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Food Roundup Wk 25: New Almost Famous, New Steak Restaurant, Nice Pics

Lots of news about food and booze

Written by . Published on June 21st 2013.


Food Roundup Wk 25: New Almost Famous, New Steak Restaurant, Nice Pics
 

Huts, Grass, Food And Almost Famous On The Move

Beachclub from the Almost Famous boys and girls is open now in the open air theatre space at Great Northern Square. You'll find jolly beach huts providing a 'Mexican-American-fusion-happening' including burgers, shrimp (prawn) and beach-style cocktails plus loads of interesting sweet things. It all looks very pretty down there, let's hope for sunshine, floppy hats and frolics. And rude poems - see the bottom pic on this page.

Beachclub

Beachclub

Menu on a shack

Menu on a shack

Sweet Nothings

Meanwhile above Beachclub the Rekorderlig cider and perry bar is another weekend 'happening' in a series of huts - there's a garden centre somewhere doing very well. Rekorderlig is a Swedish product that's trying to do a 'Magners' and become something in the world of drinking for younger festival groovers. Shame then it is so sickeningly sweet, indeed it tastes like boiled sweets. Good look to Rekorderlig but at least one of the variants could have been a bit more masculine and dryer perhaps. 

Rekorderlig

Rekorderlig

Crowed And On Top Of The World

Jamie Jones from Manchester has been ‘crowed’ (sic) the ‘world's best gin bartender’ after winning a global competition in France. Jamie is a bartender with The Liquorists in Manchester and carried the field becoming the G'Vine Gin Connoisseur 2013 at the annual Gin Connoisseur Program in  Cognac, France. Good lad. Not sure what he had to do to achieve this but it sounds grand enough. Jamie was up against opposition from Cloud 9 in Melbourne, Quinary in Hong Kong and something called Cut by Wolfgang Puck in hazy Singapore. The talented Mr Jones also took first place in the hotly contested Cocktail & Spirit challenge. 

Red Meat But No Red Wine

Rump’n’Ribs is now open on Oxford Street close to St Peter’s Square. The menu is shown below. All the steaks are halal from Aberdeen Anguses (or is that Aberdeen Angii?). There is no alcohol though and no bring your own policy. Steak and no booze. Wow. Interesting concept that flies in the face of received wisdom. Good luck to them.

Manchester's premier halal steak house

 

'Manchester's premier halal steakhouse' - as opposed to all the others

Spanner Tightens Up The Kitchen At RBG

Great news this. Dave Spanner, ex-chef of Livebait and a man who not so long ago brought magnificently cultured food to the menu of the Lloyd Street fish restaurant is back in the city centre. He’s now leading the kitchen at the Restaurant Bar and Grill. Aussie Spanner is an interesting character who’s cooked all over the world and even on water when he headed up kitchens on luxury liners. Restaurant Bar and Grill are lucky to have him, he may well bring the kitchen a huge reputation.  

Dave Spanner formerly of Livebait is now on the tools at Restaurant Bar and Grill

 

Dave Spanner formerly of Livebait is now on the tools at Restaurant Bar and Grill

One Year Old And Going Strong

The Violet Hour in  West Didsbury on Burton Road, of course, is celebrating its first birthday this week. To mark the event they’re launching a new cocktail and food menu. You can check out what the Violet Hour is planning here

Chorlton Beans Get In The Spirit 

Salon de Kahlúa, which took up a residency on NQ's High Street to promote the Mexican liquour is turning up in Chorlton as part of the suburb's Coffee Festival from 28-29 June next week. This is an initiative from Manchester's mixology wizards The Liquorists and Teacup on Thomas Street. The Salon de Kahlúa will take over the garden at Morley Cheek’s on Barlow Moor Road where the Liquorists will be crafting a range of exclusive coffee themed cocktails.   

The Liquorists' Massimo Zitti mixes at cocktail made from coffee

 

The Liquorists' Massimo Zitti whips up a coffee cocktail

Surprise, It's A 'Street Food Market'

The ‘Street Food Market’ at Piccadilly Gardens has launched. It will take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 1pm-3pm. Little confusing this. Wasn’t there a food market there already? Anyway, according to the promo, ‘street food has taken-off around the UK and is currently undergoing a renaissance across Manchester’.  This is rubbish of course, there’s always been street food, it’s just been given a new lease of life through marketing. Anyway if you can see through the ludicrous title then you’ll finds over 15 stalls selling food from around the globe including Middle Eastern wraps, dim sum, chow mein noodles, Italian pasta, ostrich burgers and African cuisine. Love this: ‘The launch of the market will also see the introduction of a loyalty card scheme providing regular visitors with their tenth lunch for free’. Ah yes very authentic, very ‘street food’, you see those loyalty cards all the time in the bazaars of the East.

