San Carlo Cicchetti

Third year of university is so much harder than I imagined, I don’t know whether this is because I went away and worked for a year, or whether second year was just easy (probably the latter), but I have never been so stressed! Unfortunately, due to this stress I haven’t had time to do any blog posts, but on Saturday I handed in my dissertation, the pain and sorrow is gone, and now I have 1 assignment and some exams to focus on. The end is nigh!

As a celebration for handing in my dissertation, Rory and I decided to head out into Manchester and see where the night took us. After much deliberation, we booked in for 9pm at San Carlo Ciccheti, very continental indeed (the late dinner that is).

We have both heard good things about this restaurant, an Italian, placed opposite to the main San Carlo, but offering tapas style Italian food. What a great idea, I love tapas, and I adore Italian food. We went in with high expectations and by this time, very hungry bellies.

After having a drink at the bar, we were seated by a lovely Italian man who showed us the menu and explained that you order 2 or 3 each (obviously going to be 3). Ordering bread to start we scoured the menu. A great range of choices including pizzas, flatbreads, pasta, meats and fish.


Having quite a big appetite we filled up on the bread quickly and ordered our 6 dishes. The ambience of the restaurant is lovely, soft music in the background, great tables and full of laughter. There is a large mirror at the back of the room, don’t be conned, it’s not actually as big as you first think.

I feel I’ve hyped this place up but sadly I am going to have to dash them. I try not to right bad reviews as I always think a bad night for me is a great night for another. But we were just so thoroughly disappointed with multiple dishes that I felt it needed to be said. However, there were some lovely dishes so maybe the chef was having a bad night.

The Gamberoni Piccante was the best meal without a doubt (of course I would say that!), Sicilian prawns with chilli, lemon and garlic. The sauce for these were incredible, even Rory, who doesn’t usually love prawns said they were up there at the top. Not a huge portion but it is tapas and fish so wasn’t expecting mountains.

Gamberoni Piccante – £8.15
The other dish which we really enjoyed was the Beef Tagliata, grilled fillet steak marinated in chilli and garlic topped with rocket and parmesan. A classic Rory choice, but perfectly cooked, great quality steak. Perfectly paired with thick shavings of parmesan was delicious!

Beef Tagliata – £10.95
Disappointingly this was the end to the delicious food, although the pizza base was very nice, it really was just a pizza, nothing that made me go wow. Another dish which was really overrated was the flatbread, this really was just like a panini, too much tomato, not enough mozzarella and too much bread. Bland, tasteless and way too costly for what it was.

Pizza Pollo Parmi – £6.65
Piadina Mozzarella – £5.50
The most upsetting was the Burrata. Now I was really looking forward to this as I adore mozzarella and parma ham and after having such a wonderful experience at Don Marco a few weeks ago (read about it here), I was very excited to see San Carlo’s take on it. Regrettably the burrata was so oily it lacked any creaminess and just tasted like oil, and the marinated black truffle really wasn’t my cup of tea (but maybe that’s just my taste buds), the parma ham was nice enough but nothing to rave over. Very simple dish but executed poorly.

Burrata – £7.95
After finishing all the food served, we realised that the Tagliatelle Bolognese hadn’t come out. We asked after it and they assured us it would be 2 minutes, after waiting about 15 minutes we asked to cancel it and get the bill. Disappointed with the food for the price you pay, all of that (5 dishes and a bottle of house wine) came to £70.

Overall, we were very disappointed with this restaurant, a wonderful idea with such great potential but sadly expensive food that was not good enough to be. They should either drop their prices, or increase their portions. Hopefully next week I will have a much cheerier review to blog about. Hope you enjoyed my post even if a little rantier than normal!

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