Some words and pictures on places that I have not got around to blogging in full.
Mughli, “The Curry Mile” is undoubtedly the enfant chéri of Manchester’s food bloggers. The “street food” menu is widely considered the way to go when ordering. Many don’t even bother with the curries. Star dish: most would say the Tandoori Lamb Chops cooked over their ‘fire pit’ but the Mumbai street staple Pau Bhaji is my current favourite.
Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, Withington is a charmingly friendly, family owned Chinese restaurant in the Withington area of Manchester. As the name suggests, they specialise in vegetarian food with many of the dishes including gluten based meat substitutes, tofu and, of course, vegetables. Star dish: Salt & Pepper Crispy Chilli Aubergine
The Pig & Whistle in Cartmel is Simon Rogan’s local (in the sense that he lives around the corner and it’s his). After a recent meal at L’Enclume (here) I hung around for a Sunday Roast and a few bar snacks. Star dish: Roast Suckling Pig and all the trimmings.
Not that I ever need any excuse to visit Yuzu, Manchester but a little bird tweeted that they had Fresh Oyster Katsu on the specials board. They were excellent; as were my usual faves including: Chicken Karage, Prawn Gyoza, Daikon & Wakame Salad and Agedashi Tofu. Star dish: Fresh Oyster Katsu
SoLiTa, Didsbury… everyone’s* favourite NQ “burger joint” (*some prefer Almost Famous) has now got a big sister in the burbs. I like this sister – she has lots of neon and artworks by Stan Chow. All the favourites are there: The Big Manc, The Manc-Hattan, Krabby Patty, big juicy steaks and lots of deep fried goodies. Star dish: still has to be the Big Manc but the ‘Bloody Mary Mayo’ that comes with the Lobster & Sweetcorn Fritters deserves a special mention. (I am friends with the owner and ate some of this food for free so ignore me if you wish.)
Volta, West Didsbury is one of those effortlessly cool places; it always reminds me of one of the ultra hip Parisienne bistronomiques. It has an interesting menu of small sharing places and some of the best value steaks in the city. Star dish: Dexter fillet
Côte, Manchester is a ‘chain restaurant’ and, being an unashamed food snob, I usually avoid these like the plague. I visited the other day because I fancied steak tartare and could not find anywhere else in Manchester that had it on the menu. The food was a mixed bag overall – the crayfish salad tasted ridiculously briny - but the fish cakes, steak frites, pissaladière and steak tartare were all good value. Star dish: Sautéed Salmon Fishcakes
It’s well documented on here that I *heart* Sticky Walnut. It seems that other people do to; what was supposed to be a quiet meal for one soon turned into a table for two, three and then four when some friends heard about my plans. The friends happened to be three of the NW’s most successful chefs and restaurateurs… they loved Sticky too! Star dish: all of them but a special mention for the 18oz Chateaubriand for two, truffle and parmesan chips, honey roast carrots, green beans, meat juices
The Art School, Liverpool is a glorious space. The overall experience from setting and front of house is excellent. The food was good in places and roughly on a par with some of the best available elsewhere in the city but if they genuinely have ambitions for Michelin stars, for me it falls some way short. Star dish: Northop Red Leg Partridge with Cox apple tatin, cabbage parcel and Claremont Farm potato gateau
Ending with something sweet, the ‘new’ French Patisserie Bisous Bisous, Didsbury is a quality place that you should all know about. The macarons are very good, the pastries are great and the bread is excellent. Star dish: go for the Boule Tradition but don’t leave the shop without getting a couple of Financiers, and some Chocolate Macarons… oh, and throw in some Chouquettes too.