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Mo - Sa 19:45 - 21:15
Lovely meal and ambience would really recommend especially if going to theatre. Quality of food very good , service very good . I will be going again!
It is always a good way to wind down eat great food in a quiet warm environment.
An excellent meal with excellent and prompt service.
Menu was so inviting and we were not disappointed with the selections we made.
We were a group of 11 so service not easy. As it happened some had finished eating by the time others were served. Everybody was happy with their food though - some felt the portions were small. Staff didn’t ‘get the message’ that we were rushing pre afternoon theatre.
hello - I would recommend the rivals to a friend - but only just
the food was not wonderful although the prices suggested it should be
Lovely food and very varied combinations have been here quite a few times. It’s a nice place to have a meal and chat
We regularly book The Rivals alongside a visit to the theatre and have always had a superb experience. It is a real treat for the senses
Lovely meal but our gin and tonics were spoiled by only having one make of tonic available which was horrible and killed the Tanqueray gin. Any chance of stocking an alternative like Sweppes?
Lovely pre theatre meal with my mum, very pleasant seating position next to the window overlooking St Anns square. Quirky stylish interior of recycled doors. Wonderful, prompt friendly service, great food, can recommend the portobello squash wellington and the gingerbread with stout ice cream. Was relaxed and unrushed. Very convenient for the theatre. Would go again.
Exceeded my expectations both in terms of quality of the food and service. I decided to eat here at the last minute before doing a wine tasting at the Royal Exchange. I was seated immediately and provided with the menu and wine list. The service was attentive without being rushed. The starter I had was Haddock fishcakes with salsa verde which was excellent and matched very well with the Chenin Blanc recommended. The main course was butternut squash and mushroom wellington, with roast potatos and garlic gravy which was delicious. Finished off with a Cardamom brulee which was also very nice and not too large at the end of the meal.
Overall I felt the meal was great value at 3 courses for under £30.
Lunch menu offer is expensive especially as about half of the items incur an extra charge and there is lots of competition in Manchester to a similar standard.
The food was lovely, and our waitress from N. Ireland was extremely efficient and friendly. The only criticism was that the area where we were sat was cold. A lot of draft by window and exterior wall.
The bill was expensive for the quality of the food. My fish cakes were nice but nothing special, my husband’s mackerel escoche was disappointingly ordinary. The main course duck was very good with a delicious sauce but the sweet potato wellington was quite dry and heavy on the pastry. Overall, a disappointing experience.
The entire ambience was superb. The waitresses were extremely attentive and ensured that we had supper and that we took our seats on time. Pudding was in the interval. Excellent.
Delicious food for a pre-theatre meal, served quickly but by friendly staff
excellent food at good prices. we will visit again
The food was lovely. Service very good indeed. Great staff. I like the decor too. Really enjoyed and we will return!
The food and ambience were very good but for a theatre restaurant who are I assume used to pre theatre dining, the Timings were rather off.
As it got closer to curtain time (it was a matinee) we had to chase for the main courses to be delivered and still there was something of a wait for the starters to be cleared and for those to be delivered. The desert ordering for the interval was appreciated but a tad last minute.
It just felt like they weren’t coping brilliantly with a pretty full restaurant which shouldn’t be unusual. As I say, the food and ambience were very good.
Good food very convenient for the Exchange Theater, nice place to eat
Been here a few times now. The menu is always different and interesting. The food is delicious- excellent vegetarian choices. The service couldn’t be better.
The food was excellent, it was a lovely end to a great evening!
Great pre theatre choice. Good food, good value. Excellent service. Will definitely return
Lovely menu, changes regularly. Alway a fish veggie and vegan options. Pleasant staff who accommodate need to get to performance but dont hurry you if you are dining post performance. I particularly like the option to have coffee a d dessert at the interval during an evening performance.
One of the starters had to be sent back because it was inedible. It was exchanged without charge. Rosemary potato had clearly been cooked long before and there was not a hint of rosemary to savour. Poor value for money. Two days later we had a cheaper pre theatre meal at the RSC Stratford and quality was far better.
As always, lovely food,good service and so relaxing before we see the performance.
We arrived early for a pre Theatre meal and eventhough the restaurant was busy we were happily and comfortably seated. As we were pushed for time we chose the 2 course set menu with olives to nibble with wine whilst we waited. The main courses were excellent, one of us had the beef and the other the duck. The Service was excellent with charming, friendly and very helpful staff. We realised that we would have to rush our dessert so the waitress recommended we return during the interval for our dessert and to finish off our bottle of wine. We returned to The Rivals and found our table freshly laid with our wine and desserts so spent the interval quietly finishing our meal. Very happy dining experience with super staff.
