Manchester.

Things we have done and tips


Red Hot world buffet, Manchester

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by louisechackett on February 12, 2013

==What is it?==

Red Hot world buffet is basically an all you can eat restaurant which offers food from lots of places in the world. You will find Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Italian, English, Japenese, Thai as well as a good selection of salad bars and desserts too!

=Breakfast=

Monday-Friday 7am-10.30am £6.49 Breakfast is not available on a Saturday or Sunday.

=Lunch=

Monday-Friday 12.00-4.00pm £8.49
Saturday and Sunday 12.00-4pm £9.99

=Dinner=

Monday-Thursday 5-10.30pm £13.99
Friday 5-11.00pm £14.99
Saturday 5-11.00pm £14.99
Sunday 5-10.30pm £13.99

You will find that there are more selections during the evening buffet and so this is reflected in the price. Childen are served at half the price of an adult meal and I have seen many children when I have visited and so I think it is quite a family friendly place to go.

==Red Hot world buffet Manchester==

The Manchester restaurant is situated at 48 Deansgate and so is in a very central easy to locate part of Manchester as this is what is the main road through the city centre. You can contact the restaurant on 0161 819 1240 and I would advise you book for a large party where possible but I have not booked on any of the occasions I have been with friends as there was just the two of us and we were seated without any problems at all.

The seating area of the restaurant is upstairs but there is a lift in the bar area so that people can take their prams up there if they wish. The corridor upstairs is quite narrow but people seem to manage ok and get to their tables.

You will be shown to a table by a member of staff and they usually write their name on to a paper table mat on your table so that you know who your server is. There are plenty of staff working in this restaurant though and I have to say we aren’t often seen by the same person as they seem to just wander around taking peoples used plates and such like. This isn’t an issue for me personally as I have never had a problem needing dealing with but I would point out there are various members of management recognisable on the restaurant floor too should you have anything you wish to be dealt with. You will be asked have you visited Red Hot before and if you haven’t they will give you a quick run down of what to do and things and so I was glad of this the first time I went as we were a bit nervous having never been somewhere like this before. You can also order drinks at your table and these are not included in the buffet price.

The process is really simple and you simply enter the buffet through an open doorway and get yourself a plate and then mooch around the clearly marked sections until you get the food that you want! I personally prefer to take it section by section so will have some Chinese, then have Indian for example afterwards. It really depends on my mood on the day though! There are some sections where you can have your own pasta made to order or your own teppanyaki made to order too but this isn’t something that I have had done as of yet!

I nearly always start with the Chinese food and there is a good selection of starters that you can have on your plate such as prawn crackers, ribs, duck and pancakes, spring rolls etc. I always have sweet and sour chicken when I go here because I think it is really nice and the chicken is plentiful in the sweet and sour sauce but there are many other traditional Chinese main meals on offer too as well as rices, stir fried vegetable and things as well. The stir fried vegetable is actually so lovely as it is crisp and comes in a garlic sauce which is so yummy!

There is a section with tex mex style foods and on there you will find the chips and wedges that you can of course have with any of your other meals. Nacho’s peri peri chicken, corn on the cob and things can be found here. My friend and I do really enjoy making our own nachos and adding salsa, soured cream and jalapenos here.

The Italian section offers things like pizza and pasta and whilst I haven’t tried the pasta the pizzas are generally nice. They aren’t just your boring cheese and tomato and you may have spicy chicken or roasted vegetable too. They are often different each time we go and that is something that we like really as it is nice to try different things.

The sushi bar isn’t something that I would personally go near but it is only on in an evening and seemed quite popular on the night that I went with my friend! I am too much of a coward to try sushi as I don’t think I would like it!

I really enjoy the Indian section in the Red Hot buffet and there is a good selection of starters such as bhaji’s, kebabs or Bombay potato to begin with. You can also have naan, popadoms and chutneys to your hearts desires but they are made in to small pieces so to avoid waste as people often have eyes bigger than their bellies! I really like the chicken tikka massalla here and the chicken is always nice and tender whilst the sauce is creamy but has a little kick to it as well.

