Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialSleuth.

Iberica Restaurant Next Up, 30 Storey Tower For City, James Martin Snogged

Sleuth Wk 29: truth, love, tapas, balconies and fish

Written by . Published on July 11th 2014.

Iberica Restaurant Next Up, 30 Storey Tower For City, James Martin Snogged

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

Iberica Next?

This has been a giddy week for Manchester food and drink with both Hawksmoor and Fazenda confirming moves into the city. Now the hospitality and catering press are smothering themselves with rumours regarding the highly regarded operator Iberica planning to bring its quality interpretation of - as the name suggests - Spanish food to Manchester. The names behind the mini-chain are eye-catching: Executive Chef Nacho Manzano, of two Michelin Star Casa Marcial and one Michelin Star La Salgar. Since Sleuth was wrong last week about Hawksmoor going into the old Monsoon shop on King Street, he yearns for Iberica to take the unit (although bookies are offering 3/1 on a Spinningfields unit and 4/1 on Exchange Square). Otherwise it's likely another chain YAFI (you know what it means) will slump on to King Street.

(As a little postscript to this Iberica Restaurant have tweeted Confidential after the story above, to say, they're definitely coming and will be telling us where very soon.)

Iberica food - thanks to


Iberica food - thanks to Terence Nahar for pic

James Martin Kissed By Lots Of Tiny Women

Sleuth was walking through the Great Northern past the entrance to the casino Manchester 235 which leads to 'celeb' chef James Martin's restaurant. Suddenly he saw the chef himself, Mr Martin. He was covered in hundreds of kisses from tiny women. Poster love is one of the more arcane aspects of sexuality Sleuth has never understood.  

Kiss, kiss, kiss


Kiss, kiss, kiss

Thirty Storey Apartment Block For Noma

Here are some official words: 'A joint venture between Caddick Group Plc and Generate Land is exchanging contracts with The Co-operative Group to develop the residential scheme within the 20 acre NOMA masterplan in central Manchester. This is for 450, one, two and three bed apartments on the corner of Miller Street and Rochdale Road in the city centre.' There'll be ground floor retail - cafes, bars and ancillary shops - around a communal garden with accommodation in a 30 storey tower. Tenant facilities will include an 'electric car club, cinema lounge and fitness facilities.' Good, Sleuth loves tall buildings especially when they have electric car clubs, whatever one of those is.

Artist impression of the new 30 stories high building at Noma...This is officially the best visual joke of the week


Artist impression of the new 30 stories high building at Noma... This is officially the best visual joke of the week

Tower Of Bland On Harry Ramsdens Site

Yep Sleuth likes tall, Sleuth loves tall. The more tall buildings the better in Manchester city centre. Unless they look like the one below. Occasionally words fail at the ludicrously banal plans that seem to float around for the city centre. The city centre should be the focus of all that is either grand, ornate and florid or tight, sharp and disciplined in buildings. This LQ Development idea for the Harry Ramsdens' chippy site over the River Irwell is a disaster - a right chip shop. Look at the 28 storeys below; as bland and banal as a Premier Lodge at a motorway junction next to a trading estate. Sleuth has hope though. This is clearly a preliminary mock-up, so any self-respecting architect would surely produce a better building if permission were granted. Wouldn't they?

An out-of-town Travelodge on acid


An out-of-town Premier Lodge on acid

Shocking, Awful, Terrible News

On 26/27 July the Wigan night bus will be withdrawn. Sleuth has tried to move things around, jiggle, joggle, juggle his diary, but he won’t be able to make the last 598 Leigh and Wigan. Transport for Greater Manchester has found ‘an average of just six passengers travelling per journey’. So Sleuth will miss out on one of the world’s great journeys akin to The Big Sur or the Amalfi Coast. There’ll be no more 2am views of flatish fields and various semi-detached properties, terraced housing and a smattering of bungalows. Something rare and beautiful has left the world. 

Midland Hotel Win Best Hotel In UK Award

In 'the Oscars of the hotel industry' held recently, The Midland Hotel, part of QHotels, is celebrating after being awarded Group Hotel of the Year at the prestigious Caterer and Hotelkeeper Awards 2014. Michael Magrane, General Manager at The Midland Hotel said: “We’ve had an incredible year, our partnership with Simon Rogan has resulted in two amazing restaurants and raised our profile on a national level with the BBC documentary Restaurant Wars, not to mention being shortlisted for City Hotel of the Year at The Food and Travel Magazine Awards where we’re up against The Berkeley, and the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park." Sleuth says well done and its great to see so much focus on the Grande Dame of Manchester hotels.

The Midland Hotel - a winnerThe Midland Hotel - a winner

Come ‘ed. It’s Your Shirt

Sleuth has been sent by giddy Manchester United fans the latest video shirt ad for new shirt sponsors Chevrolet. It shows men down the ages changing through the various club shirts over the last hundred or so years. Nice - lots of Manchester streets shown and then the BIG REVEAL. Outside the ground, present day players walk forward and in his finest, almost too-perfect Scouse, Wayne Rooney says, “This shirt belongs to you. Always has. Always will.” Sleuth isn't narrow minded but thinks local lad Danny Welbeck from the current team might have been a better choice given the Manc nostalgia of the piece. He would have had the right voice as well.

