Manchester Journals

Around the World in 80 Meals! (part 1)

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A January 2009 trip to Manchester by Liam Hetherington

Cedar Tree (The)  Photo, Manchester, England More Photos
Quote: A new year's resolution: to try and eat our way around the world without leaving Greater Manchester...

St. Petersburg

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Restaurant | "1) St. Petersburg - A New Year's Revolution"

St. Petersburg Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Russia - 29/12/08This is how it all began.It was Christmas, and a group of seven, mostly old school friends, decided to take the opportunity to meet up for dinner while we were all in the same city for once. Ed was up from London. Ian had flown in for the festive period from his new life in Perth, Australia. So the only real question to answer was: where to meet? As several of the party had studied Russian at school the suggestion arose that we visit a Russian restaurant. I did not take Russian (I studied Greek instead), but I had been trying to find a Russian restaurant in Manchester ever since I had travelled along the Trans-Mongolian railway from St...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

St. Petersburg
68 Sackville Street
Manchester M1 3NJ
+44 0161 236 6333

Cedar Tree (The)

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Restaurant | "2) The Cedar Tree - Labaneseasy-Peasy"

Cedar Tree (The)  Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Lebanon - 30/12/08The very next night I was meeting up again with Paul for drinks. Out of all the diners the previous evening Paul had been most enthusiastic about the mad-cap scheme to travel ‘Around the World in 80 Meals’ without leaving Manchester. So after a few pints we thought we might as well carry on and try to get through as many as we could while we had the chance. We were drinking in the Northern Quarter, still quite an ungentrified district despite the influx of cutting-edge bars. This district between Piccadilly Gardens and Ancoats sees vintage clothing boutiques nestle alongside the warehouses of the city’s once booming ‘rag trade’ and counter-cultural nigh...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

Cedar Tree (The)
69 Thomas Street
Manchester
+44 0161 834 5016

Waterhouse

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Restaurant | "3) The Waterhouse - Meat & Two Veg"

Waterhouse Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
England - 04/01/09 What could be more English? A bite to eat in a pub after watching a pantomime. A roast beef dinner served with veg, a Yorkshire pudding and a pint of bitter. And doing it in a chain pub rather than an independent free house.The Waterhouse is one of the J D Wetherspoons chain, a chain that has spread across most of the UK in the last 15 years. Back in sixth-form Wetherspoon’s were an exciting prospect. They were rare (they had two outlets in Manchester), and they were very reasonably priced. Their bowls of ‘nachos grande’ were perfect for sharing with friends. Now I doubt there is a town of any significant size in Britain that does not have a Wet...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

Waterhouse
67/71 Princess Street
Manchester, England M2 4EG
+44 (0)161 200-5380

Luso

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Restaurant | "4) Luso - Whole Lotta Rosé"

Luso Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Portugal - 15/01/09There were three of us dining. We had been lured in by Luso’s participation in the City Bites festival, where restauarants offered stripped-down menus. Here the offer was that from a set menu you could have two courses and a half-bottle of wine per diner for £20.00. (The choices of food are similar to those on the Preço Fixo menu that is offered for £22.00 every Tuesday evening and Sunday). The menu offered traditional Portuguese meals alongside those influenced from ‘the Portuguese colonial diaspora’ – Macau, Goa, Brazil, Africa and Japan. You can see the full menu on their website here. In ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

Luso
63 Bridge Street
Manchester
+44 0161 839 5550

New Emperor

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Restaurant | "5) The New Emperor - Kung Hei Fat Choy!"

New Emperor Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
China - 26/01/09According to my diary Monday 26th January was Chinese New Year. So what better opportunity to head down to Chinatown?Manchester has the second largest Chinatown in the UK after London. It occupies a rough six-block area bounded by Portland Street, Princess Street, Mosley Street and the back to the Hotel Piccadilly. Its main thoroughfares are Nicolas Street, George Street and Faulkner Street, the latter spanned by an ornate arch in red and gold (this was once the largest Imperial arch outside China, until Liverpool erected one an entire inch taller). Remarkably, Chinatown as such really only dates from the late ‘60s. The first few restaurants paved the wa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

New Emperor
52-56 George Street
Manchester, England M1 4HF
+44 161 228 2883

Druckers Vienna Patisserie

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Restaurant | "6) Druckers Vienna Patisserie - No Vienna?"