What I think is pretty much the law when you go somewhere like this is you need to sample lots of desserts. The Red Hot buffet are wise in that most things are small and so you only have tiny little strawberry mousses, or carrot cakes but they do also have larger cakes which are available to cut in to. There are some gorgeous fruit based ones with mousse that I really enjoy. For the evening meals there is also a made to order pancake and American waffle stand where you can get these and numerous sauces drizzled on them as well as an ice cream stall too!

What I think the worry is with somewhere like this is you think that the food is going to be mass produced crap basically and that you aren’t really going to enjoy the experience. I have to say though the two friends I have been with are notoriously fussy and one said that they were going to have to bring her fiancé with her whilst the other and I have visited a couple of times since the first time so I do think that says a lot. I like how I am able to try new things if I want and I don’t have to like them as I can just leave them on my plate and go and get something new if needs be. The food is decent quality considering it is a all you can eat buffet though and I have enjoyed most of the things I have picked up and tried here.

Obviously the thing with somewhere like this is you are going to eat a lot. I will usually head up for two main meals such as Chinese and Indian and then I will usually get a good selection of small puddings to try as well. If you go here I find that I do not need to have an evening meal if I go for lunch and vice versa should I go for an evening meal. You will leave feeling very full up but I think that is the idea with somewhere like this and it isn’t the kind of place you are going to be eating at all the time anyway.
I like how I am able to take my time with my food and I do not feel rushed here to leave. There are plenty of tables within the restaurant and although they are relatively close together I do not feel too crowded. I prefer to sit near to the window which is furthest away from the buffet but also offers less hustle and bustle as you eat than those in the mid section.

I would certainly recommend the Red Hot world buffet to anyone really and I am glad that I go to try it because it is one of my favourite places to eat out now. I am hoping to be able to take my son to try it over half term week because I think he would quite like the fact that he can try lots of different things. I think you get good value for money here and I would say if you want to see the restaurant with all its offerings then you are best visiting on an evening.

Thank you for reading my review!
Red Hot World Buffet
48 Deansgate
Manchester

TGI Friday's, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by louisechackett on January 23, 2013

For the past few years we have had a bit of a family get together on the run up to Christmas where my sister, cousins, myself and my son will usually head to the Christmas markets, do a bit of shopping and grab something to eat. The past couple of years we had been to Liverpool where my cousins live and so this past Christmas we decided to meet in Manchester which was easily reachable for us all and would be a nice change. We decided to eat at TGI Fridays at Manchester Royal Exchange and this is my review of our day.

==What is it?==

TGI’s is a classic American style food place. You will find grills, burgers, chicken and other such items on the menu and you can expect to get a big portion on your plate! It isn’t a cheap place to eat and so I would personally recommend it as a bit of a treat as opposed to a place to regularly eat but it is good quality and a bit of an experience when you do go there.

==Where is it and how can I book?==

You can find the restaurant at:

Royal Exchange Building
Cross Street
Manchester
M2 7DH

They are contactable on 0844 692 8903 or can be emailed at RoyalExchange@tgifridays.co.uk. You can actually book a table online for 1-4 people but larger tables would probably need to contact the restaurant to find out if they can book and if any deposits are needed to hold a table or anything. We booked online and found that when we arrived 15 minutes before our table time we were still shown straight to our table and this was on a Sunday at 4pm so not particularly a quiet time.

==Our experience==

When we walked in to the restaurant I was pleased to see that it was suitably decorated for Christmas. There was a cool red and white bauble Christmas tree in the foyer which looked really modern and cool and inside the restaurant was also decorated nicely. Inside the restaurant there was a cool American theme and there were a lot of dark wood booths and tables. The whole atmosphere of the restaurant was quite cool and chilled and we were all quite surprised at how large the restaurant was as there seemed to be tables going on forever!

When we were seated in our booth we were given menus and asked would we like to order drinks. We all ordered soft drinks as it was tea time on a Sunday but I know that they do cocktails and alcoholic drinks at TGI’s based on a previous visit to the branch in London’s Picadilly Circus. Soft drinks cost £2.39 for a bottomless glass. We had a male server and he stayed our server all the way through the meal which was nice as we knew whose attention to get should we need anything and I do like the consistency of the same server. He was a pleasant man and took our orders down quickly and efficiently running through it with us to make sure that he had got everything right.

