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Food and Drink Round-up 24/1/13: Bradley Wiggins Cafe Rumour

Jonathan Schofield and a new Icelandic coffee shop

Written by . Published on January 24th 2013.

Food and Drink Round-up 24/1/13: Bradley Wiggins Cafe Rumour

Bradley Wiggins to open a coffee and bike shop?

Very strong rumours are rife in the Northern Quarter that Olympic gold medallist, Tour de France winner, and serial sideburn wearer, Bradley Wiggins is to open a coffee and bike shop in the Northern Quarter. Confidential is trying to track down the truth of this, although other rumours that the outlet will be called Mod for It seem wide of the mark. It's possible that Mr W might be working in tandem with an existing operator of course, although we may have to backpedal on this one. Wheel let you know when we have confirmation. 

Takk Takes on Tariff Street

This is the most curious theming for a while: an Icelandic coffee house, called Takk (‘Thanks’ in Icelandic). It’s early days for Philip Hannaway on Tariff Street but already he seems to have a decent enough lunchtime trade. This despite the fact he only offers sandwiches, coffees, teas and other drinks at present, along with various desserts. The Icelandic theme is one of mood rather than the selling of puffin and whale meats. Anybody who’s been to Reykjavik – and for Hannaway it’s a passion - will be familiar with the cosy bars full of Nordic trendies in jumpers. This is very similar to one of those gentle spaces and comes complete with books, board games, smooth music and Icelandic art on the bars. The Serrano and Jarlsberg sandwich was lovely by the way as was the Icelandic chocolate wafer, Rex. Hannaway is looking to apply for an alcohol licence once the coffee concept has bedded in. There’s also a big basement downstairs he's going to develop for fun, games and events.

Comfortable in TakkComfortable in Takk

Icelandic Humour and British Humour

One of the stacks of reading material in Takk is the Reykjavik Grapevine, an English language magazine which is very sharp. The edition I looked through had an editorial about Icelandic drinking terms. Icelandic folk are typically Nordic and will frequently drink whatever is to hand if it contains the slightest alcohol. I went on a day long crawl there once and if there'd been some meths my fellow drinkers would have knocked it back.

The hardened drinkers do this with a strangely silent devotion absent of the aggression often associated with the British binger. My favourite drinking terms translate as ‘to fall into it’, ‘to go out on the life’, ‘to have drink in your toes’. Most of them read as though the drink was something happened upon as though by accident. I know the feeling.

When I mentioned Takk had opened in Manchester on Twitter, one British humorist commented, ‘Ah an Icelandic bar in Manchester, can we run up a huge tab and then refuse to pay it.”

Rex - a very good waferRex - a very good wafer

Pao Pao Cafe do Brasil opens

From frozen north to the tropical south. Part of the Kro2 site on Oxford Road has opened as Cafe do Brasil. This has books, cakes, iPads and a very decent coffee from Coopers in Huddersfield. There is another outlet in this mini-chain in Lancaster. What’s clear is that when warmer weather arrives the place will have the finest outdoor coffee terrace in the south part of the city centre. We're struggling to work out what is exactly very Brazilian about the place, but those iPads are bonus and help you lose and hour or two in there.

Brazilian with iPadsBrazilian with iPads

Costa Coffee opens with topless baristas – something like that

There’s a new Costa Coffee bar opening on Princess Street. This is a neighbour to Starbucks. It’s not far from the Caffe Nero close to Manchester Art Gallery, and just around the corner from another Caffe Nero on Cross Street. What sets Costa Coffee apart is not only its coffee but also its sale of dolls houses, wetsuits, novelty goods, raw meat, and the use of topless baristas as staff. Er...not really. What actually sets Costa Coffee apart is nothing much.*

Whiskey Jar with an e

While up at the Icelandic cafe Takk I thought I’d nip into the new Whiskey Jar around the corner. But it was lunchtime and it doesn’t open until 6pm. The venue offers booths, two floors, DJs and pies – ‘breakfast pies’, ‘fish pies’ and so on. But does it only sell Irish Whiskey not Scotch Whisky as the ‘e’ in the title implies? Confidential will be back soon to find out.

Tokyo Season and its USP

Walking along Portland Street the other day I was suddenly ushered into Tokyo Season restaurant to see something: “What is it?” I asked. “We have the only waitresses dressed in kimonos in Manchester,” the manager said. “Are they Japanese?” I asked. “No they’re Chinese,” came the reply, “but here’s some sushi.” It was good, especially the clam sushi, and some of the menu items were intriguing. As it was unseemly to take pictures of the kimono girls simply because they were wearing kimonos Confidential took a picture of the food instead.

