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Food News: Rhubarb Restaurant Closes, East MCR's Finest, Top Rosti, Sally Pub

Jonathan Schofield's food developments

Written by . Published on December 3rd 2013.

Food News: Rhubarb Restaurant Closes, East MCR's Finest, Top Rosti, Sally Pub

Bye Bye Rhubarb, Hello Volta

Rhubarb in West Didsbury is to close. And be reborn as Volta. The re-visioning comes from Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford (The Unabombers) who already run the excellent Electrik in Chorlton. The aim is create a less formal destination with 'excellent and well travelled food, outstanding drinks, and splendid service, all in the confines of a relaxed, neighbourhood restaurant and bar'. Volta, means 'turn' in Italian. Given the transformation this seems appropriate. 

Volta - it is written


Volta - it is written

Platter Happy At Volta

'Well-travelled' food doesn't mean you can bring in take-away food to Volta but rather the nosh is 'inspired by the owners’ gastronomic adventures around the world as DJs. Crikey, we thought DJs survived on Nigella L's party stimulants package, Red Bull and monster munch. Apparently not so, globe-trotting sharing plates and grills will be the order of the day. Cowdrey and Crawford want it to be about 'down to earth, social, family-style dining and drinking inspired by the European ‘no fuss’ approach to great eating and drinking'. Patrons will be as welcome for drinks as they are for food. Head Chef Alex Shaw, will be heading up the operation, alongside bar manager Matt Robinson.

Gordo's Dish Of The Week (By Gordo)

There are a lot of shiny new bars and restaurants out there in Manchester and Gordo was on the way to one when he was distracted by Harvey Nichols; he was fancying fish and chips and remembered they were pretty darn good up in the Second Floor Brasserie. They delivered. But, what blew him away and will not be beaten by any other dish this week was the starter (another light lunch eh Gordo? JS). Wild mushrooms on a potato rosti. It was much more, it was a really crisp rosti, all buttery and FIT, fried mushrooms, then a poached egg, runny, sat on top, cloaked in a homemade hollandaise and snipped chives. £6. Bargain. Tip: try the HN Prosseco at £5.25 for 125 ml. Easily as good as any of the standard champagnes on the list. Gordo's most recent review of the Second Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols is here.

Gordo's in love with an egg and mushrooms


Gordo's in love with an egg and mushrooms

Eat Out Of The Dog Bowl On Sunday 

The family went down to Dogbowl on Whitworth Street West the other Sunday where the Gods of ten-pin frowned upon yours truly and I came last. The food was grand though. Big Sunday plates for £12. The half smoked chicken was my favourite, rich with flavour, aggressively coated on its outside, soft and tender on the inside. There are only three choices, the other two were adored by other guests, the pulled pork and the smoked beef brisket. Accompaniments good too. If you require a proper filling up and some Sunday sport (not the paper), this place works well.

Smoked chicken excellence

Smoked chicken excellence

Food That Doesn't Travel And Should Stay At Home

The Dogbowl Sunday lunch came with an optional extra: the hush puppy. I'd have rather eaten a shoe. Apparently hush puppies are the authentic taste of the American deep South, consisting of a ball of deep fried cornmeal batter. Like grits they are a dish that only extreme poverty (or a perverse obsession with all things American) could make you love. They taste of fatty nothing. Time and again in this age of 'street-food' we have to remember just because things are authentic doesn't mean they're any good. Anyway I prefer food from the English deep South; clotted cream.  

Beef brisket - round brown objects in the dish should have remained in the Deep South

Beef brisket - round brown objects in the dish should have remained in the Deep South

The Salutation Pub Raises The Roof 

We love the Salutation pub behind Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). It's a classic pub, with lovely Victorian features – dark wood panelling and tiled floors. Recently though there have been dark rumours of closure. Not so, say owners MMU. Instead a significant refit is planned involving re-roofing, re-wiring and re-plumbing as well as adding doors and windows to the south side of the building. The upstairs will also be remodelled – out go the bedrooms, in comes a new space to be used by staff, students and the community. A spokesman for MMU said: “We see community involvement is central to the success of this pub and to improving student and community relations.” Works will start around Easter and be done by the time the new Student Union building opens in September 2014.

