This week saw three fantastic Manchester eateries go head-to-head on Come Dine With Me: The Professionals, which follows the same format as the normal show but with people putting on the dinner parties in their own restaurants instead.
It’s a unique take and it makes for great, and often sometimes extricating viewing – especially if someone’s not actually very good at hosting. There’s none of that here, as Dave & Raj from Stretford’s BrewChimp Indian Social Club go up against Mark & Dawn from Failsworth’s Old School BBQ Bus and Alan and Michelle from Chinese Restaurant One Plus down on Charles Street.
We’ve featured all three of these excellent restaurants here on Finest, heading down to the Old School BBQ Bus all the way back in 2018, and being blown away not just with the authentic Texas ranch that they’ve built down on an industrial estate just off the M60, but also the live country music, super-strong moonshine and, of course – those BBQ’ed meats.
Their Pitmaster Special is a must for anyone featuring a whopping pile of smoked St. Louis pork ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork, sausage, grilled corn, onion rings (as big as your face), beans, smoked beef brisket and slaw. Designed to be shared, this monster will have you fighting to the death for the last morsel.
Back in 2021 we popped down to the brand-new BrewChimp Indian Social Club in Stretford and were very impressed with their Indian Tapas concept that features a host of unique and unusual dishes from the Tamil Nadu region of India, which you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the city.
Their Vazhai Ilai Parotta is a must-try, a flaky paratha flatbread which is topped with a dry spicy chicken curry, which is then smothered in spicy chicken gravy and then wrapped in a banana leaf and then cooked.
One Plus has been massively popular since its opening in 2018. A three-storey Chinese restaurant that offers a wealth of different dishes, from conveyor belt hot pot to Chinese BBQ that you cook yourself right on your table. Alan and Michelle also recently opened up an oriental minimart opposite the restaurant on the new Circle Square development.
On the show, it was a close-run contest, but as is always the case with Come Dine With Me – there can be only one winner. You’ll have to watch it to see – I’m not going to tell you here now am I…
I’m only kidding. One Plus win it, with Old School BBQ Bus 2nd and Indian Social Club 3rd. It was very closely run though – well done to everyone involved!