Isis is one of the Italian restaurants in Manchester that can be said to get it right most of the time. A nice, large, clean, airy place with polite and attentive staff. There is ample parking and even a sheltered place at the front door where one can smoke.
They are also a hotel, although this writer has not tested the hotel facilities, I doubt they would be lacking.
The clientele is varied. Shaven-headed, blinged up Salfordian pseudo villains and their overweight bleach blonde Primark clad girlfriends mix it with regular folk. It works; it shouldn’t, but it does. The atmosphere is relaxed and agreeable. Nobody is trying to insert a glass in their neighbours face, nor are the clientele brawling outside at weekends. For a Manchester restaurant that is out of the centre, it is generally surprisingly upscale.
There is a waiter there – I forget his name – but you will recognise him when you see him. Italian (he claims) and skinny, but he is the funniest waiter I have ever met. He will have you splitting your sides laughing, he should be on stage. I am not convinced his Italian accent is not completely affected, and would not be shocked to learn he is really from Barnsley. You will hear him before you see him, and you will know it is him by the funky glasses he wears.
They always have relatively decent wines around the £14-£16 mark, and the happy fellow described above, or the Manager, Brett, can always be relied upon to recommend something decent if you explain your taste. They will not just plonk the most expensive one in front of you like most places would. Ice buckets even arrive without prompting, which is a refreshing change.
So on to the food. I am of the opinion that they change chefs quite often as the cooking seems to vary quite often. The staff denies this however, but I remain unconvinced. The food ranges between average and excellent, depending what you order. Italian stuff they do quite well, the specials are always imaginative and none of it is over-priced.
On a bad day, the food is unlikely to rock your world, but at least it will arrive on time and efficiently. On a good day, you will be most pleased with your choice of restaurant. Even on a bad day, the exemplary service levels and overall cleanliness of Isis will encourage you to return.
Overall, they get it right most of the time. Try Isis, it is certainly in my top ten. They get a Real Deal Rating of 8/10, which with a picky git like me, isn’t bad at all. They have a website, which will give you a feel for the interior and more info: Isis Italian Restaurant Manchester.
Restaurant Isis. 390-92 Bolton Road, Swinton, Manchester, M27 8UX. Tel: 0161 281 2222.