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kutsu

Manchester City Center

373 posts in this topic

Thom

Excellent. This should keep me busy for a while (and good exercise walking to/from the Library).

I like Hunters more for its kebabs and Aladdin just for its tiny quirkiness. Agree the three round the corner are much of a muchness but prefer (dunno why) the one almost next to the Lebanese. I'll have a bash at Kebabish & Mahabra over the next couple of weeks.

John


John Hartley

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Ah, you mean the New Yagdar (the old one was round the corner near Aladdin). That's a favourite with my best mate/business partner, who deserves credit for first introducing me to the joys of curry cafes about thirteen years ago.

The other place I forgot to mention for lunch was The Arndale Market. Don't be expecting a Barcelona style food market here (or even a Leeds or Bury) as the food retail bit is pretty poor, but as a lunch destination (there's a stack of communal seating in the centre with cafe stalls dotted about) it's not bad.

There's various sandwiches, sushi/Chinese, pizza, soup etc available (which range from poor to acceptable- though I do enjoy the not-altogether-authentic stews from the Greek stall) but the stand out is the Gastronomica stall (of Borough Market fame). Not only do they do outstanding deli-produce filled sandwiches, but they also do daily hot specials.

All the specials are simply served from a bain marie but I had a very decent (and large) portion of "hand-shaped" Sicilian pork and veal meatballs on pasta with a couple of rounds of bread (very Northern to have double carbs - Atkins would faint!). All for £4.50, and it was tasty and stuffed me to bursting.

If you're knocking around the Northern Quarter generally then you really are in lunch central. Other options worth exploring are Soup Kitchen on Stevenson Square - crap service (as is traditional in the N4) but good soups and sandwiches and some decent hot specials or Bread and Jam (or whatever it's called - it's too cool to have a sign) on Tib St with does nice piadinas amongst other things).

Or, although I haven't been for ages, try the hot/cafe food (baked sweet potatoes etc) amongst the riot of kitcsh that is Oklahoma (High St) or sooth your soul by popping into the Buddist Centre cafe just around the corner (cheap and filling stews and casseroles, all veggie, organic, wholefood, hand-knitted etc etc).

If you really want to stretch your legs an extra five minutes walk would take you from Hunters to The Marble Arch, the stunning gem of a tiled Victorian boozer on Rochdale Road which is now a bastion of real ale - with an award-winning microbrewery on site - and serves up very, very decent pub food for lunch and dinner.

It's a lovely place to sit, even their simple dishes such as cheese on toast are knockout, and who knows, a pint of Ginger Marble or Old Lag might keep out the cold and help your afternoon studying in the Library simply fly by!

Should keep you going for a while anyway. Enjoy!

Cheers

Thom


Edited by thom (log)

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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An extract from something I posted on another board, last May, about my 3 course lunch around the Quarter.

"Hunters BBQ on High Street provided a starter of chicken tikka kebab @ £3.20. Knowing I was on a mooch, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to manage one of their legendary game curries – venison, quail or partridge – but will one day. Kebab arrived – good spicing. Moist yet well charred meat. Usual kebab shop type salad. Several different sauces offered – the mango one offering a nice change to the more common chilli. Nice naan – the rounder thinner takeaway type rather than the teardrop shaped restaurant sort – but still a good combination of crispy and doughy bread.

A few doors down is Alladin. Big enough only for 4 tables and few bar stools. And one of the exponents of the “rice and three” – I had a wander round the other places and everyone now seems to be charging four quid. You get a big helping of rice and your choice of three big spoonfuls of the day’s choices. I had a keema and peas (much as you’d expect), a nice almost dry spinach dish with garlic and some welcome heat, and a spoonful of something chickpea-y – not a complete winner this as I found it very salty which masked what may otherwise have been good flavours.

I then popped across the road to the Arndale Market which seems to have lost a couple of its good food suppliers (I’m sure Sillfield Farm used to have a stall there). Perhaps now more of a food court type thing than a market (although probably the best range of fish in the area) but a good range of different cuisines on offer. I needed coffee and dessert and found both at Boteco Brazil. Coffee was just OK – is it just me or does the South American influence make for weedy coffee ? Canary Islands are the only part of Spain where, IMO, there’s crap coffee and the folk there have many links with SA. And, seeing as I’d started lunch with a kebab, I thought I’d finish with one. What was described as “BomBom” was several skewered grapes covered in dark chocolate. Nice. Very nice."


John Hartley

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My goodness you don't need my help, you're an old hand at this Northern Quarter lunching lark!

Enjoy, and might bump into you in the Cafe Aromat in The Craft Centre at some point (I'm a Wednesday regular for that fiendishly addictive pea and ham soup...).

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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Don't forget The Angel if you're around that area. Rob Owen Brown's boozer is doing a fantastic line of game and it's really well priced. Some interesting ales that have a habit of changing a little too often are also available.

