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Albert's Shed Reviewed

Some stars of MIF (and some not) go out for a pre-fest lunch

Published on July 4th 2013.

Albert's Shed Reviewed

A COUPLE OF YEARS or so ago a reader said that she loved Confidential but thought there “were a lot of words in reviews” which was a problem because she wasn’t “really a fan of reading but liked pictures and celebrities."

As we like to appeal to a cross-section of Mancunians here’s a photomontage review in rhyme of Albert's Shed in Castlefield.

It's similar to the one we did during the last Manchester International Festival (MIF) of Red Hot World Buffet.

It was supposed to be a review of Barca to mark its rebirth, hence we invited Mick Hucknall, who used to be part-owner of Barca, but as the story below reveals, the review location had to cross the Rochdale Canal to Albert's Shed.

Mick took along three headliners at Manchester International Festival to guest review the place with him; Neneh Cherry, Zinedine Zidane and Kenneth Branagh. As stated above there are rhymes with each picture – an idea stolen from the old Rupert the Bear cartoons.


Neneh, Zidane and Kenneth Branagh too
Were taken by Mick Hucknall to Barca at noon.
"I used to own this place," said Hucknall to them all.
But the others looked sad because the menu was small. 

The speakers came to life, but the music wasn't Simply Red
"That does it," said Mick, "Let's bugger off to Albert's Shed."


All sat down, Hucknall frowned, “Why aren't I ever invited to MIF?”
"You're past it, that's why," said Zidane, with a haughty Gallic sniff
Mick replied, “So are you, you broody footballing whinger.”
Zinedine said, “I might be that, but at least I’m not ginger.”

Albert's Shed Review

“Shut up you two”, said Kenneth Branagh,
Mick said “Don’t speak to us in that manner.”
Kenneth replied, “Mick your career is dead,”
“I’m pretty sure no one ever really liked Simply Red.”


Neneh Cherry piped up “I’m sick of you bickering menchilds.”
Zidane said “Now, now, calm down dear, let's not go wild.”
“For at least I'm beginning to find some luck,”
“This is rugged and robust, a delightful potted duck.”

Potted duck (£6.00)Potted duck (£6.00)

“So how is the salmon?” Neneh asked Mick,
Mick still fuming said, “MIF have really missed a trick.
I’m sure their arty audience would love a good ballad.
- But the salmon is superb and I love the potato salad."

Poached Scottish salmon with horseradish potato salad (Lunch menu: 10.95 for 2 courses)Poached Scottish salmon with horseradish potato salad (Lunch menu: 10.95 for 2 courses)

Zinedine Zidane meanwhile was getting all antsy,
Felt his head, said, "I think the waiter looks like Materazzi,
So while I really like this apple and date chutney,
Watch out for my special, a delicious head-buttney.”

Albert's Shed Review

“But French cuisine this certainly is not,
I’ve heard of a French joint called L’Entrecote.”
Branagh said, “If you go in there you’re really a nutter,
Just try asking for some bloody butter.”

(You may want to click here for the that reference,
But be careful if you're a fan you may take offence.)

Asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise (£5.50)

Asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise (£5.50)

“But I do have to say this is good asparagus.
Just good English veg, cleanly cooked, none of the fuss.”
“Hurry up Ken”, said Neneh, adopting a Buffalo Stance in vain,
"We can't wait all day and I'm desperate for the main." 

6oz steak frites (Lunch menu: £10.95 for 2 courses)6oz steak frites (Lunch menu: £10.95 for 2 courses)

King prawn and noodle salad (£11.00)King prawn and noodle salad (£11.00)

Fish and chips (£14.50)Fish and chips (£14.50)

Lemon marinated chicken (Lunch menu: £10.95 for 2 courses)Lemon marinated chicken (Lunch menu: £10.95 for 2 courses)

So out they came upon Neneh’s wish,
Steak, chicken, prawn and a bit of fish,
Neneh piped up, over all the chatter,
“Did I really order my steak with some fishy matter?”

Albert's Shed ReviewAlbert's Shed Review

But with the food as a whole the chums had to agree,
There was lots to applaud and and it made them happy. 
The chicken was a winner, the fish was fine with lovely batter,
The steak was ok nothing more, but the noodles were a cracker.

Zidane was getting merry, reached for yet more wine,
Mick said, "Zinedine calm down, your one over the nine."
Zidane replied, "Yes but my great thirst I must quench."
Mick said, "I'd heard you like a lunchtime drink you French."

