Manchester Journals

Around the World in 80 Meals! (part 4)

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A June 2009 trip to Manchester by Liam Hetherington

Armenian Taverna Photo, Manchester, England More Photos
Quote: To be on target for eating the cuisines of 80 different countries in a year we would need to visit ten separate establishments by the end of June - the race is on!

Armenian Taverna

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Restaurant | "31) The Armenian Taverna - History Class"

Armenian Taverna Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Armenia – 29/05/09Hurrah for The Armenian Taverna! Its existence really is a God-send to people attempting a quixotic quest to eat cuisines from 80 different countries without leaving Manchester. Though for half the restaurant’s existence it would have been quite useless. You see, The Armenian Taverna predates the independence of Armenia itself.Armenia is of course a very ancient nation – it proudly boasts that it was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion. However, when The Armenian Taverna was founded in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 2, 2009

Armenian Taverna
3-5 Princess Street
Manchester, England M2 4DF
+44 161 834 9025

Keko Moku

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Attraction | "32) Keko Moku - Fire Coming Out The Monkey's Head"

Keko Moku Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Fiji – 29/05/09If it’s tacky and cheeky, it must be tiki…Yes, the tiki bar craze has hit Manchester. Keko Moku is a big garish bundle of fun in the sometimes too-cool-for-school Northern Quarter. It sits at the bar-crawl hub of the area, where its nearby rivals include Bluu, Trof, Odd, TV21, Walrus, The Bay Horse and Common. Its nearest anologue however would be its neighbour, Socio Rehab. However, the two cocktail bars could not be too different. Where Socio Rehab is discrete and understated, Keko Moku is ADHD-bright. Music in Socio Rehab tends towards chilled beats; in Keko Moku they had bouncing reggae. What little decoration there is in Socio is ‘urban’; in Ke...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 2, 2009

Keko Moku
100 High Street, Northern Quarter
Manchester, England M4 1HP
+44 161 832 4529

Czech Bar

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Restaurant | "33) Czech Bar - Mancunian Bohemia"

Czech Bar Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Czech Republic – 03/06/09 Paul and my meal here has a bit of a Czech-ered back-story. We’d been trying to Czech it out for a couple of weeks. But on two separate occassions we had been forced to take a rain-Czech. On the first occasion we were too late to eat (they stop serving at 8 – we should have Czeched); on the second the bar had been hired out for a private party (though I don’t know whether they had paid with a Czech or not…)Okay – bad puns over with. Czech Bar is a student bar on Cambridge Street, rather worn around the edges, with pool tables and MTV. It has been for years. But since the accession of their home nations to the EU it seems to have become a ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 6, 2009

Czech Bar
57 Booth Street West
Manchester M15 6PQ
+44 161 226 1020

Petra

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Restaurant | "34) Petra - Sweetmeats from the East"

Petra Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Jordan – 07/06/09So many times when reading about the famous Arabic hospitality, I have come across the phrase ‘sweetmeats’. It’s one of those words that you tend to just accept subconsciously without wondering what it actually refers to. But now, after dining at Petra I know precisely what the orientalist writers of yore meant by that phrase.It might be a bit of a cheat to class this restaurant as Jordanian. When I asked over the phone what sort of food was served here I was just told ‘Middle Eastern’ or ‘Arabic’. However, since Jordan as a country only came into being in 1947, and was only created as a League of Nations mandate under British rule some 90 ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 28, 2009

Petra
267 Upper Brook Street
Manchester M13 0HR
+44 161 274 4441

GBK - Gourmet Burger Kitchen

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Restaurant | "35) Gourmet Burger Kitchen - Home of the Kiwiburger"

GBK - Gourmet Burger Kitchen Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
New Zealand - 11/06/09A blessed sunny day, so I’ll meet you at, erm, Deansgate. The Spinningfields area is a new development of offices and eateries sandwiched between Deansgate and the River Irwell. They are obviously trying to create some sort of metropolitan cosmopolitan vibe around here, though it still strikes me as somewhat soulless. However, with it being summer it seemed the obvious place to go for a burger. Now, when I say a burger, I don’t mean a Big Mac / Whopper / lowest common denominator meat pattie between pre-sliced buns. Gourmet Burger Kitchen, as one might suppose from its name, positions itself at the premium end of the market. Though you can ta...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2009

