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Good Food Guide 2015: MCR Entries Reassessed

Confidential applies a gentle and respectful corrective

Written by . Published on September 23rd 2014.

Good Food Guide 2015: MCR Entries Reassessed

WE love The Waitrose Good Food Guide (GFG). It's part of our life. It's a stalwart, a prop and guide to fine grub. 

The GFG is a good friend, incorruptible certainly, but sometimes armies miss details. We feel a few things have been missed in Manchester. 

But at Confidential we thought there was something odd about this year's Greater Manchester entries. 

The cooking scores - the main judgement element in the book - didn't make sense. For instance is The French really twice as good as Manchester House? Why leave out 63 Degrees? Why does Australasia have such a meagre score? Why if Solita, no Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn? 

These cooking scores are very important too. They create a hierarchy amongst the restaurants in GFG and for customers and chefs alike are the clearest indication of where a restaurant stands regionally and nationally.  

The GFG food score criteria are shown below. As with all such criteria there's some overlap but above all they're liable to morph as the subjective interpretation of individual inspectors kicks in.

This happens with all guidebooks, it's natural. 

Waitrose Good Good Guide cooking score criteria


Waitrose Good Good Guide cooking score criteria

At the same time as we didn't understand the scores we couldn't understand how some places had been missed out altogether.

Applying the same rules as GFG we think these restaurants should be included: 63 Degrees, Umezushi, Zouk, Tiffin Rooms, Mr Coopers, Yang Sing, James Martin, Salvi's Cucina, Cicchetti, Luck Lust Liquor and Burn, Baekdu, Gorilla and, Gaucho.

So recently we held a meeting of five of our food and drink writers in the Eagle Inn boozer in Salford and, using the GFG criteria, coupled with our knowledge outside the city and the nation came up with these respectful re-assessments. 

We've not reduced any scores from the GFG although we were tempted, but that didn't feel fair in this instance, we want to give Manchester a booster, set the record straight as we see it. 

A couple of T&Cs.

If the restaurant in the list below has no Confidential score we didn't think it needed to be increased.

If the restaurant has no GFG score then it was omitted from their Greater Manchester listing and we think that's wrong given their other inclusions.

The French, Peter Street, City Centre M60 2DS:

 Good Food Guide 8

Manchester House, Bridge Street, City Centre M3 3BZ:

 Good Food Guide 4, Manchester Confidential 7

Aumbry, Prestwich, M25 1AJ:

Good Food Guide 6

63 Degrees, High Street, City Centre, M4 1PN:

 Manchester Confidential 5/6

Australasia, Deansgate, City Centre, M3 3AP:

 Good Food Guide 2, Manchester Confidential 5

Michael Caines at Abode, Piccadilly, City Centre, M1 2DB:

 Good Food Guide 5

Second Floor, Harvey Nichols, New Cathedral Street, M1 1 AD:

 Good Food Guide 3, Manchester Confidential 4

Yuzu, Faulkner Street, City Centre, M1 4EE:

 Good Food Guide 3, Manchester Confidential 4

Umezushi, Mirabel Street, City Centre, M3 1PJ

 Manchester Confidential 4

Mr Cooper's House and Garden, Mount Street, City Centre, M60 2DS:

Manchester Confidential 4

The White Hart, Lydgate, Oldham, OL4 4JJ:

 Good Food Guide 4

Damson Heaton Moor (SK4 4HY) and MediaCity (M50 2HF):

 Good Food Guide 2, Manchester Confidential 3

Tiffin Rooms, Cheadle, SK8 1BR:

 Manchester Confidential 3

Gaucho, St Mary's Gate, City Centre, M3 2LB:

 Manchester Confidential 3

Grenache, Walkden M28 3JE:

 Good Food Guide 2, Manchester Confidential 3

Cicchetti, King Street West, City Centre, M3 2GQ:

 Manchester Confidential 3

James Martin, 235 Casino, Great Northern, City Centre, M3 4LP:

Manchester Confidential 3

Nutters, Rochdale, OL12 7TT:

Good Food Guide 3

Sanminis, Ramsbottom, BL0 9DJ:

Good Food Guide 3

Wings, Lincoln Square, City Centre, M2 5LN:

Good Food Guide 3

Hearth of the Ram, Ramsbottom, BL0 0AA:

Good Food Guide 3

The Lime Tree, Lapwing Lane, West Didsbury M20 2WS:

Good Food Guide 3

Sam's Chop House, Back Pool Fold, City Centre, M4 1PJ:

Manchester Confidential 3

The Rose Garden, Burton Road, West Didsbury, M20 2LW:

Good Food Guide 1, Manchester Confidential 2

Yang Sing, Princess Street, City Centre, M1 4JY:

Manchester Confidential 2

Salvi's Cucina, John Dalton Street, City Centre, M2 6FW:

