Bailey suggested we go to Contact Lounge - the bar that is attached to the Contact Theatre. I had never been there before but had heard Bailey's tales of their "best ever chips" and cakes that are baked by Teacup - one of my fave lunch places in Manchester.
It was a bloomin' lovely afternoon so we decided to take a seat at the outside tables. First impression was not great as there was a lot of debris (and a few wasps) on the tables, but fortunately this was swiftly tidied away by a staff member.
A browse of the menu and there were loads of yummy options to choose from. I would definitely love to go there one day after work as they have really exciting sharing options that are a little bit different to the usual nachos / wedges on offer in most pubs. Cheese board with pickles, apple and crackers? Mmmmm! I would definitely go for one of those with my Friday afternoon pint.
I decided to opt for the Feta Risotto with caramelised onions and roasted peppers which sounded awesome. I was particularly in the mood for something carby and salty and this sounded perfect.
Bailey ordered the Cheeseburger, which came with a portion of the famous "amazing chips".
When Bailey went to order the food something I thought was dead cute was the fact that they give you your table number on the back of a Sailor Jerry's playing card. A nice touch!
Once we had ordered, we barely had time to sit back down, get our cutlery and sauces and start one of our usual silly conversations when the food arrived! I was taken aback by this super-speedy service, especially as the menu had warned that there was usually a wait on food due to it being freshly prepared. What a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure if the food always comes out this fast though - we were there at around 2pm which is probably a bit late for the usual lunchtime rush.
Anyway my risotto arrived looking absolutely delicious - a delicate portion with the vibrant colours of cherry tomatoes, caramelised red onions and different coloured peppers. Yum.
It tasted absolutely lovely - the sweetness of the peppers, tomatoes and onions offset by the salty feta and black olives. It tasted light and fresh and I loved every bite. As soon as I finished I was very sad because I wanted to eat another one.
Bailey's burger also arrived looking mouth-wateringly tasty, a crusty ciabatta bun spread with a dill mustard and a huge juicy looking burger, and the chunky chips looked like they were going to live up to expectations.
Bailey loved his burger and said it tasted really fresh with the various salady and pickley bits and the crusty bread. He loved the dill mustard and meat combination and said this gave the burger a "Scandinavian flavour". He also said the chips were the best looking chips he'd had in ages.
I tried one of the chips and, despite having fallen into a delicious coma, do remember saying something like: "That tastes like I've just been propelled into heaven."
Unfortunately Bailey had to get back to work so there was no time for any dawdling around to sample any of the Teacup cakes. Maybe next time!
I would definitely recommend a trip to Contact Lounge because the food was of an excellent standard (the chips are a MUST!), the service was no-nonsense and the price was quite reasonable (£14 for both our meals and two soft drinks). It also seems to be an excellent option for a quick lunch due to the food flying out of the kitchen so fast, although I'm not sure if that would always be the case. I can't wait to go there again!