TNQ is another one of those restaurants that I have walked past hundreds of times, but never actually bothered trying, until now.
Nestling, as it does, between the ‘Sweet Mandarin’ Chinese restaurant and ‘Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn’ their menu has always looked a little, well, traditional, or to put it another way – dull.
They have, however, a fixed price menu, two courses for £13.95, (three for £16.95) and while I couldn’t manage three course, a two course lunch with my guvnor sounded like a good idea.
TNQ is situated on High Street, on the edge of Manchester’s ‘Northern Quarter’ although that quarter’s boundaries seem to be expanding – stretching east now to Tariff Street, which is practically at Piccadilly.
It’s a bright, airy building with large windows that, sadly, frequently emphasise the paucity of customers. I have often walked past to see a lone couple dining in the corner.
Similarly we were the only diners on the lunchtime we tried TNQ, there was a large group of students attending a tutored tasting of Bourbon Whiskeys, it was distracting but made the restaurant look busy.
For starters, my colleague enjoyed Pea and Asparagus Soup, declaring it to be delicious, while I had a starter portion of ribs. I’d read good reviews of TNQ’s ribs, a labour of love featuring sixteen ingredients – according to Manchester Confidential. Well, they were okay, but not earth-shaking. They were served in a bowl of thick gloopy sauce, tasty but potentially dangerous – if you’re in office attire. I had been tempted to have the ribs as a main course, but was pleased that I’d resisted.
For mains we both had burgers served with ‘Blacksticks’ blue cheese (there was an option of mature cheddar) and fries. We had to insist to the waitress that we wanted the burgers served ‘medium’, and this required several repetitions. It might have been the waitress’s first day, certainly she wasn’t the shiniest spoon in the drawer.
The burgers, when they came, were fine. They were, as requested, served ‘medium’, with a small portion of melted blue cheese, some lettuce, tomato slices, a sliver of dill pickle, accompanied by a small portion of Fries and some red cabbage slaw. Again, nothing special, I’ve had better and worse burgers in restaurants in the Northern Quarter.
All in all it was okay, nothing to write home about. I can understand why it’s not bursting at the seams.