Vazhai Ilai Parotta
BrewChimp Indian Social Club
It’s almost impossible to pronounce properly and it’s highly likely that you’ve never seen this beauty on any menu here in the UK before, but after this week – you’re gonna want to have it as much as you can. The team at Stretford’s new Indian Social Club get a flaky fried paratha flatbread, top it with a dry chicken curry, spicy curry and then wrap it all in a massive banana leaf. The whole thing is then grilled in the leaf and brought to your table so you can enjoy alongside a few beers. Amazing.
Build Your Own Cheesecake
Oh My Cheesecake
As part of our visit to Hatch we swung by one of the new additions – Oh My Cheesecake – who serve up Cheesecake on a stick! Their homemade cheesecake slices are frozen, and then coated in your choice of toppings – and there’s about a million different combinations you can do. I can’t even remember what combination this was, but I know it was absolutely banging.
Honey & Thyme Roasted Ham Hock
The Marble Arch
Easily one of the best boozers in Manchester, it’s always a pleasure nipping into The Marble Arch for a few pints – but what most people probably miss out on is their absolutely fantastic food menu – which is packed with some proper banging dishes. One of which is this newbie – a honey and thyme roasted ham hock that just melts in your mouth, served with a homemade parsley sauce and bubble & squeak. If a dish could encapsulate the sheer joy of sitting in here, warm and toasty with a few pints – it’d be this.
Tagliatelle Ai Porcini
I wanted to treat my wife to a bit of lunch this week and seeing as she’s a huge fan of all pasta dishes – I took her to the experts down at Sicilian NQ. Suffice to say that I got some serious brownie points after that decision – and she was bowled over with their Tagliatelle Ai Porcini. Perfectl cooked (al-dente) pasta tossed with Sicilian’s homemade tomato sauce, which might actually be the best you’ve ever tasted. Add porcini mushrooms, black olives and Sicilian sausage and you’re in pasta heaven.
The Pen & Pencil
Now, I know you lot enjoy one or two cocktails – especially at the weekend and so I personally took a trip down to The Pen & Pencil this week to try out their new cocktails – just for you. What a kind and generous man I am. I pretty much tried them all, and there are some crackers in there – my favourite though was the Vanilla Rumble – with Kraken Black Rum, Licor 43, Apple Juice, Lime and Rosemary. It was refreshing and pretty lethal – the perfect combination when hitting the cocktails.
Lamb Ruben Toastie
3 Hands Deli
I popped down to 3 Hands Deli during the week and had a lovely catch up with chef and toastie maestro Julian Pizer – a man who has single-handedly upped the city’s sandwich game over the past 6 months. The toasties at 3 Hands Deli are legendary, and if you’ve yet to have one – you seriously need to get down there and give ’em a try. I opted for the truly sublime Lamb Reuben which comes stuffed with a merguez salami which is quite possibly the greatest dried meat ever created. Out of this world.
Oyster Mushroom Wings
Quite how chef Grace Stubbs at Alvarium creates such impressive dishes without any meat or dairy products is completely beyond me and in my ignorant little mind – almost magical. Their Oyster Mushroom Wings, for example, must employ some serious science because they don’t have that often polarising texture of mushrooms, and they even ‘rip’ like a chicken wing would do. They’re also damn tasty and the perfect addition to a few pints in this lovely NQ bar.
Miso-glazed Whole Sea Bass
Ducie Street Warehouse
The kitchen team over at Ducie Street Warehouse have been doing some seriously good things recently, and with new Head Chef Andrew Green running things – the restaurant is quickly becoming the city’s must-visit foodie destination. Andrew likes his sharing plates and so the menu has a ‘Bigger Plates’ section with some huge offerings, including this absolutely spectacular Miso-glazed Whole Sea Bass. It comes on a bed of bok choi and is outstanding. Pair with some sides and a nice bottle of plonk.