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Manchester City Center


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THE MODERN, URBIS, CATHEDRAL GARDENS

(EDIT: In spite of the less than stellar experience, one has to wonder why the Modern has not yet found its way into the Good Food Guide when a number of dreary places within an hours drive manage to keep their place year on year)

Well, we wonder too...but thanks for the positives.

Flippant answers to some of the other comments: The candle holders may well have come from Poundland, not sure. Our re-fit cost, well, not very much at all. We could have gone massively in debt to finance the restaurant designer who, being told our budget, promptly doubled it and said, 'now, for that I could do an excellent job.', but we didn't. Public money and all that.

Fat chips is my fault. I make few demands on the management team beyond the vision and branding of the place, service levels and hitting their %ages, but three rules are simple: There shalt be fish pie on the menu; we do fat chips rather than thin; and no Coldplay. Thin chips are an abomination.

[EDIT to add: I would say this, but the homity pie is great. If you do a lunch, the bubble n squeak cakes have taken over from the fish finger sarnies as the first choice of men of a certain age]

Edited by BertieWooster (log)

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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As you " in the know" Mancunians are probably aware the new chef of Harvey Nicks, Second Floor Restaurant has been announced, Stuart Thomson.

For the benefit of those who are not so in touch with the Manchester dining scene (me included perhaps) read this

http://www.manchesterconfidential.com/inde...DfiKHqiNwF6IHqi

We had a very good meal here, back in January, there was much to enjoy.

The rumour mill prior to Alison Seagraves departure credited most of the success down to young Stuart?

As an aside I also love the Urbis building and have put The Modern down as a visit in the near future

I really like this part of Manchester,it somehow sits comfortably with the Cathedral and some of the other old buildings.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Bertie

Don't even think of getting me started on the horrors of the thin chip (which are only possibly OK when eaten in the USA, with a burger and called fries). There are an abomination, indeed, and worse than the fat chip. Just. I just want chip sized chips. :biggrin:

Homity pie is a great dish. There's a guy sells them at Bakewell Farmers Market. Good stuff.

As always, I've sent a review to the GFG.

John

John Hartley

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  • 4 weeks later...

I will be in Manchester next week, staying in the city center (near the Convention Center but will be around the City of Manchester Stadium a lot) and am looking for some fairly cheap eats in those area. I've reviewed the posts on this forum and have a feeling I'll be having lots of Indian food (though no Chinese, as I'm coming in from China), but anything else that stands out? I'm looking for meals probably in the 10-15 quid range (though under that would be great) as well as one "splurge" (maybe 25 quid). I'll be dining solo most the time, so looking for spots that cater to solo diners and are casual. I've heard some mentions of Jewish delis, any really good spots? Also, what about classic English dishes (or even a good fish and chips?)?

Would also love to know about any great pub food in the downtown area or around Manchester Regional Arena. Any suggestions you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Would also love to know about any great pub food in the downtown area or around Manchester Regional Arena.  Any suggestions you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Best pub near the convention centre is the Britons' Protection; real ales, proper victorian mirrors and room layouts, usually amusing company.

If you mean the MEN Arena, a short trot from there is The Angel, which offers both great beers, lovely waiting staff and British food (but take cash), and just beyond that is the Marble, which is a micro-brewery and has chronically under-rated nosh. All google-able

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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Best pub near the convention centre is the Britons' Protection; real ales, proper victorian mirrors and room layouts, usually amusing company.

Closely followed by Peveril of the Peak, which is about a three minute walk from the Britons and is in similar style.

A Kentuckian friend enjoyed the "experience" of both.

John Hartley

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RIVER RESTAURANT, LOWRY HOTEL

Literally just across the Irwell into Salford, so still counting as Manchester city centre.

An extremely well-priced Sunday lunch - three courses for £17.50 - made even sweeter by booking through a Manchester Confidential deal which threw in a bottle of house wine between two people (Aussie Cabernet Shiraz, normally priced at £20).

Three choices at each course. I started with a very seasonal asparagus soup, which I can best describe as silky. My wife had a ham hock terrine. This was a chunky texture with well flavoured meat but, perhaps, a little salty. Alongside was a very punchy piccalilli – each vegetable crunchy and with a distinct taste, with everything brought together in a good mustardy dressing, improved with a few flecks of red chilli.

We both went with roast beef as a main. Two good slices of medium rare meat and a Yorkshire pudding. On a separate serving plate, a selection of veg and some of the crispiest roast spuds we could recall. A little horseradish cream perked things up without overpowering. Gravy, however, was not of the finest, being a little on the sweet side, but this is really nit-picking.

