Wild Mushroom Paella, Watermelon 'Tuna' & The Best Things We Ate & Drank Last Week

Also including Lazy Tony's Lasagne slabs, seafood mixed kebabs and loads of ramen...

By Manchester's Finest | 10 August 2021

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Seafood Mixed Kebab
The Northern Quarter kebab connoisseurs at BAB have created a brand-new menu featuring some cracking new BABs and a fair few mezze dishes too. We went down to get some pics and give everything the Finest stamp of approval and we were blown away with their new ‘Mixed’ Kebab – a special seafood version with soft shell crab, deep fried calamari and octopus. It’s superb – and if you only need one reason to head on down there – this must surely be it.


Tuna Poke Bowl
Black Leaf
Grace Stubbs does wonders in the vegan kitchen down at Black Leaf in the Northern Quarter but nothing compares to this – tuna but like you’ve never tasted before in your life. It’s actually watermelon, but Grace cooks and sears it in such a way that it resembles a perfectly cooked tuna steak, and with all of the added poke bowl trimmings – it’s one of the most interesting and brilliant dishes we’ve had in Manchester for a long time.


Chicken with Chicken Pie
The River Restaurant @ The Lowry Hotel
I’m always a bit reluctant when it comes to choosing chicken on a menu, especially when it’s at a rather fancy place such as The River Restaurant in The Lowry Hotel. Surely there’s something more interesting and unique to order on the menu!? Well, the rules don’t count for this – because Head Chef Dave Ashton has created a wonderful chicken dish that hits all the right notes and will make everyone else on the table jealous of your maverick choice. Perfectly cooked organic chicken breast, with a chicken & mushroom pie on the side, roast leeks and a banging black truffle sauce tying it all together.


Tantan Ramen
Tokyo Ramen
The team at Tokyo Ramen are back open again on Church Street and we couldn’t be happier. We popped down last week to grab some bowls of their legendary ramen, a few ice cold Asahi’s and a bit of a catch up with the lads. They’ve re-vamped the interior, added some new items to the menu (including some excellent vegetable gyozas) and still serve up some of the best ramen bowls in the city. Always a favourite is the Tantan – Koji-fried chicken in a chicken bone broth, roast garlic-sesame tare, kale, seasoned egg and fermented chilli oil.


Arroz de Setas Paella
La Bandera
An impressive new addition to the paella offering at La Bandera and, surprise surprise – it’s a vegan offering! Featuring an assorted selection of wild mushrooms, and the added zing of some orange zest – this paella is full of big flavours and big textures and it’s perfect for people sharing alongside a few tapas dishes and a couple of jugs of sangria.


Brioche French Toast
19 Café Bar
We love it at 19 Café Bar here in the Finest offices. Not only is it literally about 5 steps away from where we sit and type all day, but they also serve up a truly hangover-destroying sausage butty and other brunch delights including some massive stacked pancakes. We popped in last week, not because we had a hangover, but because we’d heard about their Brioche French Toast and just HAD to try it. It’s massive, and super tasty. They add whipped vanilla mascarpone, granola crumb, mixed berries and an almost orgasm-inducing buttery salted caramel sauce.


Classic Lasagne Slab
Lazy Tony’s
Hear ye! Hear ye! This week sees the city’s only ‘SLAB SHACK’ head to a new home in the Northern Quarter as Lazy Tony’s set up shop inside Foundation Coffee House on Lever Street. This Wednesday we will be hosting a massive launch party (which you can get free tickets for here) ready for them opening up on Thursday. We (naturally) went down to get some pics and eat some lasagne and it was undeniably glorious – as it always is.