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Fold Bistro Manchester
Address7 Town Street, Marple Bridge, Stockport SK6 5AA
 Phone0161 302 6114
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"One of Greater Manchester’s essential dining experiences"
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Review

Restaurants Of Manchester (Saturday 16th December 2023)

Key: 5 stars = World Class!   4 stars = Fantastic   3 stars = GOOD   2 stars = OK   1 star = Poor

Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Wine List Fold ~ Flat Bread (snack)
Decor & Ambience 4 stars
On arrival the frontage is discreet, smart, and functional. No attention-grabbing signage, just a classy and handsome shop front in keeping with the village like surroundings into which Fold fits perfectly, modestly promoting itself as a ‘Bottle shop and Bistro’. 

Once inside we were gratefully sat at the pass table, which allows geeks like us to gaze over the Chefs plying their trade during dinner. Always a lovely bonus. 
Could the discreet exterior lead passing by, spur of the moment potential walk-up customers to carry on passing by, unaware of the quality which lays inside? 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ West Coast Crab (snack) Fold ~ Doughnuts (snack)
Price Fantastic
The bill for 4 people was £625. Now considering the amount of bottles (5 plus 4 glasses of fizz) that we ticked off during the evening, along with the Xmas sized food ordering, that was a more than reasonable expenditure. 

It's also only fair to point out some of the great value on the wine list. The monstrously bold Orin Swift Papillon was £95 on the carte and retails at £65, so just a 1.5x price point. Outstanding value, and I’ve seen said bottle on restaurant wine lists hovering around the £200 mark. The most accessible bottle sits at £36, which is fine for this level. 
Nothing really comes to mind. Service charge was added, but then we’d have paid it anyway. That’s about it. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ East Meets Westmorland (snack) Fold ~ Artichokes (cold plates)
Food & Drink 4 stars
We ordered pretty much the entire menu so I won’t go into dorky detail on each dish, being mindful of word-count and also your levels of tolerance for verbal waffle. 

The menu is split into 3 distinct sections; Snacks, Cold Plates and Hot Plates. Flat Bread with pork fat and dukka (£6.50) was as satisfying as it sounds.  Fluffy, perfectly structured bread, albeit not flat in fairness, ate seriously well and was absolutely delicious. 

West Coast Crab on Brioche (£11) with citrus and bitter leaf was an early-evening contender for most of our table’s dish of the night. Fresh, light, zippy, with top quality crab. 

Doughnuts (£7) came with a stunning chorizo, scamorza, and tomato jam. Light, fluffy, loaded with flavour. We couldn’t get enough of that jam.  Plus, fried carbs are welcome in the colder months. 

‘East Meets Westmorland’ (£9) was cross-cultural revelation. Ideally spiced and crisped onion bhaji, sat on a super-rich yet light Westmorland smoked cheese sauce which quickly disappeared. Delicious. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Duck Pastrami (cold plates) Fold ~ Mackerel (cold plates)
Artichokes (£12) sounded simple but were clearly labour intensive. Roasted, pickled, foamed, crisped ‘chokes, layered to form a textural and flavoursome symphony. There’s just one main ingredient on the plate, but technique kids you into thinking otherwise. Super clever stuff. 

Duck Pastrami (£16) garnished with blackberry, celeriac and fried sage was made in house, and was cracking.  A light smoke, perfectly melting fat, and splendid quality protein which pulled apart with ease. Minimalistic but still one of the evening’s star plates. 

Mackerel (£14) on a coal rice and nori taco shell/s, felt like they should have lived in the snack section, but that didn’t bother us one bit. Super fresh fish went down in just 2 greedy and super delicious bites. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Hasselback Potato (hot plates) Fold ~ Brussels (hot plates)
Hasselback Potato (£12) was a real crowd pleaser. A substantial spud, topped with black garlic, kewpie, a Microplane of English Comte, plus a bit of red amaranth to top it all off. 

Brussels (£12) were another table favourite, and huge in portion size. Seasonal garnish came in the form of segmented orange, chestnut, sage, and pistachio. What’s not to love. No overcooking or crosscut bottoms either!. 

Roasted Hispi Cabbage (£14) with mussels and curry Mile Sauce. The sauce was the star here, and there was plenty of it, to back up the cabbage itself. 

Cavolo Nero (£12) with kimchi, sesame, sweet dew pepper, kohlrabi 'pasta' brought some colour to the table. This was one of the most divisive dishes of the night, but I ordered it and really enjoyed it plus I’m doing the write up, so that just is what it is. 