We didn’t fancy either of the puddings (sticky toffee or rhubarb “burnt cream”) so finished with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese, some water biscuits, a small Eccles cake and a cranberry jelly (which was too sharp to be perfect).

Service was friendly and attentive and well worth the added 10%. The room was busy and had a good buzz. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would have done even without the wine deal.

On the way out, we picked up a leaflet for another current offer. Lunch on Monday and Tuesdays offers three choices at each course. No price attached – pay them what you think it was worth.

John Hartley

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There's something comforting about Indian people eating in Indian restaurants, the same goes for Chinese in Chinese restaurants.

It sort of makes you think that you have stumbled on a real find.

However, apart from the Sari and turban clad Indian foursome, a Chinese couple with their kiddie were tucking into growingly hot nosh at Dilli in Altringham.

Now then I admit to not seeing many, if any Chinese people in an Indian restaurant before, and vice versa, I always sort of assumed the two different types of cusine did not appeal, to the different palates.

In between mopping his brow, the Chinese guy gleefully polished off a few plate fulls of Chicken bhuna, clearly loving every mouthful.

As also his companions were.

So much for assumption, eh.

Apart from ourselves, and the aformentiond groups an elderly couple and another middle aged couple tucked in to the all you can eat buffet.

We had a lot in common, a healthy appetite!

A surprisingly few food options were on offer, all vegetarian except the chicken.

Pakoras, boiled rice, aloo gobi, tarka dall, paneer spinach, Chicken bhuna, poppadoms.

diced veg, and lime pickle, fruit chutney, and some freshly made (and delicious) nan bread.

Everything was o so freshly cooked, and the two chefs in the kitchen were toiling away, doing what chefs do best.

The food was a bit above the average for the type, I think that i was expecting a bit more than can be offered for the money, but there is a bit of hype attached to this place, so expectations can be raised.

Its not worthy of a journey, however if you are in the area its certainly a very good bet especially with one of the current offers

2x Buffet lunches £15.90

Large tiger beer £4.50

Glass Pinot Grigio £3.65

Service charge £2.41

Jug of North West Water FOC.

OK- I know its not City Centre but I thought this was the best place for it :smile:

http://www.dilli.co.uk/

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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David

The "normal" menu is pretty good and worth a trip, although perhaps not much of a journey.

In the area, it's on a par with EastzEast and Seven Spices, perhaps a little better than Akbars and Shimla Pinks.

I didnt know they did a buffet - is that just a Sunday lunch thing?

John

John Hartley

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David

The "normal" menu is pretty good and worth a trip, although perhaps not much of a journey.

In the area, it's on a par with EastzEast and Seven Spices, perhaps a little better than Akbars and Shimla Pinks.

I didnt know they did a buffet - is that just a Sunday lunch thing?

John

Hi John,

After the £386 spend ( for two) :blink: at the Fat Duck midweek, I was looking for a bit of a bargain basement end to the week.

It looked strongly towards Red Chilli or an Indian of sorts.

Timperley Chris reminded me about Dilli a few weeks ago so I went to there website.

I believe the buffet is only a Sunday thing and I suppose it has to be considered a steal at the money, it really is cheap as chips.

Its a shame that there is only one main so to speak, would have been nice to compare another type of flavour.

Your the man with his finger on pulse of the local scene, Altrincham is about forty miles away for me, so I perhaps built it up a bit in my mind.

If it were on the doorstep we would try it again :smile:

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I wouldnt normally tip an all-you-can-eat buffet but I'll make an exception for Nawab in Levenshulme (apologies if I've posted this in the distant past).

Buckets of choice and, for buffet, damn good quality. It's around eleven quid. No alcohol now (and since then, the food has got even better and far more asian families eating).

John Hartley

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There's something comforting about Indian people eating in Indian restaurants, the same goes for Chinese in Chinese restaurants.

....and of course all those British people eating in British restaurants in Spain. A good tried and trusted way to spot a good restaurant :blink:

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There's something comforting about Indian people eating in Indian restaurants, the same goes for Chinese in Chinese restaurants.

....and of course all those British people eating in British restaurants in Spain. A good tried and trusted way to spot a good restaurant :blink:

Oh,you are a one.

but I like you :laugh:

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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I wouldnt normally tip an all-you-can-eat buffet but I'll make an exception for Nawab in Levenshulme (apologies if I've posted this in the distant past).

Buckets of choice and, for buffet, damn good quality. It's around eleven quid. No alcohol now (and since then, the food has got even better and far more asian families eating).

Interesting piece in Manchester Confidential, did'n't realise you guys took your curry so seriously :smile:

Shame that EastzEast is closed on a Sunday, that was my first choice.

Akbars is now firmly on my list also.

