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Big cow cooking

The Angel on Rochdale Road does another mad event

Published on April 20th 2009.

Big cow cooking

Confidential’s feeling guilty, they nearly missed a cow on fire on Rochdale Road. A full one.

This was a big roasting moo, spinning in the sun on a spit to celebrate England’s saint. How very queer? So who would attempt this strange feat? Why it was Robert Owen-Brown of course, the maverick genius of the Angel pub just off Rochdale Road.

Remember this was the same Robert Owen-Brown who cooked Confidential’s Christmas dinner in a filing cabinet (click here).

For St George’s Day he wanted to push things further, with a whole cow. The gods smiled too and provided a peach of a day for large English gentleman to take their tops off and wobble their bellies across the Angel’s car park.

Alongside the revolving bovine - on an industrial scale spit of which Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have been proud - there was Punch and Judy, live music and all manner of activities.

These included tossing a black pudding at some evil, twisted Yorkshire puddings, emblematic of that shifty county. Our picture shows John Locke in the act of ‘tossing off’ – that’s an official phrase for beginning a black pudding throwing contest. John, our buddy from the Northern Pub, assured Confidential that he’d been tossing off for years. We’re surprised he doesn’t need glasses.

Geoff Higginbottom, the folk singer was there too. He was funny. On one occasion he did a satirical song in what he claimed was original Anglo-Saxon. “This is so good,” he quipped, “that when it was posted on YouTube, someone filed it under ‘Weird Shit’. Sing along if you want I can already tell a few of you are fluent in some Anglo-Saxon.”

There was a cocktail van, four cocktails for £12 or two jelly baby vodka shots for £1. There were Morris Dancers and an excellent brass band called Bessies (from Bess’o’th’ Barns perhaps?) – talk about the power and the glory with the latter. There were also some gentlemen in codpieces giving weapons demonstrations from the days when Lancashire bowmen would go for rowdy summer holidays at French expense around holiday resorts such as Agincourt and Crecy.

What all this quite had to do with St George is anybody’s guess.

This wasn’t, praise-be (at least during the Confidential visit), a chip on the shoulder affair in any way; some of the Scottish Pipe Band, had even made it down. It was just fun in red and white, in an area of Manchester that was Irish for more than a hundred years, just over from the area which had been Italian. It was England, irreverent, eating beef, hitting the right note. Nationalism is different from patriotism.

Does make us wonder what Mr Owen-Brown will be cooking outside the Angel next? We fancy several tender suckling pigs. Lovely.

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22 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

CraigApril 20th 2009.

Dear Anonymous, what a miserable view of life you have. The event was smashing and the food is eighty percent of the time excellent for the price. I get the distinct feeling you do not know what you're talking about.

IRRITATEDApril 20th 2009.

I wouldn't put my name on this because of people like you Mr Locke and the fact that you'd revert to calling someone a C**CK, by the way why 2 ** and not one? This town is too small to openly disagree with the clique. I'm not saying this event was a bad idea but having eaten at the Angel and being disappointed by the service, the food (supermarket black pudding? supermarket cheese? No thanks) and being over charged on our bill substantially I am allowed to be annoyed a the hype this place receives. Maybe the Angel treats friends, liggers and journalists differently to the average paying punter who clearly matter far less? I have eaten at the best restaurants in the UK and could name dozens of North West restaurants with better food, better prices and some actual integrity, from Market Restaurant to Ramsons to Luso to name a few. I'm clearly not baised, look at other posts on the Angel elsewhere. I have no agenda and wanted to like the place, but it insults its paying customers massively. This is all a bit Emperor's new clothes. The bias is in your reporting not my opinion. That is all.

ValApril 20th 2009.

That was a surreal fun filled afternoon! :-)

John S. LockeApril 20th 2009.

Dear Irritated...Let's just say we agree to disagree...Cheers

John S. LockeApril 20th 2009.

It was still a top day out though!

johnthebriefApril 20th 2009.

Wish I'd known about this event

IRRITATEDApril 20th 2009.

