La Bandera (Manchester) – Review

After the incredible experience at for the Manchester United MatchDay VIP, we left for dinner, although dinner was about 2 hrs after the match finished, because everyone was leaving Old Trafford at the same time, it took about an hour and a half before we actually left the area, so heading straight to the restaurant made more sense.

La Bandera is located in the shopping district of Manchester, and serves a series of small plates with the intention to allow two people to share and try out many different plates (effectively tapas). The night was cold but the street light was incredibly festive.

Once inside, we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist who directed us to our seats around the corner, the restaurant had a very relaxed vibe where one side was split into a bar area whilst the other (where we sat) was the restaurant area. Menu inspection time.

We ordered the Tabla Mixa, Rabas de Calamar, Pulpo a la Gallega, Puntas de Solomillo con serrano and Arroz Mar y Montaña to share between the two of us.

The first thing that came was the Tabla Mixa – which was very nice as nibbles, but frankly too big for just the two of us (especially the amount of cheese there was).

Cheese Plate
Tabla Mixa – Mixed board with all the Spanish cured meats and cheeses from above

Next to come were the Rabas de Calamar and Puntas de Solomillo con serrano, both were very well done; the Calamar was very tender and fried just the right amount where you can taste the calamari without being overpowered by the batter. The diced steak were also tasty and the fact that the meat wasn’t cooked too well allowed the juice to be absorbed by the bed of potato it sits on.

Calimari and beef
Rabas de Calamar & Puntas de Solomillo con serrano Deep fried fresh squid in batter, served with alioli. Diced Fillet steak with garlic, olive oil and Serrano ham. Served with roast potatoes

The final thing that came before the main was the Pulpo a la Gallega, which Ms Buddha liked a lot, and although it was tender, it carried a bit too much of the octopus taste.

Pulpo a la Gallega – Galician octopus with paprika on a bed of potatoes

The final thing that came was the Arroz Mar y Montaña – literally meaning “Sea and Land” which was delicious; although by then, both Ms Buddha and I were waaay too full to finish it, with hindsight, it would’ve been better had we chosen one less small plate as the servings were actually quite large.

Arroz Mar y Montaña – “Sea & Land”. A chicken, pork and shellfish rice, traditionally served all over the Iberian Peninsula

Overall, the service was wonderful, serving size generous and quality of the ingredient was excellent; although there were some moments where I felt the dishes could’ve used a bit less oil.

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