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Best Snails In MCR, Festival Tales, Lovely Coriander Restaurant

Sleuth Wk 28: Manchester's master of news and absurdity

Written by . Published on July 8th 2013.

Best Snails In MCR, Festival Tales, Lovely Coriander Restaurant

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Coriander’s Gentle Sub-Continental Food

Sleuth wonders if the Coriander mini-group of Chorlton restaurants is providing some of the best Indian-style cuisine experiences in the North West. The new restaurant called, somehow amusingly, ‘Chorlton Central’, provides subtle cooking, a striking modern interior and excellent service. “What do like most about Coriander?” Sleuth asked Lorraine, a well-known Chorlton-devotee. “Well," she said, "the food isn’t a big mess of sloppy goo.” “Is Sloppy Goo a bit like Aloo Vindi?” asked Sleuth.

Duck, lentils, no slop

Duck, lentils, no slop

Confidential Cons

Every year or so, we do a silly but accurate review of restaurants on Manchester Confidential, usually involving sundry celebrities photo-shopped on the bodies of Confidential staff. Last week we did this review Albert’s Shed in Castlefield. The fake celebrities were Kenneth Branagh, Neneh Cherry, Zinedane Zidane and Mick Hucknall. The boss of Albert’s Shed, James Ramsbottom, saw the review and immediately called the manager, “Why the (curse) didn’t you tell me we’d had Kenneth Branagh in Albert’s Shed...oh...I’m reading it now...er...sorry...carry on.”

Branagh and Cherry - almost

Branagh and Cherry - almost

MIF Success, Manchester Success

Festival spiritFestival spiritSleuth loved this weekend in Manchester. The sun shone, the tennis boinged and Manchester International Festival (MIF) helped the mood with a splendid Festival Square zinging with life.

The MIF venues are prospering too. Nikhil Chopra’s strange ‘sustained performance’ called Coal and Cotton drawing on ‘personal and collective memory to reveal the complexities and correlations in India and Britain’s shared cultural histories’ massively boosted Whitworth Art Gallery’s weekend. Over the 65 hour long show more than six times the average daily audience were enticed in. Saturday, alone, hosted almost 2,600 guests.

This number also included people who wanted to sample the estimable Peter Booth’s Mumbai ‘streetfood’ menu at the Whitworth's bistro. This is Booth doing his impression of Dracula after 12 hours of solid cooking and preparing: his own ‘sustained performance’.

Peter Booth, street food, and a 'sustained performance'

Peter Booth, street food, and a 'sustained performance'

Sustained Napping Is The Way Forward

Queue for Mr ChopraQueue for Mr ChopraThe way people followed Chopra in his peregrinations around The Whitworth with his bed and watched him sketching, preparing tea, dressing up in costumes acting things out was almost reverential. Liam Curtin, eminent and venerable Manchester artist, polymath and sculptor, went three times but on the third occasion the queue defeated him. “Still,” said Curtin, “I got to see him not doing anything twice.” “What do you mean?” asked Sleuth. “He was napping each time, he sleeps more than me,” said Curtin, continuing with, “On the second occasion it was late on Saturday and I couldn’t help saying out loud, ‘I could do that’. I got a few looks. Art audiences can lack irreverence don’t you think? They were all so serious.”



Defoe’s Foe Gets The Heave-Ho

Sleuth was desperate to get a ticket for The Old Woman, the show starring Willem Defoe at the Palace Theatre (Joan Davies’ review here). Another critic who Sleuth trusts, Pighead Jorgy, also appreciated it, calling it “bizarre yet ace, like Laurel and Hardy meets Top Cat meets a particularly harrowing Lewis Carroll nightmare”.  Sleuth missed out on a ticket for the show which has now finished. He hates himself. Apparently during the Pighead Jorgy show, a man stood up and shouted “What the fuck is this!” and got thrown out. Anything that drives people to such passion is required viewing.

Arise For The Bridgewater Hall

The passion is evident everywhere in this MIF. Sleuth hears the John Taverner concert was also a sensation. Another of Sleuth’s friends said, “It was astonishing. And for the first time in the Bridgewater Hall I saw a standing ovation.” He paused for a minute before adding, “Mind you most of the audiences for the Classical work at the Bridgewater Hall are so old they probably find spontaneous outbursts of standing upright difficult.”

Underneath The Arches

As part of the lovely weekend in Manchester, Sleuth enjoyed Castlefield Market which takes place every Sunday on the other side of Rochdale Canal from Albert’s Shed partly under the railway arches. Sleuth bought a free-range chicken which cooked beautifully, and exchanged his cow for some magic beans before being scolded by his mother. Something like that. The chicken was real by the way, and so is the market, if you’ve not been down it’s charming.

Castlefield's Sunday Market

Castlefield's Sunday Market

Sleuth’s Taxi-driver Misquote Of The Week

“Hey, you’ll know,” said the mini-cab driver to Sleuth aware of the latter’s huge knowledge of all things Mancunian. “I keep being asked to take people to the Toast House in town. Strange name, is that all they serve?” “Do you mean the Oast House?” asked Sleuth. “That’s the one,” said the cabbie, “toast without a T. Where is it? Do they sell toast? I like toast.”

Sleuth’s Most Annoying Phrase Of The Week

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon victory ‘ended seventy seven years of hurt’. The BBC started this asinine journalism and everybody else followed. Honestly, Sleuth is nowhere near 77-years-old nor were most of the crowd or most people watching on TV. In fact, except during Wimbledon, most people don’t even experience a dull ache as they are completely unaware of the existence of tennis. 

Snails Nailed In Experiment

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policemen, firemen, concierges, essential workers, Sloppy Goo, John Taverner, Kenneth Branagh, Willem Defoe and the complete audience of all the MIF shows, and asked: "Could you tell us where we can find some English garden snails to eat in an old Printworks close to the River Irwell not more than fifteen minutes walk from Harvey Nichols? If you could do that, it would ease seventy seven years of hurt."

"Why, of course I can," says Sleuth. "Edible snails can be found at the Biosphere Project, East Philip Street, in Salford, fifteen minutes walk from Harvey Nichols, where researchers led by Vincent Walsh are growing all manner of food and rearing chickens and fish. Food also can include English snails prepared by Robert Owen Brown."

"Interesting. But are the snails herded to Manchester along drovers roads?” asked the policemen, firemen, concierges, essential workers, Sloppy Goo, John Taverner, Kenneth Branagh, Willem Defoe and the complete audience of all the MIF shows.

“No,” said Sleuth, showing them the picture at the top of this page, "I’m told that would take too long.” 

Here's a video from Jonathan Schofield, the editor of Manchester Confidential of the Biosphere.

Vincent Walsh reveals his plot

Vincent Walsh reveals his plot

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

AnonymousJuly 8th 2013.

There was a standing ovation at the Bridgewater for - Mahler, Symphony of a Thousand, 2010.

Lynette CawthraJuly 8th 2013.

Also for the fantastic Venezuelan Brass Ensemble, offshoot of the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, a couple of years back. To be fair, they'd got us up on our feet and dancing so we were standing already. Jonathan I am a little suspicious of your claim to have bought the chicken for your Sunday roast in Castlefield given that I cannot see in your video the chickens which should be on the Biospheric Foundation roof...

AnonymousJuly 8th 2013.

and The Old Woman has finished, sadly

1 Response: Reply To This...
SleuthJuly 8th 2013.

So true. Thanks. Amended.

MGSJuly 8th 2013.

I saw Chopra asleep on Friday around 11am. Will be telling the grand-kids about that one

Simon TurnerJuly 8th 2013.

We couldn't get into the bar on Albert Sq late on Saturday, there was a queue including some of Massive Attack waiting. Lucky it was a warm night, we sat outside on the deckchairs. Great atmosphere.

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