Mr Locke, at what point did I say you worked at Man Con? Most of the stuff on here displays skill, wit and insight. It is very sweet that you're sticking up for a mate, but your judgement is clouded and name calling does nothing for your argument. It is not bile, simply a fair reaction to one of the most disappointing and cynical dining experiences I've ever had. No-one was trying at all when I went to the Angel. Enough. I'm just voting with my feet now...

MargeApril 20th 2009.

Sunday was a real hoot.... This is place is a proper hidden gem...My top tip is to try their early evening menu; 2 courses for a tenner!

John S. LockeApril 20th 2009.

Dear Anonymous - Shut up you c**ck!If you don't have the balls to put your name to a comment you shouldn't make one...in fact I think it is time that Man Con stopped aceepting anonymous comments as it would discourage gutless none acahievers from venting their often biased spleens publically.

BabyApril 20th 2009.

Ooh er. I must nail my colours to the mast and agree with 'IRRITATED'. The Angel is nothing at all special and I too cannot understand the hype that ROB attracts. If I see him described one more time as 'maverick', I think I'll puke. The Angel is dirty, cramped and so unappealing. Why do ManCon, MEN food critics et al hang on to every word this man utters? Having seen the wake of desruction left behind when previous ROB ventures have failed, I am not at all impressed.

AnonymousApril 20th 2009.

but maybe next time, need to get a "permission" from Fire Service first (as his ambition seems to be getting larger and larger....)

GordoApril 20th 2009.

Can you do another one Rob, I missed it. When are we going fishing again?

smittyApril 20th 2009.

Girls, girls, girls, put your handbags down!!!What a good idea for an event - hopefully see more similar stuff like this next year for St George's Day. C'mon Manchester, show the rest of England what it REALLY means to celebrate your nationality. As an Irishman (and proud), nothing would thrill me more than waving an England flag at some proper fun event for St George's Day. Well, okay, mebbies a few things might thrill me more, but you see my point. If I'd known this was on I might even have gone, as opposed to cowering in the wardrobe, saying Hail Marys and avoiding Exchange Square.

AnonymousApril 20th 2009.

Poor food. Rip off prices. Sort your restaurant out before attempting gimmicks like this.

John S. LockeApril 20th 2009.

I have spent two of my most enjoyable and memorable Sundays of the past 12 months in the company of Rob Owen - Brown and his pals...first was a fishing trip (as covered in Man Con style by Gordo)last September, and this past Sunday. Rob is a a maverick genius, a Northern institution, a risk taker, a superb chef, a fine host and someone I consider a good mate! A fabulous day, a great bunch of people turned up and the element that could have spoilt the event in the way they have kidnapped the flag stayed away - an absolutely suyperb party was had by all!!! Good on you Rob.

NollaigApril 20th 2009.

Well done Rob , I was there , excellent day . Great food and drink .Sun shining , black puddings a flying , again well done to you and your team

Red KenApril 20th 2009.

Well done ROB , great day , wish a few more so called restaurant owners had the balls you have .....look at the photos , every body happy

John S. LockeApril 20th 2009.

Dear 'Irritated'...Two ** as your original comment as 'anonymous' appeared to have been written by someone who was a really big'c**ck'.This comment however hads at least given an insight into your bile.The comment you made initially appeared to apply to the quality of this event and not the restaurant generally - and that comment is what I was replying to. If you were not there you can hardly criticise someone elses excellent efforts as bing 'gimmicky'..it wasn't - it was a great day and great fun, put together by soemone with imagination, passion and heart. In my book that deserves defending from 'anonymous' criticism.A couple of corrections to your reply by the way - I do not work for Man Con, I do not write for Man Con, I am proud to be a pal of Rob's and I would agree that not everything is perfect at The Angel ...but God I love someone who tries and has belief, and a little vision.By the way - I also don't do 'cliques', but I do always put my name to my comments.Cheers!

GordoApril 20th 2009.

Did you take those pictures on that crappy phone Mr Schofield?

EponymousApril 20th 2009.

Hit-and-miss is worth the risk when the hits include more interesting things with meat than anyone else is doing round here. Back in that corner, Baby.

Thoroughbred MancApril 20th 2009.


John S. LockeApril 20th 2009.

Fishing trip first week in May Gordo?...You'd miss me if I wasn't there!

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