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Gordo’s Food Bits n Bobs for February

Confidential's spitting, drinking, cussing, gluttonous Les Patterson is let loose

Published on March 7th 2012.

Gordo’s Food Bits n Bobs for February

Wine (and fittest barmaid of the month)

OK, let’s get straight in with the dish of the month. Maybe not, let’s leave that ‘till later. Let’s do wine first; there are three or four stand out moments. Totally remarkable was an English sparkling wine, called Herbert Hall, drank at lunch with a whole crab at the bar one Sunday at J Sheekey's, the great fish restaurant just off St Martin’s Lane in London theatre land with a whole crab at the bar.

Wine And Crab At Sheekey'sWine And Crab At Sheekey's

The wine was the first vintage from Marden Vineyard in Kent and Gordo could probably pick it out in a blind tasting now. A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and a delicate, feminine wine with a very slight tinge of art-house pink, it was fantastic.

Not Allowed To Call It ChampagneNot Allowed To Call It Champagne

Next up, a couple of Burgundies up in Ramsons in Ramsbottom. Gordo was up there for a farewell dinner, as the remarkable chef, Naz, is leaving to strike out on his own. Gordo took a couple of bottles from his own collection, one of them Charmes-Chambertin ’99, Pierre Bourée Fils. Superb, velvet heaven. From Burgundy of course, Gordo’s favourite.

Wine And Port At RamsonsWine And Port At Ramsons

Chris couldn’t be outdone of course, so he brought another Burgundy out of his own cellar, Beaune-Marconnets ’88 which again was a world class drink. He couldn’t trump Gordo’s pudding wine, mind you, a Chateau Filhot ’03, a sweet Sauternes. If anyone out there knows where Naz is going, let Gordo know and he will buy you a drink…

Wine of the month was Pintia Toro, 2006, Tempranillo/Tinto Fine, drunk at Confidential’s favourite metropolitan Spanish gaff, Jose Pizarro. This is a fabulous bottle, and Jose proves he is serious about his booze when you consider that Berry Brothers and Rudd have it listed at over £40 wholesale whilst our hero is charging under £80, a sensible margin. Now, look at the picture at the top of this page for the sexiest lady in the bar business.


Gordo went to Booths over in the Media City enclave. To try a new brand of pork scratchings, being promoted by Tom Parker-Bowles and the delightful Mathew Fort. Called Mr Trotter’s Great British Pork Crackling, they did taste pretty darn good. These two, mind, being a bit southern, were somewhat dismayed when Gordo explained that us lot up ‘ere had in fact been eating them for many years.

Scratchings By Any Other NameScratchings By Any Other Name

Young Parker-Bowles, possibly a future step-son to the King of England, was great fun as it happens. He was discussing the average BBC southern senior management’s attitude to moving to Salford and recanted the following brief conversation whilst filming one of his cookery shows.

“It’s just not possible for me to move up there Thomas, my dear boy…” whimpers a fifty-something chap wearing a cashmere cardigan, a neckerchief and shiny corduroys.

“Why not?” asks Tom, wiping his apron.

“Well, for a start, I’m a vegetarian!”

It has to be said that these particular cracklings (or scratchings to us lot) were superior to Mr Porky’s, but not as good as Rob Owen-Browns at The Mark Addy Pub. Mind you, they’re a bit less hairy. Get up to Booth’s everyone, apart from Mr. Trotter’s ‘cracklings’, it’s the best big food store in the area.


Getting off the tram from Media City after the Booths gig, Gordo bumps into one of his good looking readers.

“Hi Gordo, what are you up to?” she asks.

“Just been to Booths over in Media City,” replies Gordo. “Writing about a new brand of pork scratching,” he adds, feeling pretty darn cool about the whole thing.

“Not exactly war reporting, is it darlin’, ” replies the fit one, who gives Gordo a kiss on the cheek, winks and buggers off up the street giggling.

