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Manchipster Plaice Reviewed

Jonathan Schofield gets the pun and loves the fish

Written by . Published on December 6th 2011.

Manchipster Plaice Reviewed

I ONCE got an email from the Comptroller of British Chipperies or some such, informing me of the health benefits of eating chippy food.

It probably down-played heart disease, and then said something in the small print about stuffing fatty foods down your gullet as part of 'a balanced diet'. 

It was the sort of publicity nobody believes. It was a waste of lardy breath. We all know there isn't an Olympic athlete on the planet who gorges on meat pies and potato based products.

The cod flaked with flesh so snow white it would have had evil mother-in-law queens smashing mirror-mirrors on the wall with extreme violence. 

The reason why we like chippy food is exactly because it's the sort of grub health food fanatics faint over. We love it because it's an indulgence, a savoury Saveloy version of naughty but nice cream cakes and boxes of chocolates. 

The Comptroller of British Chipperies should have sent an email saying: 'Hello, you dirty gluttons. Gain weight the fun way with some deep fried carbohydrates. You know you love it.'

Would have worked for me. 

Given this perverse British love of chip shops, it's strange how rare city centre traditional chippies are.

Those we have tend to be scattered thinly through the streets and often include a kebab rotisserie indicating ownership that originates much further east than Great Yarmouth.

This mostly is a good thing.

Yorkshire folk make much of their 'best chippies in Britain'. The locals, a deeply insecure bunch, mean by this that they haven't lost touch with their roots. As a Greater Mancunian I see this as truculent Tyke reluctance to move-on, a stubborn desire to maintain a mono-culture in a multi-culture.

That said, one or two more trad chippies in central Manchester wouldn't go amiss.

Incognito 012

Manchipster Plaice boosts the scene immensely, not least in the fabulously awful pair of puns in the title. 

It also does battered fish better than any other chippy in the city centre for, I think, years and years.

The fish is battered to order in front of you. On the day I went I got the cod and it was lovely. I mean absolutely beautiful.

The cod flaked with flesh so snow white it would have had evil queens smashing mirror-mirrors on the wall with extreme violence. The batter was more like a tasty film of silk softly encasing desirable flesh. Lovely I tell you.

I just hope the level of battered fish care is consistently applied. Ideally at least 99 out of 100 cod or haddock that leap from the fryer into the hungry grip of the customer should be of that standard. 

The chips were high quality too. The best were cut thickly and cooked just right, so there was something crispy to the bite but then lots of fine spud in the filling. On the downside I thought there were a tad too many slivers of fried potato for my liking in the handsome presentation tray. Gordo likes these, I could do without them. I want my chips voluptuous not skinny. I want filling not facade. 

The menu board makes for a good read as you wait for your fish and includes rag pudding, a Lancashire thing of beauty. This contains steak inside a soft pastry traditionally cooked while wrapped in a muslin cloth. Very rich and gooey and comforting.

I ordered one for my return down Dantzic Street later in the day. Unfortunately I got caught up in the Manchester Apocalypse and didn't make it back in time, and then I had to book pubs for a tour on Thursday - click here. "I'll be back," as a big Austrian once said.

Apologies to Billy Edwards, the owner and his team, for my failure to return for the rag pudding. Billy runs temporary food stalls at the Printworks, at Old Trafford and Sale Sharks and so forth. "I've wanted to open an old-fashioned chippy in the city centre for a while," he told me, "but I wanted to do it right."

Billy EdwardsBilly Edwards

Edwards has succeeded magnificently.

Go and try one of those fish. You won't regret it. I'll report on the rag pudding very soon.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL. £1000 to the reader who can prove otherwise.

Manchipster Plaice
4 Dantzic Street, City
M4 2AD

Rating: 16/20
Food: 7.5/10
Service: 4/5 
Title puns: 4.5/5

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: we gets carried away.

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

CKRISGDecember 6th 2011.

Could Billy have found a smaller premises? walking around the city centre in winter eating fish and chips is no fun, having said that the food is top notch

Solefood SamDecember 6th 2011.

I like my fish on the hoof on the streets - it's chippies as they should be.

Kevin PeelDecember 6th 2011.

I wish you hadn't told me about this, I'm unhealthy enough as it is! Nice to know there is an addition to Portland Plaice and the one down on Liverpool Road though!

Andrew JacksonDecember 6th 2011.

Looking for a good chippy to provide food for a hundred or so guests at my wedding this sounds like the perfect "plaice".. sorry couldn't resist!

Paul Glaisher-HernandezDecember 6th 2011.

Yorkshire! Yorkshire!

grangeDecember 6th 2011.

The Polish girl has a sexy accent

Solefood SamDecember 6th 2011.

She's just sexy. And I bet after work she has a lovely aroma of fried food. Yum.

MazzyDecember 6th 2011.

but do they fry in lard?.......

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 6th 2011.

I hope not

JJJJDecember 7th 2011.

I had a fish and now I'm happy

RuthDecember 7th 2011.

I keep trying to go to this place, but they are always closed. . .

BenjaminDecember 8th 2011.

The lovely lady is actually Ukrainian not Polish, and all the food is fried in vegetable fat not lard.

MazzyDecember 8th 2011.

No lard?......well it's not a traditional chippy then. Shame.

boddiesbuddyDecember 8th 2011.

Excuse me, aren't we missing something - what about the mushy peas!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Alan WharrierMay 9th 2012.

had them last night the peas are spot on

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2013.

Is the chippy on Liverpool Road any good?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 28th 2013.

Yep, defo

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