Best Things We Ate and Drank (so far in 2019)

Granted we didn't gobble all this in a week, it was actually collated from everything we ate between the new year and now... just so you know.

By Manchester's Finest | 18 January 2019

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Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek at Lunya
We popped down to the lovely Lunya in the Barton Arcade this week to check out their offering of winter dishes on their new Catalan inspired menu. I always look forward to a Lunya lunch and this one did not let me down. The Beef Cheeks were a real winner – cooked for eight hours in tomato, wine and cinnamon, these quite literally melted in the mouth faster than you could say ‘Barcelona’, they were stunning. – Kate Tighe


Chilli Chicken at Dishoom
It seems everyone is talking about Dishoom at the moment and for good reason. Not only is the interior stunning, but the food is outrageous and the drinks selection will have you weak at the knees. We went down for a review a couple weeks back, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the Chilli Chicken ever since. Crispy chicken tossed in a sticky sauce of garlic, ginger, soy and chilli which combined to bring the most perfect umami flavour. I’ll take ten please. – Kate Tighe


Magret de Pato at La Bandera
My usual duck eating endeavours typically only involved it being shredded, plonked on a little flour pancake and wolfed down alongside a bottle of Tiger beer. Well, my duck eating world was revolutionised last week when I tucked into the fantastic Magret de Pato at La Bandera. It’s a grilled duck breast with an amazing date and hazelnut chutney on the side. You should have it. Like now. – Ben Brown


Sea Bass at Oddfellows, Chester
Venturing out to Chester last week, I had a charming stay at the lovey Oddfellows Hotel which is home to the most fabulous restaurant run by head chef Elliot Hill. I couldn’t stop talking to Elliot has he had so many interesting things to say about seasonality, local produce and how our eating is going to change is Brexit happens. Interesting chap. Anyway, his food was delicious and if I had to pick out one dish from the 5-course tasting menu I sampled, it would have to be the sea bass with Jerusalem artichokes, pickled grapes and a hazelnut crumb – delicious. – Kate Tighe


Tommahawk Steak at KAI
This new Turkish place on Deansgate is brilliant. It’s the place where I had one of the best steaks of my life – which was brought to the table and hacked at by a lovely Turkish fella. The steak is massive and is enough to feed probably 3 or 4 people, or just one dad on his birthday. Juicy, tender and perfectly seasoned – you should get involved. – Ben Brown


Roku Gin at Cottonopolis
Gin is still in, and it looks like it’s not going anywhere, but if you are looking for a top G&T I would look no further than Cottonopolis which is the home to a stunning selection of Japanese Gins. Roku Gin was my favourite for its traditional flavours of juniper and angelica are mixed with the seasonal, floral notes of Sakura flower (cherry blossom), Sakura leaf, Sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sansho pepper and yuzu peel to form a light, balanced gin which is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before. This gin is perfectly served with a low-sugar tonic and a slice of grapefruit as not to spoil the delicate flavours of the gin.- Kate Tighe


Sharing Platterat La Boca
If you’re a lover of local Spanish cuisine you’re going to love this one, a new independent Charcuteria café and bar has arrived in the NQ and went to give it a try this week and honestly, I was so impressed. I went for their sharing patter which consisted of variety of things such as traditional Spanish Iberico Bellota cured meats, Jamon Iberico de Bellota, Chorizo Iberico, cheese, olives and bread, it was unreal. Served with a glass of traditional Spanish wine, this hidden gem took me right back to the streets of Barcelona, and if I’m honest, I don’t think I’ll be sharing it with anyone next time. – Ellie Edginton


Cauliflower Chicken Wings at Bunny Jacksons
Okay so they’re nothing actually like chicken wings, contain no meat or bones and are actually slightly good for you. But don’t let all of those put you off – these cauliflower numbers are brilliant and certainly worth a thought when in Bunny’s. They seem to defy physics by absorbing more hot sauce than seems possible, and they’re lovely and juicy. I don’t know what else to say – just bloody try ’em. – Ben Brown