GBK - Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Unit B6, Left Bank, Spinningfields
Manchester, England M3 3ER
+44 (161) 832 2719

Timer's Bar

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Restaurant | "36) Timer's Bar - I Want Kenkey"

In Ghana Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Ghana - 23/06/09A tropical summer monsoon had battered me and Paul as we had walked the two miles down Hyde Road from Piccadilly Station into Ardwick. Steam was rising from our damp clothes as we stumbled into Timers Bar. "Do you serve food?" The African mama at the bar looked at us dubiously. "Yes. But I must warn you: it is mostly African food". A Ghanaian flag hung above her on the wall. "That’s okay. That’s what we are looking for actually. What do you have?" "For you, jollof rice." For a moment I was dismayed. But then I saw the menu on the wall, heavy with exotic sounding dishes - banku, kenkey, waakye. "What are these?"...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 3, 2009

Uluru

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Attraction | "37) Uluru - Going Walkabout in Chorlton"

Uluru Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Australia – 26/06/09A gloriously beautiful late June was the excuse for a post-work Friday pub-crawl. The venue of choice was the buzzing and bar-jammed Chorlton. The scene in this trendy suburb is so popular that while we were able to get seats in all but one of the seven bars we called in at in all cases they were often the only seats or table remaining upon our arrival. I met up with Paul and Simon at The Bar on Wilbraham Road; Gary caught up with us next door at The Nook. Then it was on to the next neighbouring bar, Abode. We had bangers and mash at...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 5, 2009

Uluru
398 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton
Manchester, England
0161 881 6789

Canada Grill

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Restaurant | "38) Canada Grill - What's So Canadian About Charcoal?"

Canada Grill Photo, Chorlton, England
Quote:
Canada – 26/06/09By the end of our Chorlton pub crawl we were getting peckish. Sadly the Australian bar we had visited, Uluru, did not serve food. So we headed out for a Canadian takeaway…Bizarrely, Canadian food is easily obtainable in Manchester. Or at least food that is described as ‘Canadian’. The key link seems to be that the grub in the two different takeaway chains – Canada Grill and Canadian Charcoal Pit – is cooked over charcoal. I’m not sure what makes charcoal-cooked food especially ‘Canadian’, but it does mean that you will often see a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2009

Canada Grill
613b Wilbraham Road,
Chorlton M21 9AN
0161 881 1205

Panama Hatty's

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Restaurant | "39) Panama Hatty's - Hats Off To Panama!"

Panama Hatty's Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
Panama - 30/06/09Sleek and sexy, dim and discrete, Panama Hatty's was not what I had expected. I knew of its existence of course - a low doorway leading down into the ground on a side-street beneath a knicker shop, but had known of no one who had ever visited. I had actually suspected that it might be rather grim. How wrong I was! There were clues of course. The side-street was just off King Street, Manchester's highest-end shopping street. Near neighbours are Armani, Diesel and Vivienne Westwood. The 'knicker shop' upstairs is actually Agent Provacateur. And Hatty's has a sister restaurant in Tarporley, well into the Cheshire stockbroker belt. But it was o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2009

Panama Hatty's
43a Brown Street (Off King Street)
Manchester M2 2JJ
+44 (161) 832-8688

Brasserie Gerard

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Restaurant | "40) Brasserie Gérard - The Food Of Love"

Brasserie Gerard Photo, Manchester, England
Quote:
France - 01/07/09 Shakespeare said that music was the food of love. Much as I love the Bard, I may have to disagree with him. Personally I would go for French food as the food of love... This was no Twelfth Night however. But it was a seventh date. And so a bit of romance was needed. And rightly or wrongly the French have a reputation for romance. So I made a reservation at Brasserie Gerard on Albert Square. From the exterior the Brasserie is not the most wonderful-looking, located in a 1980s red-brick office building. Inside it looks much lusher with big couches and a zinc-topped bar. However, the exterior does have a covered portico fac...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 14, 2009

Brasserie Gerard
2-8 Commercial Union House, Albert Square
Manchester, England M2 6LW
0161 834 7633