Albert's Shed Review

Neneh said, "Ken, listen here you stud",
I've finished my steak, on to the pud,
I think I'll try Albert's famed sticky toffee,
For heaven's sake, he's falling over, get Zinedine a coffee."

Albert's Shed Review

By this point Zidane was really quite pissed,
"I think I'm so tanked, I may miss MIF,
But I really am quite delighted,
That unlike Mick, I've been invited."


"Oh sod off Zidane!" said Mick all flustered,
 As down his suit fell a spoonful of custard.
Kenneth looked bored, close to death,
“Did I tell you that I’m the lead in Macbeth?
I'm the best around, on the top of my game,
Without me MIF wouldn't have the slightest fame." 

8Branagh and some pudding

Neneh loved the toffee and with the cheese, stated what she knew,
"I love it when the fromage is hard and tangily blue."
Mick patted his stomach and sighed charmed by what he'd been fed.
"This has been a very fine lunch on the terrace at Albert's Shed. 
Fortunately I've been holding back the beers and avoiding the wine,
Unlike our French friend who doesn't look like he's feeling too fine."

But it was now time to leave, the chums had work to get through.
"Let's share the bill," said Branagh. "It's the right thing to do."
But Hucknall was running away, shouting, the miserly bad 'un,
"You must be joking. I'm not paying, money's too tight to mention."

Albert's Shed, 20 Castle St  Manchester M3 4LZ. 0161 839 9818

Rating: 14/20
Food: 7/10  (asparagus 6.5, potted duck 7, salmon 7, chicken 7, fish and chips 7, steak 6.5, prawn and noodles 7.5, cheeseboard 7)
Service: 3/5
Ambience: 4/5

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away.

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

GeorgeJuly 4th 2013.

I rather like the relax and funny style of the review, well done, and what a classy bunch of reviewers.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

Stupid review - absolute waste of time and effort.

IanJuly 4th 2013.

better food at the wharf

5 Responses: Reply To This...
James KayJuly 4th 2013.

The Wharf overcharge and can't even manage simple food. Ham, Egg & Chips £10+ and is wet, packet ham and oven chips! As for the sandwich bread, I wouldn't serve it to the ducks. Lovely pub though!

AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

Two of the worst meals I've ever eaten were at The Wharf, went to Albert's since and it was far better.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

Agreed, the wharf is awful for food, its so bland. Great for a beer only

IanJuly 5th 2013.

really? i only had something from the outdoor grill the full menu sounded good

James KayJuly 8th 2013.

You must have touched lucky Ian, I'd quit while you're ahead!

TopchefJuly 4th 2013.

Should win an award for the smallest fish and chips in Manchester, I hope the desserts are good!

1 Response: Reply To This...
JimJuly 4th 2013.

Yes I agree. Shocking how small a portion it is

AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

That steak certainly looks a lot bigger than the small piece (or should i say pieces as for some reason it was cut up) of meat I got last time I went here at lunch!

AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

note to MC: not funny at all. (love the food section of the site otherwise)

Marcus EmadiJuly 4th 2013.

Good bit of fun.... I would have quite liked Freddie Mercury making a cameo appearance as one of the waiters though.... Food looks good too...

Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on July 4th 2013.
AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

jesus christ - why do certain food reviewers think they can write comedy. food, ambience and service. leave the comedy to the comedians embarrassing

Ray 0051July 4th 2013.

Confidential, feeling glum, stuck its own head up its bum, Here's a chance to try and be witty, but what came out was only s****y

KarenJuly 4th 2013.

After seeing these photos it makes me want to visit the shed!! Great review! The fish and chips I think are just on a big plate on here because they were filling last time I went!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
IanJuly 5th 2013.

what? so is the bread, chips, knife etc also of huge proportion?! it's tiny.

Jeremy ScottJuly 6th 2013.

6 chips, a spoonful of peas and a sprat in batter, an absolute bargain, if you're an idiot.

AnonymousJuly 4th 2013.

I lost the will to live reading this cr@p.

Poster BoyJuly 7th 2013.

Unreadable nonsense.

Jonathan MoranJuly 8th 2013.

Absolute tosh this is- sort it out.

Jonathan SchofieldJuly 8th 2013.

Funnily enough Anon, PB and Jonathan Moran, I've decided to do one every quarter. Lots of readers seem to love them.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jules HoltJuly 11th 2013.

Please dont, it was dreadful

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