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Food and Drink Round-up 23/08/2010

New ‘sensitive’ Japanese restaurant, the death of the Lion and Chinese restaurant battle

Published on August 24th 2010.

Food and Drink Round-up 23/08/2010

Reader recommendation: Yuzu
We have a couple of Mancunian based Japanese readers amongst the Confidential thousands. This is an item of sweetly worded news from our buddy Kamano: ‘An authentic Japanese restaurant has just opened in China Town - Yuzu. They do not have any fancy sushi, just simple dishes which cooked by mothers in Japan, indeed ‘home food’. The price is very modest. The skill of the chef seems to be very high, you can tell if you looked at very-fine cut white radish (with Yuzu dressing).’.

There’s also an interesting aside from Kamano about subtlety. ‘Taste is very ‘sensitive’ and very good for Japanese food lovers, but the British may need more ‘strong’ taste. So you might ask for ‘extra’ (soy) source. Unfortunately, Yuzu is located in China Town which serves dishes with ‘strong’ taste'. Kamano seems to be hinting that us Brits like it hot or heavy when we go East. Not all of us mate, not all of us.

Swift sampling: review to follow
A brief sampling of Yuzu one lunchtime showed that Kamano was right. This food is all about gentle talent not poke your eye out spice. The pick was a ton katsu or pork loin in breadcrumbs, good miso soup as well. No licence as yet so bring your own booze. We're doing a full review very soon.

Bolton nosh bolt-hole
Bolton Food and Drink festival is almost upon us and takes place from August 27 to 30. Already gigs for Gino D’Acampo (click here for more news of this man), the Hairy Bikers, and James Martin have sold out. Other events won’t need a ticket, thus MasterChef 2005 winner Thomasina Miers is one of the many chefs conducting demonstrations in the Rangemaster cookery theatre in Victoria Square. Other chefs appearing include winner of BBC Fusion Chef of the year Aazam Ahmad. On Saturday, August 28 Matt Nugent from the Olive Press will be cooking at noon and Aazam Ahmed at 2pm. As for beer celebrations tickets are still remaining for the Ale Trail on Friday 27 August. Call the Albert Halls on 01204 334400 to book tickets.

Britain’s fave Chinese restaurant comp
Twelve Chinese restaurants in Manchester have been nominated to become Britain’s favourite Chinese restaurant – these are: Blue Ginger, Buffet City, Glamorous Restaurant, Pacific, Pearl City, Red Chilli, Sweet Mandarin, Tai Wu, The New Emperor, Wings, Yang Sing and Pond Quay. They are among 500 Chinese restaurants across the UK entered for Tsingtao’s Legacy of Taste 2010 competition and the pressure is now on, as voting opens to the public to select four finalists.

The idea is to highlight the importance of quality and attention to detail in Chinese restaurants, taking into consideration elements such as food, service and surroundings. To vote for your favourite restaurant and be entered into a prize draw to win a trip for two to China www.legacyoftaste.co.uk For us it would have to be Red Chilli everytime – though maybe we need to give Wings another look after Trainergate (click here)

Cookery classes in Chorlton
Cracking Good Food has announced details of its next round of cookery classes. The Chorlton-based cookery network ran its first cooking sessions for members of the public in June and July, introducing enthusiastic amateur cooks to new recipes and styles from Mexican Tapas to sustainable fish dishes. The three-hour classes cost from £10 and include all ingredients plus concluding meal. Classes take place Saturday mornings in well-equipped domestic science rooms at Chorlton High School on Nell Lane.

The first six sessions are in conjunction with Chorlton’s Unicorn Grocery: Gluten-free treats (with Fernanda of Unicorn) Saturday 11 September; Seasonal roots and squashes (with Unicorn’s Nina) Saturday 18 September; Great Bakes (with Richard from Unicorn) Saturday 25 September; Tasty Tofu and Tempeh (with Unicorn’s Lorenzo) Saturday 2 October; Use Your Loaf! (with Cracking Cook Rob) Saturday 9 October; Mexican Tapas (with Fernanda) Saturday 16 October. For the red in tooth and claw reviewers of Confidential some of these titles seem like oxymorons – ‘tasty tofu’ anyone?– so we might wait for the next bunch of cookery classes and then join in.

Manchester’s garden city flowers for food
The Garden City Festival celebrating local horticulture, produce and food in South Manchester takes place next month in Wythenshawe town centre. Food will be on offer from restaurants, market traders and local cookery groups such as Spice Rack and the Authentic Food Company. There's a chance to make your own smoothies via the BlendaVenda – a bike that powers the blender to make your chosen concoction. There will be a Q&A sessions with BBC Radio Manchester’s gardening expert Andy Hewitt, a vegetable growing competition, displays from Quarry Bank Mill and horticultural societies along with floristry and other demonstrations. A mini-farm, owls and a children’s funfair should keep the kids entertained. The Garden City Festival takes place on Saturday 18 September. Entrance and most activities are free. Click here.

