“Yes I know, it’s Stockport but… WOW!” Sam Buckley’s “splendidly hipster” bare-brick-walled converted Victorian warehouse with open kitchen and a tasting-menu-only format has taken the foodie world by storm since it opened in late 2016. On most accounts it fully lives up: “the hipster foodie intensity might be a turn-off for some people but the warmth and enthusiasm of the staff and sheer quality of the food make it a wonderful experience”. “The pace is leisured and slow, focused on the kitchen and with the chance to chat and absorb; there’s great music; plenty of chef-based action, and without a doubt it has killer appeal to anyone wanting to be immersed in food and watch a talented team”. And “you leave feeling sated, but in a really good way, from the beautifully judged surprise menu”. Well, that’s the unqualified version anyway. But there are also a number of reports which are supportive but with reservations: e.g. “there’s a lot of ambition on show at WTLGI, and I think their determination to pare back to the basics and tell a story with their food means that their regularly changing menu will sometimes hit, sometimes miss; for us it mostly missed, but I can see the potential; we were no doubt unlucky in attending on one of the coldest days in the year, and our expectations were sky-high because of stellar reviews and travelling specially from London, but this was just too austere and worthy” (or as another reporters said: “so pure you have to be an expert to appreciate the subtlety and get joy from it”). Still, everyone agrees that although it’s a little “earnest”, “they try very hard to look after you well”. And even most critics feel: “I wish them well, because they are outstanding in some aspects and genuinely different”.
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.