As we had been mooching around the Christmas markets we had all been sampling various little sweet treats earlier in the afternoon and so none of us decided to have a starter in TGI’s. The starters ranged from things like chicken wings, bruchetta and potato skins and were around £5-£6 each. Sharing platters were also available for around £14-£15.

The main meals as I mentioned earlier have quite an American theme running through them and so you are going to be looking at things like steaks, chicken, burgers and such like but they also have a section on the menu with things like fajitas, pastas and salads too. I chose Cajun chicken quesadilla with fries for my main meal whilst others in the party went for burgers or steak. My main meal cost £10.99 which I felt was reasonable really and in line with places such as Frankie and Benny’s. What I didn’t see on the menu was the option to upgrade your fries to sweet potato fries which is what a couple of my cousins did after I had ordered and I was a bit jealous! This costs around 50p more on top of your meal I think.

My son ordered a hot dog and fries off the stars menu and this cost just £2.99 which I thought was good value. This price is just for a main meal though and you do not get a drink or a dessert as you would in other places for a couple of pounds extra. My son was given an activity pack with a workbook, pencil and things in to keep him entertained whilst waiting for his meal.

Our meals arrived reasonably quickly and there were no major issues. My sister had ordered garlic mayonnaise with her meal which she had to pay a little extra for and this didn’t come with the meals but the server did go and sort this out for us though not as quickly as we would have hoped. The portions were a really good size for all of our main meals and we all struggled to finish our main course completely and we were all really full as well. Everybody enjoyed their food and agreed that they would come back to this restaurant to eat in the future.

We didn’t order desserts because of how full we were but we did see some people having them taken to their tables and they looked amazing so I think the next time I visit I would really like to try a dessert off the menu!

==Overall==

We were happy with the service we received at this restaurant. We were seated quickly and without fuss and the whole layout of the restaurant made us feel as though we were eating in a fun yet fashionable and cool establishment. Our meals were all really good quality and you do get plenty for your money here. I personally liked how well they catered for children because being the only child in the party on that occasion my son would have been bored had there been no activity pack offered.

The restaurant was really clean as far as we could tell. We did have a bit of an issue finding the toilet because it was on the totally opposite side of the restaurant to where we were and then was down some stairs but inside the toilets were clean and modern and well maintained.

I would certainly eat here again should I be in Manchester as it was a good experience for us all. It isn’t somewhere you would go for a cheap meal but it isn’t so expensive that it becomes a total luxury.

Thank you for reading my review!

TGI Fridays, Royal Exchange Building
Royal Exchange Building, Cross St
Manchester, England

Hard Rock Cafe Manchester

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by louisechackett on October 25, 2012

Whenever my friend and I go for drinks in Manchester the first place that we start is the Hard Rock Café simply because we love the cocktails that they serve! There is a whole lot more to the Hard Rock Café than the cocktails though and so I thought I would review it today.

The Hard Rock Café is situated in The Printworks in Manchester City centre and you cant really miss it as there is a huge illuminated guitar on the outside of the building which highlights that the Hard Rock is inside. There are often bouncers on the door of the Hard Rock simply because this is a popular spot for people to go for a drink and obviously they need to check ID from people. They always open the door for us as we go in and I would presume they do this for everyone as opposed to just ladies but who knows!

As you enter the Hard Rock Café there is a small section in which they have some Hard Rock merchandise such as t shirts, hoodies and other such items. This I guess is because of the fact that tourists visit Manchester and some people do see the Hard Rock as a place to visit as an attraction. I have been to the one in London but my friend has been to many around the world as she loves her rock music.

Inside the Hard Rock Café there are masses of rock memorabilia scattered around on the walls and even as someone who isn’t a rock fan as such it is interesting to look at the things that decorate the café such as guitars from famous musicians which adorn the walls. There are seats around the sides of the Hard Rock Café but to be honest more often than not it is difficult to get a seat as it is a very busy place and it has always been full on every occasion that I have been. Cocktail menus are scattered on the tables for you to browse if you do find yourself lucky enough to find a seat.

