A golden Tuesday autumn evening had us delighting in the new menu launch at Aluna restaurant in the Mail Box. Arriving as the sun began to glisten on the Canalside venue we indulged in one of their renowned cocktails, keeping it classic with an Old fashion. This slipped down far to easily as we perused the innovative dishes.

This restaurant and bar is sister to Siamese in Brindley Place. The family owned business finds influence from their Oriental heritage but has a modern Pan Asian flare, offering tables sociable options so diners can share a selection of small and larger plates; these arriving as and when they are ready.

The staff were swift and knowledgeable, and we were the tricky crew, arriving with added guests to test their table arranging but we were soon comfortable and dreaming up our delectable dinner choices. Waitresses kept our drinks well topped up and we did test out the Post-Modern Old fashion and a Margarita. If you fancy your drinks with more drama there are flames and dry ice options that tick all the theatrical concoction boxes.

We were soon feasting on sticky sesame chicken wings that were spicy; hooray as I am a hot head chilli fan! Scallops were cooked to perfection and served in their shell with a delicate wasabi mayo. As a large table there was lots going on but the prawn cookies got everyone’s taste buds excited.

Larger dishes included Mitusuba fillet steak, cooked as requested for our gluten free guest plus more plump scallops in a punchy red curry base, a dryer duck curry and some fun chicken katsu sliders. Lamp chops were served pink and were so tender they must have had a sous vide history and then finished with their herby coriander crust before serving. Bowls of rice, vegetables and fries were munched alongside these show stopping dishes.

We shouldn’t have had room for pudding, but we indulged anyhow. A gluten free chocolate mi-cuit, was fondant like with a dreamy praline filling and had us all quiet in delight. The cheese cake was light and the added ginger and lime sat well after such exotic flavours in our previous dishes.

Live music and more cocktails eased us into the night and the glamorous setting makes you wish to linger. The venue has made a conscious decision to ensure all guests are well catered for, from an intimate dinner date, to larger celebrating parties, plus business guests can hire sections of the venue and design means there are options for conference and meeting facilities. The central location of this exciting venue teamed with the high quality of their food, drink and service will be a certain success.

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