OUT.MCR Review: Grand Pacific, Manchester

Grand Pacific – The theory of evolution

  • Name: Grand Pacific
  • Location: 50 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 1EN

It’s true, that nothing has evolved quicker than our precious Manchester. From the coal and cobblestone streets which are now reigned over by glass and glamour towering high overhead. The same can be said about the face of our city itself, the way we exist here is entirely different and that in itself is the most prominent element of our success. However, with our typical grit and lighthearted acceptance comes a feeling of edginess when it comes to restaurants and businesses failing to evolve.

That is exactly how I feel about Grand Pacific. I feel like the grandeur of the building in which it calls home, and the early flurry of fantastic publicity has somehow been lost as the place doesn’t seem to have evolved in any way over the last year.

On my first visit it would be fair to say, everything from the sprawling staircase to the metallic golden pineapple you could take home once you had finished the cocktail within it, stole my aching need for aesthetic perfection. However the same can’t be said about my return.

It’s easy to understand that not much can be changed about the decor as the building is as old as time and is as majestic as any within manchester. Although the building formally Home to Jamie’s Italian just across the road runs it pretty close. I remember the desire to be spotted taking selfies in the open gothic style window seats, the way the restaurant was alive with the excitement of those who want to be spotted and can’t wait to upload their shots to Instagram.

It wasn’t just the atmosphere which seemed to have dripped away from the candelabra in the past eighteen months but the menu felt just as forgotten. I ordered the Buri Bop Korean Hot Plate which may have reflected my tentativeness when it came to the missing atmosphere. After piecing together the jigsaw that was my main, I was left with a rather average tasting rice-based dish, which failed to captivate any of my love for an oriental fusion menu. For me, there wasn’t enough of the Golbi sauce and therefore the whole thing became dry and disappointing.

To accompany the meal, as if often the case, we decided to sample the cocktail menu. That being said, The Peacock is a fantastic drink, fresh with just the right amount of tart. The kiwi and pineapple cut through the rum perfectly and formed something totally worthy of a far off beach bar, which in the saturated city centre is a joy to behold. However my second order, the Smoked Pineapple Daquiri that was more like drinking in a smoking parlour with my great grandad than high-end city centre establishment. I know what you’re thinking, ‘don’t order something ‘smoked’ but trust me this was above smoked, this was twenty a day for years…just not a good cocktail whatsoever.

It was fairly empty in the grand restaurant that evening and maybe that was also a contributing factor, and I can’t help feeling like I am being somewhat harsh because of my previous experience, but when it comes to popularity I can’t help but feel the writing seems to be on the wall for this previously fantastic eatery.


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