Olive Oil In The House Of God

MY oleaginous colleague Neil Sowerby switched his attention from wine to olive oil this week. The extra virgin was flowing free at Gorton Monastery at a two-day olive oil conference featuring many of Italy’s finest producers, Neil can now tell his grassy Sicilian from his peppery Tuscan with his eyes closed. 

One of the North West’s Michelin-starred chefs, Nigel Haworth of Northcote Manor did the cookery demo, proving you can make a risotto from cauliflower rather than rice and that peaches in olive oil can be a dessert. The conference was organised and hosted by Maurizio Bocchi from another Ribble Valley restaurant, La Locanda in Gisburn.

Major hiccup (apart from those induced by the no-spitting policy when tasting the oil) was the clash with Robbie Williams at the Arena, resulting in city centre hotels being block-booked. Still there is a God and the Italian visitors were eventually found far-flung lodgings.

Jesus Oilmighty

Jesus Oilmighty

Nigel Hawarth hits the bottleNigel Haworth hits the bottle

Tartare And Offal And Italians

Excellent Northern Quarter bar and grill restaurant, Solita, is also celebrating its first birthday with the launch of its basement as a dining area and a new summer menu featuring: ‘DIY tartare, offal, seafood aplenty and dirty butter, a surprising range of salads and even something for vegetarians’. The name of the restaurant by the way is derived from its location 'South of Little Italy' because, you see, Ancoats was formerly the home of a thriving Italian community. Of course the title has nothing to do with the New York area with the same moniker.

Solita beer boiled shrimp with dirty butter

 

Solita beer boiled shrimp (prawn) with dirty butter

Nice Pics Catch The Food Writer's Eye

A note to other restaurants and bars here. For their press release above, Solita provided us with drop dead gorgeous pics. So they have all been included. It’d be lovely if others could follow their example.

Heritage tomatoes from Solita

Heritage tomatoes from Solita

Charcoal grilled mackerel at SolitaCharcoal grilled mackerel at Solita

Solita's black and blue saladSolita's black and blue salad

Beachclub's naughty rhyme from Almost Famous

Beachclub's naughty rhyme from Almost Famous

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

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

IanJune 21st 2013.

looking at the Rump'n'Ribs menu... what awards has the burger won? lol

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan MoranJune 24th 2013.

Totally agree..... If it's here in 12 months time I'll eat my non halal hat! Halal meat is creeping in to the UK at an alarming rate, it won't be long until we have laws forcing resturants etc to become halal.....It's unnecessarily cruel to animals and we should all be doing our damnedest to ban it in the UK!

AnonymousJune 24th 2013.

Sorry Jonathan but this isnt the daily mail comments section.

Jonathan MoranJune 24th 2013.

Until you grow a set Mr/Mrs Anaymous please do not address me.

AnonymousJune 25th 2013.

Ref Halal, the meat itself is going be be pretty poor. Its a known fact, that when the cow is 'murdered' in this way (Halal is not slaughter imo) the stress on the animal causes a horrendous amount of lactic acid to be produced. This does not result in tender, relaxed, and therefore, tasty meat. Go Gaucho, GOTA, L'Entrecote etc and support ethical methods of slaughter and enjoy tasty tender meats. Ps. I am not the same anon as above, just cant get my flipping login to work. And my rant here is not about a 'daily mail comment' on get the halal eaters out of our country etc, its about the quality of the meat will be shit for the reasons above.

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

Rump'n'Ribs, halal? No booze? No bring your own? That place is going to bomb. Ooops, I don't mean literally though. Cattle bled to death though? Is not going out for a drink, the new going out for a drink?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
jrsteeveJune 21st 2013.

Don't agree with halal in the slightest, won't be going! Indeed other steak places will probably use halal meat as it's a hell of a lot cheaper, really wish they didn't though.

MaggieJune 22nd 2013.

I'm with you JRSTEEVE, I find the idea of halal meat abhorrent. Even worst, no bottle of full body ruby red wine to go with it!

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

and with a small?? glass of non alcohol at £2.50 not for a meanie like me either. Don't think Gordo will go.

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

re Jesus....feeding the 5000 thousand or was it 4?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
JebusJune 21st 2013.

It was both - you don't waste a good party trick, so I fed the 5,000 (Matthew 14, Luke 9, Mark 6, John 6) and then I did it again at the slightly smaller gig for 4,000 (Matthew 15, Mark 8). If you don't like bread and fish, tough. Although I was thinking about coming to Manchester and branching out into a) italian and b) gourmet burgers. I'm also great at a wedding.

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

I enjoy smoke salmon with a variety of breads

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

actually I had Kro's gravlax sandwich last night ...tasty but the sauce was too strong. No sure if you can get it in Galilee at Petros.

jimbob2210June 21st 2013.

Rump'n'Ribs? But there are no ribs on the menu.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 24th 2013.