The bar is quite a long one and the staff are always good at their jobs and so even if you are ordering cocktails you shouldn’t be waiting too long to get your drinks. What I love about the Hard Rock Café is how the staff behind the bar really put some effort in to making the cocktails and it reminds me of a scene from the film Cocktail if I am honest! There are menus at the bar too for you to browse the cocktails but you don’t have to stick to cocktails as they serve the usual beers, spirits and wines. I particularly like the Bahama Mama cocktail which is quite fruity and tropical. Cocktails cost £5 or £6 per drink in the Hard Rock and whilst this is average I do think it is easy to drink them quickly and spend a lot in here.

There are televisions behind the bar which are always showing music channels and of course the music featured is pretty rocky. On a Friday night there is live music on in the café and this is always a busy night I have found but to be honest Saturday night is just as busy as you can often find hen and stag parties in the Hard Rock. Whilst I am not a rock chick by any means I find that I get consumed by the business and vibe of the Hard Rock and I always enjoy drinking in here.

You can also come to eat at the Hard Rock Café in Manchester and there is a separate eating area which is up a few steps and the people eating are kept away from those just having a drink which I think is important to be honest. Every time I have gone to eat at the Hard Rock I have enjoyed the food and will say that they are massive portions on your main meal but you will be looking at eleven or twelve pounds for a main course and so it is not a cheap place to eat at all. There are always long waits for tables as well unless you have booked in advance and so I would fully recommend booking a table which you can do on the Hard Rock Café Manchester website for certain times and days and you will then get priority seating so you don’t have as long of a wait.

The toilets in the Hard Rock Café are a good size really and I have never had to go in and wait for a long time before I can go to the toilet. They have a huge long mirror running along the long sink as well which makes it perfect for girls who want to touch up their make up and so you may find yourself queuing more for the mirror than a toilet! Despite the Hard Rock always being busy I do think staff keep on top of things and so whilst they may be a little messy sometimes it is nothing compared to some of the toilets I have seen!

I would totally recommend visiting the Hard Rock Café in Manchester should you be in the area as I think it is a great place to start off your night, have a meal and a few cocktails before heading to the hustle and bustle of Deansgate to carry on your night out!

Hard Rock Cafe Manchester
Exchange Square
Manchester
M4 2BS

Thank you for reading my review!
Hard Rock Cafe Manchester
The Printworks, Exchange Square
Manchester, England, M4 2BS
+44 161 831 6700

The Boddingtons car park

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by louisechackett on October 25, 2012

The Boddingtons tower used to be a focal point as you were driving in to Manchester as it was part of a factory where they produced the drink Boddingtons ale. When the factory shut down the tower remained and so you can still see it on the way in to Manchester but it now sits in a car park which is what remains of the site.

The car park is operated by NCP and boasts a large area in which up to 1150 vehicles can park. What is great about this site is the fact that you can park there relatively inexpensively and it usually costs £3 for a car to park there for a day and you pay via the machines which are dotted around the car park. This is a really reasonable price to pay for parking which is around a five or ten minute walk from Manchester town centre as some car parks charge double or more. Various fares will be available for vans and coaches as far as I am aware. The car park is open twenty four hours and is out in the open so there is no cover to the car park but it seems quite a secure area to park your car in my opinion.

The Boddingtons car park is situated on 53 Great Ducie Street in Manchester and as such it is a really perfect position for people visiting the MEN arena for a show or concert as it is literally just across the road. It was this reason that my friend and I chose the Boddingtons car park to park on when we visited Manchester to watch the Disney on Ice show at the MEN arena.

When we arrived at the car park what we first noticed was that instead of there just being the machines in which you pop your money and get a ticket there was in fact a man standing just inside the entrance with a receipt book in his hand and we had to stop to get a ticket from him. In front of the little hut where presumably an attendant can sit there was a sign stating that event parking was £6 despite there being signs everywhere saying £3 all day and so we were unsure what we were going to be charged to be honest. When we got to the man he asked were we going to see Disney on Ice and when we said yes he said "Six pounds please" and I wonder if we had said that we were just going for a meal and a shop if we would have been charged three pounds?!

