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Sleuth 07/12/2012: Rogan For The French Restaurant, Aumbry's Lovely Scotch Eggs

Our absurdist with all the facts and rumours

Published on December 7th 2012.

Sleuth 07/12/2012: Rogan For The French Restaurant, Aumbry's Lovely Scotch Eggs

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

Sleuth's Simon Rogan And The French Restaurant Rumour

Sleuth had a big night on Thursday and ended up in the Liars Club at 2am dancing with ladies and shouting "huzzar!"

Sometime during the evening he'd taken a rest on a bench to look at the view of the pavement between his feet and concentrate on the inner meanings of existence. The pavement seemed a little unsteady as though not quite sure of its duty to stay still at all times.

It must have been about then that someone came up to Sleuth and said, "Hey, Mr Man With The Hat, you know Simon Rogan, the chef of L'Enclume in Cartmel, with his two Michelin stars and his massive dish descriptions? Well apparently he's going to be taking over The French in the Midland Hotel in the New Year, but please don't tell anybody." Sleuth promised he wouldn't pass on the information.

The FrenchThe French

Sleuth's Dish Of The Week

Sleuth had attended award-winning restaurant Aumbry in Prestwich earlier on Thursday to sample the Festive Menu. There were several utterly beautiful dishes but the one that made his head spin, his ears waggle and his brain start shouting "huzzar!" was the black pudding Scotch egg shown at the top of the page here, and below. Oh dear God was that lovely. And that mushroom too and homemade tomato ketchup. Swoon. And chomp. The menu is available from 1-24 December, lunch Tuesday, Sunday and Tuesday evenings, £35 per person. Click here to take a look.

Scotch joyScotch joy

Sleuth's Picture Of The Week Of Woman Eating Her Own Hand

Hand eatingHand eating

Sleuth's Funny Statement Of The Week

Sleuth hears of Hebden Bridge Vegan Christmas Party. Hebden Bridge Vegan Christmas Party. For some reason the rhythm of the phrase and the seemingly inherent contradictions within it makes Sleuth giggle.

Traditional Vegan Christmas DinnerTraditional Vegan Christmas Dinner

Sleuth's Naughty Meaty Restaurant Of The Week

So Sleuth booked a table at Bem Brasil anticipating it to be the usual £24.50 per person. But the restaurant called the week before to tell him that it would be £34.50 because it’ll be their 'Christmas menu'. Sleuth asked what he'd be getting for the extra £10 and was told “canapés and Brazilian dancers”. Sleuth cancelled despite the dancers. But then Sleuth checked the website which says: 'For the time being, although we will be offering both menus, the regular menu will only be available for walk-ins. Bookings are only accepted for the Christmas menu.' Eh? Meaty madness.

Sleuth And Annie's And Fizz

Sleuth had a preview visit of Annie's, Tom McAlpine's new place on Old Bank Street this week. It's now open and opposite Sandinista, just off St Ann's Square. Tom McAlpine is the dad of Jenny McAlpine who plays Corrie character Fizz - and she's been involved with the promotion of the place. The chef is Richard Moore who used to have the Monton Bistro, he cooked Sleuth a braised lamb Lancashire hotpot which was all right - 6.5/10. In truth the design of Annie's is very plain design wise, a bit D-I-Y. Sleuth asked about this and McAlpine senior said, "We want it to be like Accrington Working Men's Club meets the Ivy". Very novel.

Annie's hotpotAnnie's hotpot

Sleuth And The Departing Bishop

Sleuth is sorry to see the departure of the campaigning, reform-minded, Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch. This man has been a real force for good in the region and the nation, a man who felt 'holy' - which is always useful as a bishop, thinks Sleuth. He has always been committed to helping the disadvantaged and those who find themselves discriminated against. He retires in January.

But a bit like Hebden Bridge Vegan Christmas Party, Sleuth can't help but smile at the title of perhaps his last award as bishop.

In recognition 'for his work in challenging homophobia in the Diocese of Manchester', he was presented this week with a 'Homo Hero' award. Homo Hero. Fabulous.