Thomas is Proud
Thomas on Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter is holding a Pride Of Manchester Wine and Dine Evening on Wednesday 1 September from 7pm. Reservations on 0161 839 7033. This is all about Manchester Pride festival and includes live music and raffle prizes for the Lesbian and Gay Foundation such as a hotel room at Velvet (Sunday - Thursday), a re-style or cut at Ethos hairdressing and a free make over at Harvey Nichols. Oddly it also includes prizes from other Northern Quarter venues such as a meal for two at English Lounge plus a bottle of fizz, pizza and an hours pool at Black Dog Ballroom. How very broad-minded.

The menu looks suitably lush, even camp, with starters such as pan-fried cod cheek with cauliflower, crispy pork and tarragon sauce; mains including seared venison fillet with braised red cabbage, potato gratin, cispy pancetta and bitter chocolate sauce and puddings such as pear tart tatin with pink jelly, clotted cream and caramel sauce. The price is £40 including matched wines.

The Black Lion roars no more
Excellent boozer the Black Lion on Chapel Street in Salford has again closed its doors. It’s another victim of the ludicrous profiteering from the pub owning companies, in this instance Enterprise Inns, who almost seem to be working deliberately to ensure the death of the British pub. Landlord Tim Flynn who had turned the pub into a place of decent food and fabulous ales has retreated to his original pub the New Oxford in Bexley Square, a kilometre up Chapel Street towards Salford University. This still ministers to the ale-drinker and traditional pub-goer very handsomely.

Confidential’s food snob discussion of the week
This overheard in Chester restaurant. “I love Beluga caviar, I love spooning it straight into my mouth,” said a flamboyantly coiffured young lady. “I hope you use a bone or mother of pearl spoon,” said her grandmother (we presume). “Any spoon will do for me,” says the youngster. “Oh dear darling, never use a metal spoon as the metal taints the taste of the caviar, it would be very embarrassing in company.”

Party, beer, totty and canapes
Britain’s first self-service draught beer restaurant, Taps, had a cracking party to celebrate its first birthday a couple of weeks ago. The venue in the Great Northern Tower on Watson Street in the city centre hosted the newly crowned Miss Manchester 2010 Elicia Davies, plus a super-size version of a Vedett beer bottle. There were also some pretty fit beers including fruit beer, wheat beers, lagers and pale ales; canapés such as Gressingham duck, beef fillet and wild mushroom riscotto cakes tickled the tastebuds. A prize charity raffle, in aid of the animal charity ‘PETA’ closed proceedings. Taps is good for both food and drink, give it a whirl if you get chance.

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

Little BritainAugust 23rd 2010.

Sustainable fish dishes? Don't like it!

hartersAugust 23rd 2010.

Have just voted in the Chinese restaurant thing (for Red Chilli, of course - although it was a toss-up between there & Glamourous).

Spotted that Sweet Mandarin is on the leader board. Beats me how they manage to do that (as they did with the Ramsey F Word programme) - maybe they have a list of customers who they actively encourage to vote?

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2010.

Check out the number of followers Sweet Manderin have on Twitter - you'll be amazed

Why do they have that many?August 23rd 2010.

Sweet Mandarin are simply poor but have a wonderful marketing machine. Glamorous is sort of crazy. Strange that Red'n'hot isn't on there. If you want far eastern dishes in the Northern Quarter you go for Ning and Malaysia.

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2010.

Sorry *Mandarin*

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2010.

Sweet Mandarin spend about two thirds of their time marketing themselves and one third cooking. Very poor compared to the places across town, it was bland, bland bland. How the he'll they got on that TV show as best local restaurant is beyond me, fortunately when a blind visit occurred they realized how bad it was.

DrakeAugust 23rd 2010.

While bone or mother-of-pearl do provide fine caviar spoons, you could of course use metal, if the metal's inert (like gold). A bit flash though.

John HarrisAugust 23rd 2010.

Yang Sing inevitably makes the top 10 despite being f*ckING SHIT

ellpollolocoAugust 24th 2010.

Got to be Glamorous closely followed by Red Chilli. Yang Sing and Sweeet Mandarin equally poor.

JAugust 24th 2010.

Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli Red Chilli

Blurb!August 24th 2010.

The camera used to take the images is a digital SLR , perhaps a Nikon or a Canon ?
Probably taken by a semi-professional photographer?

Whatever, they're much nicer to look at like this and you get a better feel for the atmosphere.It adds weight ans further quality to the article

Something JS still struggles to get his head around.

James KeneallyAugust 25th 2010.

That Miss Manchester is a doll isn't she? Didn't even know we had one.

jAugust 25th 2010.

I like the Great Wall in China Town myself; they've not gone to much effort with the decor but the food is always great.

Sweet Mandarin is the worst Chinese i've been in in Manchester yet keeps getting nominated for these things, shows what you can do when you spend a fortune on marketing!

Rick19004August 25th 2010.

Unnnhhhggggg Miss Manchester... I'd be diggin in them drawers like I'm looking for ma socks, rising in the morning like hens and cocks!

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