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Gordo's Quirky Christmas Restaurant Tips

The Fat One recommends five of the best

Written by . Published on December 9th 2013.

Gordo's Quirky Christmas Restaurant Tips

IT'S that time again, the one which has Gordo reaching for the opium pipe to get away from the Yankee advertising agencies’ definition of Xmas. When he was a lad, working in his family’s butchers business, he had to graft up until 9pm on Christmas Eve, making sure the punters got their turkeys. 

Once, he had to take the local bobby’s home with him. Sergeant Kirk, six foot four and 250lb of rock, came to pick it up after his shift had finished at 11pm. 

When a sixteen-year old Gordo went to get it off the pantry draining board, Charley, Maureen’s prize Burman was there, licking its lips. The bastard had tucked into one of the breasts. 

“Just to point out Sergeant, as my Dad promised, this is a wild one, same as we’re having, so expect some damage to the breasts from where he shot it. Happy Christmas.” 

Anyways, Gordo promises that there is nothing wrong with his alternative Christmas dinners listed here. Check if you want to go on Christmas day as he can’t be arsed to, but they are alternative, top quality and, as important, great fun. 

Yang Sing 

Harry Yeung is the great master of the banquet and if you fancy taking your work colleagues out for something completely different, try this. If possible, when booking, ask for his daughter, Bonnie Yeung, to say hello when you get there. She is mainly responsible for the resurgence of the brand alongside her two brothers who are making sure that Harry works his arse off. 

The result is a number of set menus which are delivering world class Cantonese food and cooking. Guests will remember a stand out experience instead of grey gravy and bland turkey roll. 

They have a number of ideas for private dining as well, if you are looking at numbers. 

Should you want to add to the standard menus with a request for, say, a whole suckling pig, then ask away. They are brilliant with Cantonese duck as well, but tell them you want it at room temperature; you DO NOT want it reheated in any way, shape or form. Gordo’s advice is stay away from the tripe. 

Contact details and links. 

2013 12 08 Yang Sing, This Piggy Didn't Make It To Market


Yang Sing, this piggy didn't make it to market

The Violet Hour.

On Burton Road in West Didsbury a while ago, Gordo went for an organised dinner in the upstairs room. This was a matched food and drink affair, based on France which made Gordo do a double take with its food quality. It ate really well and the wine merchants who ran the matching were truly on the ball, showing some of the lesser known and therefore very affordable French wines. The Violet Hour wine stock is worth trying, taking on and beating its New World cousins hands down. 

On the ground floor is a really cheeky bar.  These guys know their cocktails, but you will be surprised at the beer range, both bottles and draft. Gordo loves it. It would stand up to any of the gaffs in the trendy parts of NYC. 

Comfortable leather chairs and sofas, tables to huddle round and a couple or three tables outside to sit a while, all wrapped-up-toastie.

If I wanted to get my pals together, or even work colleagues for an informal Xmas drink, lunch or dinner, at a good price this is the one for me. 

Have a look online here. 

Violet Hour


Violet Hour


This one is in the Northern Quarter and you have to work hard to find it. But if you navigate to Back Turner Street you’re in for a treat, this place is becoming a bit of a cult bar/brasserie, with exposed brick, relaxed atmosphere, a bar upstairs and downstairs with football on at the key times if that’s your thing. 

Montpellier's launchMontpellier's launchMore of a neighbourhood bar than anything else, it serves food from snacks and sharers to some bloody good stews. Mainly French inspired, with tartiflette on as a starter, crepes at brunch and a solid Boeuf Bourguignon as a main, this place is tailor made for a great session, lunch or dinner. 

It’s open late, with DJ’s on till late. If you want to come on from elsewhere with a team, it’s a good venue. 

Give them a call on 0161 832 3146. 

Lucha Libre 

Newly opened in the Great Northern Warehouse, it’s Mexican, a sister to the one in Liverpool. Very authentic street food here, if they keep looking after people like they looked after Confidential on a recent night out the Manchester branch will be as popular as the Liverpool one very soon. 

The guys who own and run the places are all ex-Living Ventures people, the team who own Australasia, Grill on the Alley etc. Thus the service standards – a hallmark of Living Ventures – are very high. 

When Gordo took the ManCon crew we had a brilliant night. That good that when Gordo finally parked himself at the bar of the newly opened Elixir on Deansgate, down the road, he fell off his stool. The team loved that, Big One prostrate on the floor. 

Lucha Libre is perfect for a team to sit down, drink beer and graze off the menu. Shots are all over the place like a rash and cocktails work there asses off. 

Gordo tip? Pork belly and grilled pineapple quesadillas and the utterly brilliant Pacifico Clara beer. 

Get In. 

Contact details.  

Lucha's Quesadillas


Lucha's quesadillas from heaven

Podium at The Hilton. 

David Gale, the head chef and a pal of Gordo, is the man to go to for a formal lunch or dinner. The main dining room can be a bit soulless at lunch, but during the festive season it’s rocking. If you have a big-ish budget and want to get stuck in to some of the best classically trained chef’s cooking in the North West this is the gaff.

Chef Gale cooked Schofield and Gordo grouse (main picture above) back in September that was astonishing. His brigade are top drawer, and are cooking out of their skins presently. 

Do not be shy if you do arrive here. Ask for David, telling the waiter that Gordo sent you from ManCon. If he is there, he will make the effort to come out and see you. If you catch him early enough and if he offers to choose your meal, say yes immediately. 

Good wine here as well. 

Contact details.

Last, but not least. 

Fine Dining at Great Prices; click here.

You can follow Gordo on Twitter here @gordomanchester

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