British tapas (and our first time trying Grafene!)

Grafene’s social media presence has always intrigued me, and their dishes look both beautiful and captivating, so when their team reached out to tell me that they had a new head chef that was giving their menu a whole twist, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me to try it!

Their press release said:

The menu is Ben’s reflection of modern British life.  Showing British eccentricity with an often-eclectic combination of ingredients, dishes on his menu include cleverly reconstructed classics and plates to challenge a diner’s perception of familiar foods.  Infused with his humour, sense of fun and inspiration from his region, Ben promises a menu that “avoids the obvious, with surprises throughout. The result is a celebration of flavour; with a meticulous attention to detail and presented with purposeful simplicity.”

And I was definitely intrigued by those promises. I’m all about trying more of ‘British eccentricity with an eclectic combination of ingredients’.

We went for lunch last Saturday, and had the opportunity to try their British Tapas menu. But you can also go for dinner and try a Dinner menu with grills.

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

We were greeted by an incredibly nice and attentive staff, and our server Dennis made sure to give us the best service the entire time. I believe customer service is pivotal when it comes to restaurants, sometimes even more than the food, because a bad moment can ruin an incredibly delicious meal, so having this positive experience with everyone we encountered gave me the best vibes.

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

Treacle and rye with corn butter, and Hendersons Relish with butter and tomato salt

We were captivated by Grafene’s menu from the very beginning, and I’m all about the little details, so having this delicious just-baked breads paired with a unique pair of butters made me incredibly happy. I only shared one tiny bit of the tomato salt butter with G, it was too delicious!

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

Manchester rarebit

Since they were going with the ‘British Tapas’ concept, all we did was order some small plates and share them. Which is my favourite way to operate, because that means trying more yummy food!

This rarebit was delicious, cheesy and savoury.

It was specially comforting because we visited on a particularly cold Saturday. Every bite fills you with yumminess, and there’s a little kick of spice at the end that makes it both exciting and even more delicious.

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

Corn Fed Chicken, wing, croquettes, charred gem and cauliflower

The chicken was really flavourful, and the mix of textures was incredibly interesting.

The crispy vegetables were the perfect complement to this chicken, and the croquettes were really delicious (I just wish we had more of those!).

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

Burnt ends of brisket, peas pudding and roasted onions

Again, textures played a BIG role in all the dishes I tried. The brisket was really crispy and tender at the same time, and there was a soft sweet flavour that paired greatly with the peas pudding. Superb!

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

Top: Crab, devilled brown meat, bisque radish, barley
Bottom: Black pudding, apple, white bean, bacon

For the look on G’s face, I’d think this was his favourite dish (and it was mine too!)

There was the finest bit of spice, which brought out the best of all components. The mix of crab meats was delicious, and the creaminess of the entire dish was absolutely delightful. I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything similar.

For the black pudding dish, I’ll start by saying that Grafene’s new chef is definitely a genius when it comes to mixing textures and creating exciting dishes.

The black pudding itself had so much flavour, and the mix with apple and white bean complemented it beautifully. Every bite of it was fantastic.

British Tapas at Grafene, Manchester

Brownie in a bowl

Finally, it was time for dessert!

When Sarah invited us over to try the new menu, she recommended this dish specifically, and you know how I feel about recommendations 😉

This brownie was an amazing piece of desse-art.

The brownie itself was crispy and delicious, and I adored the mix of textures (yes, again! Can’t keep myself from saying that!). The big chunks of chocolate were amazing too, of course.

And G ordered a rice pudding (that I wasn’t able to photograph, I owe you that one!). The pudding was a bit warm , and then combined with some ice cream, it all melts in your mouth to provide the most delicious spoonful. It was delicious and just sweet enough.

I can’t really pick a favourite, as it depends on what mood you’re in or what are you craving on that particular day, but I can say that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the rice pudding as much as I did, specially because there wasn’t any chocolate involved.


Overall, we had a fantastic experience at Grafene and it’ll definitely stay on my list of places to visit whenever we’re dining out. Their menu is really unique, and every dish will certainly find a way to captivate you. I can’t wait to visit them again and try their dinner menu!

What about you? Have you ever been to Grafene? If so, did you go for lunch or for dinner? What were your thoughts? I’d love to know!

Also, if you have any suggestions for my upcoming foodventures, or if you know of an amazing place that I definitely need to visit, please leave me a comment or message me on social. I love hearing from all of you! You can find me on Instagram (@michellelovestoeat), Twitter (@mlovestoeat), and Facebook (@michellelovestoeat).


I hope you’re all celebrating National Pie Week eating some delicious pies (and if you are, send me pictures!). I’ll be back next week with something delicious too.




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