 Salutation - thanks to Manchesterhistory.net for the pic


Salutation - thanks to Manchesterhistory.net for the pic

Shameless Trumpet Blowing: The Big Fun Christmas Pub Tour This Thursday

Shameless this, but on Thursday this week (5/12/13) I'm running the Big Fun Christmas Pub Tour, 6pm, meet Manchester Visitor Information Centre on Portland Street. Loads of stories about drinking in Manchester in the last two hundred years, loads of laughs, absurdity, and the Best Tiny Pub Quiz in the land - even though I say it myself. Book here

Pubs - we'll be drinking in them


Pubs - we'll be drinking in them

Masterchef Appearance For Adam At Michael's

Adam Leavy, Chef de Partie at Michael Caines Restaurant at ABode Manchester, has been flying the flag for Manchester in the latest professionals edition of BBC series MasterchefUnder the guidance of Executive Chef Robert Cox, Adam has cooked in the kitchens of Michael Caines at ABode for the last year, having previously cooked at the city's Room Restaurant and the Royal Exchange. Shame he hasn't made it all the way but well done, lad, for giving it a go.

Best Food In East Manchester By A Mile

Mr SmithMr SmithManchester City Football Club's catering standards blew Confidential away on Wednesday last week. As Sleuth revealed on Friday, Leon Smith's cooking for guests in the Chairman's Suite was exceptional given the large number of covers and the short space of time the food had to be served within. The room was elegant with linen tablecloths, the ray wing and leek terrine and the duck and puy lentils were exceptional. Smith said: "I have well over 2,000 people to serve on a match day across the site - just the right number." Right number? Jeez what does he think a big service might be?   

Duck in City sauce


Duck in City sauce

Hidden Lunches Are Everywhere

Filling pastaFilling pastaOn a show round Pioneer Quay (feature coming up) by Castlefield Forum last week lunch was taken in Eastgate Cafe (2 Castle Street, Castlefield, M3 4LZ - 07762004182). A big wholesome plate of very welcome pasta warmed the cockles. This is a charming little space looking over the Rochdale Canal. I had no idea it was open to the public, but then there are quite a few interesting places for lunch that aren't on the radar and are open to all: the lovely Christie's Bistro in the University, the Manchester School of Art cafe in the gorgeous new MMU building, the cafe in Manchester's finest major new structure, the Civil Justice Centre (although the quality in terms of food in the latter is shocking). In fact Confidential will do a Best Of guide to these places in the coming weeks.

Eastgate CafeEastgate Cafe

Albert's For Art

Roger Ward's continuing patronage of artists living in the North West in his Chop Houses is laudable. Albert's Chop House in Albert Square has representations of two excellent artists at present: Jonathan Hargreaves and Lynton Hemsley. A mixture of strong technique, clever portraiture and evocative landscapes and townscapes distinquish the works. Anybody who's been to Norway and Sweden and stayed in small hotels will adore the clutter of artworks from local artists, some very good, some very bad. It's good to see Roger Ward is doing something similar over here. 

Art in the Chop House with George the famed Manchester sommelier featuring

Art in the Chop House with George, the famed Manchester sommelier, featured

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+

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

Jonathan MoranDecember 3rd 2013.

Shame about Rhubarb, not been for a while but always thought it was pretty decent.

Voice of the Ironing BroadDecember 3rd 2013.

So is the Salutation the MMU's pathetic response to selling the south Manchester community sports facilities [yes the ones that were previously owned by the City Council]. Indoor sports centre, outdoor pitches vs a refurbed pub. Sounds like a poor exchange to me. Lets have an serious community benefit from their windfall sell off in Didsbury.

shkDecember 3rd 2013.

re Volta - it also mean time, as in La Prima Volta - the first time - so maybe the name has a different meaning. Hope it's good there

MikeDecember 3rd 2013.

The food in MCFC's Champions Suite last Wednesday was dire, very little choice, appalling coffee and some of the rudest patrons that it has ever been my misfortune to encounter. 6 goals though though.......

Sarah1968December 3rd 2013.

Didn't know Adam worked at Abode. I wanted him to win. Also didn't know he hadn't made it all the way.... until now. Thanks for that, don't need to watch anymore now. Thanks, really.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 4th 2013.

He was knocked out on Friday - can't legislate for you being behind. As for wanting him to win, if he can't even cook a piece of Turbot correctly (it was appalling) then he was rightly told to pack his bags.

Sarah1968December 4th 2013.

THAT Adam?? There are 2 Adams... I want the other one to win!!

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