Our Most Read Stories of 2021

Here’s a quick round-up of what's kept you all coming back for more this year!

By Emma Davidson | January 4th '22

Manchester’s Most Exclusive Restaurant
Obviously our most read story of 2021 is food related, and, of course it had to be this one! Umezushi Omakase is a members-only, Japanese food lover’s wet dream available to just four guests per sitting. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll get to enjoy one of the most intimate restaurant experiences on the planet, with chef, Terry Huang preparing and serving dishes in front of you from an ever-changing menu of his choosing, available on alternate Saturdays and when the chef feels “inspired”. Tempura olives, sea urchin (or ‘uni’ in Japanese), real prawn crackers, king crab, and abalone – a giant sea snail – are among the delights on offer. However, the masterplan behind this particular Omakase concept is less about the restaurant and more focused on inciting a food revolution.

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Manchester’s Top Brunch Spots
There’s nothing the Mancunians love more than a bit of smashed avo on toast, is there? And this was confirmed when you all went crazy for our round up of the top brunch spots the city has to offer. Blanchflower, Elnecot, Federal, Ezra and Gil, Dishoom and Another Heart to Feed all made the list, with stunning dishes including Dishoom’s iconic Bacon Naan, Federal’s knock-out sourdough and adventurous variations of the crowned smashed avo, including beetroot hummus, and halloumi cheese topped deliciousness.

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The Quality Street Gang, Fact or Fiction?
Does anyone remember the notorious Quality Street Gang that apparently terrorised the streets and boozers of Manchester for over 40 years? Well, back in July, we took a deep dive into the bonkers story and found many different, and quite frankly conflicting twists and turns. From serious criminal records to link with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynnott, you loved reading about the infamous QSG, and, if you missed it, you can catch up on the full story below.

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Michelin Starred Burger
Mana, Manchester’s first Michelin starred restaurant in over 42 years repositioned themselves as a takeaway joint back in January, announcing an an intricately created burger made using local suppliers, with a Lake District Farmer’s Belted Galloway smoked beef patty (comprised of shin, brisket, and rump cap), American-style cheese made with St Andrew’s Cheddar and Cloudwater beer, Koji and dill mayonnaise, iceberg and green onion paste on a potato and brown butter bun by Pollen Bakery. Our very own Matty White got to go down and try the exclusive meal (lucky sod), and, it’s safe to say he was mighty impressed.

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Manchester’s Vilest: Is Sacha’s the City’s Cecil Hotel?
Cast your minds back to February when we were all sat bleakly in the midst of yet another lockdown, confined to four walls and struggling to do anything other than watch telly or get drunk. Do you remember the Cecil Hotel documentary? The Netflix hit explored the hotel in downtown LA that’s known for being one of the most dangerous in the world. After watching it, we decided to explore Manchester’s own version of the Cecil Hotel, Sacha’s. OK, we admit it’s not half as bad, but the article does uncover some pretty horrendous stories of stabbings and graffitied bedroom walls, as well as a fair few damning TripAdvisor reviews.

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Michelin Starred Doner Kebabs
Another banging food story from 2021, October to be exact when One Star Döner Bar opened its doors in Freight Island. The restaurant is the creation of Michelin-starred Chef, Brad Carter, who first spawned the idea from his Birmingham restaurant Carters of Moseley during lockdown. Inspired by Mustafas Gemüse Kebab, a street vendor and cult favourite in Berlin, the kebabs are all served on Pide flatbreads sourced from a Turkish Bakery in Manchester, and use the very best of British produce including Cornish Lamb, Tamworth Mortadella and Cotswold White Chicken.

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Birria Brothers Tacos

Birria Tacos
The Birria Brothers taco popped-up in the Northern Quarter back in March down at The Koffee Pot serving up what was basically the king and queen of all tacos. Hailing from Jalisco, Mexico, birria is a rich stew typically made of goat or lamb. It’s usually served with a consomé broth to dip the whole thing in to cure even the worst type of hangover. The Birria Brothers were the first to serve up this dish in Manchester and they proved that popular that the queue on the first day was 3 hours long.

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Victoria Station’s Forgotten Bar
Have you ever wondered what lies beneath your feet? Especially when you’re walking through an old Victorian building? Well, The Urban Collective discovered an underground bar owned by the British Railway Staff Association that operated as a typical working men’s club during the 70s and 80s in the now derelict B.R.S.A. Club next to Victoria Station! The rather large venue was located both below the station and underneath the street itself, with punters able to enter down some steps near the top station entrance, or through the strange glass building just across the road (that later became a barbers).

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The Didsbury Dozen
Who doesn’t love a pub crawl? Up early, all day pints and in bed by 11? HEAVENLY. Our Didsbury Dozen route takes you on a legendary tour of the town’s greatest and best boozing establishments, starting off at the Didsbury and leading on to The Royal Oak, Fletcher Moss, The Dockyard, Head of Steam and The Railway, to name but a few.

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What Manchester Looked Like 100 Years Ago
There’s nothing better than scratting through the wardrobes at your Nan’s house and stumbling across a big box of old photos showing your Grandad back in the 70s with a porn star tash and a pair of platforms. We found some corkers of the city back in the 1920s this year, with everywhere from Oxford Road, Ardwick, Fallowfield and Withy Grove making an appearance! This was also around the time of the influenza pandemic that swept through the world killing millions and infecting more than 500 million people. Sound familiar?

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The Club That Shaped Manchester’s Bass Sound
Before all of the sophisticated brunch spots serving smashed avo and suave wine pairings started popping up, the Northern Quarter was a pretty dodgy place to be. You’d be more likely to get robbed than find yourself in front of an espresso joint, and one of the clubs that has been there throughout it all is Mint Lounge. this article explores how the club championed the city’s bass sound, with interviews with the club’s owner, Tunky Oyewobi who has been involved since the space was a burlesque club called Planet K and took full control circa 2008 —  and is quick to point out the emphasis on community, emerging ones-to-watch and tomorrow’s tunes today remains untouched.

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Ramona Detroit Pizza
It’s hard to imagine Manchester without Ramona now. The restaurant opened back in April and has been a massive hit with the folk of the city, expanding into a fully fledged Margarita bar with new additions including the Firehouse and its more recent Winter Garden. The food is phenomenal, from its thick Detroit style slices, smothered in golden cheese and that specially made house sauce to the Firehouses’ truffle potatoes lathered in parmesan and cooked to absolute perfection. No wonder it’s made our top article list!

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