Homo Hero: Go on guess which is the bishopHomo Hero: Go on guess which is the bishop?

Sleuth's Bridge Of The Week

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policeman, firemen, concierges, Brazilian dancing girls, Homo Heroes, contortionists, American football players, the complete cast of The Hobbit and asked "What is your favourite bridge this week?"

Well this week it's Sir Edward Leader Williams' Irlam High Line Bridge carrying the main line to Liverpool over Manchester Ship Canal. This 1890s wonder is definitely Sleuth's favourite bridge this week.

Sleuth's bridge of the week as captured by Sleuth's lovely camera on Saturday's weekend hinterland walkSleuth's bridge of the week - as captured by Sleuth's lovely camera on his regular weekend hinterland walk

Sleuth’s Banned Phrase Of The Week

The editor has banned the use on Manchester Confidential of the phrase ‘with a twist’, as in ‘it’s traditional French food with a twist’ or ‘it’s a 1970s club night with a 1990s twist’.

He’s banned it because ‘with a twist’ has become trite and hackneyed and because he’s a word fascist. Sleuth wholeheartedly agrees. So Sleuth found himself in some difficulty when he was asked by a foreign visitor this week what a helter-skelter was. “Er...well,” said Sleuth, “it’s like a slide with a...er...twist.”

A slide with a twistA slide with a twist

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

Stephen LakeDecember 7th 2012.

BEM Brazil......cheeky tinkers. Well done for cancelling. Surely bridge of the week has to be the bridge from Deansgate (Knott Mill) Station to the tram stop over Whitworth Street west. GMC 1985. Classic post modern design.

1 Response: Reply To This...
James KayDecember 7th 2012.

Classic post modern design... with a twist?

bigearsDecember 7th 2012.

I've heard the same rumour with regards to Rogan and the French. Fingers crossed its true!!!

Andy LoynesDecember 7th 2012.

Got stung by the "Christmas menu" scam at an unremarkable bistro on Liverpool's Lark Lane last week. It's supposed to be the season of goodwill.

Andy LoynesDecember 7th 2012.

Genuinely exciting that Rogan rumour.

AnonymousDecember 7th 2012.

Please let the Rogan rumour be true.

RevaulxDecember 7th 2012.

Lots of good bridges; the birdcage carrying the widened lines into Manchester Central, the American-style girder bridge carrying the Marple line over the M60 near Bredbury, the elegant stone viaduct carrying the Huddersfield line in a curve across the Tame in Uppermill...

YaughterDecember 9th 2012.

Let's hope Rogan doesn't mess about too much with the interior of The French and simply updates the food.

JamesDecember 9th 2012.

Great news

AnonymousDecember 9th 2012.

Rumours, and only rumours The French will not be influenced much by him, it will be for another restaurant in the Midland and early days nothing signed yet

bigearsDecember 10th 2012.

Anon - don't think its just rumours now - press release says otherwise. I for one cannot wait for this!


Burt CodeineDecember 10th 2012.

Aye...that's now doing the rounds as confirmed (basing a team there at the very least). Might have taken my eye off the ball a little but does anyone know about Aiden Byrne's rumoured opening at Manchester House (or even confirmed)...it's not 'The Neighbourhood' is it?

bigearsDecember 11th 2012.

Burt - Neighbourhood is a Gareth Jones - ex Chester Grosvenor and was on great british menu a few years back - aiden will be in the same building apparently - due this June/July. Hear don the grapevine he will be having 28 Chefs for 60 covers?!?! Hope they aren't looking to make £ out of it with that many staff!

Burt CodeineDecember 11th 2012.

Thanks Bigears. Was struggling to see where there was a free plot in Manchester House/Tower 12 now...
Cheers, Noddy.

Wall-EDecember 11th 2012.

Gareth Jones has great pedigree but little made of his move into the city.

bigearsDecember 12th 2012.

I agree Wall-e, great Chef but everyone seems to be focusing on Aiden opening next yr.

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