Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Date Night With Manchester Printworks


As we've just seen Valentine's Day come and go, I thought it'd be a good time to talk date nights!

With the wedding fast approaching, we're (attempting) not going out as much so when we do decide upon a little treat, it's nice to get the most out of it.

The Printworks in Manchester city centre recently invited me* to the complex to experience a classic 'date night' there.

Now, The Printworks isn't somewhere I'd immediately think to go on a date (to me, it used to conjure up first year students and stag do's) but after a little investigation, I found that they recently added Busaba, a brilliant Thai chain, to their culinary line up and having had a great meal their at one of their popular London restaurants and the promise of watching the fantastic La La Land at the Odeon afterwards, I was sold!

My first impression of the Manchester Busaba branch was that the atmosphere was actually better than the one I'd previously visited in London! The decor at Busaba is contemporary and stylish - and this one felt a little more intimate than I'd found before. In London, the restaurant I went to was made up of more casual, larger 'sharing' tables where you sit with other diners; this one seemed to be well suited to couples and smaller groups. Better still, we were given a fantastic table on the top floor by the window, looking out onto the hustle and bustle of Manchester's night-time centre.


We perused the drinks menu and I knew immediately that I wanted to try a cocktail before any food arrived. Fancying something a little different, I went for a Lychee Martini - I wasn't disappointed!

Chris decided to try the Saison beer, a pale ale brewed especially for Busaba by the Hop Kettle Brewing Co. with hints of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fresh ginger and tamarind, giving it a really unique but subtle Thai flavour.

We were both really impressed with the beer and I quickly moved onto drinking it too! It complemented the food so well and we were a bit gutted that you could only get your hands on it at Busaba - it was that good!


There were loads of dishes we could've chose to start but we finally agreed on the 'Fragrant Fried Chicken' and the 'Thai Calamari' (which I'd heard loads of good things about).

The fried chicken was beautiful; really juicy with a lightly spiced, crispy coating. It paired perfectly with the tangy lemongrass and chilli dipping sauce on the side.

The Thai Calamari was even better! It looked totally different from what I expected - coated in ginger and green peppercorns, it came as meaty chunks of calamari as opposed to the rings that most might be used to. It had a crispy texture delicious flavour thanks to its sticky glaze. I can see what makes this one a favourite among regular visitors of Busaba!

Main Course

I decided that for the main, I was going to try one of the 'Bangkok Specials' - a collection of new dishes, created in line with emerging trends in Thai food.

I opted for the 'Drunken Beef Flat Noodle', a dish made up of slow cooked beef chunks and thick, flat rice noodles. Oh my, this was so tasty. The flavours were like a Thai yellow curry but it felt all the more satisfying with the thick, tasty noodles and richness of the beef - real comfort food.

Chris went for the 'Tamarind Grilled Duck', sliced breast meat with Chinese broccoli, tamarind sauce and sticky rice on the side. The duck was beautifully cooked with a slight pinkness but with sticky, chargrilled edges and that gorgeous sticky sauce.

We would've loved to stay for dessert but it was almost time for our film!

Film: La La Land at the Odeon

I was really looking forward to this one. I'd heard rave reviews from friends but was having a hard time in convincing Chris to go, he hates musicals...

I told him that if he wanted to join me for the meal, he'd have to watch the film too! And guess what? Mr no-musicals loved it (as did I)!

It's The Oscars tonight and I'm fully expecting La La Land to secure several Academy Awards (I'm predicting Emma Stone for Best Actress!).

Polka dot dress - Joanie Clothing

I thoroughly enjoyed our date night at The Printworks, I'd forgotten how much fun an old-fashioned 'dinner and a movie' date was!

When was the last time you did 'date night' properly?


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