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Manchester City Center


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People disagree with me but I stand by it. Dress in clothes you do the decorating in, buy a tabloid paper and make your way to Antonios (Piccadilly). I really like their cooked breakfast (not v.big but tasty/cheap) and charming slap-dash attitude. Good mix of people there.

Edited by SaladFingers (log)
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On an entirely different tack...Kabana are up for nomination in the Mcr food and drink awards. As a very regular customer, I can only concur that it is about time they were recognised. :biggrin:

(Although I don't really want them getting any busier.) :huh:

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In that category, it was a toss-up between the Kabana and the Cafe at the Rylands. I went with the Cafe which I think is just one of the nicest places in the city centre to eat a lunch - and I reckon their committment to north western produce deserves more acknowledgement. .

John Hartley

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Oh, I'm going to be Monday-morning-contrary here, I have a double VAT inspection for the next two days so I'm in that sort of mood. Apologies in advance.

Antonios in Piccadilly is (in my eminently fallible opinion) poor, both for food and people-watching (i find the human grind of Piccadilly Approach a tad depressing), and Kabana, although not bad at all, would none the less fail to get my curry cafe vote - Kebabish for curries and Mahabra for breads (unfortunately the MFDF awards are a democracy...).

Back to the subject of breakfast's it all depends what you're after.

I still rate Linda's Pantry (Ducie St, 2 mins from City Inn) as one of the best authentic greasy spoons around but I'm not sure it's open Sunday morning. I'd call ahead and check if you fancy wandering up there. Other's like the Abergeldie on Shude Hill but I think it's lost it's soul since they did away with the Heath Robinson style tea-maker.

For something a bit trendier try the Northern Quarter which is spitting distance from City Inn - Koffee Pot in Stevenson Square (favourite of Mr Scruff and artist Mark Kennedy) is pretty good and get's a very interesting crowd in. Trof on Thomas St is a bar (nice space, great beers) which is also famed for it's mega-breakfasts but I can't claim to have eaten one.

In fact still on a Northern Quarter tip if you want more of a independent coffee-shop vibe try Drip on Hilton St or An Outlet on Dale St (both barely two mins from City Inn). Drip does better for comfortable seating and probably edges An Outlet in terms of cakes and pastries, but both are good places to sit with the papers. Bread and Butter cafe (no sign, pink frontage) on Tib St might also do breakfasts and defines N4 eclectic in terms of decor and menu.

Oh, Olive in Sackville Street in the Gay Village is passable too and barely two mins walk for you. It's a shop-led deli (albeit one where you can buy bog-roll as well as Barbakan Norlander ryebread) but does have a counter for sitting with coffees (Illy), pastries and paninis. You can also buy papers there, and I find with the cosmopolitan and colourful locale, the architectural style and the facing park it has quite a New York feel to it.

Personally when breakfasts are called for I either go for the faux-continental cafe (with an accent) style of the places listed immediately above, or I go greasy spoon. My current favourite for the latter is Williams sandwich bar/cafe on Hilton street - an absolute unsung gem in terms of profile, albeit one which is always busy and must make a fortune.

It is a bog standard English cafe, but it makes it's own branded sandwiches and fillings, it does loads of hot stuff (including every breakfast item you could imagine plus soups and specials) and everything is slightly better quality than you'd expect. It's my place of choice for a hangover curing bacon butty on the way to work and it's been going strong since I first worked in the adjacent Fourways House fourteen years ago.

My favourite thing about it is the bread. Cheap bacon can still hit the spot - hot, salty, piggy - but cheap bread/barms are shite; they're just made of fluff and disintegrate into claggy mush the minute the moisture of the red/brown sauce hits. Williams actually splash out on half decent stuff - fresh, nice texture and a little bit of chew to the crust.

This ain't Poilane, but for me it hits the spot every time. If the rest of Williams breakfasts match up to the bacon butties and if you want to avoid the mentalists of Piccadilly or the over-styled/willfully low-fi Northern Quarter joints where punters tend to sport asymettrical bleached mullets and Macbooks then I'd point you in their direction.

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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Wow, cheers guys!! I will be having a couple of more Mornings in Mancs later on as well as I will be hitting the Warehouse Project a couple of times. I did see Trof mentioned elsewhere, so I may try there and get back to you. Like I said, I'm not one really for cooked breakfasts, but wanted to try somewhere different, get some poached eggs maybe. mmmm. Spoilt for choice now!

