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kutsu

Manchester City Center

373 posts in this topic

Hi folks,

taking the missus out for a day of shopping :rolleyes: up in manchester city center on the train, and just thinking about grabbing something to eat, over and above the standard Pret sarnies. I'm willing to spend up to 30squid a head or so for lunch with drinks. What I don't want to have to do, however, is realistically go outside of walking distance to eat.

Is there anyway in Manchester (i've not really looked round too much) that's reasonable to eat in?

Cheers eg!

xx

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Try here.. Works for millions of people.


Edited by postcode (log)

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i think kutsu was actually looking for personal recommendations.......

theres some reasonable chinese / dim sum places, yang sing is ok, plus they have opened a trendy new dim sum place hidden behind a pub called something like 'the old chop house' sorry to be vague, but i was rather pissed when i was there!

Kro 2 is surprisingly good (and cheap), i had an excellent steak tartare / buger hybrid thing which if you go will be easy to spot on the menu. heathcotes is also good. i'll have a bit more of a think and see what else i can pluck from my alcohol soaked mind (nights out in manchester always seem to involve lots of alcohol!)

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thom and culinary bear would be the boys to ask....

piccolino looked a good spot for lunch, just off albert square.

can't vouch for the food, can tell you the drinks work.

cheers

gary


you don't win friends with salad

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Is there anyway in Manchester (i've not really looked round too much) that's reasonable to eat in?

No idea if its a reasonable place to eat (or even how central it is), but, imho, any e-gulleteer worth his/her salt in Manchester should go immediately to Sweet Mandarin and order, drink and report back on a snakes blood cocktail !

This is apparently based on three snakes liqueur - (described by one of the owners as three snakes drowned in voka ).

Anyone in Manchester been there ?

Gethin

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Walking distance kind of restricts you...

The Establishment does a very good table d'hote lunch within your budget - quite a posh setting, and the food's good.

Or were you looking for something maybe less formal?

edited because it's 0030 and I can't bloody spell!


Edited by culinary bear (log)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Am in no way an expert on manchester dining but FWIW - thought I should say that a friend and I had a reasonable lunch on Le Petit Blanc which is right in the heart of the shopping centre.

Not necessarily top drawer food - but the fixed price menu we had was good value - and we were very happy with the food.

Cheers

Yin

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Anybody been to La Mont?

Apart from Jay, who didn't much rate it IIRC

Hated Heathcote's, not as bad as the one in Leeds, but perhaps it's to do with distance from Preston?


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Typical...

An open-ended question on my favourite pet subject, and I don't have the time to indulge myself with a really nerdishly detailed reply as I'm off on my hols...

It goes against everything I stand for, and sticks in my throat, but here is a (relatively) brief and concise response:

You don't give much clue as to what level of formality or refinement you are looking for, and whether you have any particular tastes or preferences for cuisine. So, here's a whistlestop tour of a variety of places.

MID RANGE

If you are training it into Piccadilly, then Cafe Paradiso at the Hotel Rosetti (Piccadilly) is worth a crack as it is right nearby. It was a decent, bright and airy mid-range Med place, but a new chef (Ex Nico and Soho House NY) has really raised the bar and created an excellent menu.

If you want 'Gastropub' (wash my mouth out) food, style and comfort, then both the Chophouses (Mr Thomas's on Cross St, and Sams up some side alley off Cross St, the name of which I forget) are worth a go. Decent food, classic British dishes, and some nicely sourced local ingredients ('Manchester Dim Sum' is good fun). Mr Thomas's is a beautiful old Victorian space, and would get the nod from me. Alfesco outside (in St Anns Sq) when the weather is righ too.

My other top choice (and a personal fave) is The Bridge (Bridge St). It had a kitchen refurb last week, but should be re-opended now. Robert Owen-Brown has picked up a few awards lately, and his ingredient sourcing is excellent, and his dishes and simple but technically very good. I'd had various stand out dishes here, and always find the fish to be good.

