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Food & Drink Wk 23: Velvet Central & Pieminister Cafe Opens

Jonathan Schofield takes a noshing stare about him

Written by . Published on June 6th 2013.


Food & Drink Wk 23: Velvet Central & Pieminister Cafe Opens
 

Pieminister Pie Cafe To Open

Bristol-based food brand Pieminister is opening a cafe-shop in Manchester on Saturday 15 June. The location will be Smithfield Buildings in the Northern Quarter and while the unit's interior is bijou, it's been given a smart tiled fit-out. It's 728 sq ft in size. Pieminister is the pie maker who puts exotic fillings in its meat and veggie pies and became de rigueur at trendy bars and festivals. It already has pie outlets in Bristol, London, Trentham (Stock-on-Trent) and Amsterdam (Not Stoke-on-Trent). The manager will be Graham White. Co-founder Jon Simon told Business Desk: "Manchester is a cool city and we are really excited about launching in May." 

On its way, a filling for Smithfield Buildings

On its way, a filling for Smithfield Buildings

Chickens Attack All Star Lanes 

In the first couple of months All Star Lanes, the food, drink and bowling venue in the Great Northern has hosted more than 15,000 covers. It’s been a (bowling) ball. After more than 2,000 burgers have been munched the alley is turning coop. On Tuesdays there’s now a ‘Chicken Dinner’ from 4pm to close. This southern-fried-chicken-like dish comes with sweet potato fries, gravy and a game of bowling for £12. (Funny how sweet potatoes are everywhere, they're now the veggie of the pulled pork world. Aren't food fashions curious?) 

Velvet Central Is Open

Here are pictures from Velvet Central, the old Beluga joint on the corner of Central Street and Mount Street - the main picture at the top of the page is of the interior as well. The venue opened in time for Manchester Day on Sunday 2 June and serves food and drink. This is the first move out of the Village for the company - on Canal Street, they own a bar, restaurant and boutique hotel. As the pictures show, the famously flamboyant spirit of Velvet has been reproduced in the new venue. It's fortunate in having one of the finest city terraces in Manchester crammed between the Central Library and the Friend’s Meeting House. Review to follow shortly.

Velvet Central

Velvet Central 

Velvet Central interiorVelvet Central interior

Whisky and Pies and Ale

Richard Freedman, the Manchester Brand Ambassador for Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch Whisky (sounds a bit cultish and witchcraftery that) is conducting an 'informal, educational session of talking and tasting about whisky as a category, Johnnie Walker as a brand and Red Label as a specific product'. He’ll answer questions such as: What are single malts? Why blend whisky? What makes a good dram? Can you use whisky as fuel to run a small car? What’s the maximum amount of whisky a Scotsman could smuggle under his kilt into say, Saudi Arabia, without being caught? Something like that. There’ll be tastings, whisky cocktails and so on. Monday 17 June at 7.30pm. 0161 228 1610. 

Taam-per Proof

Of all the communities of Manchester the Jewish one is least blessed with restaurants and take-aways of sufficient quality to attract people outside the local audience. Taam might address this. We’re hearing good things about the Taam. Or even the team at Taam – largely this is via one of Manchester’s biggest eaters, Thom Hetherington. Taam is at 19 Bury New Road, Prestwich, M25 9JZ, 0161 773 1645. It’s a ‘Middle Eastern Grill and Deli’ and is ‘ free from nasty MSG’. Well bless them for that. Part of the menu is shown below, you can look up the rest at the Taam website. It does take-out too. 

 Taam menu

 

Taam menu

Booths Launches Customer Card Scheme and Mobile Phone App

Booths has launched a Booths Card. The company has 29 stores with one in MediaCityUK. The card will allow customers to register via the retailer’s website or mobile app and keep track of receipts whilst being eligible for all manner of discounts, deals, access to events plus magazine style features on the stores and their products. The Booths Card is also available at the checkout at stores. 

Thai Food Festival At Vermilion 

Gratuitous picGratuitous picVermilion has a Thai Food Festival taking place. This comes from master chef Chatchai Jamjang and features ten new-to-the menu dishes. Dishes such as Pla Thod Yam Mamuang (£26.50), crispy deep-fried whole seabass served with crunchy fresh green mango salad, pepper and cashew nut, and Hor Mok Khoong Yang (£19.99), grilled marinated Ocean Tiger prawns, served with egg souffle, butter veg and pak choi. The menu is on offer until the end of June. For those not in the know, Vermilion’s interior looks like that casino gaffe where James Bond met Severine (Not from Stoke on Trent) in Skyfall. Full details of the Vermilion menu are here. 

Vermilion

Vermilion

MediaCityUK Damson Deal

We like the only outpost of decent food in MediaCityUK, Damson. Their lunch and early evening menus are a good deal given the quality of Simon Stanley's cooking. It's £16.95 for two courses, and three for £19.95. Choices presently include: Ziti pasta with Whitby crab, chilli, ginger and coriander, grilled fillet of rainbow trout, warm potato salad, avocado puree, Bois Bourdain sauce, roasted chicken breast, creamed potato, spring vegetables and morel sauce and iced pistachio and nougatine parfait with crushed raspberries. It's a quid cheaper on Sunday where two courses are £15.95 for 2 courses for Sunday lunch or dinner.  

Damson nosh

Damson nosh

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

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

Frazer MunroJune 7th 2013.

Nothing about Byron opening?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 8th 2013.

Byron is open. There you go.

Axel LariatJune 7th 2013.

The bar that is now Velvet Central used to be good, about 15 years ago. I can't remember the name it went by at that time. All since then, including Beluga, have been terrible. If anyone can remind me what it was called before Beluga I'd be grateful.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Hero
Manc GuyJune 7th 2013.

It used to be called Citrus back then. The basement was a bar area and they had a DJ too I think. It was popular. Velvet looks as though it's doing ok, but I think that's because of the recent hot weather. It's a great location.

Axel LariatJune 7th 2013.

Yes it WAS called Citrus, thanks, my mind was blank. Had some good nights out in the basement bit.

Caryl TurnerJune 8th 2013.

Interesting that Velvet has a taken a step out of the Village. It makes sense I suppose given the good name it has down there. I hope it's not a reflection on the Village though.

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