I’ll be honest, when Jan and Petra tweeted to invite me to sample their pop up event at Mish Mash, I was happy to go, but I didn’t expect anything spectacular – pop ups seem to be the in thing at the moment and they’ve all started to blend into one for me. I could not have been more wrong!
I was drawn in by the fine print at the end of the invite – locally sourced produce and vegetarian/vegan options available on request – both these lines please me ever so much.
I didn’t have to worry about requesting vegetarian options anyway, as this event was celebrating all things fishy, my FAVOURITE kind of meal.
Having lived down the road from Chorlton for a number of years, I’d never been or even seen Mish Mash before. On the night I actually walked past it twice before I noticed the large sign on the set back building (it had been a long day).
Such a lovely venue, a perfect choice for Jan’s night, all the wood and candles complimented the organic menu. Of course I’m obsessed by lighting so I loved the combination of cast iron chandeliers, tiffany style lamps and the industrial bare bulb halogen lamps. So quirky, so Chorlton.
Right lets go straight into the good bit, the food.
First up, I was treated to a bowl of freshly baked bread. Thankfully the first course came before I finished the lot, because I very nearly did eat all of it. And that would have been a catastrophe as I had a number of courses to tackle:
Pea and Mint Scotch Egg with Halloumi Chips
I typed up a whole load of words when I tucked into this dish to help me describe it: crispy, sweet peas, not so sweet peas, subtle hint of mint, perfect yolk, beautifully presented, perfect flavour combination… but the main point I wrote in capitals at the end: I WANT MORE. Honestly – I raved about this scotch egg starter for days, weeks even! And the fried halloumi was a brilliant accompaniment (not too oily either).
Black Treacle Cured Salmon, Avocado Mousse, Beetroot, Pickled Hazelnut
Those pickled hazelnuts?!?! Well, they need to be packed in a jar and sold as snacks, they were addictive. A lovely balance of flavours and it was so beautifully presented!
Tandoori Scallop and Cockles, Red Lentil and Coconut Veloute
A tandoori scallop? yes! It worked so well with the coconut flavours. The sauce was thick and creamy, but not overly rich and heavy. Such an innovative combination and I love how so far every dish was completely different from the other.
Pan-Fried Hake, Fennel Puree, Red Pepper and Chorizo Relish, Potato Croquette
Of course, mine was minus the chorizo relish, they had made a separate red pepper one which was great as it meant I didn’t miss out on a part of the dish. Hake – loved. Fennel – loved. Relish – loved. Croquette – well, what’s not to love? Jan had sourced all his fish locally and he must have picked the best, the quality of fish was evident when I got to the Hake. When cooked it was still moist, flesh was tender and the skin wasn’t overly cooked.
White Chocolate and Ginger Chesecake, Poached Rhubarb, Ginger Brittle
I don’t really like chocolate. Or ginger. Or rhubarb. So I’m pretty sure Jan served none of that in my dessert because what I had was delicious. The ginger cheesecake base had a chewy texture, much more enjoyable than having a base that crumbles on each cut. If I had seen this on a menu I would normally have avoided it like the plague, but all those distinct tastes combined, well they work. Really well.
By that point I couldn’t actually finish my dessert, mainly due to me over eating the bread at the start (Jan if you’re reading, you may need to introduce bread rations – for me at least!).
I had a quick chat with Petra before I left and she seemed genuinely touched when I told her just how much I had enjoyed the food, which surprised me because how could she not know it was this good?!?!
Everything I expected not to like, I loved. I have literally racked my mind to try and find something that may not have been to my taste, but really, there wasn’t. I couldn’t even pick a favourite. Although actually if I had to, it would be the scotch egg as it was such a nice surprise.
After every dish I wanted more, and aside from dessert, I sent back a clean plate after every course.
Usually when I’m blogging about restaurants I’ve visited, they tend to be ones I know of, have tried before or heard great things about, so I took a risk on this one (although I did make it clear to them I wouldn’t blog about something I didn’t enjoy!).
It was a good risk and I am definitely excited to see what else Jan has in store, and from what I hear, he has a lot of ideas.
With a couple of our best friends moving to Chorlton in the near future, I’m excited to share this new discovery with them and others.
I can’t wait to see what pops up next…
*** My meal was complimentary, but as always – all views and opinions are my own ***
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