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Thom, Bapi et al - I eagerly await your suggestions. I'm sure you're all in touch with your feminine sides  :wink:  (and Thom, please don't suggest RBG!)

Sorry Mrs Woman- I actually read your post through bleary eyes the day after a night out in the very same city a couple of weeks back. But the trouble is that I haven't been able to get back onto egullet till today.

You have already had your night out, but for future reference, ages ago Thom took Gary and myself to to a bar called Velvet which was pretty good. (Is that right Thom?) And my friends and I had some very decent cocktails at the Bar at the Raddison before heading back to the Northern Quarter to talk utter bollocks for a further five hours. I would love to tell you where we went, other than Trof, but for obvious reasons- can not.

One to defintely avoid though, is the Bar at Malmaison. Poor, as in non-exsitent service, poorly offered G&T's and flat lager I obviously sent back.


Edited by Bapi (log)

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One to defintely avoid though, is the Bar at Malmaison. Poor, as in non-exsitent service, poorly offered G&T's and flat lager I obviously sent back.

though an oasis of calm and civility when the other choice was our office xmas do down the road.


you don't win friends with salad

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Hi Bapi, no worries. I think we might have gone to Velvet at some point in the evening. We certainly went to Walrus, where we had some decent cocktails.

Food-wise we tried to get in Harvey Nics but they were fully booked. TNQ was also doing the £25 three courses and ulimited wine offer so we went there. Very nice it was too. Two of us had a very nice chicken liver and shiraz parfait with brioche (but why do you never have enough bread for these things?) and grape chutney, and one had mussels. All three of us had chicken with kidderton ash goats cheese wrapped in Cheshire bacon with pepperonata. All very tasty. I did have cheesecake for dessert which was rather too sweet and I think I must have had five glasses of unlimited wine by then so I can't quite remember how nice it may have been.

In short, I would go back. No fireworks but tasty and competent grub.


Edited by Mrs Woman (log)

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Well, on Thom's rec, I had lunch at Kebabish. Good eats - but why was there only me and one other person in there!

A wet chickpea-y dish. Another almost dry of keema & potato. Rice and a roti. A shade over eight quid. And, yes, I know that was three carbs.

I had a look at Mahabra and can see why Thom describes it as scary, although dirty might seem a better description. However good the food, I think I'll give that one a miss.

John


John Hartley

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Well, on Thom's rec, I had lunch at Kebabish. Good eats - but why was there only me and one other person in there!

A wet chickpea-y dish. Another almost dry of keema & potato. Rice and a roti. A shade over eight quid. And, yes, I know that was three carbs.

I had a look at Mahabra and can see why Thom describes it as scary, although dirty might seem a better description. However good the food, I think I'll give that one a miss.

John

Not so sure why it was quiet, I guess it depends what time you went? My mate goes most days and normally complains bitterly about queuing.

As for the Mahabra? Yes, "dirty" could possibly be applied, but it's just sooo good. Anyway a little bit of dirt is good for the immune system.

As long as you don't cross the line from dirt to say botulism.


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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Karims has a "closed due to maintenance issues untill further notice" sign on the menu boards outside, uncollected post inside the locked gates...seems my prediction upthread about being the next Mcr casualty may be coming true :sad:

Mahabra. Nans to die for. I used to be a regular years ago, karai chicken and a nan mmm. Just never ever ever go near the toilets though... :shock:


In the long run...we are all dead (J M Keynes)

Heston's Disneyland for Sexless Fortysomethings...(Naebody)

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Any current thoughts on "Sweet Mandarin" in the Northern Quarter (I see Thom gave it his "one to miss" vote ages back)?

It was mentioned on another board I still use from time to time and was being raved over by a couple of posters (who I suspect may have been shills as it was their first time posts).

Online menu just looks odd to me - but I don't know if that's just because I'm used to Chinatown eateries.

John


John Hartley

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Any current thoughts on "Sweet Mandarin" in the Northern Quarter (I see Thom gave it his "one to miss" vote ages back)?

It was mentioned on another board I still use from time to time and was being raved over by a couple of posters (who I suspect may have been shills as it was their first time posts).

Online menu just looks odd to me - but I don't know if that's just because I'm used to Chinatown eateries.

John

I've eaten there a couple of times but my opinion (and that of my loose network of foodie confidents around the city) is that it is bang on the money mediocre. You probably won't hate it, you almost certainly wouldn't rush back.

They do some good-looking deals, it's a nice space (big glass windows) in a nice spot (opposite the old Victorian fish market) and the sisters who own it are successfully and media friendly but the food just doesn't cut it.

I wouldn't venture out of Chinatown to be honest, though I know some people rate the Glamourous restaurant above the cash and carry on Oldham Road (though that's another good 5-10 mins walk past Sweet Manderin anyway.

