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The Modern's cocktails are the best in the city. And a very good house champagne in the Laurent Perrier 1998.

Hello Mrs Woman, long time no speak and all that. You're in your early 30's already? Whenever did that happen!?

Tch... You wait weeks for a Manchester thread where you finally feel you can add some real value and then two come along at once. Like buses. Except without wheels. And you don't have to buy a ticket. And no one smells of wee. Well....

Anyway.

Again, most of the obvious bases covered above. I always enjoy Chaophraya, and The Modern and Harvey Nichols would be two ideal recommendations for a girly dinner. Well balanced menu's lovely spaces and nice service. Good views too if you nab the right tables. Personally I appreciate the "non prime cuts" approach of The Modern's menu but the cooking at Harvey Nichols is also very good.

Equally as far as cocktails are concerned (bias aside) The Modern's are generally recognised as the best in town, and certainly I think you'd enjoy the environment more than the low-fi fit-out of Socio or the spit and sawdust of Mojo's (or, indeed the where-the-hell-are-we-ness of Corridor).

That said the cocktails at Harvey Nichols are also good and I'd also be tempted to at least tentatively offer up Room as an option. I just don't take to the menu (twists on reto dishes etc etc) but I've always found the cocktail list interesting the the execution very decent.

In addition the room, the ex Reform Club, is stunning and sitting there looking out of the windows at all the gloriously lit Victorian and Edwardian buildings of King St feels very "'big city". On the downside my last visit but one coincided with an infestation of barflies.

I've put you off right?

Final point, not withstanding an excellently tongue in cheek review on eggsbaconchipsandbeans (brilliant website!) I also have to add a caveat to Antonio's (sorry Harters!).

I'm all for having a proper old-style cafe fry-up surrounded by hod-carriers, cabbies and white van men. I expect every food product to be mass-produced and in a catering pack, and I want no mention of organic and fairly traded. I want fixed furniture and wipe-clean surfaces, and lighting that would shame an interrogation room.

I just don't think Antonio's does it. I've eaten there on a number of occassions (at certain times and situations it's the only option) and I just think it's slapdash, dirty, poorly run and all-round unappetising. Don't stand at the counter to order as the state of the salad bar used for the kebabs (are you a proper greasy spoon if you also do kebabs?) was grim of my last visit.

For me it is knocked into an absolute cocked had by the famous Linda's Pantry (round the corner on Ducie St - not sure about weekend opening) and even comes in second to the Abergeldie (though they have recently had a refurb and unforgivably taken out there Heath Robinson style tea-maker which was all rivets and steam).

Hey-ho, hope you enjoy your night and that all is well with any of the old TRG gang (like The Red Hand Gang but not as cool) you still see. I'm still in touch with Ben Barry and also met up with Dahlia a little while ago too. Ahhh... Memory lane...

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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Agree with the previous comments regarding HN, The Modern etc.

At the risk of incurring the wrath of the haters, Panacea on a Friday is actually alright (for drinks, I wouldn't eat there personally). Quite a few bar/restaurant staff pop in later (before hitting MOJOS to get trashed) and it has a more laid back "regulars" vibe. It's never rammed out on a Friday usually. Cocktails are good.

It's Saturday I would miss if you really want to avoid the squawking wanna be WAG brigade... Ignorant, no manners chavs and the gym bunny steroid boys :hmmm:

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what are people's thoughts about this wine shop/wine bar that's opened?

Do you mean the delightfully-named Hanging Ditch, down on, er, Hanging Ditch?

I think it's pretty darn cool actually. The guy who owns it is the ex-manager of the very well run Harvey Nichols Wine Shop (which is just a stone's throw from his new place) and he is also the son of Roger Stephenson (one of Manchester's most noted architects) who helped with the fit out.

The space is small and narrow but the huge floor to ceiling windows open the space up. Inside space is limited but the shelves (also floor to ceiling) stock a very decent selection of wine with moderate mark ups and some intriguing finds (so people who know more about wine than me tell me).

The outside space (effectively just a rope and poled chunk of pavement) doesn't have the nicest view (carparks/main road/semi-derelict brutal 60's architecture) but somehow manages to feel like a little secret spot in the city. Food is tokenistic (pastries) but the wines by the glass/bottle offer an excellent way to while away an afternoon.

