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Food and Drink Festival shortlist

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards shortlist announced – what do you think?

Published on August 19th 2010.

Food and Drink Festival shortlist

Manchester Food and Drink Festival, 1-11 October 2010 has the shortlist of nominees for its 2010 Awards.

Here’s the press release: ‘The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards are considered a benchmark for excellence in the hospitality industries throughout Greater Manchester, and this year sees strong contenders across all categories. Indeed, so strong were the options for Best Restaurant that an additional, seventh venue has had to be included in the shortlist again this year.

‘Awards nominations will be posted on the MFDF website (www.foodanddrinkfestival.com) where they’ll face the public vote. The results of this poll will then be considered by the judges when making their final decisions before the winners are revealed at the MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards on October 11 at The Hilton Hotel Manchester.’

Manchester Confidential was not involved in the compiling of the shortlist. We stayed loftily aloof so we could measure the event up with Olympian detachment. However expect some news with regards to us and the Festival soon.

Overall the shortlist seems reasonable enough but you could argue the case for other inclusions and at the same time wonder why some places have gained the accolade of shortlisting. But that’s the fun of these things, shouting, ‘you effing what!’ at the screen or nodding and saying ‘spot-on’.

For our part is Sweet Cup Cakery in the Northern Quarter a big enough venue to be on the list? Why is Pi in Chorlton in the Pubs section? Why is the list of food retailers so prissy - we love the Asian grocery, Manchester Superstores, on Ayres Road in Old Trafford for instance, or what about the Hang Won Hong in Chinatown? And what about the new generation of Asian ice cream bars that have cropped up all over the region – surely one of those was worth an inclusion?

Still as we say, this is part of the fun of awards and the shortlist, they’re good for a fine old debate and most inclusions are utterly deserved, for example the first two entries on the Restaurant of the Year list.

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by BBC Radio Manchester
- Aumbry, 2 Church Lane, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1AT
- Damson, 113 Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, SK4 4HY
- Grado, New York Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 4BD
- Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, M1 1AD
- Ramsons, 18 Market Place, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 9HT
- Red Chilli, 70-72 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 46U
- The River Restaurant, The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH

Chef of the Year
- David Gale, The Hilton Manchester
- Laurence Tottingham & Mary-Ellen McTague, Aumbry
- Oliver Thomas, The Lowry Hotel
- Robert Owen Brown, Mark Addy
- Steve Midgley, Grado
- Stuart Thompson, Harvey Nichols Second Floor Restaurant and Brasserie

Best Newcomer sponsored by City Life
- La Mei Zi, Unit 2, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5QS
- Mark Addy, Stanley Street, Salford, Lancashire, M3 5EJ
- The Red Lion, 112 Buxton Road, High Lane, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 8ED
- Sweet Tooth Cupcakery, 34-36 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN
- r>Thomas Restaurant and Bar, 49-51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
- Vnam, 140 Oldham Road, Manchester, M4 6BG

Best Bar sponsored by Metrolink
- Black Dog Ballroom, 37-43 Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1J6
- Common, 41 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW
- Electrik, 559 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0AE
- Hula, 11 Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1DB
- The Modern, Floors 5 and 6, Urbis, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3B6
- Oddest, 414 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0SD

Best Pub sponsored by Holland’s Pies
- Bar Fringe, 8 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JN
- Crown Inn, 154 Heaton Lane, Stockport, Cheshire, SK4 1AR
- Knott Bar, 374 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LY
- Marble Arch, 73 Rochdale Road, Manchester, M4 4HY
- Pi, 99 Manchester Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9GA
- The Woodthorpe, Bury Old Road, Manchester, M25 O66

Best Coffee Shop or Casual Dining Venue sponsored by Manchester Evening News
- Barburitto, 1 Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, M1 1RG
- The Chocolate Cafe, corner of Carr Street & Bolton Street, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 9HX
- Katsouris, 113 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BQ
- Left Bank Cafe Bar, People’s History Museum, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER
- Panchos Burrito, Arndale Centre, Market Hall, Manchester, M4 2EB
- Sculpture Hall Cafe, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2JT

Best Wine List sponsored by Metrolink
- Grado, New York Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 4BD
- Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, M1 1AD
- Damson, 113 Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, SK4 4HY
- Hanging Ditch, Britannic Building, 42-44 Victoria Street, Manchester, M3 1ST
- Luso, 63 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BQ
- White Hart, 51 Stockport Road, Lydgate, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL4 4JJ

Best Food and Drink Retail Outlet
- Eighth Day Cafe, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7DU
- POD, 30 Albert Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 2GE
- Hickson & Blacks, 559A Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 8AN
- Unicorn, 89 Albany Rd, Chorlton, Manchester, M4 1PW
- Winos, 63 George Street, Oldham, OL1 1LX
- Zest, Doffcocker Roundabout, 877-879 Moss Bank Way, Smithills, Bolton, BL1 5SN

MFDF Award for Healthy and Sustainable Eating Sponsored by Food Futures
- Gusto, 756 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury
- Isinglass, 46 Flixton Road, Urmston, M41 5AB
- Livebait, 22 Lloyd Street, Manchester, M2 5WA
- Loch Fyne, 848 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2RN
- Podium, Hilton Hotel, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ
- Eighth Day Cafe, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7DU

Best Family Friendly Venue
Once again, the Family Friendly Venue of the Year will be subject entirely to a public vote in 2010, leaving the decision in the hands of Greater Manchester’s families.

Outstanding Achievement Award
To be announced at the MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards

Manchester Community Foodie Award sponsored by Forever Manchester
This new award is sponsored by Forever Manchester, to recognise some of Greater Manchester’s most valuable and exciting community food projects.

- Mustard Tree, Greater Manchester
- Nexus Café, Manchester
- Incredible Edible Ramsbottom
- Earth Café, Rochdale
- Diggle Lane Allotments, Bury

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

John HarrisAugust 17th 2010.

How can they expect anyone to take them seriously when their shortlist contains Livebait in any category other than "Worst shithole" ?

Leigh ScottAugust 17th 2010.


Peter PerdanticAugust 17th 2010.

Should that be "Best Shit-hole"

PicassoAugust 17th 2010.

please don't tell me there is a cup cake shop in amongst that lot

AnonymousAugust 17th 2010.

Yep, there is........I'm totally cup-caked out meeself

AnonymousAugust 17th 2010.

so is Gordo by the looks of it @gordomanchester on twitter, funny

AnonymousAugust 17th 2010.

I fear it maybe macaroon overload soon

John HarrisAugust 17th 2010.

Peter Pedantic, Livebait will never be "best" anything

AnonymousAugust 18th 2010.

"Damson" eaten there and it was very poor, both for food and service.

Helen18546August 18th 2010.

Glad to see POD in there, not often Levenshulme gets visited by the Manchester foodie hoardes and it's well worth the visit, for POD alone.

GJHAugust 18th 2010.

@ Helen - yes, best brekky in Manchester! Big up the Pod!

same old same oldAugust 18th 2010.

i dont know why they bother putting the short list out, it's the same every year. Very dull if you ask me.

DibigoAugust 18th 2010.

A few weeks ago in Blackdog there was a black dog in the bar, between the pool tables and the DJ's area, it did a piss on the floor, twice, then crapped. This place serves food. Should they have a dog in there?

LJAugust 18th 2010.

Hang on,what's going on in the Best Food and Drink Retail Outlet category?
Unicorn, 26 Church Street, M4.

So that's Unicorn as in, The Unicorn. That crap pub by Tib Street car park??

Surely they mean The Unicorn in Chorlton...

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 19th 2010.

LJ we've corrected it now. But I like the Unicorn boozer, it's a proper old markets pub with a classic interior and a real old fashioned hard drinking atmosphere.

Christopher BryanAugust 19th 2010.

How can you have an actual wine merchant (Hanging Ditch) competing against restaurants for Best Wine List?

Good to see Pancho's Burritos in there though. I just wish the guy would be nicer to his wife/helper though. He seems to be one step away from beating her every time I visit.

round the cornerAugust 19th 2010.

There are some good new additions - Vnam, La Mei Zi. But is the Mark Addy really a newcomer? New management/chef, yes, but it's not changed the name. If you're going to apply that criteria then where is the Soup Kitchen, which was taken over and continues to be a decent cafe at lunch time, and is now a most excellent bar and mini club (FutureEverything events there were fantastic) at night? They are trying to secure a late licence and they could do with all the support and business they can get.

Also - where is North Tea Power in the coffee shop or newcomer list, or Bubble Cafe in the newcomers? (Perhaps Vnam pipped them to the Vietnamese post...)

I know you can't please everyone, but it would have been nice to see a few more new names in there.

p.s. I am too chicken to have a drink in the Unicorn (though not as chicken as I am of the Millstone!)

ElbieAugust 19th 2010.

> Livebait - Agreed with everyone. No idea why anyone would suggest it for an award!
> Hanging Ditch - You can go in and eat and drink too (I think), so it isn't just a shop.
> Mark Addy - This hasn't just changed management - it's totally transformed and relaunched. It's now a restaurant, whereas before it was just a fading pub.

LJAugust 19th 2010.

I went for a drink in The Unicorn once, but when the barman served me he stared at my chest the whole time, even whilst pouring the drink. It was a little unnerving.

round the cornerAugust 19th 2010.

The Mark Addy still looks pretty much the same to me, the toilets in particular - they are a bit nasty. Still feels like an 1980s bar interior to me. Much like when he was at the Angel, it seemed to have been "renovated" on a tiny budget.

I realise they now offer a full menu and that technically it's a new venture of sorts - but Robert Owen Brown is hardly a newcomer. I'm not having a go at the food at all though, what I have had has been very good.

Caroline FaulknerAugust 19th 2010.

Has Grado improved then? Only been twice (the last time a year ago to the day) and been totally unimpressed.

Food was nice but tiny portions for huge prices. One round of balck pudding on a scoop of apple sauce was about £6 and was supposedly to share!

I really do want to know if it's improved as I'll give it another chance!

Leigh ScottAugust 19th 2010.

Lj it's not his fault your 6ft 9"

Leigh ScottAugust 19th 2010.

Lj, its not his fault your 6ft 9"

A15688August 19th 2010.

Diggle Lane allotment, deserve a nominee in the community section for their work with children and hopefully with disabled community soon! Well done guys and good luck.

Matt CzyzykAugust 19th 2010.

Damson for best restaurant and Bar Fringe for best pub. Two of my favourite places.

Grado was awful on the one occasion I have eaten there.

Yawwwnn...August 19th 2010.

Best bar sponsored by Metrolink. Funny that all the bars are in Manchester centre (apart from the Chorlton one). What about the suburbs? I thought they were supposed to be included unless they're just all not worth visiting.

Oh BlimeyAugust 20th 2010.

Location seems to be playing a part here... No mention of the excellent 'Flavours' in inaccessible Whitefield, for instance. Let's not forget though that the festival is designed primarily as a PR vehicle for Manchester... I think you guys at ManCon could come up with a list that more accurately reflects the word on the street.

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 20th 2010.

Oh Blimey you didn't read the piece did you. We were not involved in any way in compiling the list. These were the sentences: 'Manchester Confidential was not involved in the compiling of the shortlist. We stayed loftily aloof so we could measure the event up with Olympian detachment.'

J E SibberingAugust 20th 2010.

ooops Mr Editor, you didn't read Oh Blimey's rant did you.

I think Oh Blimey was saying that ManCon could have complied a better shortlist than the one we've got, not that you were involved.

It was a compliment.

ellpollolocoAugust 20th 2010.

And if they did tblzebra, San Carlo would sweep the board!

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 20th 2010.

TBLZEBRA you may be right although the sentence construction is open to interpretation. Maybe it's because I'm in a rush - I have to take the Bishop of Manchester on a tour of Ancoats. That's not a euphemism by the way.

Leigh ScottAugust 20th 2010.

does manchester have a living bishop ?!

Ignorance is shitAugust 20th 2010.

Scoteee are you mad? Have you never been to see the Cathedral? It's got the largest unified artwork in the city with the medieval cathedral choir.

Leigh ScottAugust 20th 2010.

Yes Ignorant - completely mad!

J E SibberingAugust 20th 2010.

Be careful of the peeps then, Mr Editor.

Just to do your head in even more Scoteee, the Cathedral choir is spelt quire.

Bishop WongaAugust 20th 2010.

It can be spelt both ways actually anagram man: choir or quire

Leigh ScottAugust 20th 2010.

I shall look out for those schoirrels in my garden this weekend!

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2010.

Anyone catch the review of Grado in one of the Sunday nationals yesterday? I haven't read it but was told it was truely shocking which I'm surprised about

Just the ticketAugust 23rd 2010.

Well Im all for "Thomas" as the best new comer ! Wicked place to have cocktail and the food it excellent

Peter HarrisAugust 24th 2010.

Had two meals in Grado in last 12 months, last about 2 months ago. Both meals excellent. Produce and recipes authentic and fresh. Wine list is also well researched and top quality.

DJSeptember 29th 2010.

Just seen this - I would nominate newcomer as the re-opened Band on the Wall's bar-on-the-side, which is all new & called The PictureHouse. Went a while ago and we got a truly decent 3 course bar meal for £10 each , with guest ale of Marble pint...... superb. And free gig tickets too.

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