Oh I went to Rice Piccadilly earlier this week. It was quite poor. Worse than Oxford Road and not something I would rush back for. It's Barburitto next door for me every time from now 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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Mahabra. Nans to die for. I used to be a regular years ago, karai chicken and a nan mmm. Just never ever ever go near the toilets though... :shock:

Ha, missed your comment there Infrasonic. The nans ARE to die for, and yes the toilets ARE quite, quite terrifying (as is the state of the some of the pans used for cooking up the actual curries!).

But the breads are sooo good and the curries are fantastic and they are dab hands (literally) with the tandoor I just can't resist. In fact I never could.

I must stress I ate there almost five days a week for over a year when I worked around the corner (and many times since) and their delightful cuisine hasn't sat badly with me once (though I did put on a stone in twelve months)

Maybe I just have an iron constitution (and an all too slow metabolism...).

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 Thom

Much as I guessed - seeing as it was being praised for being on the shortlist of HiLife "Best Restaurant". As if that was a recommendation that would encourage me to go. As if.

I'm one of those who does like Glamorous. Always seems packed with Chinese folk which, although no guarantee of good food, is at least a marker.

John


John Hartley

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I'd echo Thom's verdict on Sweet Mandarin. Ate there twice in the early days and thought it was dire. And the online anonymous eulogising on various websites is definitely suspect. :hmmm:

The sisters are certainly media savvy, shame they can't convert the attention whoring into serving decent food.

Never had any ill effects from Mahabra, whereas I stopped doing Hunters when I got a dodgy tummy a bit too often.

Kabana is my regular lunch haunt now. Open kitchen, can see what the hygiene is like (good).

Also been doing the little Italian place next to Cafe Nero on Princess Street/Mosely Street corner. All Italian staff who are a bit flaky to be honest but they do a mean Penne Carbonara that keeps me going back. Today was really yummy.


In the long run...we are all dead (J M Keynes)

Heston's Disneyland for Sexless Fortysomethings...(Naebody)

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I took my daughter to Yo Sushi in Selfidges today, excellent meal, top quality soft shell crab and authentic hairy prawns. Think I saw Neil Sowerby sitting a few seats down, would recommend it if you ever come to Manchester :smile:

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Mmm, you had a much better experience than us then my friend. I took my mate there for lunch before a gig last year and it was a bag of shite. Never again. Thankfully we went to Red Chilli later for an early dinner later that night.

Back to Red Chilli this Thursday pre Metallica. :smile:

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A man after my own heart! I saw them in Milton keynes in '99. I think the only food option was overpriced hot dogs that day. Although they are fast turning into their own tribute act! Have fun!

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Also been doing the little Italian place next to Cafe Nero on Princess Street/Mosely Street corner.

Gio? Which I guess must be related to the restaurant of the same name on the far side of St Peter Square.

I'd been due to meet a mate this week for lunch at the Topkapi Palace on Deansgate. It's donkeys' years since I'd been there - probably not since I stopped working at the town hall in 1980 (and then , it was round the corner on Peter Street). Anyway, I still havnt been - it was shut while they redecorate. And the mate rang to say he was poorly.

So, with the taste of the eastern Med. (my fave cuisine) in my head, I walked to Efe's on Princess Street. Now, I've heard mixed reports about this "mediterranean buffet", but one went along the lines of "Ohhh, you'll like this John. Your sort of food and, as it's buffet, your sort of greed.

£6.95 gets you the lunchtime scoff. And you can get a pretty good lunch, although I'd have to say not only had the reports been mixed, but the food looked mixed as well. As often the case with the eastern Med, salads and the like were the best of the bunch - fresh, good dressings. Some of the hot dishes looked distinctly unappetising with the thick slick of grease congealing in the way of canteen gravy. Others looked to be straight from freezer to deep fryer

Lamb koftas were nicely charred; good flavour of the meat and a little backnote of chilli. However, they were spoiled from having sat around too long (and it was only 12.30). The best buffets (by which I mean Nawaab in Levenshulme) have it right by constant replenishment. Highlight was a spinach and bechamel pastitsio - just an oozingly tasty dish.

J


John Hartley

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Metallica?!?  :shock:

Whatever do you mean? :wink:

I have already sorted my choices for dinner at Red Chilli thanks to Thom's posts. Now it's just lunch to worry about. :laugh:

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'New' Juniper closes (as does Brasserie Blanc but does anyone actually go there? Well I suppose not now!)

http://www.hardens.com/restaurant-news/uk-...double-closure/

As reported here three weeks ago!

Not like you to be off the pace Mrs Woman, what's happened since your heyday on the Restaurant magazine newsdesk?!


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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If anyone is up and reading this from the Manchester area,I need a bit of help for a late-ish Indian lunch today.

It has to look clean and tidy from outside,because the other half judges kitchens by the general appearance of what is on show,

This criteria would seem to rule out some of the above recommends,however I may be wrong,please advise!

Had a terrific lunch last Sunday at Red Chilli and would go again today without hesitation,but it would be overkill for her.

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