The food was very good as always, limited but interesting menu, with lots of veggie options for one of our party, and the service was quick and polite, but we got charged £10 for 2 "changed mind" which we didn't and at half time I went and ordered drinks for 3 (a pint of lager, red wine and a large Coke) and the barman wandered off and started taking orders and serving at the other end of the bar. I was just ignored then, and didn't get served all interval. We will be going to the Rice Bowl from now on. At least they don't ignore you.
Good quality food. Excellent service. Enjoyed having dessert in interval. Menu not extensive so that would restrict me returning very frequently.
Very convenient for the Theatre, with excellent service and a good choice of menus, from "light bites" to three course meals. Just one criticism: hot food was served on cold plates & dishes - not a happy combination on a cold January day.
This is a pleasant restaurant to eat before a show and the food is good. However, the menu dishes are almost all lacking in accompanying vegetables and the only non-starch vegetable available as a side was (very good) red cabbage. It is also something of a cheat to advertise the meal as a fixed price menu when almost any non-vegetarian starter or main course carries a price supplement. So the restaurant scores high for convenience but rather lower for food variety and value.
The staff were extremely helpful throughout the evening giving advice on selection .
The food was good quality but we felt expensive especially as the main course was quite sparse of vegetables. The puddings were delicious.
We booked dinner before the production on Sat 4th Jan at 5.30. The food was lovely. My husband started with the pekora which was really tasty. We also had the focaccia bread- lovely and warm with a great rosemary taste. I then had the roast chicken which was tender and very moist and my husband had the feather of beef which he loved. I had the apple turnover for dessert which was delicious, particularly the almond ice cream. Coffee was also excellent. We couldn’t fault the food and the service was first class leaving us plenty of time to get to the performance. This was our first visit to The Rivals but we will certainly return.
Excellent food, good drinks choice and great to see food being prepared. Staff all were attentive and welcoming.
Great food including vegan and vegetarian options. Staff were attentive and welcoming.
The room is quirky and charming, with tables on the upper level having a lovely view of the square and a mis-matched collection of old-fashioned, brown tables and chairs. The staff who greet and serve are terrific, always helpful and informed. The food is consistent and every dish I've had has been characterised by an interesting choice of herb/ spice/ accompaniment that makes them just a bit different and special. Portions sometimes feel a bit on the small side. Wines - I've only ever drunk by the glass - are well chosen and reasonably priced. For anyone seeing a play at the theatre, a meal here is a delicious no-brainer, but the restaurant is certainly worth a visit from anyone in search of a happy foodie experience.
The restaurant is a wonderful place full of quirky decor befitting a theatre bar/ restaurant . The service could not have been better and the menu so varied something for everyone .
We were a party of five with different palettes but the menu was perfect to fulfil everyone . I’m so glad I booked this restaurant for NYE and the service was just lovely and we commented on how great it was . Professional without being pretentious or condescending . Thank you for an Erving which was parfait !!!
Definitely, especially pre or post theatre. Lovely ambience and staff really polite and efficient.
Main meal was very good (hake risotto ) but disappointed in the starter and pudds .
Chestnut gnocchi starter was very tough and there was no taste of chestnuts .
Also the pudds was described as apple turnover with toffee plus ice cream , there seemed scant evidence of the toffee !
Service was great .
Dont worry will come again
Our second visit and now our favourite place to eat when we visit Manchester. The food is well prepared and presented, the menu covers a good range of options and the staff are always cheerful and attentive. The space is limited so it can feel a little cramped but the food compensates.
I have been to Rivals restaurant several times recently. It is consistently good in terms of the quality of its food and value for money. I have chosen the from the fixed menu and always found a good choice. The food is cooked in view of the seating area and has always arrived hot and freshly presented. I like the table arrangement and often one is seated near to large windows which overlook the pleasant St Anne’s square. I did find myself a little cold by the end of the meal due to a slight draft I suspect. There was a reasonably priced wine which we found enjoyable to accompany our meal. The team working behind the bar and in the restaurant itself were really pleasant and efficient. I would definitely recommend this restaurant as I believe it offers a higher quality and standard of meal than many of the more expensive restaurants in Manchester.
When booking the table through opentable ( an easy process) the site indicated that tables were becoming scarce for my booking period( 7:30 Saturday evening) . This proved to be misleading. Almost as we arrived the restaurant almost emptied as the largely theatre going clientele left to take seats in the adjacent theatre. We were in fact one of two or three couples in the restaurant. This might be significant for some visitors who might like the buzz of a fuller venue or indeed appreciate the quieter option.