Sunday, February 10, 2008

The curse of Manchester "upmarket average"

I've been on about how there's nothing special foodwise in Manchester for ages, here and here. It's a theme covered here too. Now there's this in the paper today.

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.

1 comment:

Michael Taylor said...


Michael, the problem is Jay Rayner starts any review of a restaurant in manchester, Birmingham, bristol etc by talking about the city rather than the restaurant whilst assuming in his London reviews that all his readers are familiar with South Kensington and Shoreditch. I really like The Observer but the Londoncentricty of the quality sundays - which isn't to be found in anywhere near the same degree in the dailys - is very tiresome.