Lousy at The Lowry

I’m not really eating out as such at the moment, but I still have to eat and yesterday I had to eat at The Lowry hotel, in the heart of Manchester.

It’s a Rocco Forte hotel and you expect a certain standard in the dining room. Or at least I would. And as long as you what you expect is something both incompetent and mediocre, you won’t be disappointed.

We were seated at a banquette. Too low. The table was almost level with my shoulders.

I am not tall, but neither am I a person of restricted growth. Although I now have a far better understanding of how I might feel if I was.

And a small request. When you bring round the bread in a big bowl and give me a choice of three, please actually show it to me.

Don’t hold the basket at an angle that I can only see if I am suspended from the ceiling. And give me butter which I can get a knife into; not one which tastes fridge-stale and which, when you put a knife into it, launches itself into shards some of which end up on the floor.

Not feeling very hungry, I ordered the vegetable cassoulet. To me that brings to mind, at the very least, haricot beans. I know a vegetable cassoulet is actually an abomination to some, but at least try to get some of the basic elements right.

Frankly, some undercooked butter beans, carrots and a buttery sauce just doesn’t cut it. And, to add insult to injury, it was meant to come with croutons or, in Lowry-speak “crutons”, of which there were no sign.

C ordered that classic dish, spaghetti with lobster. £19. It came in a sea of what appeared to be a fishy gravy, with very little actual lobster. And it was linguine and not spaghetti. And it was overcooked.

If by any remote chance, the chef from the Lowry ever gets to see this, please note that linguine and spaghetti are not interchangeable and also that it is preferable for the linguine not to be cooked to the point where it becomes a solid lump.

And I looked at it and within the soggy, sticky mess there were some tiny square things.

What are they? I asked C. I think they’re your croutons, he said.

Marvellous. Taking fusion to new heights. Combining the ingredients of two separate orders.

And there is no mention of the dessert in this review. You know why.

And no pictures. Why would I do that to you?

In other circumstances I’d have said it straight, in a caring way, naturally, but frankly, I wasn’t I the mood and it was so bad that it was actually entertaining.

Until the bill came, when suddenly we failed to see the funny side.

Really, you couldn’t pay me to eat there again.

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