Druckers Vienna Patisserie Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Austria - 29/01/09I’m not exactly sure what qualifies Drucker’s as being Austrian other than the fact that the original Patisserie in Birmingham was founded by an Austrian emigre. The Druckers I visited is hence one of a chain of coffee-houses / cafes (I believe there is another branch in the Trafford centre). And while Vienna (and indeed much of central Europe) is famous for its coffee-and-cake-loving lifestyle, there was not much to suggest a Mitteleuropean ambiance. Which is probably well. Wood pannelling, curlicued seat-backs and an air of faded fin de siecle grandeur would look horrifically out of place in the perma-lit mall of the Arndale Centre. The glass curtain walls, choco...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 21, 2009

Druckers Vienna Patisserie
169, The Arndale Centre
Manchester
+44 0161 834 5652

Ning

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Restaurant | "7) Ning - East Meets North"

Ning Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Malaysia - 29/01/09Ning’s catchline is ‘Oriental chic, Northern Quarter charm’. And it combines the best of both. The Northern Quarter has a counter-cultural style of its own, and Ning certainly looks the part with an eye-catching hot-pink-on-black logo mirrored in the underlit wallpaper inside the restaurant. Yet it also flies the flag for the East. Predominantly a Malaysian restauarant, you can also find dishes hailing from Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. While Thai restauarants are well represented in Manchester, Malaysian ones are not, which made this an intriguing prospect.I was not entirely sure what to expect from Malaysian cuisine. Thankfully here the m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2009

Ning
92-94 Oldham Street,
Manchester M4 1LJ
+44 0161 238 9088

Afghan Cuisine

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Restaurant | "8) Afghan Cuisine - Meet You at the Cross-Roads"

Afghan Cuisine Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Afghanistan - 03/02/09Hands up who knows what Afghan cuisine is? Well, it’s actually one of the most interesting cuisines I’ve come across so far…In ancient times the much-hallowed Silk Route lead to the wonders and spices of the east. In Manchester it is Wilmslow Road. Heading south rather than east you pass Manchester University and the Royal Infirmary. Before you hit the student area of Fallowfield you come across Rusholme. Here the stretch of Wilmslow Road is know as ‘the Curry Mile’ due to the concentration of curry houses, kebab shops, ethnic minimarts and associated businesses (tailors with windows filled with shimmering saris and salwar kameezes, music stores wit...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2009

Afghan Cuisine
86 Wilmslow Road
Rusholme, Manchester M14 5AL
+44 161 248 5333

Koreana

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Restaurant | "9) Koreana - Seoul Food"

Koreana Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
South Korea - 16/02/09Koreana has been a staple of the Manchester food scene since the 80s. Tucked away behind Kendals this family-run restaurant has hung on through boom and bust despite Korean cuisine never being as famous or successful in the UK as the omnipresent Chinese, Indians and Italians to be found on every high street in the land. Yet Koreana clearly does something right. Visiting on an unfashionable Monday evening we found the place over half full already with middle-aged diners, young trend-setters and Korean students. As well as Paul and myself, your two interpid culinary explorers. But as we found, Koreana’s success is nothing flashy. Its secret? Tasty food and some r...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2009

Koreana
40a King Street West
Manchester, England M3 2WY
+44 161 832 4330

Tropeiro

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Restaurant | "10) Tropeiro - Carnival - a Farewell to Meat"

Tropeiro Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Brazil - 23/02/09Nei, the patron of Tropeiro, told us a story. He had been working for a variety of Manchester’s premier restaurants since he arrived from Brazil, but always harboured a dream of opening his own establishment. He was alerted to an opportunity when a restaurant folded on Sackville Street. Visiting the location, Nei found that the entrance itself actually stood on the corner of Sackville and a shorter alleyway… an alleyway by the name of Brazil Street. How could he fail to turn his dream into a reality…?There are three Brazilian eateries in the city centre – Botego Brazil in the Arndale Market, Pau Brasil on Ancoats, and Tropeiro opposite Sackville G...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2009

Tropeiro
1 Brazil Street
Manchester M1 3WF
+44 161 923 6846

Quote:
Two months in, and it was time to take stock of my quest. What were the rules Paul and I were setting ourselves? Why were we doing it? And did we have a hope in hell of accomplishing it?THE RULESIn terms of duration I'm inclined to be lenient. I would like to try to get through all 80 within a year. However, it must be noted that the first two actually took place at the very end of December 2008. Really, I think the timeframe should be defined as 'a year(-ish)'. As long as we make an effort to keep the quest moving along, and try to aim to finish by the end of 2009 I don't think it matters that much if circumstances force us to roll over into 2010.Location-wi...Read More