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Sleuth's top 25 food stories of 2010

Opinions, predictions and the stories themselves

Published on December 30th 2010.

Sleuth's top 25 food stories of 2010
An interesting year thinks Sleuth, who’s put on about a stone and a half being taken out for food with Gordo, Schofield, Allan, Binns and the rest.

2010 activity has included Living Ventures taking over much of the Heathcotes operation, Marco Pierre White moving into Merseyside and Chester, and Gordo being on Come Dine with Me and never letting it drop.

The year has seen the continued consolidation of hotel restaurants as key players in the city scene. The Hilton, The Lowry, Abode and Mint Hotel are now top destinations in the city – with the Malmaison backing them up. To highlight this David Gale of Podium at the Hilton won the Chef of the Year award at the Food and Drink Festival. Another big international operation to make a mark on the Manchester food scene has been Harvey Nichols with Stuart Thompson’s controlled excellence in the restaurant and brasserie there.

It’s also been a good year for the independents.

Prestwich’s Aumbry won the aforementioned Food and Drink Festival Restaurant of the Year Award and Damson in Heaton Moor continued to gain admirers. Sleuth hopes for one or two more small scale, good looking, good cooking venues in the city centre along the lines of Aumbry or Damson for 2011.

As for bars, the Black Dog Ballroom on Church Street became vogue central, while the re-invented Castle Hotel on Oldham Street showed the way for pubs. Meanwhile Cicchetti from the San Carlo group delighted diners and put Kendals (aka House of Fraser) back on the dining map.

There have been some curious culinary exotica around as well. In February Robert Owen Brown fed Sleuth bulls testicles at The Mark Addy – Sleuth had a ball. Then there was the cupcake phenomena. Or ‘effing cupcakes’ as we called them. Sleuth wonders if 2011 will be the breakthrough year for bulls testicles in the same way as cupcakes?

What definitely is going to happen is that Living Ventures are going to open Australasia under the Armani building on Deansgate. This will be glam, ambitious and promises fine dining. At the top end of King Street, chain restaurant Browns Brasserie will appear in the former Athenaeum pub while Jamie’s Italian – an arm of the Jamie Oliver empire – will fire up its ovens in the former Midland/HSBC Bank.

The latter reminds Sleuth of his funniest food and drink moment of 2010.

On April Fool's Day Confidential published an article titled 'New Italian restaurants banned', claiming that the city council had stopped all Italian restaurant openings for a year as 'capacity had been reached'. All the so-called 'Italian' arrivals had annoyed us. Gordo even came up with the term YAFI, meaning Yet Another Fucking Italian. It caught on amongst many in the industry.

Anyway at 10.30am on April Fool's Day, Sleuth got a call. It was the PR woman from the agency dealing with Jamie's Italian. She said, “This is terrible news for us, we're opening in the city. How can they do this? Who can I talk to?”

Sleuth said, “Why don't you ring the man we mentioned in the article, the president of the Italian Food Society?” “Of course, what was his name again?” asked the lady. “Signor Dolmio,” said Sleuth and gave her a false number.

Ten minutes, the lady was back on the phone, “I've made a bit of fool of myself, haven't I?” she said.

Come Dine With Me exposed - click here.

Obsidian reviewed - click here.

Food and Drink Round-up 08/07/2010 - click here.

Sam's Chop House review - click here.

Croma review - click here.

K2: Is this the maddest bar in Manchester? - click here.

Thomas Restaurant and Bar review - click here.

Albert’s Restaurant review - click here.

Osteria Mauro Mottram St Andrew review - click here.

Bem Brasil, Deansgate, review - click here.

Marble Bar, 57 Thomas Street, review - click here.

Too many bars in the Northern Quarter - click here.

The Castle Hotel: a perfect new pub? - click here.

Best places for afternoon tea - click here.

Frankies Fish Bar review - click here.

Tim Bacon: Fine Dining for Manchester - click here.

Manchester shuns good food guide - click here.

Cicchetti and a pear - click here.

The Alchemist review - click here.

Charango review - click here.

The Podium review - click here.

When Marco Pierre White met Gordo - click here.

Loch Fyne review - click here.

Jamie’s Italian review - click here.

Grill on the Alley Group buys Heathcotes stock - click here.

Room review - click here.

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Jake DDecember 31st 2010.

Went to Loch Fyne again in Didsbury and as with this review found it a disappointing experience. Why can't we get a fish restaurant right?

James11364January 2nd 2011.

Because Green Kings Area Management stinks!

whateverJanuary 6th 2011.

AKA : your friends and advertisers

Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 6th 2011.

Dear Whatever learn to read would you? This is the top 25 most read food and drink stories and features about four advertisers. If you want to have a chat then contact me on jonathans@manchesterconfidential.com and I'll have a good long conversation with you about how we have an independent editorial that writes as it sees fit and chooses its own areas of investigation, review and interest.

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