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Gordo's Bits'n'Bobs Wk 15: Whole Chicken Fetishism

The Fat One muses on pies, chefs and cut-throat razors

Published on April 16th 2013.

Gordo's Bits'n'Bobs Wk 15: Whole Chicken Fetishism

Albert Square Chop House Is Massively Fowl 

Part of the mighty Roger Ward’s Chop House series (Sam’s, Mr Thomas’s) Albert’s on Albert Square is settling in nicely. Gordo’s pal, chef Stuart Valentine,  @chefvalley, has produced some excellent food in the last few weeks, including a mutton broth (a the dish of the week), Barnsley mutton chops and a very refreshing beetroot and curds salad. 

I know, sounds boring, but just right. 

Stuart sent a few tweet messages to tell Gordo about a new idea; whole roast chickens on a Sunday, for two to three people.  No ordinary chickens these, a dozen or so of Reg’s special cluckers from up in Goosnargh. These chicks are remarkable, no cages for them. They get a pedicure and massage once a week, their own room with an en-suite and a bed of roses. 

Then they get their necks wrung. 

And Stuart puts them into brine for twelve hours on Friday, dries them out on Saturday and finally roasts them off on Sunday. With all the trimmings. If you ask nicely, you can have a Yorkshire pudding. Oh, along with a teapot full of Northern chicken gravy. 

These movie stars are just £28 a pop, value for two people or indeed three. If you want one, you need to book your table and reserve one; take a look at the video… 

Solita and Italia 

It appears that something odd has gone on and Gordo’s pal and fantasist Franco Sotgiu is back concentrating on the outlandish but tasty food that has challenged many a foodie over the past six months or so at Solita. Italia isn’t spoken about any more. 

Franco’s latest edition at Solita is pulled pork and Scotch egg soldiers. 

Forgive Gordo, but is he the only person in Manchester who isn’t pulled-sodding-pork’d out? They do look a bit lush mind.

Pulled Pork SoldiersPulled Pork Soldiers

There’s no such thing as bad publicity 

Gordo wrote a ‘constructive’ review (click here) of a meal from Ernst van Zyl, the Rolf Harris of Molecular Gastronomy over at Etrop Grange, which has the best food of all the airport hotels, as long as you stick to @Erniechef ‘s standard menu. 

Unlike other, lesser, ‘modernist cuisine’ chefs such as Simon Rogan or Heston, who spend years perfecting a dish prior to it making the menu, the lively Ernst produces ever changing plates for his diners brave enough to choose from ‘chef’s dinner menu’. 

Ernst doesn’t bear a grudge and takes all criticism in a positive manner. When asked by one of his followers on Twitter how business was, he replied thus… 

@Erniechef: Since a review a few weeks ago by a man with tastebuds like that of a dog that licks his balls & arse daily; we've been even busier. :-)” 

Gordo wonders who was on Ernst’s mind…… 

Etrop Vegetable Petits FoursEtrop Vegetable Petits Fours

Heart Attack of the Week 

Well the previous one. Gordo summoned his trusty Chorlton guide, Wotherspoon, to go and get pissed with him a couple of Sundays ago. San Juan was shut, so the deadly duo dodged baby carriages, pugs and Labradors on a journey north to The Beagle, that much re-incarnated gaff on Barlow Moor Road. 

Spectacular little pies on the bar, and crisps to die for. But the coup de grace? Something called the Manchester Steak. It was minced beef and lambs kidneys, made into a ‘steak’ battered and deep fried with chips that put the crunch into crunchy. Brown sauce as well. Gordo’s arteries were furring up by the minute. Gorgeous. 

Beagle Heart AttackBeagle Heart Attack

Complete F****** Mental Case of the Week 

Hands down, Johnny The BaaBaa. Actually a barber, he came into Mancon Towers perched on Morgan Leahy’s shoulders. Both mad Irishmen, they are thinking of bringing Johnny’s barbershop from Cork to Manchester. The idea was to give The Editor a haircut. He was somewhere else ‘researching’ (yeah really, in a pub?), so Gordo got the treatment.

Johnny’s unique selling point is that he cuts hair with a cutthroat razor. It was an uncomfortable half hour.  Gordo asks you, dear reader, to take a look at the picture. You too would be a little concerned. It worked in the end, mind. 


Johnny The BaabaaJohnny The Baabaa

Poor Personal Grooming of the Month 

Goes to Marcello Distefano and Thom Hetherington. Marcello and his dad, the irrepressible Carlo, had been selected for one of three special achievement awards at Thom’s Northern Restaurant and Bar show in March. The stunning success of San Carlo’s restaurants in the North and latterly, in London and the Middle East earned them the accolade. 