Whilst six pounds is a reasonable amount to pay for city centre parking from 4.20pm until 9.45pm we found it really frustrating that we were being penalised really because we were coming to see a show which we had already paid a high price for tickets for. This is probably still the best car park to park on if you are going to something at the MEN arena but I do think it is really naughty that you are charged more to go to an event as the NCP must be making a killing on the fact that they can monopolise the people coming to the MEN.

My tip would be that if you can try to get away with it then say you are coming to town for a drink and a meal as opposed to going to an event as you may well be charged less and whilst I cannot guarantee that I think it is worth a shot!
Boddingtons Brewery Car Park
53 Great Ducie Street
Manchester, Lancashire

MEN Arena, Manchester

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by louisechackett on October 23, 2012

My friend and I are taking our children to Disneyland Paris in March next year and so when we saw that Disney on Ice was to be visiting Manchester in October this year we decided to book tickets as a nice treat but also as a build up to the excitement of Disneyland too. This is my review of the show Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure which we saw on Friday the 19th October.

The MEN arena is the largest arena in Manchester for shows and gigs. It is situated in the centre of Manchester and is very close to Victoria train station for those who may travel in by train.

We actually drove to the event and parked on the Boddingtons car park next to the arena which normally costs £3 for the day but as there was an event on there was a charge of £6 which whilst isn’t too over the top I think it is disgusting that you have to pay more just because you are coming to an event and I do plan to contact the NCP about that as it seems ridiculous.

You can enter the MEN arena through Victoria train station and this is how I always enter the arena for any gig. When we got to the arena it was very busy with lots of people wanting to buy merchandise and things and the staff didn’t move very quickly to get people in to the arena which was disappointing to be honest. There was a stand in the main part of the MEN arena selling merchandise and we did queue here to buy teddies for the children. A small one cost £12 which is ridiculously over priced really but my son had saved and wanted to buy one. A programme cost £9 and I didn’t bother getting one of those but I did buy my son a popcorn bucket which was £8 and again a total rip off but he was happy with it and the plastic bucket is a kind of memento of the day out which can be used again. There were also stalls inside the arena once you got in the main doors and these seemed quieter than the one outside and so I would advise you have a look inside if you can really.

Inside the arena there are plenty of staff who can direct you to the area you need to be in but there are also lots of well placed signs telling you which door takes you to which blocks and so it is hard to get lost or confused in there. There are plenty of places to purchase drinks inside as well as toilets for both male and females.

The arena is a large two tiered area and whilst we were on the lower tier we were on row T which felt high enough for me as I don’t like heights anymore really. The seats are comfortable enough for the show and as it was a family show we were all sat down for the duration of it. At concerts people are generally stood up and so it is a good idea that the rows are tiered as you have more chance of seeing over the person in front of you that way!

The ice covered the full area of what is normally the floor section in a concert and so it was a good size to be able to watch. There was also a larger staged area which was higher up off the floor for the cast to make use of and I think the whole thing was set up really well and looked impressive.

Thank you for reading my review!
Manchester Arena
Hunts Bank
Manchester, England, M3 1AR
01619 505000

Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by louisechackett on October 23, 2012

My friend and I are taking our children to Disneyland Paris in March next year and so when we saw that Disney on Ice was to be visiting Manchester in October this year we decided to book tickets as a nice treat but also as a build up to the excitement of Disneyland too. This is my review of the show Disney on Ice: Passport to Adventure which we saw on Friday the 19th October.

==Booking tickets and price==

We booked tickets for the show via the ticket master website as I trust them to deal with our needs professionally and I use them quite a lot. The booking process was quite simple and we simply typed in the event we wanted to see and then clicked on the date which we wanted to see it at our chosen venue. The ticket master website brought up a seating plan where we were able to choose our seats from those that were still available and we could also see the price per ticket too.

We booked seats in the lower tier of the MEN arena in Manchester in block 114 which was one of the side blocks but which had a good view of the space in which the show would be performed. I have been to the MEN arena for many gigs and so I was aware of which blocks I would prefer to sit in but I think the chart on the website does help if you are not too familiar with the arena.

