This week I went to the Vermilion & Cinnabar in Hulme, Manchester, for an early birthday meal. The meal was part of the Hi Life club and was in a private function room near the top of this very impressive, £4.5 million restaurant.
Before I go on, I must stress just how impressive the restaurant itself is. The building is a work of art and the décor inside is stunning (as you can see from the photos). The food was quite good too, if a little heavy on the rice (there seemed to be rice with every course).
Now, the problem with this event was the insistence on the evening being part of the ‘Hi Life’ deal, and the pretence that came along with that. Before the meal was served a French guy was wheeled out to explain his personal choices of wine to accompany the meal, and why each wine was selected. In typical French fashion he waffled on about how the crisp, full bodied flavour complimented the dish, and how the red was chosen to accompany the lamb.
We were suspicious when the waiter came round with the wine and he had his hand strategically placed over the label so you couldn’t see what it was. The waitress who came round minutes later wasn’t so careful. They were serving Blossom Hill.
Then the French guy came out again before the main course to explain his next choice of wine (and we clocked this time that he never mentioned the name of it, which you would expect a wine expert to do). The drunk woman opposite asked him in a broad Manc accent if all of the wines were from California.
He replied in the affirmative.
She then asked if they were all going to be Blossom Hill, looking very angry. The apologetic Frenchman stood his ground and confirmed that Blossom Hill was indeed his wine of choice for each course.
Why go to all that trouble building an incredible restaurant, only to serve the cheapest wine that Asda has to offer in a supposed high life members’ meal?
It was very funny though.