Thanks for the tip btw.

http://www.manchesterconfidential.com/inde...86IHqi#17018560

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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did'n't realise you guys took your curry so seriously :smile:

Absolutely.

I just need someone to help me develop a black pudding jalfrezi and an eccles cake/ras malai combo and my fame and fortune will be made. :laugh:

As an aside, I'm entirely with Phil on this one. Ethnicity is no real determining factor for good enjoyable food. And to beat him to what I know, from a past discussion elsewhere, would be his next point that I'd agree with, neither is "authenticity". A McDonads packed to the doors does not good food make.

J

John Hartley

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did'n't realise you guys took your curry so seriously :smile:

Absolutely.

I just need someone to help me develop a black pudding jalfrezi

Bugger authenticity: pass me another serve of the black pudding jalfrezi and I'll have another pint of Robinson's Unicorn to wash it down....!

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I think you'd struggle to beat Abode for value at the moment.

3 courses for £12 takes some beating, knock it up to £21 and you can sample a taster of different wine with each course (£18 gets you wine with starter and main courses).

Sure its a grazing menu so you're not gonna walk away stuffed full but I deffinately think Michael Caines is onto something with this lunchtime deal. Its all seasonal stuff as well so the menu does change a fair bit, how can you go wrong?

Oh yeah, if you do go then make sure you try the coffee and petit fours or you'll be missing out!

E

Edited by jelliott666 (log)
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ok so I am heading to Manchester again in a couple of weeks for my birthday. have two nights at the radisson, one night will be the Oasis gig at Heaton Park and the next night will be my slap up birthday meal. Mr W is trying to steer me towards Yang Sing or Gaucho, Chinese and steak being his favourites, but hell it's MY birthday *stamps feet*. Where's good to celebrate/commiserate turning 33? On the list are The Modern, Abode (although the a la carte looks strangely uninspiring - has anyone been for anything other than the lunch deal), Harvey Nics restaurant and the Market for retro appeal (anyone been of late)

Any to add to the list? I've been to the River Room and wasn't overly impressed. Not fussed on curry or Thai. Will consider anywhere else as long as it's in the city centre, the food is darn tasty, the decor isn't too shabby and I can be made a fuss of for one night of the year before I'm dragged back to drudgery!

Cheers!

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ok so I am heading to Manchester again in a couple of weeks for my birthday. have two nights at the radisson, one night will be the Oasis gig at Heaton Park and the next night will be my slap up birthday meal. Mr W is trying to steer me towards Yang Sing or Gaucho, Chinese and steak being his favourites, but hell it's MY birthday *stamps feet*. Where's good to celebrate/commiserate turning 33? On the list are The Modern, Abode (although the a la carte looks strangely uninspiring - has anyone been for anything other than the lunch deal), Harvey Nics restaurant and the Market for retro appeal (anyone been of late)

Any to add to the list? I've been to the River Room and wasn't overly impressed. Not fussed on curry or Thai. Will consider anywhere else as long as it's in the city centre, the food is darn tasty, the decor isn't too shabby and I can be made a fuss of for one night of the year before I'm dragged back to drudgery!

Cheers!

We really enjoyed the food at Harvey Nicks,

I think the room itself is real special, and a special request window seat, with a bottle of "pop" would certainly make it more memorable

http://www.harveynichols.com/output/Page127.asp

We also enjoyed San Carlo, its busy and buzzy with a smattering of slebs (sometimes).

Food is ok-ish, plenty pasta, pizza, specials board is good also.

Liked the room.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Where's good to celebrate/commiserate turning 33?

Difficult question - you had not started school when I turned 33 :laugh:

We were at the Market at the end of March and had a good evening ( see post #162 upthread for details). No longer as retro and/or downright odd as it once was.

Went to Abode for dinner months back and left unthrilled.

John Hartley

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Mrs Woman (hello again and all that!),

I think if you want a celebration then you are either wanting a big old party style meal (in which case any of Manchester's many bustling mid-market restaurants would do the job) or you are looking for something that feels more refined and "special" and which by price if nothing else may be a once in a while sort of place.

On the latter basis I think you are limited in terms of expensive fine dining to:

Abode

Some find the service flaky, and the room lacks polish, but the food itself is excellent. Cleverly constructed dishes with beautiful flavours and balance.

Harvey Nichols

On it's day it was excellent (particular the starters and desserts) but not sure if it has held it's standard since Alison left. Lovely room, wonderful wine-list.

The Lowry

The Mark Hix-consulted menu - offering simplicity compared to the Eyck Zimmer days - initially got slated but latterly it has garnered some excellent feedback.

