What makes you want to dine at a restaurant? For me, it has to pique my interest, via inventive dishes or positive commentariat on service (yes I’m big on service). After hearing a lot of noise (all positive) about Tariff and Dale, a hip and cute bar and eatery situated on Tariff Street, I just had to pop in to see what the fuss was about.
As we planted in the super soft and comfortable booth, we took a looksee at the menu. I glanced over light bites, sharer boards, pizzas, sausage rolls and Chef Specials. Its versatility means you can pick at food and munch on a single sausage roll, or tuck into a proper sit-down steak.
Tariff and Dale has a very particular sort of vibe. Think exposed brickwork, bottles on display, which is relaxing and inspiring in equal measure. What I especially liked, were the rows of numerous oil filled bottles, which somehow made the room feel more like a cool kitchen.
We ordered the ‘Lovingly Artisan’ bread (oil, balsamic), which was yeasty, moreish and very good, especially when dunked into the sweet vinegar and unctuous olive oil.
Fat Nocellara olives were a delight to eat too, meaty and slightly citrusy on the swallow. (Hey, if they’re raved about by Jamie Oliver, they’re good for me.) I was actually really hungry so ordered the pork and pistachio sausage roll. I was honestly expecting it to be the size of your usual Greggs. When the dish arrived with side salad and smear of burnt onion and ‘Nduja ketchup, I had to double-take. This was one heck of a generous sized roll, call it the grand-daddy of sausage rolls if you will. Flaky, melt-in-your-mouth pastry and beautifully seasoned meat was stunning on the palate, which is why this constitutes proper soul food perfect for the upcoming cooler autumn months.
For my main, I had the pan seared cod loin (mussel, lemongrass potage). Portions again were very generous and a great hunk of fillet made this one hearty dish. I loved the gorgeous garlicky, gingery potage, which made a superb sauce for the delicate vegetable cubes and strips of fennel.
One dining partner had the air-dried ham and Ogden Cheddar sourdough pizza which he enjoyed. I managed to snaffle a piece and thought the base to be nice and crisp, although the cheese was slightly over-powering for my liking (Ogden can have that effect).
Dining partner number three had the flat iron steak (ale reduction, confit potato). She couldn’t stop waxing lyrical about how tender and delicious the meat was. (I very nearly called her boyfriend to let him down gently that said girlfriend’s heart now belonged to a piece of steak.) I swiped a spoon through the ale reduction and thought it to be beautifully hoppy, with a whisper of caramelised sweetness.
I’m a sucker for white chocolate (come on, it’s the food of the gods) and the white chocolate cheesecake (mango, passionfruit) didn’t disappoint. The texture was light and wondrous, whilst the blow torched meringue kisses brought sophistication to an already grown up dish.
I loved it at Tariff and Dale. I will most certainly be back for those heavenly sausage rolls and cheesecake. See you there.
Star Rating 1-10 (1: “I’d rather eat my own shoe, I hated it that much” – 10: “I’d pillage for a meal here”.)
Value for money: 8
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Address: Tariff and Dale, 2 Tariff Street, Manchester M1 2FF
Tel: 0161 710 2233