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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Bertie, I know you weren't being sexist. I knew what you were getting at :wink: We may pop in early (7ish) for first civilized drinks.

Any other suggestions on good mid-range places? I've yet to put The Modern or Harvey Nics to the other two but I'd like to have some others as back up. What's the Northern Quarter B&R like?

And Thom, yes I'm early 30s now so that means you must be.... late 30s?! Time does fly. I'm still in touch (via Facebook) with Paul, Luqman (moved to New Zealand!), Gillian and Caroline, ooh and Jane the receptionist. It's five years since then, can you believe it? Anyhoo cheers for the recs. I don't mind places like Socio (last time I was in, we were stood next to Kasabian at the bar - we'd just seen them get out a cab and followed them in, mind!), but yes it is 'low fi' as you say. Room is a very good call for drinks. I've been to the Leeds one a few times and enjoyed myself. We have a Room in Chester now too but it looks far too dark and dingy for my liking (see Bertie, your theory is true!). Ah, the Abergeldie, I used to pass that on my way to work everyday at the CIS. May have to try it :) Either that or head to Chinatown for pork buns!

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What's the Northern Quarter B&R like?

And Thom, yes I'm early 30s now so that means you must be.... late 30s?! Time does fly. I'm still in touch (via Facebook) with Paul, Luqman (moved to New Zealand!), Gillian and Caroline, ooh and Jane the receptionist. It's five years since then, can you believe it? Anyhoo cheers for the recs. I don't mind places like Socio (last time I was in, we were stood next to Kasabian at the bar - we'd just seen them get out a cab and followed them in, mind!), but yes it is 'low fi' as you say. Room is a very good call for drinks. I've been to the Leeds one a few times and enjoyed myself. We have a Room in Chester now too but it looks far too dark and dingy for my liking (see Bertie, your theory is true!). Ah, the Abergeldie, I used to pass that on my way to work everyday at the CIS. May have to try it :) Either that or head to Chinatown for pork buns!

The NQBR (as it shall henceforth be known) always gets quite good reviews, and to look at it is the archtypal independent, local restaurant. I really WANT to like it, but I always find the food isn't quite as good as I'd expect and it costs about 20% more than I would hope. It's fine, but I wouldn't send people beating down a path to it's door (except in the Summer, when it's lovely al fresco drinking space by the old Smithfield market comes into it's own).

Ah, names from the past there! Say hello from me next time you speak to them (and from Andy obviously, you know we run our business together right?).

More drinks recommendations? The only other option for tip-top quality cocktails which somehow slipped my mind is Ithaca. Yes it's eye-wateringly bling in there but to be honest I thought the cocktails were outstanding. Better than the Japanese fusion food, which is pretty darn good in it's own right. Lots of special deals on so might be worth a look for girly dinner?

Anyway as long as they've kept most of the launch bar team together (the much travelled Shaun etc) then it should still be up to snuff. As well as classics they do some wacky stuff (garnished with a strip of wagyu beef for example, or a grilled baby octopus) and also specialise in Japanese whiskeys which work a treat in Old Fashioned's or Sours.

I think that's pretty much it though in terms of real cocktail excitement. There are a million and one places that do decent to good cocktails (Living Room, RBG, most of the decent hotel bars etc) but if you really want a list and execution that wows cocktail afficiandos as opposed to merely some decent tasting and alcoholic gossip-juice then I'd stick to the aforementioned:

Socio, The Modern, HN, Corridor, Mojo, Ithaca, Room.

If you fashioned yourself a cocktail-crawl around that little lot (it's kind of a walkable spiral around the city) then a good time would be had by all!

Enjoy

Thom

ETA: "Late thirties"?! A mere 35 I'll have you know! I'm assuming your misjudgement of my age is purely because I have achieved so much so young, rather than being because I look haggard, broken and world-weary.

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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Haha sorry Thom, I'm aging you before your eyes! I didn't realise you were a mere three years older than me. It must definitely be because of your youthful entrpreneurialism :biggrin: Say hi to Andy for me.

I meant mid-range food options rather than drinks to be honest. I have a feeling the Modern or HN may be to too expensive for one of our trio.

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Haha sorry Thom, I'm aging you before your eyes! I didn't realise you were a mere three years older than me. It must definitely be because of your youthful entrpreneurialism  :biggrin:  Say hi to Andy for me.