The tickets cost around £20 each but there were some service charges and postage and packing charges on there too which bumped the price up a bit. I think it is a bit naughty when they add high service charges to tickets but it is just the way things have gone with purchasing tickets for events. I felt the price for the show tickets were reasonable for something I felt sure my son would enjoy. The tickets arrived just a few days after booking which I felt was good service.

==The show==

The passport to adventure show followed the popular Disney characters Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald and Daisy Duck and Goofy as they went on a bit of a holiday adventure to places around the world. What is nice is that the real voices of the characters are played as they skate around and so a child who is a fan of Mickey Mouse for example won’t be disappointed when he talks as it is just the normal Mickey Mouse voice.

The show first follows the characters to the African Savannah where they encounter the Lion King characters. It was this that I wanted my son to see the show for because it is his favourite film and his face was an absolute picture which actually brought tears to my eyes as I watched him sing along with the classic songs and watch in wonderment as Timon and Pumbaa made their way around the ice. The whole section of this was really beautiful I thought and the skaters really were impressive! I was amazed at how Pumbaa was in a full body costume and looked just like he does on the film and so how the person or people skated inside that costume to be honest!

From the Lion King the show moved on to the under sea delights of the little mermaid and whilst this wasn’t a film my son had seen he was taken by the action on the ice. Ariel stumbled a couple of times which my friends daughter found hilarious but the show went on and it was a beautiful display really with lots of lifts from the main two dancers but lots of other things going on from the other skaters dressed as crabs, starfish and fish. My son loved Flounder the fish and the large balloon Ursula and I really liked Sebastian the red crab as I thought it was really clever how they had made the costumes so well.

From the little mermaid they went to Hawaii to see Lilo and Stitch and although my son has never seen the film he had purchased a Stitch soft toy from the stall outside and so he was happy to sit and watch this section. Again there were a few stumbles but nothing too dramatic and there was plenty of action on the ice as aliens came to earth to try and take Stitch back. This section was probably my least favourite of the whole show but it was still enjoyable.

There was a short ten or fifteen minute interval after the Lilo and Stitch section but we didn’t go to the toilet or anything because the queues are always ridiculous and the children were both fine.

After the interval was a visit to Neverland with Peter Pan and this was a really fun section as ropes were used to give the effect of the Darling children and Peter flying and there was the introduction of Captain Hook to fight with Peter Pan too. At the end of the section there was a huge inflated crocodile with an open mouth in which Peter Pan pushes Captain Hook at the end and my son just loved this bit. It was really clever and there was so much to look at through the whole show that the time just flew by.

The show was on for ninety minutes and this time literally flew by I have to say. The children were both so impressed with the show that they didn’t act tired despite the fact the show started at 7pm and so by the time it finished was way past their bedtimes on a Friday night when they had been at school all day.

The effects used in the show were great I think and so there were small flashes of fireworks every so often which were really nice to look at but above that the costume design and variety of colours on the ice just grabbed your attention and made you believe in the Disney magic. The skaters were really professional and although there was the odd fall they got straight back up and on with the show and some of the moves they did were really breathtaking and I was thoroughly impressed!

We came out of the show saying that we must book to go again next year to whichever show they put on which I think is testament to how much we enjoyed it really and so I am sure you can tell I recommend it. I wouldn’t even say the show is just for children because as an adult I really enjoyed it and I know my 21 year old cousin and her friend also went to see the show on their own as they love Disney too.

Thank you for reading my review!



Manchester Arena
Hunts Bank
Manchester, England, M3 1AR
01619 505000

Pizza Express, The Triangle, Manchester

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by louisechackett on October 25, 2012


Before we went to see Disney on Ice last weekend we decided to go for a meal at pizza express in the triangle in central Manchester as it was situated close to the MEN arena and we could also use some Tesco clubcard vouchers towards the cost of the meal.

==Booking==

As we were going at a peak time on a Friday evening we felt it would be best to book a table. The process was actually really simple as you can book a table on the pizza express website by searching for your restaurant, entering the number of people you require for a table and then choose a time slot. You can have the information sent to you via email and text message should you wish to.

When we arrived at 4.40pm the restaurant was very quiet but it did soon get busy and so I would advise booking a table, especially on the weekend.

