Somewhere, tucked behind Spinningfields, the lights go down on a health focused lifestyle concept and an intimate dining space emerges, complete with touches of luxury and lit by candlelight.
Firefly is Foodwell’s night-time counterpart, with a menu that follows a health-orientated narrative combined with touches of indulgence within their Californian tapas, big plates, and deserts. With interiors that transport you to a SoCal haven stroke enchanted forest, we couldn’t wait to sample a menu which we hoped would be an equally intriguing mix of style and allurement.
Opting for a sea of small plates, we asked the waiter what she would pair with the house pinot. Accepting her recommendation of Cauli Hot Wings and Popcorn Halloumi, we satisfied our meat cravings by adding a servings of the Baharat Sprices Crispy Lamb and Cheese Bao’ger.
We were informed that the chef would serve us in an order that best suited our table and our choices, which added a personalised dimension to the evening, leaving us feeling that we were in very safe hands.
Taking centre stage as the highlight of the meal were the Tempura Prawns with fresh lime and sriracha dipping mayo. Remaining light and crispy without a touch of excess oil, the tempura batter ballooned around heavenly king prawns, while the lime brought out their freshness. An absolute must-try.
We were excited to give the Popcorn Halloumi a try after our waiter enthused so vehemently about it. After a few bites, we were glad she did. Drizzled in honey and truffle, it’s the perfect dish to add a touch of indulgence to your meal or cocktails.
Order the lamb if you’re hungry. It comes beautifully presented on a bed of velvet hummus, adored in green harissa, pistachio and pickled red onion. The combination of sweetness and acidity is balanced out by the hummus, leaving space for the lamb to take centre stage. It comes well-cooked and en masse.
For desert we were tempted by contemporary options like The Pornstar, which is a vanilla cheesecake with passionfruit gel and prosecco, or the Chocolate Caramel Sphere, with spiced sponge, orange scented dry fruits and vanilla ice cream. Eventually, though, we stuck to what we knew in a bid to get the Firefly take.
The Cherry Pavlova is worth a trip to Firefly for, alone. The cherry compote, which was layered with meringue and crème Chantilly, radiated authenticity. The perfect balance of tartness and sweetness, the compote inspired the feeling of being at home for Sunday dinner, with none of that shop bought sh** in sight.
Our other option was the Firefly Sticky Toffee Pudding, which we have been dreaming about since. In a pool of Miso and kafir caramel, the sponge was soft, sweet, but not overbearing. Perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
With it, Firefly brings a new dimension of night-time dining to Manchester. With an elevated DJ booth, the music led venue invites diners to soak in the ambience, combining all that’s good about an evening out with a unique menu which leaves you feeling satisfied but not over indulged.
Foodwell and Firefly are partners of Viper, where you can browse and book exclusive drinks packages, VIP tables, and queue jump at Manchester’s best bars and clubs. Currently you’ll find deals including two small plates and a beer/prosecco/wine at Firefly for £15.