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Food And Drink Round-up March

Nespresso Bar Opens, The Best Bloomer in Manchester? Plus Pudding Club Reformed, And Northern Restaurant And Bar Show Success

Written by . Published on March 15th 2012.

Food And Drink Round-up March

Nespresso 'Boutique' Coffee Bar Opens

Nescafe have opened a 'boutique' coffee store at The Trafford Centre. The store, dedicated to the ‘art of the espresso’ as the press bumpf says will give 'taste testing lessons, led by the store’s in-house coffee experts, offering sixteen blends of coffee'. There are a remarkable 270 stores worldwide including some in coffee capitals such as New York and Vienna.

More interesting than that is the fact that the greatest living Rochdalian, Andrew Nutter, has designed 'a bespoke menu of savoury and sweet dishes to be paired with Nespresso’s premium Grand Cru coffee. Nutter's dishes include Nespresso Eccles Cake, which contains four shots of espresso, plus cocoa roast beef carpaccio with chicory and rocket, slow braised pork belly with a hot bean casserole, chocolate and malt crème brûlée. These are all matched with coffee. Is that possible? Doesn't the coffee destroy all other flavours? For example the belly pork is paired with 'a woody Roma Grand Cru'. We'll get down and give it a try soon.

Northern Restaurant and Bar Show Success

The Northern Restaurant and Bar Show 2012 took place Monday and Tuesday, 12/13 March. Organiser Thom Hetherington said, "We're pleased with the results. We had over 190 exhibitors and while we've not got the final count it looks like we were well up on last year with over 5000 visitors. We're also happy that re-bookings are running at 66 per cent for next year." Wow, and he said this the day after the event had finished.

Confidential wondered about the mood in the industry. "While people are still feeling wary about the economic climate," said Hetherington, "they realise they can't hide away from meeting customers and clients. This year, this also seemed to apply to the big brands, who took notice of the northern trade rather than hunkering down in London. They've realised it's important to get out and meet people across the country."

Northern Restaurant and Bar show: a perking up trade?Northern Restaurant and Bar Show: a perking up trade?

Chef Aiden Bryne at the Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar show demonstrates how far Manchester city centre is away from a Michelin starred restaurantChef Aiden Bryne at the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show demonstrates how far Manchester city centre is away from a Michelin starred restaurant

Pussy Galore - Idiotic Brand Of The Year Award

At the Northern Restaurant and Bar Show there was an exhibitor for Pussy. This is an energy drink aimed at women. Really? As a female friend of Confidential said, "It's not a pleasant word to say at the best of times."

Pussy didn't taste very nice either. While I (Jonathan Schofield), Helen Ramsbottom and Chris Grimes were grimacing over the flavour, the poor put-upon Pussy representative asked, "Would you like to do a profile of Pussy? Maybe talk to one of the directors?" "No," we said firmly.

Later at the Northern Ireland stall promoting the province's grub, Grimes was hoovering up some tasty cocktail sausages. "Don't snatch," said La Ramsbottom. "Snatch? Think we've got a new name for an energy drink," we all said together.

The brand with the name that dare not speak its nameThe brand with the name that dare not speak its name

Overseas Hotpot Success

A couple of Saturdays ago Confidential was taking a tour and passed the Angel pub just off Rochdale Road. The hotpot there was casually mentioned, as the richest, most wonderful hotpot around at the moment. It costs £7 and has been dreamt up by chef Alan Murray. A few days later Confidential got an email from a German man called Walther who had been on the tour with his wife. It read, 'I had never had hotpot before, and now I really like this traditional regional food of your city. Why is it so hard to find in other Manchester places?' Why indeed, Walther, why indeed? It's a British failing to be regionalistic and nationalistic about all the wrong things.

The Pudding Club Reborn

Manchester's famous Pudding Club has relocated to the Red Lion restaurant in Stockport. The Pudding Club, created at the Market Restaurant in the Northern Quarter in the eighties, achieved nationwide fame for elevating pudds to mains. Now those foodie founders, Mary Edgecombe (Su-Su) and Peter O’Grady, have relaunched the club at The Red Lion in High Lane where Aussie pastry chef, Kate Torville, has settled.

