Ben Mounsey has taken over the culinary helm this month at one of Manchester’s leading restaurants and cocktail bars, Grafene. And fast on the heels of the move comes the launch of his new menu, which offers Ben’s interpretation of fine, contemporary British food. To run alongside this, a cocktail collection featuring newly-crafted drinks has been introduced.
Highlights of the menu include the starter dish of Pork cheek, curry, carrot, veloute with an added nod to the restaurant’s name and Manchester’s scientific heritage being the graphene crisp which completes the dish. Ben celebrates classical northern food with his version of venison, black peas, celeriac and leek, and a dessert of Eccles cake, currants, yoghurt, butter, tea. His love of Manchester music shows through in ‘Sally Cinnamon’ (named after the classic Stone Roses song) - popcorn, nimixtilised melon, granola.
In addition to local influences and suppliers, Ben’s menu captures the finest ingredients from across the country, such as Lancashire lamb served with nasturtium, beets, black garlic, wool; duck from Goosnargh alongside asparagus, fennel, mushroom, and milk, rice pudding, with rhubarb from Yorkshire, and liquorice. Grafene is offering an A la Carte with grills at a fixed price of £45 for three courses including chef’s ‘surprises’, and five and seven course tasting menus, ‘5 to Taste’ for £45 (£35 vegetarian) and ‘7 To Taste’ at £65 (£55 vegetarian). There is an innovative British Tapas menu at lunchtimes giving the opportunity to sample dishes drawn from the A La Carte in a relaxed format, with three plates for £17.50 and five for £25.
In addition to the new food menus, Grafene has curated a new selection of cocktails that adds to its already extensive wine, gin and whisky offering. These include:
• The Spritz…“It all starts somewhere” - gin, fresh orange and blood orange, lemon juice, prosecco, grapefruit crisp.
• The Mancunian…“Forever strong” - bourbon whiskey, homemade cinnamon and nutmeg sugar, dark chocolate liqueur, blazed sugar on cinnamon bark.
• Mint Buttermilk Martini…”It’s a rum business” - barrel aged rum, mint buttermilk, vanilla, white chocolate, brownie rim.
• The Grafene Snapper …“ It has bite” - homemade roasted snapper mix: (tomato, red pepper, garlic, rosemary, thyme, paprika) gin, lemon, coriander.
The chef joins Grafene from The Lawns at Thornton Hall on the Wirral, where his fine dining menus were awarded three AA rosettes and prior to that he was a sous chef at Michelin-starred Fraiche Restaurant.