Piccolino (side street between Albert Square and the top half of King St) is a regular for me too. As Gary says the alcohol certainly works, but the food is good too. Very busy with a ncie atmosphere, good service, and a wide-ranging Italian menu with all the normal pastas/pizzas/grills plus some more interesting dishes (carpaccio, chicken livers with marsala and grapes) thrown in to lift it well above Pizza Express.

I have to say I ate at Harvey Nichols recently, and actually had a very good -if unadventurous - meal. All your standard brasserie style dishes were present, and although a tad pricey it was great. Nice and convinient (New Cathedral St) and with a decent buzz during the day. And you get to nosey around the food hall.

Oh, almost forgot - The Restaurant Bar and Grill (on John Dalton St). It's owned by the same team as Piccolino, but is more like Harvey Nicks (or vice versa). Lots of brown and beige, great glass people-watching windows, and very competent menu - grill and med with a few Asian classics.

UPPER END

I must say I just don't eat out at this level in Manchester that often any more, as I seldom find it inspiring enough to justify the price jump above the sorts of places listed above. Establishment (King St), Le Mont (top of the Urbis) both have their fans and awards, but inspite the fact that their menus always feature some intriguing dishes my recent meals there have see-sawed between excellent and patchy.

Obsidian (Princess St) and Cotton House (Ducie St by Piccadilly) are both also supposedly angling for this market, but whilst there prices are up there the food isn't quite as sharp (particularly The Cotton House) and the atmosphere is more bar and less 'fine dining'.

Yang Sing is well worth a visit. Its had a few knockers in the nationals recently, yet whilst the 'mains' may not always excel, the Dim Sum is fantastic as ever. Particularly worth a lunch visit, as you can select purely from the Dim Sum menu, and make sure you ask for any specials or chefs recommendations. The service can be a little gruff, but they usually respond if you show an interest in going beyond prawn dumplings and spring rolls.

BUDGET

This is where it can get interesting. I'm not sure where your shopping will take you, but if you are walking from Piccadilly to the main retail area you will walk past the Northern Quarter (down Oldham St/Tib St on the right hand side as Piccadilly gardens are on your left). This area is a little 'edgier' then some visitors to the city may be prepared to sample, but it is the true beating heart of independent Manchester, and WELL worth a visit.

Particular recommendations would be trying one of the back street curry houses. These places may make the hygiene obsessed wince, and are basically ethnic greasy spoons, but some of the food is outstanding, and the prices would make your jaw drop. My favourites are the kebbabish (Hilton St), which is a little pricier (ie you may spend over a fiver) and 'nicer', and the scary looking but wonderful 'Maharbra' (a side alley at the Piccadilly end of Newton St), which has a proper tandoor and does wonderful nans.

Love Saves the Day (Oldham St) deli is also worth a shout. It's just moved to new bigger premises, and has a great NY feel, and some great produce. They serve all the normal platters and sandwiches/bagels, but also have hot specials. The standard is simple cafe style, but the quality of the raw ingredients and great pricing make it worth a go. The guy who runs it loves wine, so he also has a great selection which you can buy retail and just pay corkage on.

If you decide to downgrade and just grab a coffee or something, then try Suburb On deansgate. They do great coffees, and it has a nice funky vibe, and hats of to them because they are an independent taking on Starbucks et al on their own prime High St turf.

YKL, Petit Blanc was always fine, but I've not eaten there since the group was taken over, and I know quite a lot of their key staff left.

Bertie, Le Mont covered above. Heathcotes is a funny one, I've had some very good meals there but always found the space difficult. Windowless and noisey, so it's not somewhere I frequent.

Gethin, I've been to Sweet Mandarin a couple of times, but that particular cocktail elluded me. The food was fine, but didn't particularly stand out. It should do ok though as it is the only Chinese in the Northern Quarter, and is a cool little place with floor to ceiling plate glass windows.