Lies To Tell Tourists

The Port Street Beer House in the Northern Quarter has a range of false beards men (or women) can hire so they don't feel out of place. A full Victorian is £5 but is said to do 'the necessary and make young people look middle-aged'.

(PS: This 'lie' breaks the Confidential rule not to mention beards and the Northern Quarter as it's become too much of a cliche. But Sleuth actually told some Spanish guests this on a tour after they'd remarked on the number of beards they'd spied. They believed Sleuth. So Sleuth then had to confess he'd lied.)

A full VictorianA full Victorian

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

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

jrsteeveJuly 11th 2014.

All of the Whitaker/Renaker builds, and proposed builds have been awful. Buy to let boxes with no outside space and not the best of materials, added to piss poor architectural design from a budget architect.

AnonymousJuly 11th 2014.

Can you call WAHACA next please mancon? Seriously inpresssed we are attracting some standout additions to Manchester at last!

5 Responses: Reply To This...
EditorialJuly 11th 2014.

We contacted Wahaca's PR team but they have no confirmed plans to open up in Manchester I'm afraid. -Niamh

AnonymousJuly 14th 2014.

So? They're not that great. Reasonably priced Mexican food served tapas style. Sure it's well made but it's hardly the most revolutionary concept. If they open up here fine, if they don't - who cares. People are a bit too in thrall to what are ultimately, unremarkable London-based restaurant chains.

AnonymousJuly 14th 2014.

We don't have any decent Mexican places though

AnonymousJuly 14th 2014.

Lucha libre, luck lust both do this quite wel

AnonymousJuly 16th 2014.

Luck lust do it quite well, Lucha libre is shockingly bad though

AnonymousJuly 11th 2014.

I hope Iberica will be bringing the deli to Manchester alongside the restaurant. Will save me the trip to Liverpool to stock up from Lunya.

1 Response: Reply To This...
pollolocoJuly 21st 2014.

you can order Lunya online

SteamyJuly 11th 2014.

That proposed block of flats on the Harry Ramsden site is utterly awful. Surely it won't be given the go ahead with that design. Surely? You guys?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 11th 2014.

It looks like it's been built out of Lego

NickNameJuly 11th 2014.

Who are the people who give the nod to new builds in the area? I think they need a trip to Specsavers! Have they fallen into the trap of believing any development is good development? Our do they genuinely have no idea when it comes to what looks good?

AnonymousJuly 11th 2014.

Iberica told the trade press they wanted to open in Manchester in November. www.bighospitality.co.uk/…/Iberica-reveals-UK-expansion-plans… And then added that they actually wanted two restaurants here in December. www.bighospitality.co.uk/…/… Corn Exchange and King Street.

LesJuly 11th 2014.

I heard Lunya was interested in opening in Manc. Wish they would !!!

AnonymousJuly 11th 2014.

Tapeo Tapas are going to open opposite the Couthouse on Deansgate

AnonymousJuly 14th 2014.

Could not agree more!! How about starting media/online campaign against Whitaker/Renaker rip offs.

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

LQ Developments, aka Renaker, aka cowboys, are blighting this city with hideous and cheap buildings which have been value engineered to death. Their portfolio says it all: the pre-fabesque Quantum tagged onto the edge of Piccadilly Village, the depressing blocks nearing completion at Sillavan Way just off Trinity Way, their vile scheme at Cambridge Street, this list goes on. All cheap and all nasty. The scheme will be waved through by the Manchester Planning Department though. They hold regular cosy meetings behind closed doors with Renaker and any objections from the public will be ignored. And as for Sleuth hoping the design will be improved, you can dream on. I've had a few dealings with Renaker now and have found them to be disingenuous to the core. During any consultation period they'll try and wow you with fancy renders of nice public realm but they'll quickly drop all that when it comes to the planning application maintaining they won't make a profit if they give something back to the community.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 6th 2014.

Renaker also own the old Cantina site in Castlefield basin (next to Castlegate)......no doubt another monstrosity will appear.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

Renaker will build a 30 storey box from the cheapest materials which will age badly and look disgusting. Aesthetically pleasing and quality are not words they've ever come across.

Lynne ParisAugust 6th 2014.

I went to Hawksmoor Air Street on Sunday and the food was awful. Supposed to be 'all about the meat' but my beef was tasteless, chewy and cold. Accompaniments were also cold. Veggies hard (not al dente - hard) and they couldn't even get the roasties right. Big disappointment.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark GarnerAugust 6th 2014.

Lynne, did you complain? very rare this and shall let will know, email me your email address MarkgATtheconfidentials, ob. the AT is @ (spambot bafflet)

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

He did email me thanks Mark, but he offered me another roast at Air Street which isn't too useful (I did point out I live in Manchester). The waiter knocked the wine and service charge off the bill but they weren't the problem - the food was. It truly was one of the worst roast I've ever had. Bit of quality control needed perhaps.

Lynne ParisAugust 11th 2014.

Sorry, wasn't given the option to post as myself there.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


Looks like Daisy Mill in Longsight is for the chop too. This time MCC own the building and are…

 Read more

The initial plan, by all concerned, was always to save & redevelop Ancoats Dispensary though wasn't…

 Read more

That's perfectly true, but for various reasons not relevant to the original point. I'm happy to…

 Read more

I'll try again..of course it won't, it's not listed so it will go. The fact that it is elegant,…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord