Gusto is one of my favourite Italian restaurant chains in Manchester. With restaurants in Manchester city centre, Didsbury, Alderley Edge and Cheadle Hulme, Gusto have got Manchester and the surrounding areas pretty much covered. Although I am a regular at the Didsbury restaurant, I hadn’t been to the Manchester establishment before and so, fellow food blogger Jenny Ho and I decided to take a spontaneous trip for a spot of lunch.
Lunch Time Deal
Throughout December, Gusto is offering a set menu, with 2 courses for £12.99. The starters included soup, houmous, garlic dough petals and bruschetta. Mains options include pasta, pizza and salad dishes, with a small section of fish and meat on offer too.
Being a regular at Gusto, I did notice the starters to be significantly smaller than the dishes you get on the original menu, however, this is expected with a lunch menu deal of 2 courses for below £13. I opted for the houmous served with pesto and crudites and Jenny picked creamed cauliflower soup with crispy shallots, chilli oil and baked rosemary focaccia. (Jenny also paid for a second starter, deep fried calamari with lemon mayonnaise.)
The houmous dish is one of my favourites at the Didsbury restaurant and it usually comes with a large, warm flatbread. The set menu, however, came with two pieces of bruschetta style bread. This wasn’t an issue as I didn’t want to be over faced at lunch and I knew I had a pasta dish to follow.
For mains, I opted for spaghetti pesto with green beans, sun-dried tomatoes and rocket leaves and Jenny decided on the pan-fried fillet of sea bass, served with creamed spinach. Again, the dishes were a lot smaller than the usual Gusto portions but nonetheless, extremely tasty as ever.
The Manchester restaurant is significantly larger than the Didsbury restaurant, which has its pros and cons. The pro’s being you are more than likely able to get yourself a table without much notice. Cons for those that prefer a more intimate space, the restaurant is very big and we found ourselves waiting significantly longer to be served between courses and the staff seemed less attentive than the staff in the Didsbury restaurant. With more tables to serve this is understandable, yet something to bare in mind if you are in a rush or would prefer a smaller dining space.
Out of 5/5:
Value for Money: ♥♥♥♥
Food and Drink:♥♥♥
Overall rating: ♥♥♥
It turns out I am a creature of habit, and won’t be swapping my monthly Gusto Didsbury visits for Manchester trips. With a smaller venue subsequently offering a quicker service and intimate setting, Didsbury is still my winner.
Overall I can not fault Gusto’s consistent tasty flavours, extensive menu offering and classic dishes. #Italianfoodwins
Check out more Manchester restaurant reviews here.