Salvi’s NQ: A Two Course Tirade

The Italian mainstay’s food betrays its reputation. It’s a Monday and my friend is running late. Our reservation for Bistrotheque, who last week announced their imminent withdrawal from Cultureplex, draws near. I’m idling around Piccadilly Gardens, or, more accurately described: Manchester’s suppurated, open wound, when I cancel the reservation. I begin to flit through substitutes…

Michelin Mise en Place at Mana

Consistency, superior ingredients and Slipknot: what it takes to run Manchester’s Michelin-starred kitchen. An abridged version of this piece is also available on the Manchester Evening News website. It can be viewed here. It’s 8:30am and Ancoats is still rubbing its eyes awake. Its trousers are as cropped as ever as they pedal bicycles or…

Moose Coffee Review – Man v. Food Musings

North American diner-style breakfasts, speciality coffee and… memories? Monologue inbound. It’s (probably) 2011, I’m (definitely) 12 years old and (most likely) in my pyjamas. My sister and I are drinking tea of a caramel complexion. Specks of dust glint as they pass through the shreds of late morning sunlight reflecting off the television screen and…

The Bull & Bear: Overflowing Opulence

Manchester’s latest – and most anticipated – opening calmly steers a luxurious á la carte menu of small plates with delicate precision. As you enter the lobby of the Stock Exchange Hotel, little time is wasted in setting the scene. Luxury is on tap: the checkerboard tiled floor, hues of what I could only imagine…

Peru Perdu: Oblivion Awaits

If only Peru Perdu put as much effort into service as it does its Instagram feed. As I sat in Peru Perdu – who have just kicked off their residency at The Cotton Factory – floating in that limbo that hovers between starters and mains, a server dropped beside me and asked: “Would you like…

Tapeo & Wine: Sans Wine

Tapeo’s waves of small plates leave you awash with joy one minute and drowning in the tides of regret the next. Tapas spots – and small plate-style restaurants as a whole – can be tricky. Albeit an age-old way to eat (or a crafty way to protect your glass of sherry from invading fruit flies,…

Ciaooo Pizza: Mountains of Crust and Rivers of Cheese

On the outer rim of the Northern Quarter lies Ciaooo Pizza, a purveyor of all things doughy and Neopolitan. (For the sake of brevity, I’ll be referring to Ciaooo as Ciao. You’ll have to imagine the extra o’s, if you really must). Plumes of steamy breath were driven through the cool air as the veil…

A Table for One at Erst, Ancoats

The seven-month-old newcomer inspires with playful small plates of serene simplicity, zingy orange wine and, honestly, a really good playlist. “They’ll cut your throat for half a crown” was the pithy caveat that my Nana’s father would use to warn her of the people of Ancoats. Oh, if only he’d had a crystal ball handy….

Lunch at Alberts Schloss: Lacklustre Lobster and Strong Beer

A tale of the Peter Street institution’s latest weekly sandwich symphony, cloudy wheat beer and a completely unnecessary – but nevertheless ordered – duo of desserts. Albert’s Schloss rates highly on the conspicuous scale – it’s unmissable – from its seasonal floral arrangements to it’s 360° bar, Bavarian cook haus and bakery. Add to that…

A Mouthful with: Killer Pascal, at Firebird Hope

I sat down with Charlie McDonnell – also known as Killer Pascal – a Middleton-born multi-instrumentalist – to talk about his incoming debut EP, Late Days + Long Nights, oh, and to eat chicken. Well, I ate chicken, Pascal’s more of a seitan guy: “I like some bite to my seitan y’know” he tells me,…