Fisherman, I've always liked the Kro's, and Kro 2 in particular is a great place. The food is cheap but always hits the spot, and the outdoor area is lovely, especially considering it's sits almost under a motorway flyover next to one of the cities busiest roads!). It's well away from the shopping area (on Oxford Road), but they are meant to be opening a branch in the new office building in Piccadilly Gardens any time now.

Well, that should keep you going for now I guess. Let me know how you get on.

Cheers

Thom


It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Holy..

Wow thanks guys, some pretty insane amounts of suggestions going on here!! I can't thank you all enough, the level of information is awesome!!

In terms of foodie-type shops, are there things like this in Manchester? I know obviously of Chinatown, but other than that, any decent shops that someone would be interested in?

Thanks again folks, especialliy Thom!!

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A pleasure. Genuinely, I could bore the pants of people about Manchester all day...

I think that you'll find that Manchester has a dining scene bigger, broader and more varied than anywhere outside London. It's a shame we just don't have real top drawer place like Leeds has Anthonys. Apart from the incomparable Paul Kitching down in Altrincham (20 mins by tram out of the city) we haven't had a Michelin star for 20 years.

Food shopping? Hmmm... Like a lot of regional city centres Manchester hasn't fared well for indigenous food shopping. The trade produce markets (Smithfield etc) got pushed out into purpose built sheds outside the city centre, and the original 'public' market got shoved into the crappy Arndale Centre. It retained a very good fish selection until it got moved again (losing stalls on the way) due to a refurb.

Most of the best shopping in Manchester is ethnic, and all most of it is outside the city. I'm not sure if you will venture outside the city, so I'll keep this bit brief:

JEWISH

There are lots of excellent Jewish pattiseries and deli's in North Manchester around Cheetham Hill and Prestwich (5-10 mins from the centre). The most famous is the Titanic, which was opened by one of the ships survivors, and is today owned by his (great?) grandchildren.

INDIAN/PAKISTANI

Rusholme (Oxford Road, 5 mins south of the centre, beyond the University) is Manchester's famous 'Curry Mile', and has stacks of restaurants and food shops. Nowadays though the selection in Cheetham Hill is almost as good, and the pricing can be cheaper.

POLISH/ORGANIC/FAIRTRADE ETC

I've lumped these slightly incongruous catergories in together as you'll find them all in bohemian Chorlton (5 mins South of centre). The Barbakan deli is famous for its huge selection of breads. Polish is obviously it's speciality, but the range is really incredible. You'll never buy a bad loaf.

Opposite is the Unicorn Grocery. This is stuffed with the most morally correct right on food ever, but more often that not this means it turns up produce which is unusual or of outstanding quality. There are numerous other quality food retailers in Chorlton, which is why Culinary Bear is a convert!

'REET NORTHERN

I'm allowed to take the micky out of the Northern accent as I am Northern... if you want traditional Northern English markets then the one at Bolton (30 mins drive from the centre) is top drawer. It has a real sense of pride, and is a bustling, thriving market with a serious food section, which includes all the local favourites (from cheeses to tripe) as well brilliant fish and some international deli style stalls.

CITY CENTRE

In the city centre the pickings are slightly slimmer... You are right to highlight Chinatown, which has some excellent supermarkets (I normally end up at the Woo Sang). They're very convinient, though the massive Chinese supermarkets on the Northern and Southern tips of the city have much wider selections.

If you want deli style stuff then the afore mentioned Love Saves the Day is good (though they are more cafe then Deli), and Harvey Nicholls is much as you would expect it. Selfridges started very well but it now seriously watered down (all basically 'ready meal' stuff in nice bowls - the fresh meat, fish and produce has gone).

Oh, there's a decent cookware shop on deansgate - it was Peter Maturi but some company from Leeds has renamed it now.

I'd also keep an eye out for markets. They used to be a decent (if small) farmers market in the Northern Quarter a couple of times a month, but I think it has now moved out to somewhere more high profile. Both Albert Square and Piccadilly Gardens have regular markets, which more than often not are international travelling affairs (German, french etc). It can be a bit touristy, but there are some bargains to be had...

