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TNQ's New Signature Dish

It's ribbed... for your pleasure

Written by . Published on June 19th 2013.

TNQ's New Signature Dish

THE Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar have just launched their new signature dish – slow cooked pork belly ribs in a secret recipe containing at least 457 ingredients, well sixteen actually – but that’s still a fair amount of components for a dish that is usually considered to be a typical menu-filler.

"Ribs have a bit of a bad rep, pork's seen as a little boring. But it's not, it's great. It's the best meat. It's relatively inexpensive and you can do loads with a pig."

“There’s a lot of love gone into these ribs”, Head Chef Anthony Fielden told us at TNQ’s #Getribbed event, “I've been perfecting this recipe since I first started chefing about fourteen years ago."

Img_1804Anthony dishing out a good ribbing

"I've tweaked and tweaked them over the years, so much so that I'm up to sixteen ingredients now - each batch comes out slightly different to the previous batch."

So why make ribs a signature dish? What's so bloody special about them Anthony?

"Well I was up at quarter to seven this morning to make them for a start. Ribs have a bit of a bad rep, pork's seen as a little boring. But it's not, it's great. It's the best meat. It's relatively inexpensive and you can do loads with a pig."

"I can't tell you exactly what's in the secret recipe, but there's a few interesting things in there like fennel seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, rice vinegar, golden syrup is a big one - it's about getting the right balance."

But what does Anthony think to the Americana food craze that has swallowed up the city, a craze so abundant and overwhelming that our Editor was actually driven to bury a burger in his garden. Ashes to ashes, patty to patty.

"I think it's very faddy, I'm sure it'll die out soon. It's all this Man vs Food shit, I'm not into it, I'm against it."

Why so?

"It's all this gut-busting dirty food stuff. It's gorging for the sake of gorging. The principle of it troubles me. How many people are starving around the world, and then you have all these people having competitions to see how much they can eat. It's disgusting."

Getting ribbed on the terraceGetting ribbed on the terrace

So do Anthony's ribs not fall under the greasy and gelatinous swathe of Americana? Are ribs an appropriate signature dish for TNQ?

"These are more of an Asian influenced rib - not that smoked BBQ American style rib. There may be a few rib joints popping up around the city but I've been cooking them for a long long time - this isn't a fad."

"The ribs as a signature dish may be straying slightly from what the restaurant is usually about - local seasonal and very British food - But the pork is sourced locally and to be honest, on the lunch menu at least, we're allowed to play around a little, I'm given free rein."

And in all honesty, Mr Fieldan's ribs are absolute belters - just about the best rib I've ever tasted. However, this declaration would certainly carry more weight had I ordered ribs in a restaurant more than about four times in my life.

But there's always been a reason for this rib snobbery, a reason why I pay about as much attention to ribs on a menu as I would Big Brother Series 39 in a TV guide - because they're usually crap.

If you've ever been forced to visit a Harvester or a Little Chef, or any other soulless grub vendor with the vigour of ex-Pope Benedict XVI in cryogenisis - you'll know that ordering the ribs is a bit like opting for the guillotine - you're hoping that in comparison to the other more grisly options it'll be relatively painless and over rather quickly.

You must be ribbingYou must be ribbing

This certainly isn't the case with Anthony's ribs at TNQ. They're everything you want and need a rib to be. The meat slips off the bone with the slightest of touches, the sauce is perfectly rich and flavoursome (that'll be the sixteen ingredients) without straying into the gloopy drudgery of the typical rib.

Most importantly, unlike many a rib, they're actually finishable - So at the risk of pissing off Anthony, scoff until bursting point.

Follow David Blake on Twitter.

Follow TNQ on Twitter.

TNQ's menus avaliable here.

The slow cooked pork belly are £9 on their own, alternatively the lunch menu offers 2 courses for £13.95

The Northern Quarter Restaurant and Bar, 108 High Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1HQ.

0161 832 7115

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

Axel LariatJune 20th 2013.

"The principle of it troubles me. How many people are starving around the world, and then you have all these people having competitions to see how much they can eat. It's disgusting." Opined with a humungous dollop of irony, presumably (it IS the NQ after all). When you're charging £15+ for a main course, you're not really in a position to take the moral high ground on starving children are you? Laughable.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
MaggieJune 20th 2013.


MaggieJune 20th 2013.

Axel, He has ranted against vulgar excess, the food at TNQ is not vulgar or excessive and reasonably priced for a quality meal

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

Spot on Maggie

1 Response: Reply To This...
Axel LariatJune 21st 2013.

Reasonable to you perhaps, but if you're one of the starving people he refers to, you probably would call £15 for a single plate of food quite excessive. Vulgar, in fact, to use your word Maggie. Easy for AF to make glib comments about world hunger issues from within the comfortable confines of his Manchester restaurant.

AnonymousJune 21st 2013.

Unless eatery owners are offering a starving people meal for £1 + very large donation they should get off the band wagon. Even Mike would not have em in the parade

Peter AdamsJune 21st 2013.

Went to NQ last night to try the ribs. They were excellent, well worth a try.

Barnaby JonesJune 24th 2013.

I was interested until I read him slating the other restaurants, especially when nearly NONE of them are actually doing Man v Food challenges. There's nothing wrong with american style sloppy food, but there's everything wrong with your ill informed opinion.

Jonathan MoranJune 24th 2013.

All the negative comments are from owners/sycophants of the vile burger joints thet ManCon were quite happy to take £££ off and are not leading a campaign against......confused? You will be!!

Jonathan MoranJune 24th 2013.

**now before the spelling police flick the blues and twos on and go through my front door.

AnonymousJune 25th 2013.

The ribs look outstanding, but as for his rant about 'starving people' - he could do with taking his head out of his a**e.

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