The French

Nosebleed prices and dusty formality (jackets for dinner for the men) I admit, but it does feel "special" and some of the food is actually pretty accomplished.

Next step down there are some lovely, if less formal, restaurants such as Gaucho (which I rate) and The Modern (which I also rate, albeit I'm biased). I wouldn't bother with Yang Sing; shameless laurel-resting and nothing more.

33 to my 35? You're catching me upppp!

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 will be in Manchester next week, staying in the city center (near the Convention Center but will be around the City of Manchester Stadium a lot) and am looking for some fairly cheap eats in those area.  I've reviewed the posts on this forum and have a feeling I'll be having lots of Indian food (though no Chinese, as I'm coming in from China), but anything else that stands out?  I'm looking for meals probably in the 10-15 quid range (though under that would be great) as well as one "splurge" (maybe 25 quid).  I'll be dining solo most the time, so looking for spots that cater to solo diners and are casual.  I've heard some mentions of Jewish delis, any really good spots?  Also, what about classic English dishes (or even a good fish and chips?)?

Would also love to know about any great pub food in the downtown area or around Manchester Regional Arena.  Any suggestions you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Doh... I totally missed replying to this, so doubtless I've missed the boat. Hey-ho, apologies, thoughts as follows for what they're worth:

Yes, as stated, if you want fine-dining then Abode for lunch is the place to go. £12 for three tiny but tasty courses plus bread. A fine lunch in anyone's book.

That said I'd be suprised in this current climate if most of the decent restaurants around town didn't have special offers on, if not early dinner/pre theatre deals too.

On that basis take a look at the websites for Harvey Nichols, The Modern etc etc.

In terms of lunches/dinners that are cheap regardless of special offers you are pretty much right in that you are limited to ethnic places or English pub grub.

I appreciate Chinese places are not going to push your buttons (though how could I not flag up the extreme value and wonderful deliciousness that is Red Chilli) so I'd focus on the curry cafes around Piccadilly.

You'll find these dotted all over but favourites are the Mahabra on Back Piccadilly off Newton Street and the Kebabish on Hilton Street. Be warned most are open lunchtime only though some are also open in the evening till around 7pm.

For pub grub try The Angel or indeed the Marble (the latter has lost a chef but the food is still fine). On an English food tip I wouldn't exclude greasy spoons if you want something properly authentic.

Again most are only open breakfast and lunch (though breakfast is what we English do best) but my personal favourite is Linda's Pantry on Ducie Street (the Abergeldie on Shude Hill gets an honourable menu).

A lot of the cafe bars now do food and you'll find some decent food amongst the identikit chicken burgers and fajitas. Try Odd Bar on Thomas Street for food with a Spanish twist and some good local sourcing.

In terms of lunchtimes The Northern Quarter is the place to be. You can eat interesting food (salads, hot dishes, soups, sandwiches etc) in Soup Kitchen, Craft Centre, Bread and Butter, Cup etc. Expect flaky N4 service though...

Also try the Arndale Market. It's a mixed bag in there but Wings does passable sushi, Gastronomica (which I hear might be going?) does excellent pasta and sandwichs with top class Italian produce, and the Greek stall does good stuff too.

Other cheap eats off the top of my head:

Croma for pizzas, and indeed Piccolino across the road, also for pizzas. Decent bases, good toppings, and not a bad meal in you throw in a bowl of olives and a beer (or two).

Barburitto in Piccadilly for Mexican in general and burittos in particular. It's essentially fast food but nice fast food and it tastes jolly good.

Some of the old fashioned Manchester restaurants which have dropped off people's radar a bit but still deliver decent food might be worth a look. Try Cafe Istambul or Topkapi palace for Turkish, Dimitri's for Greek.

Oh, also tapas at El Rincom tend to be good value and it's a nice buzzy place. Quality is a little up and down but the little casseroles with chickpeas and tripe and black pudding is great.

Hope that helps as a starter for ten. Enjoy your trip to our fine city!

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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The French.........dusty formality (jackets for dinner for the men)

No longer. Unless they've re-introduced a jacket rule since we were there about 12 months back

John Hartley

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The French.........dusty formality (jackets for dinner for the men)

No longer. Unless they've re-introduced a jacket rule since we were there about 12 months back

It's the end of an era! The barbarians are at the gate! This world started going wrong when men stopped wearing jackets for dinner. And hats generally.

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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Harvey Nichols

On it's day it was excellent (particular the starters and desserts) but not sure if it has held it's standard since Alison left. Lovely room, wonderful wine-list.

Isn't the old Sous (Stuart Thomson) now the Head Chef? Should help the continuity no?

http://www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/in...DfiKHqiNw86IHqi

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