This chic canal side restaurant boasts an impressive menu of contemporary Italian and British cuisine.
A modern, classy restaurant situated in the heart of the cobbled Castlefield area, Albert’s Shed is an elegant environment. Its spacious tables and thoughtful layout, with crisp white tablecloths and comfortable leather chairs, ensure that the restaurant never feels overcrowded, regardless of how busy it is. For a more informal dining experience, there is a heated outdoor area, where diners can make the most of the canal side views and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the neighbouring Duke’s 92. The only downside to the restaurant’s layout is the distance you have to trek to get to the toilets. You need to go down two flights of stairs (although there is a lift) and through numerous doors to get to them; if it is your first visit, it is quite easy to get lost.
Albert’s Shed attracts a largely young, professional crowd, due to its Castlefield location and proximity to Deansgate Locks, but it is also popular with families enjoying a special night out. Whether you are enjoying an intimate dinner for two or with a group of friends celebrating a birthday, the atmosphere is always relaxed. The welcoming, friendly and attentive staff almost always ensure that you have a good time.
Albert’s Shed offers a modern selection of the finest Italian-inspired cuisine, all of which is presented to a consistently high standard. The range of mouth-watering starters makes it very difficult to decide on just one, but the irresistible haddock and gruyere fishcakes (£5) deserve a special mention. Their crispy coating gives way to soft smoked Scottish haddock, rich gruyere cheese and creamy mashed potatoes and they are finely balanced in both taste and texture.
For your main course, you can choose from a range for pizzas, pastas and risottos, all of which are tasty and good value for money, but it is their choice of fish and steak dishes that Albert’s Shed shines. For fish lovers, the oven roasted sea bass with roasted vegetables and a prawn mascarpone and rocket garlic sauce is a faultless dish and excellent value at £13. The light, flaky fish is perfectly cooked and the tasty sauce that accompanies it manages not to overpower its delicate flavour. For meat lovers, the 7oz fillet steak is one of the best in the city. At £18 it is above average, but you definitely get what you pay for. The tender, juicy, moist fillet is cooked to order and simply melts in your mouth. It is accompanied by two side dishes of your choice (which are thankfully included in the price) - the creamy, smooth roast garlic mash and roasted vegetables compliment the steak well.
There is also a tempting range of desserts (all £4.50) on offer. The chocolate pot is a dessert lover’s idea of heaven. It is rich and sticky, with a hot, gooey centre and the thick clotted cream that accompanies it prevents the dish from being overly sweet. For people who don’t have a sweet tooth, the substantial cheeseboard is an ideal way to finish your meal.
There's an extensive wine and Champagne list on offer from the heavyweight wine producing regions like France, Spain, Italy, South America and Australian. This ensures that every taste is catered for. The French house white (£13.50) goes well with any fish dish and the Chilean merlot, Casa la Joya (£15), is the ideal accompaniment if you are having steak. You can also peruse Albert’s cocktail list if you fancy an aperitif before dinner: the kir royale (£6) is always an excellent choice for toasting a special occasion. If you are really pushing the boat out, you could always indulge in a £130 bottle of Dom Perignon 1999.
The Last Word
With its superb location, excellent contemporary menu and welcoming atmosphere, Albert’s Shed is an excellent choice for a romantic dinner for two or special night out with friends. Whatever the occasion, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable dining experience.