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Gordo’s Food Bits And Bobs: May 2012

The worst dish of the week plus Bagel Nash, Ramsons, 63 Degrees, Italy and a diabetes clinic

Published on May 22nd 2012.


Gordo’s Food Bits And Bobs: May 2012

Bacon butties

Right, let’s get off on a high folks, the best bacon buttie in the city. Previously, this would have been any Phillpots, the breakfast bar team having had a little Gordo-esque instruction on getting his three rashers of bacon crispy, the ciabatta buttered correctly and the right amount of tomato sauce. These were at the top three years running. But Gordo’s heart has been captured by another.

Bagel Nash. In Spinningfields.

Crispy bacon. Lots of. Good tomato sauce, well buttered, freshly toasted poppy seed bagel. The bacon is fantastic. The whole thing cooked fresh every time, butter dripping down Gordo’s chin. Oh my, these are fabulous. Steer clear of the scrambled eggs: which should only be used to seal car radiators.

Bagel Nash Best Bacon Buttie In ManchesterBagel Nash Best Bacon Buttie In Manchester

 

Worst dish of the week

Gordo was visiting the first birthday party for that rather lovely Didsbury restaurant, The Rose Garden. The boys and girls here consistently get great comments from Gordo’s readers and on the night delivered some delightful canapés and a cracking Prosseco. Frosty the Butcher was there, looking shifty, along with the lovely blogger and deli owner Deanna.

The world’s greatest restaurant critic was fancying trying out the Gurkha Grill up the road but his companion, Kate Leech, was having none of it. “We’re going to Albert’s on Barlow Moor Road, Fatty, or I’m off”.

The Peach clearly wasn’t fancying a curry, or a Nepalese as it happens, so Gordo finishes up in that very smartly done-out gaff belonging to James Ramsbottom, a canny man when it comes to investment.

Amongst the dishes, Gordo spots a favourite and orders. Duck Confit. Gordo loves this stuff. Duck legs poached for hours in their own fat then stored in a sealed jar. When you want one, warm it slightly, put the leg into a cast iron frying pan, get the thing sizzling, using that fat, get the skin crispy, with the meat melting away underneath, plenty of salty sea salt. Serve with fried potatoes and a sharply dressed green salad. Bliss.

What Gordo got were a couple of legs that had been dried out in a hot oven, tough as boots, so badly done that that the Great One was thinking that creature had been skinned alive before being cooked. It was covered in a sauce so wicked it should have been on a ducking stool. Sticky, gluey, sweet, jam-like. Horrid.

The very last thing that a lovely, crunchy, salty, fatty duck leg should have had to endure. Let alone a crap dry one. Gordo was completely baffled. Then to find that on top of the two weird lumps was a strawberry cut in half - Good God Almighty. Who thought this was a great idea?

Ramsons

Out with the old, in with the old. That great chef, after what seems like decades has moved in from the eccentric Chris Johnson’s jewel that is Ramson’s in Ramsbottom.

Naz the chef has moved on and his right hand man, Babak, has moved up to head chef and is proving a winner.

Babak And Chris Talk BallsBabak And Chris Talk Balls

 

Along with a re-decoration that has seen a lightening of the place and white table cloths, Chris appears to have been toned down as well.

He was only rude to Gordo twice during a press dinner recently.

The table got to eat their way through the new menu. The lamb dish included fries. That’s bollocks to you and Gordo, dear reader. It was a great big hit of flavour and texture. Gordo can recommend you going. The new look and the food are a hit.

Babaks LambBabaks Lamb

 

White table cloths

Gordo went to dinner at 63 Degrees, the family run French restaurant in ‘The Light’ building. Alex, the gaffer, has taken Gordo’s advice, as all sensible restaurateurs do, and covered the tables with proper white linen cloth. The effect is terrific, the room is much softer and the acoustics, as generations of restaurants have found, balance out beautifully. Gordo can actually hear himself speak.

63 Degrees Lamb63 Degrees Lamb

 

Alex has upgraded the menu as well. Have a look at the lamb in the picture. It was cooked to pink perfection, set on a bed of slow roasted tomatoes and aubergines, with an aroma of rosemary. Set off with a bottle of Clos du Marquis, 2004, a St Julian with the classic feminine nose of this, Gordo’s favourite area of Bordeaux. Alex’s wine list is now exclusively French, brilliantly balanced and shall be keeping the Fat Drunken Disgrace busy for a while. Fuller report of the new menu to come.

Fab St. JulianFab St. Julian

 

Hospital catering

Gordo is diabetic and attends the excellent diabeties centre on Hathersage Road run by the frustrated gourmet and food commentator that is Professor Andrew Boulton. Gordo fancies his missus as it happens but she’s a bit lippy.

Anyways, Gordo has had endless lectures about eating crap food by the Prof and his staff so he was a bit surprised to see the new catering arrangements for us all in the waiting room. See the picture.

Hospital Catering, Cornerstone Of A Nutricious Meal For Diabetics As Prescribed By Manchester Royal InfirmaryHospital Catering, Cornerstone Of A Nutricious Meal For Diabetics As Prescribed By Manchester Royal Infirmary

 

Italian ham. Or not…

Gordo got invited to inspect the vineyards supplying the San Carlo empire in Alba, northern Italy earlier in the year.

More of that in a couple of articles coming soon. At dinner on the first evening, in a one Michelin starred restaurant owned by the family who owned most of the vineyards, who in turn own Italy’s largest construction company (can you tell Gordo was impressed?) the team were given an introduction to Italian foodies attitude to local ingredients.

The second course was a strip of the most luscious ham Fat Boy had eaten in a while.

“Where’s this from?” asks Gordo of the owner, the delightful Francesco.

“Iberico, Espagna,” he answers.

Gordo is a little puzzled, thinking the answer might have been the pigs in the back yard of the farmhouse down the road and asks Francesco if they don’t follow the ‘local is best’ policy as many British chefs do these days.

“Aagh, never mind that,” replies Francesco, “best is best is the Italian policy….”

Ham From EspagnaHam From Espagna

 

Parking

Take a look at the parking photo outside Gordo’s Eyrie just off Albert square. Before the new parking regulations it was virtually impossible to get a space. Really working that policy eh, Councillors?

Council Parking PolicyCouncil Parking Policy

 

Mathew Fort and Tom Parker-Bowles scratch pigs at HN

Gordo attended a dinner at Harvey Nichols as a guest of Michael Currie, the gaffer of the second floor food and beverage loveliness. Tom Parker-Bowles and Mathew Fort, Gordo’s new ‘bessies’ were flogging pork scratchings, known as Mr Trotters.

They are very good as it goes. The deadly duo had worked with the second floor restaurant’s newly appointed head chef, Sam Everett, to concoct a menu featuring the scratchings.

The weirdest course being ‘Baked Egg Custard, Mr Trotters Pork Scratching Brittle’. Gordo was wondering about this, but it turned out well, the pork scratchings effectively being used instead of salt in the caramel. Enjoyable.

Happy Trails.

Mr. Trotters Pork Scratchin PuddMr. Trotters Pork Scratchin Pudd

 

Any stories for Gordo? Email him at gordo@theconfidentials.co.uk or follow him on twitter @GordoManchester

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