Oh, I forgot, Samsi Yakatori restaurant (which sadly has not got great reports lately) has a small Japanese food/products shop underneath the dining room (Whitworth St) which is quite fun.

Again, I best draw a line here as otherwise I will completely arse-up my pre-holiday desk clearing.

Cheers

Thom

Holy..

Wow thanks guys, some pretty insane amounts of suggestions going on here!! I can't thank you all enough, the level of information is awesome!!

In terms of foodie-type shops, are there things like this in Manchester? I know obviously of Chinatown, but other than that, any decent shops that someone would be interested in?

Thanks again folks, especialliy Thom!!


It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Thom, seriously, thank you so much. Just printed off a big ol' map of Manchester and highlihted every single place you've mentioned. You have literally just made my day, thanks!!!

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Thanks for all that. A cut out and keep guide. Am starting work in Manc in September, so will be living there during the week, and trying out all and everything on your list!


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Thanks for all that. A cut out and keep guide. Am starting work in Manc in September, so will be living there during the week, and trying out all and everything on your list!

the wrong side of the pennines!!!!!


you don't win friends with salad

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Tell me about it--it's a tough decision. But the house in Ilkley for weekends will kee me honest Yorkshire!


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Have you been issued with your regulation flat cap and whippet yet, Bertie?


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Nah, I've only lived here 25 years. I'm still an 'oft-cummer-in'.


It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Might of missed it never been but heard some good things you've got Italian Palmiro 197 Upper Chorlton Rd!

Believe there also a member of The Slow Food org, please give some critisim if this is bad advice have thought about finding the money one day for a meal here!

Stef


Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!

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My old head chef at Bluu Liverpool used to be head chef there; he said the food was pretty decent. They had a section in the book "Manchester on a Plate" and the food looked fairly good.

Time to eat there, I think. Stef, you up for sharing a table?


Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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My old head chef at Bluu Liverpool used to be head chef there; he said the food was pretty decent.  They had a section in the book "Manchester on a Plate" and the food looked fairly good. 

Time to eat there, I think.  Stef, you up for sharing a table?

Hi Allan

Would be just got to get regular work presently on the Temp market, it still infrequent, as soon as the full time job comes through your on.

I'm just a fan of the slow food org love there magazine, not seen it for awhile is it still going?

Stef


Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!

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Well, had a fantastic time, spent far too much money and had a pretty darn nice lunch at Resturant Bar and Grill.

Will be using this guide every single time, if the quality of that was about the norm of what's been recommended, it was really pretty spot on.

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Well, had a fantastic time, spent far too much money and had a pretty darn nice lunch at Resturant Bar and Grill.

Will be using this guide every single time, if the quality of that was about the norm of what's been recommended, it was really pretty spot on.

Kutsu,

Just a quick and belated note to say I'm glad you had a good time. Where abouts had your travelled from?

Hopefully you'll be back in God's country soon enough.

Cheers

Thom


It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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Thanks for that Thom.

Only travelled from Stafford, only about an hour or so away, but Manchester is pretty much the only city I ever get to travel to with any frequency and I normally get dragged to the local sandwich shop/subway by the missus

Had a really good time, and will defo be using my newly laminated copy of the recommendations! (how said is that, but hey easy to carry!)

Well, had a fantastic time, spent far too much money and had a pretty darn nice lunch at Resturant Bar and Grill.

Will be using this guide every single time, if the quality of that was about the norm of what's been recommended, it was really pretty spot on.

Kutsu,

Just a quick and belated note to say I'm glad you had a good time. Where abouts had your travelled from?

Hopefully you'll be back in God's country soon enough.

Cheers

Thom

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anyone been to stock lately? out in manchester tomorrow night and a friend suggested going there, but after having read this thread again, i fancy Piccolino.

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