Head down Stretford Road, just out of town, and just past the packed stacks of student flats before the Mancunian Way, and you’ll often find a mob of people packed around a shopfront on a rather normal-looking parade of shops most days of the week. Usually from just before lunchtime.
They’re congregating there for a reason. Stone Roses singer Ian Brown, a man who has been known as a connoisseur of Caribbean cuisine for quite some time now, has proclaimed ‘if you tried the rest, then this is the best IN THE WHOLE NORTHWEST,’ showing that he’s evidently not lost his rhyming dictionary.
Family-run Buzzrocks, named after its owner and co-founder Basil ‘Buzzrocks’ Anderson, has been serving up proper Jamaican and West Indian food for over 35 years, starting out catering for the late-night shebeen-goers of Moss Side and Hulme from a van, after making a name for themselves at the Manchester Caribbean Carnival.
Then, with a travelling trailer, Basil and his wife Farida took on the festival circuit, from Glastonbury to WOMAD, before eventually settling down with their bricks-and-mortar kitchen in Hulme in 2007.
And that queue has been there pretty much ever since. It’s become arguably Manchester’s best-known purveyor of jerk chicken, curry goat, fried chicken, dumplings, ackee and saltfish… and don’t get us started on the patties.
All the classics are here, and in many cases the best version of them in the city, with the long-marinated jerk chicken being the exact same recipe they started out with all those years ago. That’s some jerk with pedigree. Maybe Ian Brown is onto something.