However, as can be seen in our picture, Anthony ‘Tony’ Lyons, from Kuits solicitors, and Carlo, are both showing the other two the way home when it comes to having a shave. Gordo is going to introduce the pair to Johnny The BaaBaa. 

Mind you, Gordo’s drinking pal Tony is used to close shaves over at Kuits… 

Anthony, Carlo, Marcello And ThomAnthony, Carlo, Marcello And Thom

Yohji Yamamoto

Gordo’s old pal Anthony H. Wilson came to mind when Gordo was in the bookshop on Saturday. Tony used to buy some of his outfits at the Yohji Yamamoto shop in London. Gordo likes his stuff, but always finds him a bit glum. Leafing through a huge coffee table book, he found an interview with the Japanese designer. 

“What about an ordinary day, what do you do from waking up to going to bed” asks the interviewer. 

“I wake up in despair and go to bed in resignation,” replies our chirpy chappie. 

Forgive Gordo for doing some self-harm later on in the day. 

Pie of the Month 

Thyme Out Deli in West Didsbury has won a place in Gordo’s heart recently, for its breakfasts. He called in on the way to his mum’s and picked up one of their pork pies with chutney. And a couple of slices of cake. Awesome. Get some. 


Thyme Out PieThyme Out Pie

Thyme Out Deli Raspberry CakeThyme Out Deli Raspberry Cake


Restaurant Opening of the Month. 

CIBO is opening in Didsbury, having taken over the old La Tasca spot. Owned by Adam Karim, the proud owner of a pair of feet the size of small canal barges, along with chef Martin Cordwell. Gordo is becoming impressed. Martin has a good pedigree with his food whilst Adam can worry a ten-pound note around a car park for three hours. 

The first tasting showed mainly Venetian small plates, with two of the dishes proving to be outstanding. One was a great rabbit stew. Expect good niche cooking, definitely not a YAFI. (Yet Another F****** Italian.) 

It’s opening around 25 April, look out for news on Confidential. 

Italian WabbitItalian Wabbit

Fit Bird of the Month (And Gordo's politically correct message of the month) 

Try, like Gordo did, to get an excuse for a meeting at The Hilton with Aimee Sieczko. Use any excuse. Well worth it. No pictures yet, but Gordo will be working on it.

Painful Personal Grooming Appliance of the Month

Gordo had received complaints about nasal hair recently, so, having spotted a neat piece of personal grooming kit in Boots, he made the purchase and shot off home to sort the nasal forest out. 

A quarter of the price of the branded appliance, he was feeling well pleased with himself. 

Until he stuck it up his nose and turned it on. 

When he came to on the bathroom floor wondering where the fuck his left eyeball was, he vowed, never again. Not even for companion status with Wotherspoon. 


Nasty Nasal Hair DestroyerNasty Nasal Hair Destroyer


Happy Trails 


You can follow Gordo on Twitter @GordoManchester 

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

Judith WatsonApril 16th 2013.

Cork!! Johnny the BaBa, Morgie; get 'im!

crisbyApril 16th 2013.

I too have one of those nasal trimmers, don't go anywhere without it. Works reasonably well on eyebrows too, and don't worry about your eyeball, they grow back. Still on the original battery after about 5 years. Doesn't half make me sneeze though.

Thanks for the mutton chop 'heads up' - Albert for me this Friday!

AnonymousApril 16th 2013.

Marcello is sexy!!

nices wolkchenApril 16th 2013.

why does gordo have to tell us when someone is his friend? it sounds like gordo is bragging about his 'industry' friends. wow gordo you are so popular.
i bet your such good friends with stuart valentine he feeds you roast chicken for free .......
i also bet your such good friends with mr valentine you promote his restaurant at every opportunity.
True Friendship..... Gordo Style

4 Responses: Reply To This...
San TuanApril 16th 2013.

Joe, are you a simpleton? Have you not figured out Gordo is a cartoon character?

AnonymousApril 17th 2013.

Personaly Joe I prefer it when a writer declares and interest, helps me to make a judgement about the impartiality of what I'm reading.

nices wolkchenMay 7th 2013.

i hope your not a ManCon employee masquerading as a anonymous! sure sounds like it.

AnonymousMay 8th 2013.

sorry to disapoint you wolkchen I'm a reader just like you.

Poster BoyApril 16th 2013.

...."unique selling point".

AnonymousApril 17th 2013.

Nah JS: ManCons expense account must be well and truely debited.

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