Want a fun night out in Manchester with friends? You need to book a night at All Star lanes on Deansgate.
From the moment we walked through the door, we were greeted by smiles and as we were waited for the other half of our double date to join (my sister and her hubby), we had a seat on the comfy couches by the front desk. So comfy in fact that if I wasn’t so excited for dinner, I could have easily had a kip on it.
The design concept is American diner, lovely mood lighting, cosy booths, checked fabric napkins (always a winner) and quirky bowling/American memorabilia dotted around.
I also need to add this place was immaculate. From the bar area, the bowling alley, the toilets, top marks on super cleanness.
The menu was already laid out on the table. It was just the one page which was really refreshing, we didnt have to spend hours scrolling through trying to make decisions. Not sure whether it was the after work hunger pangs kicking in, but everything I read sounded amazing. We were all drooling as we went through each description and the best bit for us muslims, the chicken is halal.
I cannot begin to express how much we enjoyed the food here. I had always been under the illusion that All Star Lanes was popular purely because it had the ability to attract celebrity clientele, due to its location. And also because it was something different to do on a night out in the city. It didn’t for once cross my mind that we would enjoy the food so much we still talked and dreamed about it the next day. For starters, we had the popcorn squid, smoked mac and cheese croquettes and chicken wings. Safe to say all three dishes were devoured within a matter of minutes. My sister also recommended the vegetable quesadillas but we held back from ordering too much so we could save space for dessert. My first piece of advice, go in a group so you can try it all! I could not possibly imagine having to choose between dishes.
Main courses didn’t disappoint either. Mo and I had the fried chicken burger with fennel slaw, Mo claims this as one of the best chicken burgers he’s ever had it is most definitely up there on my list too. The burgers don’t come with sides but they’re a generous size so we ordered a side dish to share, classic smoked salt fries. I’m really not a big fan of fennel, as we Indians use it as a mouth refresher, but in this instance they made sure there was enough there to compliment the flavours without having too much to overpower the whole thing.
My sister ordered a goats cheese burger stack with tomato relish. She was on the fence when ordering, so asked our waitress for her advice and she assured her that the goats cheese stack was a staff favourite and definitely one to try. She was 100% right, I took a bite of it and it was mouth-wateringly good! Usually in burger joints the best vegetarian dish they come up with is a bean burger, All Star have created an inventive vegetarian option which is on par if not better than, the meatier dishes we had ordered. Bro-in-law Gemal went for the fried chicken and gravy with sweet potato fries… nice but not as good as the burger dishes the rest of us had ordered. Sweet potato fries were lovely though! I’d order them again for sure.
Again, after we massacred our mains so there was not a morsel of food left on our plates… we excitedly asked for the dessert menu. At this point I was seriously beginning to feel weighed down from the amount of food we were eating, so I opted out of the dessert option, saving myself to try the milkshakes once we got round to bowling, instead.
Gemal jumped on his favourite dessert, pecan pie and my sis and Mo decided to share the hot fudge sundae. Again, we could not fault the desserts. The sundae concoction came with little dishes of hot vanilla fudge, I’m sorry, I meant little bowls of heaven. What a genius idea! Don’t recommend you do what we did and just eat the bowl on its own, (I felt quite sick after) it is a great accompaniment for the ice cream and brownie chunks they serve up.
After a seriously satisfying meal we headed on down to the bowling lanes, we took the tab option as offered so we didn’t have to keep paying separately for our bits and pieces. There is a waiter service at the lanes so we didn’t even have to keep going over to get drinks which was really handy. I ordered my vanilla milkshake and it was as thick and creamy as I imagined it would be (I really regretted eating that hot fudge though as I was having serious sugar shock).
Bowling after food was so much fun! The atmosphere was great, the music was incredible. In fact we were so busy dancing around we completely forgot how to bowl (that’s the excuse I’m sticking to). We were embarrassingly awful at bowling that night but it didn’t matter, we were having way too much fun, and at least I still managed to beat Jennifer Metcalfe.
The service in All Star was outstanding, our waitress Katie, was the right mix of attentive without going over the top. We glided through the whole evening. From sitting down, to ordering, to her walking us over to the bowling alley reception, the whole experience was faultless. It was five star treatment all the way.
Things you need to know, if you’re going at the weekend, it is impossible to get in without booking. So call the reservation line and book a slot, they were on time with everything when we got there. When you book for bowling you can actually eat and drink by the lanes, but we did find it much nicer to book dinner and have a sit down meal (some of the dishes are a bit messy i.e. chicken wings) and then mooch over to play after.
All Star Lanes in my book lives up to all the hype and buzz that flies around the internet. I really wish someone had mentioned just how good the quality of what they serve and do there actually is, so we could’ve visited sooner.
Like I mentioned at the start, if you want a fun night out over the weekend, you need to go to All Star!
Reservation Line: 0161 871 3600