Eating In Manchester: March

If you have ever had the pleasure of stumbling home to my house after a boozy night out; nipped in for a quick daytime coffee or are buzzing my gate so you can pick up what you left on my bedside table a few nights before; then you will know food is never on the cards.  

When I am at home my diet literally consists of overly-buttered toast, numerous sugary cuppas and maybe some coco pops if I am feeling miserable/have a hangover from hell.  Basically, I’ve been awful with food, hence why I have eaten out a lot this month.

Below, I’ve detailed the eight Manchester eateries I have visited so that my stomach does not cave in.  Surprisingly, I haven’t mentioned all the bars I’ve been boozing in too.  I will leave that to your imagination.

Foundation Coffee House 

Foundation NQ has seen me through the best and the worst of times.  From crisis talks over piping hot oat lattes to last minute uni work rampages with a side of carrot cake.  Foundation this month has seen more tears than kids in the Cheaper By The Dozen films, but those ices oat lattes with a slip of vanilla monin do make everything a little sweeter. 

Their basic bitch smashed avocado on thickly-cut sourdough toast is the best in the whole city, I swear.  Hold me to that, stick it on my grave.  Foundation, you always serve me well.  

Cocktail Beer Ramen and Bun 

I never wanted nor needed to understand the art of a good bau bun or the fascination with ramen until I got taken to CBRB.  After slurping a bowl of crab ramen, poorly practicing the art of picking up flavoursome, spicy chicken with later-abandoned chopsticks and biting into textured clouds jam-packed with flavour (those pork and chicken bao buns are to DIE for) I can say I am a converted woman.  

While it does not quite ring out the words ‘quirky deco’, the food more than makes up for the slightly-underwhelming interior.  An open pass and a sparkling pink neon light almost saves the day however. Good feel-better-after-a-shit-day food. 

Bundobust

When I discuss Bundobust (which I have already in-depth here) I only have three words to say; tikka paneer kebab.  Never have I ever enjoyed vegetarian Indian food more than when I head to the long blue benches of Bundobust on Picadilly. 

Paneer, spicy lentil dhal, crispy and sweet okra fries, a rum old fashioned and a pint of lager for just shy of twenty quid?  Absolutely bloody sold.  Bundobust is light and airy, service is always gorgeous, attentive and the food is not half bad too.  

Hawksmoor 

My best friend has worked at Hawksmoor in Manchester for over a year, I’ve lived in Manchester for 3.5 years yet I had not graced the inside of the gorgeous building on Deansgate until the very beginning of this month.  My bloody God have I been missing out on this sheer delight. 

Larger-than-life sticky roasted scallops, oozing short rib nuggets and caesar salad were our starters of choice, while tender smokey chicken and 400g melt-in-the-mouth sirloin made up the bulk of the main event.  Side selection consisted of creamy spinach doused with lemon and garlic, a not-so-exciting Mac and cheese, beef-dripping fries, buttery mash and bone-marrow gravy. 

Too much for two gals on a Saturday afternoon?  Yes.  Throw in two bottles of champagne and you have a feast probably like one I will not be able to stomach nor afford for a long time.  Am I being classically E Scott overdramatic when I say it was potentially one of the best meals all year?  Maybe, but I am sticking to my guns.

Almost Famous Great Northern

Hungover after an accidental night out and feeling awful about some questionable decisions?  Famous.  Saturday evening catch-up and cry with your girlfriends from home?  Famous.  No-fuss, no-thrills date night?  Famous.  

I am telling you now, there is not much that gooey mac balls and waffle fries cant fix… Even if it is just to mop up the bottle of Belle’s whiskey you thought it would be a great idea to consume at 5am.  

Evelyn’s

 

I had to serve the whole population of Manchester pancakes on pancake day this year in one of the busiest cafés in Northern Quarter.  Which, obviously meant, I was left empty stomached and brokenhearted when it came to pancake munching.  

Naturally therefore, my first port-of-call for my own pancake fix a couple days later was Evelyn’s.  Decked out in lush green foliage, whicker chairs and bright natural light pouring in through the windows, Evelyn’s is the perfect city centre escape whenever a brunch date is on the cards.  I talk about Evelyn’s a lot (click here to see more).

I opted for the fluffy pancakes with rich honeycomb butter and tart blueberries for brunch with a oat flat white.  Hello I am drooling just thinking about it.

Sugo Pasta Kitchen

Sugo is tucked away in a corner of Ancoats.  Despite its humble hiding place however, the pasta kitchen has became the king of my heart after this weekend.  Lashings of effortless flavour compliment, blend and infuse with one another to create simple yet extremely effective pasta dishes.

We went to Sugo slightly tipsy and managed to order almost he entire menu.  Fat, succulent and bold arancini balls were shovelled down with toasted sourdough bread and cold-pressed olive oil for starters.  My main consisted of a hearty bowl of Orecchiette ‘pomodoro’ – a blend of perfectly ripe san Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, the creamiest Puglian burrata on the planet and pecorino. 

Washed down with a sweet bottle of prosecco, Sugo was a carb queen’s heaven in restaurant form.  No wonder my jeans are feeling tighter.  

Dishoom

When you lose your virginity, the word that springs to mind usually about the experience is… surprising.  Perhaps not what you expected; perhaps better than you could’ve hoped for (I wish haha).  My first time at the Manchester branch of Dishoom was exactly that; beyond surprising.

The flavours of the Bombay-inspired dishes, the impeccable, friendly service, the sheer rapid behaviour of the kitchen flinging dishes onto our table; simply spectacular.  But, is it bad that I was not expecting it to be so great?  Overhyped chains are usually just that; overhyped, flat and uninteresting.  But Dishoom blew expectation out of the water.

Dishes on our ‘ladies who lunch and are off work for the afternoon table’ included; gunpowder potatoes, okra fries (definitely cheating on Bundobust here), prawn koliwada (crispy prawns), mattar paneer curry, spicy lamb kabab and cheesy and garlic naan breads.  Honestly, just murder me now, things just do not get better than this.

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