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Food and Drink Round-up 10/06/2010

New venues, Hunters Forever, San Carlo deli-ghts, Confidential make a menu, televised chefs and more

Published on June 10th 2010.


Food and Drink Round-up 10/06/2010

Hunters love
One of our favourite Asian casual dining places, Hunters in the Northern Quarter, has been going through an extensive refurbishment. This place does a great range of special game meals, rabbit, partridge, venison, as well as the usual curries. Jaz, the lovely man who owns the place, has decided that he’ll give the first day’s takings of the re-opening to the charity of our editor’s choice. Jonathan Schofield, our dear leader, said, “I’m game for this and won’t quail from making a choice that should be very pheasant for all concerned.” He’s suggested Forever Manchester, an excellent charity that supports grassroot projects across Greater Manchester (www.forevermanchester.com). It's an appropriate charity for such a city-based business. Hunters is opposite Bluu next to Odd Bar on the High Street/Thomas Street junction.

Bacon, pubs and US bars
Tim Bacon, the man behind the original Living Room, and the present creator of the Blackhouse Grill outlets, is to venture into Spinningfields this autumn. In the only opening this year we can take photos of from the editor’s chair, he and his colleagues will be moving into 2500 sq ft of shiny office space in Hardman Square, turning it into “an old English pub done in a US-style bar feel”. Eh? Run that by me again. Any how that's the way Crain’s Manchester Business quoted Bacon. Maybe he was pulling their leg. If he wasn’t then his name for the new bar is well-chosen; Alchemy. The new outlet will be part of a company Bacon's set up called the New World Bar Company. We’ll be interviewing Tim this week to get the real lowdown.

Alchemy needed

Alchemy magic
A clever operator such as Bacon – we’re big fans of his fine Grill on the Alley – will be a real shot in the arm for Spinningfields. It will give the place a bit of flash, an extra zip of personality. Opposite is a Pret a Manger outlet in a corner position which is too good for them. Venues such as Cask, Common or Odd would have been infinitely better and provided a more exciting intro into the area. Confidential looks forward to Alchemy: we’re wondering if we can get permission to put in a zip wire from our office straight into their bar area.

San Carlo deli
The effervescent San Carlo, which every reader of Confidential thinks is the best place ever, is to expand. The buzzy Italian with the excellent food is to open a deli in central Manchester. We’re not sure where and we’re not sure when, but as soon as we find out we’ll be the first to let you know. We might even buy you some salami. Bring you an offer. Something anyway.

The Manchester Confidential menu
San Carlo on King Street West has a huge menu so sometimes the good stuff gets ignored, like the truffle dishes we had earlier in the year, or the osso buco that Gordo went rabid for last month. So we’ve had a word. The result is you can expect something different inside San Carlo menus very soon: the Manchester Confidential menu. This will collect together the more unusual and typical dishes so you can locate them that much more easily. Gordo and the chef will be choosing these. We'll all be able to enjoy them.

Chef in a box
We’ve been having a row in the office over live televised feeds from the kitchen into dining areas: something that happens at Hale Kitchen. Some people think it’s a good idea, shows what the chef’s getting up to, shows off his technique. Some people think that that’s the same as watching TV in a restaurant, and is very, very wrong: when eating you should be concentrating on the company first, the food second and nothing else third. In fact the anti televised feed party don’t even think that open-kitchens matter in the slightest.

lower case mongolian food night
The base cafe bar (yes, it’s another irritating lower case title) is having a cracking little event tonight (10/06/2010). The Charles Street venue (off Oxford Road, near the BBC) are theming themselves on Mongolia with a ‘rich blend of spices and a variety of textures’ of 'Bansh, Guliash, Huushuur, Tsuivan, and Lavsha'. We’re clueless about these as as well. There’ll also be music and Mongolian cultural stuff - maybe they'll be riding horses round the venue tussling over a dead sheep. Probably not. The contact number is 0161 273 1011.

Centre Circle kick off
Amongst a myriad others the Kitchen at the Circle, in the Barton Arcade, are showing the England matches. There’s table service, big screen viewing, food available and beer on tap. The price is £12.50 per ticket and includes entry, a la carte meal and a free bottle of Heineken. Call 0871 230 5318. Maybe they should have a sing-along with this song as well, click here.

Let’s go to Brannigans
Our Friday man about town, Sleuth has gone slightly mad. He reckons for genuine atmosphere and a real authentic ding-dong, the best place to be for the World Cup will be Brannigans. For £9.95 you get a reserved area, a pint of Fosters or a glass of wine, a finger buffet and table service with an allocated staff member. The clincher is that you also get an England party hat and flag. Should England play Germany and lose then you might also get a mini-riot and some random vandalisation of German motor vehicles in the streets outside.

Wine events in Dimitris
Manchester’s arcaded lovely, Dimitris, is having a pair of wine tastings this month on 16 June and 23 June. The first one features Vintage Roots, organic wine specialists, who will be presenting wines from Austria and Rioja with a meze buffet after the tasting. The producers will talk though their wines and chat afterwards. The 23 June event is a corker – so to speak. There’ll be a vertical tasting of Chateau Musar from the Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, followed by an informal formal dinner. Ralf Hochar from the Musar family will attend to talk about his wines. Magnums of ’82, ’86, ’94 and ’99 will be tasted. Bottles of other years including ’91 and ’95 will be drunk with the meal. This is a very rare opportunity to observe the changes in a cult wine over a couple of decades and discuss them with the winemaker. For details call Dimitris (0161 839 3319).

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

Barry EaterJune 10th 2010.

A Manchester Confidential menu at San Carlo? Brilliant idea. What about doing this with other restaurants. It'd be a good guide to what to eat.

Leigh ScottJune 10th 2010.

de do do dat do dont day?

Scott NeilJune 10th 2010.

“an old English pub done in a US-style bar feel”.

that sounds like any number of gaffs in any number of yank downtowns, which, tbf, seems a good look for Spinningfields.

Tyson ThebeerhoundJune 10th 2010.

Hmmm. If it's going to be in Spinningfields, it's bound to be rubbish.

CASSONJune 10th 2010.

errrrm, isn't hunters the traditional home of food poisoning ?

sz837rJune 10th 2010.

-an old english pub done with a US bar feel- sounds like a wetherspoons

Scott NeilJune 10th 2010.

that, Tyson, is a fair point. the coffee at Carluccio's is good mind.

Hero
GordoJune 10th 2010.

Carluccios has turned from the worst service and blandest food in the world to fantastic service and enjoyable food; Spinningfields has got better

Scott NeilJune 10th 2010.

just remembered that GBK in Spinningfields. always a pleasure! a fair cop Gordo, it is after all a growing and still very young district. there's a Shimla Pinks, isn't there?

AnonymousJune 10th 2010.

I will take a spin down the fields on a Monday night and see if it shows any signs of life. I can admire the boards on the upscale fashion outlets NONE too.

AvoJune 10th 2010.

Been to Hunters at least twice a week for the past year or so and have never had any problems with their food. I'm not so sure about the Bollywood stylee portrait Jaz has got of himself proudly displayed behind the counter though. I wonder if it will survive the refurb?? Ps, do you guys know when the opening day will be?

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 11th 2010.

Casson. What are you on about? I've been to Hunter's lots of times and so have my friends. Never had any problems, just really enjoyed the food. Avo's right, Jaz is a star and I can't wait for it to re-open. And I'm very very honoured that Jaz has asked me to name a charity to which he might donate his first day's takings.

Smyth HarperJune 11th 2010.

Went to Podium on Monday night for my birthday with the £25 deal, which I think is finished now. The deal that Mancon had was basically the same as the £25 menu they do, but with free wine. Brilliant value and YUM! It was bloody lovely.

Although we wanted to go up to Cloud Lah Dee Dah for a quick drink before dinner and was told that they charge a fiver! On a Monday night! They really (really) need to sort out their customer service at that place. People do not want to pay a fiver if they're popping in for one drink. The only loser is the Hilton.

Smyth HarperJune 11th 2010.

Have to agree Gordo that Spinningfields is getting a lot better. If you step back and look at it from the perspective of not being from Manchester, it also looks really impressive.

What's with all the miserable comments on Mancon recently - have a load of people suddenly come over from the MEN's messageboards?

Scott NeilJune 11th 2010.

have to third the Hunters love, eat there often, always two thumbs up.

never had the game, to my shame,

rice and three, for me,

lovely dal makes me, er, happy

sorry that was bobbins. but the thought was there.

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