Manchester Confidential 2

Lily's Vegetarian Indian Cuisine, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 7DF:

Manchester Confidential 2

Albert Square Chop House, Albert Square, M2 5PF:

Good Food Guide 2

The Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar, High Street, M4 1HQ:

Manchester Confidential 2

The Waggon at Birtle, Bury/Rochdale border, BL9 6UE:

Good Food Guide 2

Baekdu Korean, Shudehill, City Centre, M4 4AN:

Manchester Confidential 2

Zouk, Chester Street, City Centre, M1 5QS:

Manchester Confidential 2

Gorilla, Whitworth Street West, City Centre, M1 5WW:

Manchester Confidential 1

Greens, Lapwing Lane, West Didsbury, M20 2NT:

Good Food Guide 1

Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn, High Street, City Centre, M4 1HP:

Manchester Confidential 1

Solita, Turner Street, City Centre, M4 1DW

Good Food Guide 1

If all this seems a little arrogant or cheeky we apologise. But we think we know our stuff.

It's terrible, lonely and dirty work but at Confidential we're constantly dining out - in this region, and at home and abroad. Frequent experience is the best measure of good food. Of everything. Usually. 

And in any case the GFG invited us to do this. All of us. As editor Elizabeth Carter writes: 'Your voice can be heard. All you have to do is log on to thegoodfoodguide.co.uk. Every scrap of information is useful'.

Thanks Elizabeth, we'll send this article along.

The latest Waitrose Good Food Guide

The latest Waitrose Good Food Guide

By the way, the GFG entries are distilled from the 'huge volume' of recommendations and feedback from readers backed up by visits from expert inspectors. Hundreds of these are listed at the back of the book, with one chap happily called Johnathan Swift - which is near enough.

Because of the number of reviewers, GFG clears the title page for the rather flamboyant if factually dubious quote from Raymond Postgate who founded the GFG in 1951: "You can corrupt one man. You can't bribe an army."

We love the GFG, it’s a good friend, incorruptible certainly, but sometimes armies miss details. We feel a few things have been missed in Manchester. So humbly, we've put forward our own ideas for cooking scores and suggested some additions.

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


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

AnonymousSeptember 23rd 2014.

Its only Mancon that believes 63 Degrees to be any good - any national press that have visited have slated it.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
GordoSeptember 23rd 2014.

Have you been yourself ANON? Remember, most National Press or forced onto the train, bound and gagged, down in that there London by their Editors for the day. They are really pissed off by the time they hit Piccadilly and are ready to give Jesus a good kicking. Anyway, back to the question; have you been yourself so you can, most importantly, form your own opinion?

Calum McGSeptember 23rd 2014.

That's horseshit, anon. I've had two excellent meals there (and no duff ones).

mike_aSeptember 24th 2014.

I love 63 Degrees, the food is amazing. I suggest Anonymous tries the Tuesday night tasting menu.

AnonymousSeptember 23rd 2014.

No idea how Solita got into this when there are better burgers to be had in Manchester.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Henry VSeptember 23rd 2014.

That will be the PR force known as Franco

AnonymousSeptember 23rd 2014.

Whether Solita should be in there is a matter of debate, but addressing the point in the article as to why LLLB isn't there - because it's nowhere near as good as it was.

DmjSeptember 23rd 2014.

Anonymous - I'm with Gordon on this one, went to 63 Degrees on Friday evening and it was pretty wonderful actually. My partner and I dine out a lot, not just in Manchester and I think we're both well placed to judge a very good venue. 63 Degrees is indeed, very very good and Manchester is lucky to have it.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AVOSeptember 24th 2014.

Who the fuck is Gordon?

GordoSeptember 24th 2014.

Avo, sweet, Avo, sweet...

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2014.

He's the bloke you won't find at the MFDF :)

RevaulxSeptember 24th 2014.

A moron

AnonymousSeptember 23rd 2014.

I tend to agree with the point about The French and Manchester House though. The French is slightly better in my view, but the difference in score between the two in the Guide seemed a bit wide.

Cj ThompsonSeptember 23rd 2014.

I'm just over the moon to see you have recognized my all time favorite, Lily's Vegetarian Indian Cuisine.

crisbySeptember 23rd 2014.

Much though I love Sam's, I'd have thought the Lime Tree deserved to be on a higher level. Aumbry also underrated?

TimetoshineSeptember 23rd 2014.

Good to see Grenache in there.

AnonymousSeptember 24th 2014.

I doubt Rump 'n' Ribs will be in with a chance, but I did see some people in there today. I think they were asking staff for directions though.

RevaulxSeptember 24th 2014.

Good shout for Lily's. The White Hart is still decent, but equal marks with Manchester House is just ludicrous.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2014.

Zouk but no Mughli... really? REALLY?

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