The War ReporterThe War Reporter

Dish of the Month

Honourable mention goes to Southern 11’s hickory wood smoked spare ribs. Sticky, messy and seem to have been stewed in a clay pot for 32 hours more than the 4 advertised hours over a charcoal pit. Angel food.

Australasia has settled into a good consistency. The sous chef has been on the tools the last two times that Gordo has been in, delivering fab stuff, the boss was the mixed sashimi.

Australasia SashimiiAustralasia Sashimii

Up at the leaving party for Naz at Ramsons, Lou, the chef from downstairs, came up from the cellar with a wild boar chop. This was a winner. It was a big masculine meaty chop, crunchy, chewy, full of fight. Fantastic. If you haven’t tried Lou’s cooking yet, you should do. It’s called The Hideaway and it’s underneath Ramsons. Arguably she is the best rustic Italian chef in the North West.

The burger at The Oast House in Spinningfields makes the short list, the bun could be softer mind you. And the music could be turned down of an evening.

OK, so with no further ado, the dish of the month was the Wild Brill up in Cartmel at Simon Rogan’s gaff, Rogan and Company. Just Mega-Lush, Gordo can still taste it a month later.

Dish Of The Month Wild Brill At RogansDish Of The Month Wild Brill At Rogans

The ‘Why can’t we do this up north?’ section

Walking out of Fergus Henderson’s Michelin starred gaff one day in That There London, St. John, Gordo was confronted by this Y board outside the pub a couple doors down. Read it and weep.

Can You Imagine If This Was Outside A Mancunian PubCan You Imagine If This Was Outside A Mancunian Pub

Best dinner party

This one goes to the mentalist that is Franco Sotgiu and his lovely missus, Lucy, who had a few people round to try a traditional Italian Bollito Misto, a bloody great big boil-fest of meats traditionally cooked at big family gatherings back in his native Italy.

Franco's Bollito MistoFranco's Bollito Misto

Arguments rage across Italy about the ingredients as strongly as we argue about Lancashire Hotpot. But, you can rely upon a whole calves tongue, beef brisket, a chicken and some Cottecino, spicy Italian sausages. The stock is used at first as a soup; Franco had made some tortellini, threw them in and served them up. Brilliant.

A copy of the biggest book Gordo had ever seen made an appearance at the table, a copy of Modernist Cuisine, much lauded by Mary-Ellen McTague, co-owner of Aumbry, the outstanding restaurant in Prestwich, who was sat next to Gordo. This is on offer on Amazon at £311 English. Yes, you heard Gordo correctly the first time.

%26#163%3B300 BookBig money foodbook

Food gig

Gordo was taken to Electrik in Chorlton for a dinner by the poet botherer, Ruth Allen. It was a Monday night, with Electrik showcasing the talents of Simon Shaw, chef at the critic’s favourite tapas bar/restaurant in a weird place in Yorkshire. Simon is excellent and can chat a bit. Gordo isn’t sure if the style of his food was best served in the manner of vertical courses but it has to be said he loved the evening. Electrik is a good bar. Strangely most of the blokes had beards. Weird, Gordo agrees with you. Wines were good from the lads next to the Cathedral, Hanging Ditch, who are getting pretty good at the game. Best of all was a carefully written sign on the wall in the bogs, very Chorlton. See the picture.

On The Bog Wall In ElectrikOn The Bog Wall In Electrik

Restaurant of the month

Bells of Peover. It’s forty minutes from Manchester and fifty from Liverpool, but could be a thousand miles away. Get out there; it will do you the power of good. Gordo’s review of Sunday lunch can be found here.

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

AnonymousMarch 7th 2012.

Are the Southern 11 ribs the same ones that come with Heinz BBQ sauce out of a bottle? If you sit at the bar you can see the staff in the kitchen brushing it onto the meat on the griddle.

Karina JadhavMarch 8th 2012.

