Table talk: Where Tom Bloxam eats

I tend to have short lunches with no alcohol, although I actually prefer long lunches with lots of it. I avoid drinking too much until the deal's done. Equally, I try not to talk business if I'm out to celebrate something.

by Tom Bloxam, co-founder and group chairman of Urban Splash
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The place I use most is the Restaurant Bar & Grill in Manchester. It's a local institution, a buzzy place popular with management professionals, as well as people on a night out. It's basically in a glass box stuck on top of a '60s building - you can sit there and watch Manchester go by.

They usually keep a table for me, which is nice, but the other day I was disappointed to be shown somewhere else. The Glazer brothers were sitting at my usual table. I waited to see if any United fans were going to cause trouble, but the minders on the next table probably put them off.

I've been going to the Restaurant Bar & Grill since it opened about six years ago. It was bought recently, but they've done well to keep the same level of service - many of the staff have been there since day one. That's important. In a business meeting, you don't want the service to be too flashy or ostentatious - food and water should appear without any hassle.

My favourite starter is the fried chilli squid with Thai noodle salad, which is nice and spicy. They do a great pasta, and chargrilled tuna with Catalan peppers and romesco sauce.

People can be indiscreet over dinner, and I don't like that. They may think they're doing you a favour by gossiping about somebody, but then they're probably off talking about you to someone else. It's never a good policy. I also hate people giving waiters a hard time - I think it's the height of impoliteness.

RESTAURANT BAR & GRILL 14 John Dalton St, Manchester, 0161 839 1999 FAVOURITE DISHES Fried chilli squid with Thai noodle salad £5.75 Chargrilled tuna with Catalan peppers and romesco sauce £13.95

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