jam one burst it's fruity innards straight into your mouth on impact, the custard filled one was smooth and creamy whilst the dark chocolate one was oh so naughty and decedent. If that wasn't enough, it comes with a dollop of vanilla ice cream to finish everything off. I can't think of anything negative to say about them, they were an absolute pleasure to tuck into and I'll be back to have them again.

That's right! As we left to go and enjoy our evening I vowed that we would return in the future to sample some more incredible cocktails and fabulous food. Albert's Schloss is named after a very famous royal and I think that it is a destination that would totally get the King's approval. Gorgeous interiors, yummy food and drink and friendly and helpful staff, what more could you ask for on a Friday night. A bevy of Bavarian treats, Albert's Schloss is indeed

To book a table, view the menu and find out more about this Mancunian 

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