==Our experience==

The pizza express in the triangle is actually accessed by going down a lot of steps to the restaurant. I could not see any means of disable entrances whilst we were in there either.

We were taken to our table by a pleasant waitress who offered the children an activity booklet and a pot of crayons with our menus which was nice as they had something to do whilst we were browsing the menu and also when waiting for our food too. We were sat right in the middle of the restaurant and so we were close enough to the toilets and the area in which you can see the meals being prepared but I would have preferred to sit in the quieter section of the restaurant I think which was just down a few steps.

The waitress took our drinks orders before our food order as we weren’t quite ready. What I don’t like is how the children’s meals doesn’t come with a drink included in the price when so many other similar restaurants do include a soft drink. We all ordered a fizzy soft drink at £2.25 which I suppose is an average price.

We were given a few minutes before placing our food order and the waitress was efficient in taking our orders.

My son went on the children’s menu which cost £6.45. He got a dough balls starter with salad, a choice of a few pizza or pasta dishes and then a pudding and babyccino drink. My son adores the pizza express dough balls and polished his plate of five off easily. I did feel the side "salad" was a bit lacking really as he simply had two slices of cucumber and some long strips of red pepper! He opted for a simple cheese and tomato pizza for his main meal and this came to the table very hot but it didn’t take too long before he could pick it up and eat it. The pizza was around 7" and had plenty of cheese on top of the tomato sauce. My son was able to eat all of the pizza and said that it was really tasty and he enjoyed the thin base. For his pudding he chose a toffee fudge sundae which featured fudge chunks on vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce! I have to say even I like the look of this pudding so it was safe to say he demolished all of this! Children’s puddings come with a babyccino which is basically a cup of warm frothy milk served in a tea cup like a cappuccino. Both my son and my friends daughter really enjoyed them and I think they felt a little bit more grown up having them.

For my meal I opted for the dough balls starter. On my plate I had ten dough balls and a pot of garlic butter to dip them in. The dough balls were lovely and soft and very tasty with the garlic butter. I think this is a very filling starter though and would usually choose to share this with someone if I was considering three courses.

I went for a lasagne for my main meal which cost £9.30. My friend went for the American hot pizza in the classic menu which cost £9.45. The lasagne was a good size and very hot out of the oven but I was really disappointed that they added parmesan cheese to the top without asking me first as I have normally been asked whether I want it or not once the food is brought to my table. I was able to scrape most of it off the top of my lasagne but I shouldn’t have had to. I ate around three quarters of my lasagne and I found it very tasty. There was plenty of meat in it and the pasta was perfect. I would have eaten it all but my IBS was playing up and causing me discomfort. My friend enjoyed her pizza but said it wasn’t as good as the equivalent at Frankie and Bennys.

We ordered pudding but were left waiting over twenty minutes for them and whilst I appreciate the restaurant was getting busier we felt this really was too long to wait for a piece of chocolate fudge cake and three ice cream sundaes! A man next to us seemed likely to be a mystery shopper and at her managers request our waitress left making our puddings to get the bill for him which was a bit annoying! My friend loved the chocolate fudge cake but we felt that £4.95 was a bit much to pay for it really. I ordered a chocolate fudge sundae for £5.25 which was a tall glass dish full of vanilla ice cream and chunks of chocolate fudge cake but I couldn’t eat much at all because of feeling so ill at this point.

The bill came to just short of sixty pounds for the four of us to have three courses and a drink. To be honest I wouldn’t pay that much for a meal in a pizza place ordinarily as you can get a special value menu at many other establishments where it is much cheaper. As we did have thirty pounds of Tesco vouchers it did soften the blow somewhat though.

Whilst I probably will visit this restaurant again as it is conveniently placed in Manchester I do think that there are better value places to eat at for similar food.

The restaurant was clean and inviting though I have to say the toilets were a bit of a let down as there were just three and only one hand drier which left us waiting each time we went. They were clean and well stocked with toilet roll though which was good.

Thank you for reading my review!
Pizza Express at The Corn Exchange
Unit 3A, Exchange Square
Manchester, England, M4 3TR
0161 834 6130

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j77390-Manchester-Manchester.html

©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009