Cluck Me Sideways
This Chorlton institution are known throughout the world for their monumental sharing platters, which always seem to tend to turn up on my Instagram feed at the exact moment when I’m starving and could eat every single thing on the tray. They have three massive platters on offer, but I’ve chosen the Cluck Me Sideways which comes loaded with nduja butter tossed fries topped with sweet chilli fried chicken and bacon bits, chipotle chicken quesadillas, 2 x bbq and ranch chicken burgers, fried chicken burrito, buffalo fried chicken mac n cheese, chive ranch chicken tenders, red cabbage and fennel slaw.
Brewski Bar, 537-539 Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 0UE
The Deli Sharing Board
Harvey Nichols Second Floor Deli Bar
A truly monumental Sharing Board which comes with six meats, four huge slabs of cheese, olives antipasti, crackers, artisan breads and a full bottle of lovely Harvey Nichols wine. It’s enough to serve 3-4 people this, or 2 extremely hungry people who don’t mind having some serious cheese-related nightmares when they go to bed. With a sharing board this good, and indeed cheeses of this calibre – it’s entirely worth it having a bit of a restless night in my opinion.
Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD
The Grilled Sharing Platter
Just look at this thing. Isn’t it beautiful. A huge platter stuffed to the brim of Zouk’s chargrilled spicy delights, including Chicken Tikka, Spicy Seekh Kebabs, Lamb Chops and Tandoori King Prawns, which are then joined by a ton of sides, including vegetable rice, katchumber salad, mango salad, Zouk’s signature hummus, freshly baked naan breads, stuffed roti and a range of chutneys and dips. This beauty is £50 for 2 or £100 for 4.
Zouk, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester St, Manchester M1 5QS
Charcuterie, Cheese & Natural Wine
Northern Quarter neighbourhood eatery Arlos offer up a hard-to-beat selection of charcuterie from Northern Cure, cheeses from The Crafty Cheese Man and bread from Holy Grain. Their Charcuterie Selection (£9) is a winner, served with house pickles. Order a Burrata (£9) and a bottle of natty wine and you’re sorted.
Arlos, 15 Hilton St, Manchester, M1 1JJ
It’s hard to beat the Spanish when it comes to sharing platters and boards. It’s as if their whole culture revolves around sitting at a bar with loads of cheese, meat and bread, and sinking beers (or wine) in the sun over the course of a few hours. So naturally, La Bandera offer up a great one – their Tabla Mixta, which should always be ordered when you’re in there.
La Bandera, 2 Ridgefield, Manchester, M2 6EQ
The lunch menu at Altrincham’s So Marrakech is dominated by The Moroccan Meze, a selection of salad, hummus, cheese, falafel, light filo pastry briouat filled with chicken, black olives and preserved lemon, and some truly sublime roasted carrots with dates which are a huge stand-out on a plate of truly outstanding contributions. This is almost unbeatable when the sun is shining through the windows and you feel like you’re on your holidays.
SO Marrakech, 25 Market St, Altrincham, Manchester WA14 1QT
The Roast Dinner Platter
Another legendary platter in the city, this time from Roast Dinner experts The Refuge, who pile a huge plate with grass-fed rump of Lancashire beef, half a roast Cumbrian chicken and rare breed pork loin, and then add ALL the trimmings, including thyme and salt roast potatoes, Vimto-braised red cabbage, glazed carrot, seasonal greens, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese and tonnes of gravy. Outstanding.
The Refuge, Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
Surf & Turf (with Lobster on Sunday)
This is MEGA. Pho Cue’s excellent Surf & Turf (£13), a colossal sharing plate with beef rib, king prawns and salt and pepper chips. Best of all – if you go down on a Sunday, you can add Half a Lobster for another £12. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Nobody – that’s who.
Pho Cue, 52a Faulkner St, Manchester M1 4FH
800g Tomahawk of Cheshire Beef
Ducie Street Warehouse
To be fair, there’s a lot of sharing plates on offer down at Ducie Street Warehouse, so it was hard just picking one of them. Head Chef Andrew Green has created a series of ‘Bigger Plates’ which are ideal for 2-4 people sharing, and this huge 800g Tomahawk Steak is surely top of the list when it comes to choosing one to tuck into. There’s also a cracking Rosemary Roast Whole Lamb Rump, a Miso-glazed Whole Sea Bass, Harissa-spiced Whole Chicken, Baked ‘Ras-el-Hanout’ Cauliflower and a massive 1kg Baked Camembert Cheese.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese
I mean, just look at this monster. If I wasn’t already married – I’d propose to that. Quickly before devouring it in some Guinness-breaking record time. From the masters of the Sharing Platter at Brewski comes this cheese-related stunner at American Pies on Mosely Street in the city centre featuring Nduja butter cheesy garlic knots, Deep Fried duck lasagne with hot honey, Goats cheese bon bons, Meatball parm, Fried chicken with ranch & nduja butter, Deep fried calzones and Tater tots done two ways.
American Pies, Unit 1, 58 W Mosley St, Manchester M2 3HZ
Chef’s Platter of the Day
Each day the sushi masters at UNAGI can create for you one of their outstanding platters, essentially featuring all of the wonderful nigiri, sashimi, hosomaki and urumaki that they offer on their menu. There’s 30 piece (£48) and 40 piece (£60) options available and, as you can see, they look absolutely amazing – and will satisfy even the hungriest of sushi lovers. I reckon this lot could easily feed 5-6 people, and maybe even more. I could probably smash it on my own, although I would then saunter off to die in a cave.
UNAGI Wilmslow, Water Ln, Wilmslow SK9 5AR
Do it like the Sicilian’s do in the Northern Quarter with this ‘Aperitivo Siciliano’ – a sharing platter for two that features a wealth of authentic Sicilian goodies and is perfect alongside a couple of Camparis. It features a staple on any Sicilian dinner table – Caponata Rusticana, alongside two more dips – Peperonata and Siciliana, with olives, veggie spread, fresh focaccia and Italian breadsticks for dipping.
Sicilian NQ, 14 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ
Everything on the menu at Bundobust has been designed to be shared, so if there’s a few of you, and you’re all quite reserved and selfless when it comes to sharing food – Bundobust is a fantastic shout. Best of all is that they offer up EVERYTHING on the menu with their ‘Bundo Combo’ priced at £95. It feeds 6 people and includes the lot – just order that, get some drinks and have the best time of your life for an hour or so.
Bundobust, 61 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2AG
The Pit Master’s Special Plate
Old School BBQ Bus
I’ve had to do some very difficult things in my time; from learning the whole syllabus of GCSE Physics in 2 weeks to looking after a spoilt toddler for 5 hours. But nothing compares with having to decide what to eat at the Old School BBQ Bus in Failsworth. The menu is SO full of BBQ’ed goodies that you can literally spend an hour just staring at the menu and not making a decision. To help people with this they’ve invented the Pit Master’s Special Plate which contains everything you could ever desire including pork belly, St. Louis ribs, beef brisket, chicken wings, pulled pork, cheese & jalapeno sausages, fries, BBQ pit beans, smoked corn, huge onion rings and pink slaw.
The Old School BBQ Bus, Alford St, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 7LP
For two to share, this Seafood Platter comes in at a rather reasonable £55 – and it’s full to the bream (yes!) with the fruits of the ocean. Sea Bream, Red Tiger Prawns, Mussels and Squid all served with chargrilled broccoli and sweetheart cabbage.
The Oystercatcher, 123 Manchester Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9PG