Friday, January 04, 2008

Manchester restaurants - a distant review

Jonathan Schofield on BBC Radio Manchester this morning was talking about loads of new restaurants and bars opening in Manchester in the period before Christmas. It's the worst possible time, but plenty of done so, probably by accident and overrun rather than by design.

Here are ten Friday thoughts on Manchester restaurants and bars I haven't been to.

I still haven't been to Cinnabar and Vermilion. I interviewed the owner and hope to pop over in a couple of weeks for a lunch. Strange location though.

I happened to visit a new one called Gastro's Food Hall yesterday, but I first thought it was Castro's, which would have made it Cuban. I just had coffee because they didn't have any hot sandwiches, which is odd really for somewhere trying to be a New York style deli and food hall.

I love Katsouris deli in Manchester. They have a place at Bury market which Stuart Maconie, in his book Pies and Prejudice, reckons would go down a treat in Camden Town. He didn't realise they'd opened one in this magnificent city.

This new Ithaca bar and restaurant still hasn't opened yet. They've had a bit of a run in with church next door. Manchester private members clubs don't work.

Our magazine covered the restaurant scene and the collapses of Establishment and Le Mont, here. Establishment has become Karims, an Asian fusion place with no booze. Not sure about that.

The site at the top of Urbis is a split level bar with much more comfortable furnishings and a more cosy aura, according to Jonathan Schofield anyway. I look forward to it.

I've never had Russian food, but a new place called St Petersburg has opened. There's one in Liverpool that I haven't been to either. Apparently it's a bit like Turkish.

I like Paul Heathcote. His restaurant at Alderley Edge got the most stinging review I've ever seen. Not been myself, but I bet it hurt.

He's also got a new place on New York Street called Grado. It looks very plush and I hope it does well.

Unbelievably, I've never been to The Press Club in Manchester.


baldrick said...

Popped into Gastros on the run up to Christmas and enjoyed one of my favourite combinations for lunch, a pot of tea with eggs Benedict. I found Gastro to have a relaxed atmosphere and to be a good place to read a chapter or two and forget that lunch is but an hour long.

As you take a seat they offer you a complimentary bottle of either still or sparkling water, a nice touch that confused me as normally some water means an £8 bottle. I decided upon reflection that this benevolent gesture means one or two things. Either the owner owns a water bottling company or the last remaining active soda stream in the UK.

My mother has always told me that you can tell a lot about a chef by how he cooks his eggs; and the poached eggs at gastro were spot on. The white was firm and glistened whilst the yoke was smooth and dark (suggesting good quality eggs) with a subtle increase in viscosity as you moved towards its edges.

Whilst the eggs where perfectly cooked the hollandaise was to tart with a vinegary kick that disturbed rather than complimented the velvety yolk.

Instead of the traditional ham the chef had chosen to dress the dish with two "rashers" of what only an American would consider bacon. Whilst I appreciate that at the conception of the dish, crisp American bacon was one id its corner stones. To anyone born this side of the Atlantic two wafer thin pieces of pork derived carbon placed delicately on top of the dish ala Ramsey can do little more than disappoint at 2pm on a damp Thursday in Manchester.

Unknown said...

Russian Cuicine not even near like Turkish.It is more Europian with the addition of the Russian South.
Just try for yourself.