Japanese Chips (£12) or some form of them, are now on menus across the city, but these are the best that we’ve had in Mcr in all honesty.  Layered potato, perfectly pressed and fried, topped with some nori salt, a hugely spicy chili sauce, balanced off with a bit of Caesar emulsion.  These were a must order. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Roasted Hispi Cabbage (hot plates) Fold ~ Cavolo Nero (hot plates)
Lamb "Hot Pot" (£22) was back on the menu from the press launch, which made us happy after recalling it very fondly.  Braised lamb shoulder, finished with a stunning Boddington’s Gravy, Mellor Honey and Fazzoletti pasta. Outstanding. 

Halibut (£24) came in a generous butter-bathed chunk, sitting in an equally generous saucing of leeks, brown shrimp and peppercorns.  Everything about this plate was delicious and in keeping with festive excess. 

Venison (£28) is something which I almost expect to see on any Autumnal/Winter menu.  It’s fabulous and easily one of my favourite proteins.  This was great quality meat, seasoned ideally, heavily seared around the edges with some pink in the middle. The sauce was another triumph, along with some blackberries and braised chicory to add a bit of token greenery to the plate. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Japanese Chips (hot plates) Fold ~ Lamb 'Hot Pot' (hot plates)
We couldn’t decide on puddings, so just ordered all 4 of them, plus a cheese board to finish up on.  The Fold-teaser (£11), a take on a Malteaser, was the standout plate. A chocolate shell, filled with malt and caramel, was tempered so perfectly that it was easy to give this dish the literal thumbs up. 

Over desserts we also enjoyed a couple of Ports, both of which were so punchy that they were evidently named after a Chuck Norris movie.  My colleague cracked that joke on the evening and shared it with boss-man Sean, who pretended to think that we weren’t idiots.  He should have kicked us out in fairness.  Anyway, Delaforce 2018 LBV and 10yr Tawny were both splendid and great value. 
Too many dishes were garnished with amaranth. The venison protein was slightly over for my preference, albeit it was still delicious.  The mackerel cracker was a bit soft, lacking that all important crunch. The Halibut’s sauce, as much as saucing was a general highlight of the evening, could perhaps have been a little more reduced and richer in texture. And whilst puddings were largely good fun, they lacked the polished feel of the savoury courses. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Halibut (hot plates) Fold ~ Venison (hot plates)
Service 4 stars
Generally a delight for the entire evening. Warm, chatty, friendly, and top-drawer wine knowledge to boot.  You’d expect nothing less from Sean Finnegan, a man who’s pretty much Manchester hospo royalty, and handled most of our service for the evening like a boss. 
Nowhere to put coats hence all were hung over diner’s chairs, which I get as it’s a cozy venue, but is just a pet hate of mine. And I’m allowed to be subjective over objective in these ‘reviews’. I did see a few coat hooks near the loos, but when there’s 40 covers in all wearing coats in December, it’s a big ask. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Jammy Dodger (sweets) Fold ~ Egremont Russet Tart Tatin (sweets)
Overall 4 stars
We first visited Fold for their press launch earlier in the year; an incredibly fast-passing 9 months ago.  Even then you could feel a sense of expectation around the place. There was clear quality in both the kitchen and front of house, with some familiar faces at the stove and the pass; Craig Sherington (Lumley Castle, Le Champignon Sauvage, Great British Menu in 2018 etc) and Alex Fry (The French). 9 months on and both gents are still there, only the vibe across both the kitchen and out front is more measured, calm, and in a groove.  And that translates to what’s on the plate. 

Following a recent Good Food Guide listing, I’d be really surprised if Michelin didn’t recognise this place with a well-deserved Assiette eventually.  A nice little red plaque hung outside would make that curb appeal a little more attention grabbing too. 

So, Fold is for us one of Greater Manchester’s essential dining experiences. Don’t let the ‘burb location put you off either.  It’s only a £5 train ride or £20 Uber from the city centre, so well worth the small trek. Plus it’s a lovely little spot to visit. 
Puds perhaps didn’t match the heights of the savouries. 
Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review Fold Bistro & Bottle Shop Manchester Review
Fold ~ Lemon & Olive Oil Curd (sweets) Fold ~ Fold-Teaser (sweets)
Fold Bistro Restaurant Reviews

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