Presumably because they tend to be pork.

AnonymousJune 26th 2013.

they serve t bone steaks so technically they have ribs lol

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

I think you need to checkout the times of the street market. We were there this morning at 1045 and it was open. All stalls looked really good quality

Adele BackhouseJune 21st 2013.

any1 been entrecote on king street yet? lookin 4 a good steak place as grill on ny st. dissapointed

4 Responses: Reply To This...
IanJune 21st 2013.

is this sarcastic? it closes jun 29th

HelenJune 21st 2013.

L'entrecote closes on June 29th?!

HelenJune 21st 2013.

I've been impressed by both city centre Blackhouse Grills and also le Relais de Venise l'Entrecôte... In both restaurants, he steak was lean and deeply flavoured; the steak was cooked as I asked. And alcoholic beverages... featured.

IanJune 24th 2013.

yeah, gonna try and visit this week before it shuts

JoannaJune 21st 2013.

Dear Jonathan, thanks for the note in recognition of those SoLITA food shots. All credit to Carl at The Vain for those (and to Franco & SoLITA for providing great dishes). In my opinion Carl turns out consistently great shots for a number of my clients, food being particularly hard to shoot out of a studio. He'll be chuffed to bits with the (well deserved) praise. Ta muchly on his behalf, Joanna

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 23rd 2013.

Sad how all these 'indie' places have such cynical maketing machines behind them. Perhaps it's better for you not to make it obvious how far from their 'down wit the kids' routes your 'clients' are Joanna. And completely agree with the Wall-E comment. Shocking how far stroking the ego of certain website owners will get you. I think they've even named a dish after one particular website owner. I can bet they don't actually like him as a person though. Once again, nice bit of cynical PRing. Manchester has a real issue with all this 'faux' easy going places. It's sad when you go to other cities that are cool and just et on with it (and don't charge corporate prices for drinks)

AnonymousJune 24th 2013.

Completely agree, all these "indie" places that we're being preached at to support are about as rock and roll as Ann Widdicombe at a WI tea dance in Middlewich. There was a long fawning article on here the other week about the ghastly sounding owner of something that masquerades as "indie" yet is something of a chain in itself. It amazes me why the Good People of Manchester are taken in by the spin of places like "Famous" who's fanboys justify their high prices by snootily claiming not to want "Printworks Overspill" chomping on their burgers next to them. Heaven forbid. What Manchester needs is ACTUAL casual dining at reasonable prices - NOT some contrived set up by Living Ventures, or some guy called Chad spending his trust fund on selling a load of "dirty" burgers for £10 and a vodka and coke for £8 - which is, quitre frankly, a piss take.

AnonymousJune 24th 2013.

I totally agree- go and chomp your burgers on the beach if you prefer your trustafarian pretentiousness with a hint of sand.

Steve5839June 21st 2013.

Some more exuberant claims for Solita, it's ok, but I just don't get the hype. Went there last week, enjoyable yes, but not that good.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Wall-EJune 21st 2013.

You'd think the owner was friends with lots of influential local critics and gave out freebies for bloggers - oh wait.... the burgers are good, the rest is below average since chef jj left. Salad leaves from tesco; chips from mccain. Winds me up the love for that place.

StephJune 22nd 2013.

And yet they keep banging on with their Twitter account about how they're not a burger place and want to get away from that. If they ever do take burgers off the menu then surely they wont be around for long.

IanJune 24th 2013.

are the chips actually mccain?

Cor OnaJune 22nd 2013.

I take it you're being ironic Wall-E?

AnonymousJune 25th 2013.

Well I have to say that the couple of times if been to SoLITA it was well tasty and I've not had a burger yet...

AnonymousJune 25th 2013.

Solita featured in Hungry Hoss's top 50 restaurants in the North West at number 7 last week. What a rediculous claim. The place is good, they are workign hard to keep on chaining the many and the best of luck to them, but 7th best restaurant int he North West, have a word with yourself!

1 Response: Reply To This...
IanJune 25th 2013.

yes but he did say "this is MY top 50" and if he goes there every week (perhaps for free food) then perhaps it would be up there in his opinion.

AnonymousJune 25th 2013.

Re the provenance of Solita ingredients, ask the staff at the Tesco Express on Church Street!

1 Response: Reply To This...
IanJune 25th 2013.

surely just for one offs? wouldn't make sense to regularly buy from there would it

AnonymousJune 26th 2013.

Thats likely, however I assume they dont reduce the price on a 'one off' basis when potentially inferior ingredients are used.

1 Response: Reply To This...
IanJune 26th 2013.

true, but I wouldn't expect the waiter to say "we've taken £2 off the bill because we had to get the cheese from tesco"

Cor OnaJune 26th 2013.

Surely buying from Tesco would be more expensive than buying from their usual wholesaler? sounds like a disgruntled former employee?

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