Hi Anonymous, at Southern 11 we do in fact use Heinz BBQ sauce as a base, to which we add several ingredients to get the taste we desire. Although we may give the ribs a final lacquer with the sauce. We found the sauce we were having specially made for us was actually not as tasty as the Heinz BBQ for our base - they have obviously spent a great deal of time developing this product. However we do hand rub ALL of our meat in house with our own blend of herbs & spices and smoke it with hickory/oak/cherry (depending on the meat) for up to 20 hours (although sometimes more sometimes less- smoking is an art). We also make our bread, cornbread, whipped potato, burgers, meatballs, batter, blue cheese/garlic sauces, cheese sauce, parmesan tuiles, salsa, guacamole, whipped butter, donuts, fudge.... the list goes on, we make it all from scratch in our kitchen. We work really hard to provide good quality fresh food with locally sourced meat that is affordable. We're sorry if our use of Heinz BBQ sauce has offended you, but we hope you won't completely discount us because of it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 11th 2012.

It didn't offend me, I just thought it strange that a restaurant which specialises in BBQ would use something like Heinz BBQ sauce. Also, why were you having a sauce specially made for you? Just make it yourself in your kitchens, it's not hard.

P.S. Pay up Gordo

avoMarch 8th 2012.

Why has the post where Gordo calls anon a bit of a tosser and promises to donate an amount of money to charity if there was proof of Heinz BBQ sauce useage suddenly disappeared???

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldMarch 8th 2012.

Nothing suddenly about it dear Avo. I removed the rant at about 6.30am this morning when I was doing so pre-work editing. He was pissed in the middle of the night, ranting and too rude - I remove rude rants if they overstep the mark routinely. He's going to re-post soon in a more appropriate manner.

AnonymousMarch 8th 2012.

How much money?

avoMarch 8th 2012.

I think a figure of one million dollars was mentioned...

John NuttallMarch 8th 2012.

Somehow that story about the vegetarian BBC manager just sums it all up regarding the BBC's move to Media City. I'd like to set my whippet on him

2 Responses: Reply To This...
MaggieMarch 8th 2012.

I'd drown him in my bath, but it's full of coal....................

SmittyMarch 8th 2012.

I'd give him a good kicking, but I don't want to scuff my clogs

Tom RogersMarch 8th 2012.

Gordo in pissed / rude / ranting shocker?!

Nikki JacksonMarch 8th 2012.

Tom, you missed out slightly lechy from that list...

Beau BeauMarch 9th 2012.

LOL Heinz?! Seriously though if Southern Eleven had a bottle of it out on every table no one would take them seriously as a BBQ restaurant. Found it thoroughly average - food as dull as the operator and the decor --- sheeez I endured one of his drones at the MFDF11 - took a passionate subject (meat and sauce) and ruined it with his monotone delivery and lack of spark. Disappointing concept - was hoping for more - will give another go but seriously HEINZ?!?! behave. Hey confidential lot imagine if you saw San Carlo spooning on a bit of Dolmio or Ragu before sending it! Fess up the cash Gordo that has been selectively edited $1 000 000 half of which should go to helping southern eleven learn how to make BBQ sass - and maybe a little toward a weekend in Vegas to cheer the fUnkers up

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 9th 2012.

sheeeeez..... sounds like you need to get life Beau Beau; think someone has a giant chip on their shoulder :)

Beau BeauMarch 9th 2012.

True enough- must worry less about quality of food and enjoy life - weekend ahoy - woop woop - ps keep that heinz BBQ sauce away from my chips - on a food high I have discovered THE BEST kebab shop in Manchester - see the little things keep me smiling - almost wish I was starving / pissed / mungover to really enjoy one. Have a top weekend - retracts over zealous rant over southern 11 - don't really give a shiz- it's a great addition to the diversity of eateries in spinningfields with or without Heinz ps though it is a joke to use Heinz in an 'authentic' BBQ restaurant! (couldn't help it - must try harder to not care)

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