I meant mid-range food options rather than drinks to be honest. I have a feeling the Modern or HN may be to too expensive for one of our trio.

Mid-range food? All the usual options. Chaophrya, Sams/Mr T's Chophouse (not exactly light but delicious), Koreana, Red Chilli, Ning (top of Oldham St, nice space and decent Thai/Malay food now), Tropeiro or Pau Brazil (both Brazilian steakhouses), Croma, Piccolino, RBG (for old time's sake!). The choices are endless!

But, I have to say that The Modern is not really expensive (£25 a head could feed and water you well) and you could just plump for bar food. Also Harvey Nichols have a £25 deal on at the minute (including weekends) where you get three courses (minimal menu, but good cooking), a bellini on arrival, coffee and petit four and unlimited (probably house?) wine (for a 1 1/2 hour period - drink fast!).

Manchester is your oyster or other bivalve of choice!

I'll pass on your regards to Andy. I did also see Ben Hood the other day in Picc actually (he hadn't changed a bit.)and I see Dave Hardy now and then on the train - he has his own recruitment company and still keeps up with Snaggy and possibly Sam? Ah, happy days, marooned on Manchester Science Park...

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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Just had a night away in Didsbury, one night is never enough. On way down on Sat, myself and partner stopped at Dante's near Chorley, they do good pizzas there, not a bad place for a pit stop. I had ham and pineapple pizza, was good. Was not as busy as usual, service was a bit slow. Lunch for 2 including drinks £35 so cant grumble.

In the evening once in Didsbury, we went to Jem&I. I have tried to get here before. Nice modern neighbourhood bistro affair. To start we both went for the Potato cake with smoked salmon, poached egg and spinach.

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This was spot on, very tasty.

For my main I had halibut and scallops with new potatos and sunblushed tomato sauce. Oh, and asparagus. I couldnt finish this, good portion, was sooo full still from lunch. A solid dish.

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Other half had steak with chips, not predictable at all. We didnt have dessert as we both were stuffed.

Then on way back home today decided to call into Aiden Byrne's Church Green pub in Lymm. I never got to the Dorchester when Aiden was there, so I was interested to see what was instore.

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They had a small bar menu on, and a al la carte. I ordered a baby artichoke salad with brioche and artichoke mousse as a main, himself had a chicken and mushroom pie(both off ALC). I did take a pic of the artichoke dish, but my phone has decided to delete it. Other half said hid pie was very very good, good rich sauce. My dish was nicely presented, the artichokes were nice and tangy. For dessert I went for a chocolate mousse with choc orange ice cream.

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I cant remember how much it came to, it was £60ish for lunch. The food was very good, not flashy but very tasty. Probably not the best time to be setting up on your own, but hopefully they will do well. They had a glass bookcase full of Mr Byrne's cookbook for sale signed for £25. Um, thats all!

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I really rate Jem&I. Partly because it's just down the road and means I don't have to schlep into Manc for decent food. My current "best" south of the city centre.

Havnt been to the Church Green yet. I take it he's settled into it now?

John Hartley

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I'm continuing my search for a lunch in the city centre that is both halfway decent and affordable (affordable, that is, to this retired civil service clerk).

Today I offer up Karim's at 43 Spring Gardens. Indian buffet. Five quid - cheap as chips.

Food's on a par with the Northern Quarter caffs like Alladin & Al-Faisal. Three or four starters - pappadums, pakora, bhaji. Half a dozen mains - a couple of lamby things, a couple or so of chicken. A dreary looking "mixed vegetables". But a good dahl makhani. Well cooked (for a buffet) rice and none too shabby bread. And, unlike some buffets, you can get a jug of tap water for free.

But I really post this for the folk who don't know the building from its previous incarnations as the Establishment and, before that, I think, a bank and, originally, the headquarters of a Victorian cotton spinning company. I think I can almost guarantee you will not eat in a more opulently designed and constructed room - not for a fiver, at least. Not for nothing was our city once known as Cottonopolis.

John Hartley

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I've done Karims a few times at lunch. It started off at £8 for the buffet, now a fiver, all in that splendid marble!

I can't see how they make any money with the rents being what they are on King Street. The next candidate to close? Never seen it more than a quarter full (if that).

