Most people may know Gorilla as a night time venue for music and a generally good place to go for a lively drink. However, after finding out it was owned by the same company as Trof (a bar/restaurant in the northern quarter which I loved the food at on several occasions), I knew I had to give it a try.
My first experience of Gorilla was a breakfast visit – to be fair I was a bit fussy in my ordering but I did not leave overly impressed nor disappointed but this may have been due to my menu choice. So, I decided I should give it another try and whilst it was 50% off in the January sale I thought there was no better time to.
We were initially seated at a table near the door and very close to the crowded bar – we felt like the food was being carried over our head and a drink was about to come flying over us at any moment. However, the staff were lovely and when a booth came available they let us move straight away. Once we were in the much more comfortable and just ‘out of the way’ enough booth, we were ready to order. This caused problems, not because the menu was bad but rather the opposite – I wanted to eat everything! There was a great mixture of vegetarian options, meaty but potentially lower carb options and the high carb, high protein, high fat burger options that everyone loves. Similar to Trof in that sense, I always appreciate a place that tries to cater to everyone but if they can manage to get the food right then that is even better. Gorilla got it right.
My friend and I, decided to share the Halloumi and Roast Pepper Kebab and the Smoked Feta and Mexican Slaw Tacos with some sweet potato fries. The skewers arrived first so we decided to dig in. Basic in principle but tasty in actuality, the skewers were pleasant and the halloumi was cooked wonderfully. The side salad worked well and the flatbread and yoghurt dip were nice additions.
Then came the tacos. These were quite big and a bit fiddly to eat and I was unsure during my first bite, however, after a few more I was really impressed. The mix of flavours from the slaw and feta alongside the avocado and soft taco shell worked incredibly. Admittedly, neither of the courses were overly extravagant or complicated but I think that is why they worked so well. They both has an understated but flavoursome quality and made for great vegetarian options for veggies and meat-eaters a like.
I always try to resist dessert but at 50% and the offer to share a oreo s’mores mousse I couldn’t resist. To be honest, when it arrived at the table it did not look as I expected and seemed rather a small portion, after a few bites I was so glad I had shared, it was very filling! The mouse was rich and delicious and the honeycomb, oreo and toasted marshmallows made for a simple, yet tasty addition.
Overall, I would recommend a stop off here – especially if you want somewhere with a loud and busy atmosphere for social drinks and food. I would definitely come back during happy hour to try a few cocktails and explore the rest of the menu as they were so many great sounding options! Even without 50% off the price is reasonable and the food is actually good for a busy bar.
Website – http://www.thisisgorilla.com/
Location – 54-56 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW