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Food and Drink Round-up 11/02/2010

Would you put testicles in your mouth? Plus a very good take-away, breakfast in bed, and new deli opens

Published on February 10th 2010.

Food and Drink Round-up 11/02/2010

Having a ball
“My testicles are outselling my steak,” Robert Owen Brown told the Confidential editor when they bumped into each other. So the editor went down to the Mark Addy to have a ball. Or two. After all he'd never tried them before. On the specials menu, amongst others, there was bone marrow (£4.50), ox heart and tongue terrine (4.50) and bull's fries (£3.75). “Bull's fries...they would be the...?” “Testicles...balls,” said the fetching waitress. The editor tried the handsome trio of food. The bone marrow was delightful, the terrine coarsely and splendidly full-on, the balls were just like sweetbreads but slightly more..er..ballsy - in otherwords, fleshy, tender, faintly sweet and delicious but with a less smooth edge to the taste. The editor wasn't sure about the caper butter they came with - that went better with the marrow - he preferred his testicles stark bollock naked.

Jay Rayner hits the Mark - Addy
The reason for the special menu was Jay Rayner, the Observer's food critic, who was up in the city filming for the One Show about offal. The One Show is that weird BBC vehicle for Adrian Chiles in which cancer victim stories are spliced with insurance advice and bits about bird-watching and then finished off with a feature on say offal and whether the British can love it again. Rayner likes Owen Brown's cooking and its earthy qualities so chose the Mark Addy. After filming Owen Brown packaged his offal ideas onto a menu, hence the balls. Confidential thinks he should continue with this, it's a unique selling point. And it's proving immensely popular. In a curious twist of fate, it so happened that Fergus Henderson the modern re-discoverer of eat the whole beast, nose to tail dining was up visiting Owen Brown and witnessed it all. Then apparently most of the group went out and got pissed. An ancient British tradition we've never lost.

Women and balls
Following the consumption of the bull's fries and the marrow and so forth a discussion took place in the Mark Addy about whether as a sex women were less likely to hanker for and try the innards and glands of beasts and fowl than men. All the women in the pub felt so but Confidential knows what some of its female readers are like and isn't sure. There's no reason for such a notion of course, no logic behind it. The maddest – if unrelated - sentence from the testicular experience came from a young woman back in the office: she's from a small Lancashire town which still has the odd witch burning. “Did you feel gay eating testicles?” she asked. “No,” said the editor.

More TV Manc chef happeNINGs
Norman Musa, co-owner and chef at Ning on Oldham Street in the Northern Quarter, is a passionate advocate of his native Malaysian cuisine. He's run cookery schools, published books and appeared on the TV. This Tuesday he's back on the box with Rachel Allen on the Good Food Channel's Market Kitchen programme. Which is lovely. If you've heard of any of that lot. Confidential knows a couple of things though: 1) Ning is very good; 2) Soon all chefs will have been on TV.

Breakfast in bed with functionality problem
Confidential loves this story. Apparently, one of our fave cafes, the Koffee Pot, in the Northern Quarter has got a quirky new idea for people living nearby. To quote: 'Each and every Sunday from 10am till 1pm impress your partner, date or mate. At £6.50 per head, our bow-tied delivery man will hand deliver a luxury bag containing smoked salmon, fresh bagels, a tub of egg and chive mayonnaise, fresh orange juice and strawberries.' In other words breakfast in bed, just like in a hotel. There is a flaw to the plan though. Oh yes the publicity doesn't contain a phone number. Oops. Maybe it's just a clever unachievable publicity promise, maybe next week the Koffee Pot will be offering chocolate fondants delivered on unicorns ridden by elves. Probably not. But come on Koffee Pot give us a number. (We would of course have researched this by calling them ...but...well, you see their flaw now.)

EastzEast spices the office
EastzEast on Blackfriars (just over the river from Deansgate, 0161 834 3500) is now pulling in and then gently pushing out the lunchtime crowds and evening city dwellers with its take-away menu. With a vast range of top quality curries, chutneys, naans, lassis and the rest this is very very good stuff. The daals have been noted in despatches and you can get two sizes of nosh, regular and large, or to translate the Starbucks' style language, small and large. We know all this about the EastzEast take-aways because Confidential's Tristan 'sick-for-curry' Welch has made EastzEast curries an unofficial daily ritual. The consequence is that all Confidential staff are now officially FAT BASTARDS. But contentedly full.

Best venue for wine event ever
Here's a good cause gig in a pretty place. The Castlefield based charity After Adoption 'which raises money for all those affected by adoption' is holding a wine tasting with city centre wine merchants Hanging Ditch in the splendid six hundred year old (almost) Baronial Hall in Chetham’s School of Music on Thursday 4 March. Tickets cost £25 and this gets you six fine wines to taste under the tutelage of Mark Dent from Hanging Ditch, with light refreshments served to complement them. Guests will also be able to take part in a prize draw, which will feature a range of different prizes. Contact Sabina Baig on 0161 830 2023 or email sabina.baig@afteradoption.org.uk.

Heart felt events
Kitchen at the Circle restaurant under the Barton Arcade in the city centre has prepared a beguiling Valentine's event. There's to quote: 'an aphrodisiac menu, the sexiest sounds and the option to hire one of 12 special ‘Love Booths’ complete with your own private waiter' on Sunday, February 14. Prices start from £35 per person. Dinner starts with oysters and champagne followed by dishes such as pan fried scallops with pork belly, ½ lobster for one or a whole lobster to share and lemon cloud meringue.To book dinner or a booth call 0161 2888118 or log onto www.thecircleclub.com.

More Valentine's but with jazz
New restaurant Barbirolli is playing Cupid with a jazz lunch and dinner for couples on Sunday, February 14 with free bubbly and chocolates. Lunch is served from noon with the Barbirolli band providing jazz, blues and soul ballads. It's priced at £19.95 for three courses with a choice of mouth watering dishes. The band will play on through dinner, priced at £24.95 for three courses with highlights of the 'special lovers’ menu' including the ‘True Love’ Beef Wellington, ‘French Kiss’ Sea Bream and ‘Italian Stallion’ Cassolet as well as aphrodisiac goodies such as oysters on ice. Just as with the women and offal debate on story three of this round-up above, Confidential is pondering on the pairing of jazz and romance. Soul definitely, blues maybe, but bloody jazz?

New deli launches in the city
The people behind Gastronomica in Manchester’s New Arndale Market have set up shop in Chorlton. As the boss says, 'with the steady decline of the market we have had to shut but have since set up shop in Chorlton'. The place is called Hickson & Black's and is on Barlow Moor Road in Chorlton, slightly away from the main drag. It's an attractive looking place, although tight in size, and specialises in 'fine cheeses and cured meats with baked goods, organic groceries and more'. We wish them luck and will review soon. Let's make Thursday's swing
Rosso (0161 832 1400) on Spring Gardens are trying to re-energise the post-work, prepare-for-the-weekend, Thursday fun-athon in their stately part of the city. Thus the bar area of the restaurant is putting on a live singer belting out swing to match the images of Frank Sinatra and the Brat Pack displayed on the walls. They'll be doing their thing from 5pm. There's also rumour of a special surprise to put a smile on punters' faces when they get to the bar. We'd tell you what it is but then it wouldn't be a surprise.

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

OffalmorenowFebruary 11th 2010.

Um. Balls. Firm meaty delicious balls. I recommend the Mark Addy's new delights.

Karen HFebruary 11th 2010.

I like offal and innards and I'm a girl. Come on ladies don't let the lads have all the tripe as well as talk it.

Peter HarrisFebruary 11th 2010.

I dined at St John (Fergus Henderson's London restaurant) at the weekend and it is still as good as ever.

Does anyone know when the Jay Rayner piece is being broadcast?

Sweetbreads would be a great addition to the Mark Addy menu.

Jonathan Schofield - editorFebruary 11th 2010.

Pedro it's on Friday - tomorrow.

Peter HarrisFebruary 11th 2010.

Great. Thanks Jonathan. Look forward to seeing it.

D KesslerFebruary 11th 2010.

Can you believe it: there are no cookery shows on telli tonite. No masterchef, no Rick Stein, not even that footballer! Has Britain gone back to chips?

AnonymousFebruary 14th 2010.

No they are all HEROES Whalley Ranger

DescartesFebruary 15th 2010.

No cooking programmes, but lucky for us there were 8 different dance competitions across sky. Man, am I ever glad I spent money on Sky - don't know what I'd do without it.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2010.

Give it SKY up for Lent Descartes.

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