What is it with Manchester? Why, when it comes to restaurants, is it always so nearly, but not quite? Why does every restaurant I visit fail to deliver? Is it me? Do they hate me so much that they decide to show me such a mediocre time I won't return? Or is it the city? It's a big buzzy place, Manchester, full of interesting-looking people, and there are lots of Mancunians with money - exactly what you need for a thriving restaurant scene. And yet almost every time I eat here, I return home wallowing in disappointment, as though a little bit of me has died. Let me put in the obligatory mention for Red Chilli. I could eat there any time, and perhaps that's what I should do when I go to Manchester - just eat at Red Chilli. Manchester equals the Red Chilli lamb hot pot. Job done.
I do like Jay Rayner's slightly snooty restaurant reviews. He then records his disappointment at Paul Heathcote's new gaff, Grado. And reckons someone could make a killing if they did a proper job. I shall see for myself this week and let you know. Also, Red Chilli is near to work, and I've never been.