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But I really post this for the folk who don't know the building from its previous incarnations as the Establishment and, before that, I think, a bank and, originally, the headquarters of a Victorian cotton spinning company. I think I can almost guarantee you will not eat in a more opulently designed and constructed room - not for a fiver, at least. Not for nothing was our city once known as Cottonopolis.

I find Karims a bit meeehhh, but for £5 I guess you can't complain.

Also in your history of the fantastic (if a bit pink) Karim's building you missed out it's last but one incarnation - Rothwells! Like the equally impressive Aetheneum it was an 80's style wine-bar that had fallen on hard times and sold shit beer and alcopops to townies, hoolys and both sets of participants from your average grab-a-granny night.

I visited it on the odd occassion. Purely for research purposes, natch.

For a £5 lunch I'd rather end up in one of the better back street curry houses like Mahabra or Kebabish (though the latter is a tad pricier). Otherwise for a similar price would eating in at Rice (so-so, but a wide-ranging menu and it does a job) or Barburrito (pretty darn good burritos with good fresh ingredients) in Piccadilly Gardens do the job?

I think Walrus currently do a bento box for a fiver that might be worth a look, and my hairdresser tells me Ithaca is also currently doing a sushi takeaway for about five quid. On a similar note I'm sure Koreana so whatever the Korean version of a bento box for a similar price point?

If you're happy with cafes as opposed to restaurants proper then try the Craft Centre Cafe in the N4 - some very decent soups such as split pea and ham hock on a Wednesday and some decent homecooked specials for about a fiver - or maybe the new An Outlet on Dale St which has a very nice looking LSTD-style menu (not tried it yet).

My final top-of-my-head option is... Red Chilli. On the basis that you are lunching with someone for company I say get the poached lamb (£7.50) and boiled rice for two and along with gratis tap water you'll be able to stuff yourself stupid on outstanding food for approx £5 a head.

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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Story about Chinatown is interesting and I'd certainly agree that it has lost a vibrancy as a "destination". As the Yeungs seem to be saying, solution (if there is to be one) is very much in their own hands.

Thom - thanks for the other recs. I'm currently spending a day a week researching at Central Library so in need of some variety. Have to disagree with you about Rice "doing a job". Based on a lunch at the Trafford Centre branch, I thought it was crap.

John

John Hartley

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Story about Chinatown is interesting and I'd certainly agree that it has lost a vibrancy as a "destination". As the Yeungs seem to be saying, solution (if there is to be one) is very much in their own hands.

Thom - thanks for the other recs. I'm currently spending a day a week researching at Central Library so in need of some variety. Have to disagree with you about Rice "doing a job". Based on a lunch at the Trafford Centre branch, I thought it was crap.

John

Oh don't get me wrong, Rice isn't somewhere I'd seek out but it does a broad menu of hot, filling food at a cheap price and my (limited) experience is that the quality of dishes varies so there's an element of pot luck. I had a green curry there and a chilli chicken which was actually fine, but a jerk chicken which was a bit tedious.

I'm put it in and around the Tampopo/Waggamama bracket (two more places that do a job for me but I'd seldom actively seek out). Weirdly Rice's format (only slightly less contrived than the late and not very lamented mash-themed "Hugo Mash") seems to be thriving and they now have a huge site off Oxford Road plus their spots in The Trafford Centre and, weirdest of all, Selfridges.

And yes, try the other rec's, I'm sure you'll find at least a couple of places that tickle your fancy. i tried the soup at An Outlet today and it was actually a rather good earthy chicken and thyme broth. Plenty of Barbakan Norlander dark rye bread with it too. Simple - kind of like you'd want to rustle up at home - but tasty and well priced.

I also did Red Chilli again yesterday - nuts and pickled veg on the table to start (free), the enormous and ever-delicious hot poached lamb, boiled rice for two and a portion of moreish spring onion bread. It fed and satisfied two of us (both with serious appetities) and the food bill came in at £14.50 between us.

Has to be - on balance of cost against quality and eating pleasure - the best value lunch in town.

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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Kebabish would be too much of a schlep from the Library. Although, funnily enough, I'd been toying with the idea of making a special trip as I'd heard reasonably good things. Then I looked at "restaurants of Manchester" and saw it was absolutely slagged off.

Might still have to go sometime and see what's what.

John Hartley

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Kebabish would be too much of a schlep from the Library. Although, funnily enough, I'd been toying with the idea of making a special trip as I'd heard reasonably good things. Then I looked at "restaurants of Manchester" and saw it was absolutely slagged off.

Might still have to go sometime and see what's what.

Harters, firstly I must point out that I don't know anyone who rates or respects the methodology let alone the critical nous of www.restaurantsofmanchester.com. Don't let them influence, let alone dictate your Manchester dining choices.

Witness the fact that one of their official top ten restaurants is the place at the Circus Casino. As well as two acceptable but not outstanding neighbourhood restaurants in unfashionable Swinton and Whitefield. Oh, and a place in Alderley Edge. In Cheshire.

Also, the Kebabish to which they refer is in Rusholme, and is therefore the diametric opposite of the Kebabish which is a Piccadilly curry cafe (ten mins walk from the library). Rest assured the two are not realated, it's just quite a common name I think - we even have a place called Kebabish in Glossop now.

And Gary, have you really eaten your way through all the dishes listed at various points in the Red Chilli thread!? The cod and chilli? The wonderful soups (the fish one is knockout)? The pork with garlic shoots? Everything from the standard kung bo chicken to the mildly scary stir-fired pigs intestines with Chinese black pudding?

I'll strike out with something new next time I'm there and report back. The problem is that lamb dish is just so damn good and keeps calling me back...

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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And Gary, have you really eaten your way through all the dishes listed at various points in the Red Chilli thread!? The cod and chilli? The wonderful soups (the fish one is knockout)? The pork with garlic shoots? Everything from the standard kung bo chicken to the mildly scary stir-fired pigs intestines with Chinese black pudding?

I'll strike out with something new next time I'm there and report back. The problem is that lamb dish is just so damn good and keeps calling me back...

Cheers

Thom

i have noted your adventures in fish and soup but its meat action that we're looking for, i have scoured the leeds and york menus for the pork with garlic so if you could give me the exact description i'll definitely try it, but i know i have searched for it unsuccessfully.

the pork and beans is so good my mate did his own version at the annual chinese new year party they hold at his pub each year.

it's either that or just don't take the wives, me and my mate will happil scarf some beijing dumplings, poached lamb, pork n beans & sping onion bread!

you don't win friends with salad

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Thom, again thanks for the explanation. I'm getting confused now. The Kebabish I'd heard of was on Cheetham Hill Road. I see now that when I'd looked at restaurantsofmanchester the posts are for a different place. Are you saying that the one you refer to is a third - somewhere near Piccadilly? Do you have the address, please?

As a general issue about restaurantsofmanchester and the like, yes, with the lack of any regional general food discussion board, I'm happy to read review posts by punters like me who have eaten somewhere I might be considering. And, unlike a couple of other local review sites, RoM is happy to publish negative posts so is the one I would give most consideration to.

J

John Hartley

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i have noted your adventures in fish and soup but its meat action that we're looking for, i have scoured the leeds and york menus for  the pork with garlic so if you could give me the exact description i'll definitely try it, but i know i have searched for it unsuccessfully.

I've found a menu online here (there's a page two on there as well, just tweak the last digit in the address) which is certainly not the current menu but I can't imagine it's changed that much.

To be honest I think most of the fun is to be had in the fish, seafood and offal/non-prime cuts but the stirfried shredded pork with garlic shoots is on there (I don't remember ours being "shredded" but I'm sure this is the dish) and I reckon the stirfried lamb with coriander would also be worth a look (I'm had a similar dish elsewhere and at home - almost dry stirfry with tons of cumin and chilli).

The braised pork belly with preserved cabbage was also delicious and is a world-beating winter dish (stick to your ribs stuff, heavy on the star anise and with melting fat and beautiful meat) and I also think the sauce-fried shredded pork with pancakes sound worth exploring.

Aside from that leave your squeamishness at home at pile into the pig's maw, intestines and the wobbly blackpuddings!

Actually you're a red blooded Yorkshireman, I know you're not scared of a bit of liver or kidney? I've not eaten such things at Red Chilli but I'm had similar dishes in other Chinese places and loved them.

They've even got braised pig's trotter on there, and you ate that at No 3 so there's no excuses there. Lord know's what they braise it in or how it's spiced at Red Chilli but again that's got to be worth a gamble.

Bollocks, this has ended up with me wanting to go right back over there now. I note they have three more openings due, including London. They're taking over the world...

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, again thanks for the explanation. I'm getting confused now. The Kebabish I'd heard of was on Cheetham Hill Road. I see now that when I'd looked at restaurantsofmanchester the posts are for a different place. Are you saying that the one you refer to is a third - somewhere near Piccadilly? Do you have the address, please?

As a general issue about restaurantsofmanchester and the like, yes, with the lack of any regional general food discussion board, I'm happy to read review posts by punters like me who have eaten somewhere I might be considering. And, unlike a couple of other local review sites, RoM is happy to publish negative posts so is the one I would give most consideration to.

J

Harters, a pleasure, and glad to be of help.

My issue with ROM is that the low volume of traffic and posts (and the seeming infrequency of it's update/editorial refresh) means that any positive or negative viewpoints can have disproportionate impact (as in a excruciatingly mediocre Casino restaurant making it into Manchester's "top ten") and I'm not convinced how independent they are or how they police potential abuse.

Anyhow, the Kebabish to which I refer is one of the back street curry cafes (I think you mentioned the Alladin and Al Faisal so you know what to expect) that populate the Northern Quarter and Piccadilly areas. I don't want to teach you how to suck eggs but have you explored the rest of them? I ask only as Al Faisal and Alladin are probably not the best examples so there's still much more to enjoy

If you haven't tried any others and do fancy an explore then try the following:

Hunters

This is another 50 metres up High St, and although the curries are just so-so it has the advantage of being open late at night (all the other places are just daytime operations) and it has a few quirky dishes on there with venison and quail etc.

This And That

I don't particularly rate this place but some people swear by it. Walk down the tiny alley opposite Hunters (Soap St I think) and it's just round the corner. It's famed (or was) for doing three veggie curries and rice for £2.50.

Kabana/New Yagdar/another one whose name escapes me...

These three are just around the corner from Hunters on Thomas St and almost face other. I think they're all just acceptable (though again different people have different favourites) but Kabana does some whackier specials like brain.

Kebabish

Carry on along Thomas St (it changes it's name along it's length after Stevenson Square to Hilton St but just keep going) and you'll find this place. A shade pricer than the others but generally accepted to be the best around. I just don't like the fact that they grill their breads and deny that having a proper tandoor matters. The other way to find this place is a minutes walk up Newton St from Portland St/Piccadilly Gardens and then bear right onto Hilton St.

Mahabra

My favourite, but probably the scariest to the uninitiated. It's tiny, you could argue it is scruffier than most, but I think the curries are great - really intense and deeply flavoured - and the tandoor done nanbreads (and chicken kebabs) are dreamy. Cheap as can be too.

Hope that helps, and happy currying!

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 have noted your adventures in fish and soup but its meat action that we're looking for, i have scoured the leeds and york menus for  the pork with garlic so if you could give me the exact description i'll definitely try it, but i know i have searched for it unsuccessfully.

I've found a menu online here (there's a page two on there as well, just tweak the last digit in the address) which is certainly not the current menu but I can't imagine it's changed that much.

To be honest I think most of the fun is to be had in the fish, seafood and offal/non-prime cuts but the stirfried shredded pork with garlic shoots is on there (I don't remember ours being "shredded" but I'm sure this is the dish) and I reckon the stirfried lamb with coriander would also be worth a look (I'm had a similar dish elsewhere and at home - almost dry stirfry with tons of cumin and chilli).

The braised pork belly with preserved cabbage was also delicious and is a world-beating winter dish (stick to your ribs stuff, heavy on the star anise and with melting fat and beautiful meat) and I also think the sauce-fried shredded pork with pancakes sound worth exploring.

Aside from that leave your squeamishness at home at pile into the pig's maw, intestines and the wobbly blackpuddings!

Actually you're a red blooded Yorkshireman, I know you're not scared of a bit of liver or kidney? I've not eaten such things at Red Chilli but I'm had similar dishes in other Chinese places and loved them.

They've even got braised pig's trotter on there, and you ate that at No 3 so there's no excuses there. Lord know's what they braise it in or how it's spiced at Red Chilli but again that's got to be worth a gamble.

Bollocks, this has ended up with me wanting to go right back over there now. I note they have three more openings due, including London. They're taking over the world...

Cheers

Thom

good work thom,

looks like that's next tuesday night boys night out sorted.....

i did have a copy of the menu in my desk so i could highlight dishes as i read about them :laugh:

you don't win friends with salad

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