Monday 2 December 2013

"Taking the Pisa" San Carlo Bottega – Selfridges, Manchester

If my first experience is anything to go by, I already feel sorry for the thousands of customers that will flock (and have already flocked) to the shiny new San Carlo Bottega in Manchester’s Selfridges…

The likes of Helen Flanagan et al will, I suspect, be there tweeting selfies of themselves sucking on strands of spaghetti; footballers and their WAGs will relish being seen showing off their meatball skills…

No doubt Manchester’s foodie glitterati will be there getting special attention and certain bloggers will be gratefully receive their carefully prepared free food and will no doubt love it too…

The place is undoubtedly set to become a roaring success…

But what sort of substandard shortcuts can the rest of us nobodies expect?

Expect them to take the absolute pisa with the Eggs Benedict – NO ham, sorry looking eggs and a couple of paltry splats of split hollandaise.

Expect to part with £6.95 for ONE sausage and a dodgily cooked duck egg.

Expect average, under seasoned Gnocci Gorgonzola in an over seasoned Parmesan basket.

Expect stodgy Sicilian Arancini – if you are lucky (like I was) at least one of them may have a decent amount of meat ragu and a whole pea inside.

Expect the Fagiolini (green beans with olive oil & lemon) to be the best of a bad bunch of the things thing you eat.

Expect tasty N’duja and Mozzarella, albeit on burned bruschetta.

Expect the worst and you may just come away pleased.

You can expect friendly service. 


  1. That`s probably the worst meal youve ever posted since you started blogging....horrendous.
    Sack the "cook" and then start again.I`d be ashamed to put food like that on the plate....and to actually charge people for that....Cmon.

  2. That single pea says it all. Leaving ham off eggs benedict is incompetent. I'd have sent it back. Definitely the worst meal you've posted.

  3. I totally agree with the above posting. My wife and I had been to Cicchetti and liked it so I booked us in for lunch for our anniversary. We went to Sicily on our honeymoon and was staying near Pachino so when we saw the Pachino tomatoes on the menu, we thought we had to order them. Big mistake - they were some of the worst tomatoes I've ever had in a restaurant: cold, mushy, flavourless. The rest of the food was ok but, it being my anniversary, I didn't want to make a scene and ruin the whole affair by complaining about the meal. The best thing about the meal was the bread and the wine, which should not be the case for the price. Ho hum, another substandard Italian in Manchester. When will stop being patronise and get a restaurant like Boca di Lupo or Locatelli or River Café?

  4. This standard of food is the same as it was from the outset. I've been twice. Poor quality , non locally sourced ingredients, poor service, poor poor poor. I know someone who left working there as he was embarrassed by the standards. Also sadly when I was visiting they all seemed to be pandering around another well known Manchester food critic who subsequently raved about it on their website. I waited an hour for a small pizza in that same period. Shows where the everyday customer stands with them


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