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  • 3 weeks later...

i will be in Manchester for the weekend of the 12th. only been to manchester a few times and normally visiting my sister who is about as into food as Calister Flockhart so it obviously cant be a too adventurous place. she has come on alot tho so i dont let that hold back some places as ill be eating too and ill be damned if i have to settle with bloody san carlo again, worst pasta ive ever eaten out.

i want somewhere that isnt too pricey (ill be dinning at Le Champignon Sauvage twice this month ill have you know!) but does really good food, any style or cuisine. just good food to start a lighthearted weekend.

thanks for any suggestions

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I'd suggest either the Modern or the Market Restaurant. Had decent meals at both in recent months - the Market edging in front on food, but the Modern has great views which add to its experience.

John Hartley

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That is because quantity detracts from quality :wink:

And this from a man who always has so much to say!

Excuse my tardy reply chaps, I've just been down in that there London for a couple of days (including an indulgent solo lunch at Le Gavroche - grouse mousseline, mhmmm...).

You are right eatenmess, I would list a good, possibly over-facing, number of places for you, but to be honest if you are looking for a clarity and economy of answer you'll need to do better with your initial criteria than "really good food, any style or cuisine".

Besides despite this recession-induced aversion to overdosing on consumer choice variety is still, I'm led to believe, very much the spice of life. And if variety is the piquant enhancer of life then San Carlo is possibly the unwelcome and irrelevant garnish - as discussed avoid like the plague.

Personally I think the call for The Modern is a good one - huge congrats to Bertie and the team (vested interest blah, blah, blah) - and in the interests of brevity I will leave it there.

Oh, and Red Chilli! (damn you RDB, you know me so well...)

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Could anyone help me, I promise I have read all the posts but my have missed the very thing I require. I will need to spend the day in Manchester on Monday week and, coming from an area devoid of anything Chinese and edible, would love a recommendation for a good but relatively cheap Chinese eaterie that I could get to from the town centre, preferably on foot. Never been to Manchester so am a total novice :blink: - is the airport far from the centre?

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Lindsey

City centre is about 20 minutes from the airport - lots of trains. Taxi a bit longer, a lot more expensive but more convenient.

We have a small, but perfectly formed, Chinatown. Red Chilli gets the buzz at the moment for its Sichuan cuisine - but plenty of good Cantonese if that was more to your fancy - New Emperor (on George St - a personal favourite), Little Yang Sing (George St), Kwok Man (Princess St), for example.

John

John Hartley

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Just to reinforce the points above Manchester has a very decent Chinatown (largest outside London I think) which is full of restaurants, shops, a regular market and a real sense of community with Sunday schools etc. One of my favourite parts of the city.

They is a mixed bag of restaurants of which most are Catonese with some Japanese, Malay and Thai thrown in for good measure. The usual Cantonese places are mentioned above (though New Emperor is colsed/closing and becoming a kareoke complex) but for me the stand out is Red Chilli, a Sichuan place which does indeed have it's own thread, some glowing reviews in the national press and a listing in the Good Food Guide.

Go, order the hot poached lamb, spring onion bread and plenty of boiled rice and two of you will have eaten like kings for about £7 a head including a green tea or two.

Getting there is easy too. The airport has it's own dedicated station and every single train from there will call at Manchester Piccadilly which is where you need to be. They run every five or ten minutes and take ten to twenty minutes to hit town depending on whether it's a local stopping service or not. Maybe £3/£4 for an off-peak return?

Piccadilly to Chinatown is a short stroll of five minutes - Piccadilly, Piccadilly Gardens, Portland St and you're there (or cut down Canal St and then Sackville St if you want a slightly quieter and more scenic stroll).

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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I'm seriously gutted to hear about New Emperor.

(and, unless I'm mistaken, I don't think there's a Malay place in Chinatown anymore. Isn't that where the other Sichuan restaurant is - Red & Hot? Nearest proper Malay I can think of is Bunga Raya in Stockport.)

John Hartley

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Ahah, you're right, Penang Palace is indeed now Red and Hot or whatever it's called (RIP to it's infamous canoe). The latter I found fine but clearly a way behind Red Chilli which made it pretty redundant in my book (though it made it into another, this year's GFG).

That said if you have a penchant for Malaysian food you only need to head to Ning across town in the Nirthern Quarter. It's a sweet and trendy little independent place rather than a mega-menu-ed authentic Chinatown eating-factory but the food is pretty good and although Thai features here and there it's focus is Malay cuisine as the chef and joint owner, Norman, is Malay himself.

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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Thom thank you, great info. Can I trouble you for a Thai recom? We are so starved of any good restaurants up here near Inverness that I now dither, Thai is a great love of mine. In fact DH and I are now thinking of maybe having a days outing just to eat! Any really good delis I should visit?

Edited by Lindsey (log)
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