Hot on the heels of the latest Michelin announcement which was frankly a bit underwhelming for Manchester, the Good Food Guide has now announced three new Greater Manchester additions to its guide for 2023.
The Good Food Guide has been around since 1951 but has changed hands a couple of times over the years. Most recently, it was acquired by Adam Hyman of CODE Hospitality in 2021. It continues to be a reliable guide to the British dining scene. Just like the Michelin guide, restaurants are assessed by a team of mysterious 'inspectors', experts who have worked in hospitality or established themselves as food writers. The guide does not accept free meals in return for a positive write up. Unlike Michelin, its team welcomes suggestions from its readers and pores over these regularly to ensure it is staying up to date with regards to the best places to eat all over the UK.
Another important part of the Good Food Guide's process is summed up by this quote from its website: "One change for the better over the years is the industry’s efforts to move on from bullying kitchen cultures that reigned in many fine-dining establishments. We take a strong view on kitchen abuse and in order to encourage positive working environments we will temporarily remove any restaurant that is shown to neglect the welfare and mental health of its staff until we are satisfied that the necessary steps have been taken to change." Hats off to that.
Only the best restaurants make it into the guide and those that do are scored 'good', 'very good', 'exceptional' or 'world class'.
Which Manchester restaurants have been added to the Good Food Guide this April?
The first new addition to the Good Food Guide in Manchester is the brilliant Another Hand. Kiwi chef Julian Pizer first made his name working at Cottonopolis and launching The Edinburgh Castle Ancoats, after a short stint running Three Hands deli (knocking up possibly the best butties in town), Julian opened his own restaurant Another Hand with his culinary co-pilot Max Yorke in 2022. As the guide points out, Deansgate Mews is not the most elegant place for a fancy restaurant (although watch this space as the Great Northern complex it's housed inside is getting a glow up), but it's well worth veering off the beaten path for. The Guide says, "It reads (and eats) with the refinement of a tasting menu" and calls one dish "a spectacular masterclass of texture, flavour and acidity in perfect harmony." Of the three new Manchester additions, Another Hand scores the highest on the Good Food Guide's famously modest scale with "very good" - awarded to restaurants with "a high level of ambition and individuality".
Next to be added is Exhibition's taste of the Basque region, Baratxuri. The restaurant that has made the move from the glorious hills of Ramsbottom to the slightly less picturesque city centre has been scored "good" by the Good Food Guide's inspectors. It seems this one has got the Good Food Guide all hot under the collar as they effervesce about the flame-licked nature of Baratxuri's new kitchen just off Peter Street praising its "charred goodies" and calling dishes "immaculate" and "handsome" at different turns. Restaurants that score "good" are said to exhibit "sound technical skills and good quality ingredients". It's great to see Baratxuri getting the praise it deserves after an itinerant year or two.
Last but not least, 10 Tib Lane has also been added to the Good Food Guide and given a score of "good" and therefore "definitely worth seeking out if you are nearby". The skinny, low-lit, multi-story restaurant and bar has been winning hearts in Manchester ever since it opened but doesn't always seem to land on the lists we would expect it to. The Guide calls the restaurant "gloomy" (we disagree) and isn't massively complimentary to its staff but it praises some dishes as "feisty", "beautifully crafted" and "meticulously presented". We expected 10 Tib Lane to score a bit higher but after reading the inspector's report, maybe it was having an off day when they visited. Nonetheless, it's a very worthy addition to the guide.
Other Manchester restaurants that currently appear in the guide are: Dishoom (good), Hawksmoor (good), El Gato Negro (good), The Oystercatcher (good), 20 Stories (good), Adam Reid at The French (very good), Erst (good), Flawd (very good), Habas (good), Kala (good), Pulp Coffee (local gem, not rated), Stretford Canteen (good), The Sparrows (very good), TNQ (local gem, not rated), Wood (good), Yuzu Japanese Tapas (good), Bombay To Mumbai (good), Hispi (good), Indique (local gem, not rated), Levanter (good), Lily’s (good), Lupo (very good), Osma (good), Sud Pasta (good), The Lime Tree (good), and Where The Light Gets In (very good).
We are genuine fans of all three of the Manchester restaurants that have just been added to the Good Food Guide for 2023. Congratulations to all involved.