O’Grady says,“Not many places devote the care and time that the last dish of the meal deserves. The Red Lion does. I am delighted to make Stockport the new home for the Pudding Club. I’ve just tasted the excellent ‘steamed Seville marmalade sponge with grand mariner custard and Seville orange sauce’ and this dish is in the best Pudding Club tradition."

Peter_O'grady,_Kate_Torville,_Steve_Piling_And_Su-Su[1]Peter O'Grady, Kate Torville, proprietor Steve Pilling and Su Su

Steamed_Seville_Marmalade_Pudding[1]Steamed Seville Marmalade Pudding

Bread Of Heaven

So a casual visit to the deli Hickson and Blacks in Chorlton (559A Barlow Moor Road, M21 8AN. 0161 881 2001) delivers one of the best foodie experiences of the week.

Lovely little deli this particularly good for lovers of Spanish cured meats and cheeses. But it also sells bloomers in white or whole grain loaves - see picture below. These come from a commercial bakers at the back of Piccadilly Station called Bake Select.

The bloomers are beasts, huge, with a perfect crust - one of those you could tear off and delight in munching - and a perfect middle that begs to be heated up and eaten in thick slices, with salty butter metling through it, as though you're an extra in a Dickens' novel. Eating a slice is like eating a steak but made of bread. There is something so solid and robust and British about this bread it would make even the most ardent internationalist feel patriotic. The bread also works beautifully with oil and balsamic. 

The Best Bloomer in Manchester?The Best Bloomer in Manchester?

Horseradish Power

The salad in the picture of the bread above comes from a loose leaf ensemble from Unicorn Grocery (89 Albany Road, Chorlton,0161 861 0010) which costs a couple of quid, easily serves five, and is all grown at Glebelands (click here), once of Sale, but now relocated to Wales. The mustard leaves were a revelation including the utterly delicious Green in Snow leaves which kicked arse but felt so bloody healthy at the same time.

Simon Dunn Chocolat - ear

Chocolat-earChocolat-earStaying in Chorlton there's a chocolatier (or given the picture here, should we say chocolat-ear, ho,ho) opened on Wilbraham Road.

This is part of a mini-chain from Simon Dunn which has been around in the posh-Stockport suburbs for 25 years. There are some reasurring comments on the website such as 'all of our dark chocolates contain a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa'. Good. We also like this paragraph: 'Quality chocolate is a bit like fine wine, it can be measured by the length of flavour - when you bite into chocolate you should be left with a flavour memory – one which lingers after consumption.' Some of the special occasion products are odd though, hence the ear.

Presentation box without body partsPresentation box without body parts

Kro2 Closes But The Beer Goes On

Trade has been hit in the restaurant and bar scene hard over the past few years. But bizarrely in the city centre and university areas relatively few businesses seem to have bitten the dust. One big name casualty has been Kro2 the high profile bar in the old National Computing Centre on Oxford Road.

Still other parts of the Kro businesses are soldiering on including the Piccadilly branch, the original Kro further along Oxford Road, and the one in Heaton Moor. Vitality is also shown by Kro hosting the Heatons' Beer Festival again at the Heaton Moor Scout Hut - fall over and you get a special badge, dib, dib. From Friday 30 March to Sunday 1 April there'll be 30 beers and 20 ciders present plus food and kids entertainment.

Kro2 In Happier DaysKro2 In Happier Days

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

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

Dr S FreudMarch 15th 2012.

I want to climb into that loaf and call it mother

HowieMarch 15th 2012.

Those Germans sometimes get the nationalistic thing a bit wrong too you know.

Mrs BrownMarch 15th 2012.

I thought Kro2 was being refurbished?


2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 15th 2012.

Nope, bit the dust

Calum McGMarch 15th 2012.

The website says refurb but clearly not. I am told they chose not to renew their lease. It didn't even make it to its 10th birthday. Sad times.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2012.

whaey! nutter branches out! cant wait for that!

paulMarch 15th 2012.

Andrew Nutter, has designed 'a bespoke menu. He is not running it

AnonymousMarch 15th 2012.

Paul, i never said he was running it i said branching out.

AnonymousMarch 15th 2012.

me got cups, me got coffee, me got sugar, but me's closing early cos me got no water !!!

AnonymousMarch 15th 2012.

praise the lord!

Chris HMarch 15th 2012.

Pleased about the Nespresso bar shame it's at the Trafford Centre. I'm just not a fan

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