Decent sushi at Tokyo SeasonDecent sushi at Tokyo Season

Evuna and the Kings of Leon

There’s a Castile and Leon wine tasting on 11 February in Evuna on Deansgate. Situated in the North West of Spain the region has several wine producers such as Ribera del Duero, Cigales, Rueda, Toro, Bierzo, Arlanza, Arribes, Tierras de Leon, Tierra del vino de Zamora and Valles de Benavente. Tickets are £25 and include tapas. They have to booked ahead at www.evuna.com. The event starts at 6.pm till 9pm. 

Tykes Are Tops 

The CAMRA winter ales festival winner is Elland Brewery, 1872 Porter, at 6.5 per cent ABV, has today been crowned CAMRA's Supreme Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2013 by a panel of judges at the National Winter Ales Festival in Manchester. The West Yorkshire brewery first scooped the country’s top winter beer award in 2010. The winning beer is described in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2013 as a creamy, full flavoured porter, with rich liquorice flavours and more than hint of hint of chocolate. The festival is at the Sheridan Suite, Oldham Road, until 26 January. 

The Best Kebabs Are In Manchester

Chorlton's Turkish Delight has won the ‘Kebab Shop of the Year’ in an award given out by MPs. This was to mark the contribution of kebab shops to the economy. John Leech, MP, had nominated the shop for the award, which came tops in a competition of 80 kebab outlets across the country. Leech said: “With around 15,000 restaurants, 150,000 employees and a turnover of £1.5 billion, the kebab restaurant industry is an important part of the UK economy but also of its social fabric.” There’s a picture of the lamb shish below which was indeed very lovely when we nipped in to try the food on Tuesday.

Very good kebabVery good kebab

TNQ’s Weird Promo

The weirdest promotion of the year so far is taking place at the Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar (TNQ). This comes from their PR people. ‘The Dads Eat Free campaign means Dads qualify to eat free if a photo of their Sunday roast is posted on Instagram, using a number of hashtags, including #sundayroastmanchester  and #tnqrestaurantmanchester and @tnqrestaurant. Once the photo has been posted, Dad will receive a complimentary, locally sourced, Sunday roast, from one of the Northern Quarters longest established, relaxed dining venues.'

Vermilion With Love

The flood of Valentine’s Day events is starting to filter through. So what better than romantic Newton Heath for the lovers night? The spectacular Vermilion and Cinnabar is offering ‘a lavish combination of cocktails and acclaimed Asian cuisine for £68 a head’.  Couples will be greeted on arrival with cocktails and chilli-chocolate coated strawberries. Starters include steamed oysters, and the Vermilion Mixed Platter accompanied by mini-shrimp lettuce wraps. Then it’s a champagne sorbet palate refresher before a choice of mains that offers grilled lemon sole with Thai papaya salad or herb crusted lamb cutlets. Veggie option is Thai pumpkin curry with heavenly pineapple fried rice. Raspberry pavlovas and warm chocolate tart with white chocolate ice cream provide the climax. If you choose to dine at 5pm or 10.30pm the price is reduced to £50. www.vermilioncinnabar.com or ring 0161 202 0055.

*I have been told off by people in the office for being so dismissive of Costa Coffee. Lynda Moyo says it has the best java amongst chains although Ruth Allan prefers Caffe Nero. The result is that when the Princess Street outlet opens we’ll do a rapid fire taste test between all three and also slip down to Confidential favourite Caffeine & Co for a measure of independent coffee.

Tokyo Season's curious dishesTokyo Season's curious dishes

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

Penny FarthingJanuary 24th 2013.

Apparently Lance Armstrong's Pharmacy chain is soon to expand in the city as well

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

Lol...hilarious !

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

Would someone please open a coffee shop in Castlefield please. The old news agents next to Cask would be ideal. Thanks.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

Oh, ok then!

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2013.

Do it yourself

JoanJanuary 24th 2013.

For once I agree with Anon

JoanJanuary 24th 2013.

On other matters, Costa Coffee in my opinion, has the best tasting coffee of the chains and it sems to have a fair trade approach without a big song and dance. As for a Brazilian approach at Pao Pao, to reflect Brazil the coffee should be very cheap and very, very good.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

Turkish Delight isn't even the best kebab shop on that section of Barlow Moor Road. Panico's across the road is much better. Not saying TD is poor, just not as good.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

re: Wiggins, I've only found out this week at 39 years old that the correct term is Side'burns', not Side 'boards', just thought I'd share that with Mancon readers

1 Response: Reply To This...
JamesJanuary 24th 2013.

Sideburns are facial hair. Sideboards are just good ol' head hair. Haven't got close enough to Wiggo to know his predicament...

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2013.

Sideboards are what your mum put her glasses on

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2013.

The waitresses at Yuzu and New Samsi also wear kimonos...Tokyo Season is the only place (I know of) in central Manchester that does okonomiyaki, though.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2013.

Panicos is better for sure!

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2013.

I agree.

AnonymousJanuary 26th 2013.

The waitresses at Yuzu and New Samsi also wear kimonos...Tokyo Season is the only place (I know of) in central Manchester that does okonomiyaki, though.

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