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Food & Drink

A FREE Michelin-starred food and drink festival is coming to Manchester this summer

Celebrated chefs from across the country will be joining forces with Escape to Freight Island for one weekend only

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Escape to Freight Island

The KANTINA Food and Drink Weekender is returning to Manchester this summer with a whole host of Michelin-starred talent.

And better yet? This year, it is completely FREE to attend.

Billed as a ‘feast for the city’, KANTINA 2022 will see national guest chefs, restaurants and bars pairing up with the existing traders in Escape to Freight Island for a whole host of tasty and unique collaborations.

As a part of the weekend’s line-up, Brad Carter’s One Star Döner Bar will partner with Michelin-starred chef Tom Brown who founded Cornerstone in London, alongside renowned independent food consultant from Birmingham, Lap-fai Lee.

@escapetofreightisland / Instagram

Escape to Freight Island

Famous for her South-East Asian cookery, Pippa Middlehurst ‘Pippy Eats’ will be returning to KANTINA for a follow-up collaboration with Mi & Pho, while the upscaled tacos from Madre will be teamed up with AngloThai’s co-founder and head chef John Chantarasak.

And Carnival – the popular new collaboration concept at Escape to Freight Island – will be taken over by award-winning chef, butcher, restauranteur and food writer Richard Turner, formerly of Hawksmoor.

There will also be an exclusive supper club will be presented by Luke French, the head chef and owner at the acclaimed JÖRO in Sheffield, which holds an impressive 3 AA Rosettes and Michelin Guide 2021 Recommended.

And for those with a sweet tooth, there will be a tantalising selection from ice cream sandwich connoisseurs Happy Endings will be available alongside offerings from Gooey and Batard.

Escape to Freight Island

Escape to Freight Island

On the drinks side of things, Soho House will take over Escape to Freight Island’s bar in the sky at The Jane Eyre, while the Pomona Island taproom will provide a whole range of beverages across the board.

And in true Escape to Freight Island fashion, the festival will host a vibrant roster of entertainment, varying from live performances, DJs, satellite events and more across the weekend.

KANTINA 2022 will be hosted at Escape to Freight Island on Friday June 10th (from 4pm until 1am), Saturday June 11th (from 12pm until 1am) and Sunday June 12th (from 12pm until 9pm) and will be completely free to attend.

Get your table booked here.

Food & Drink

Restaurant famed for ‘cheese wheel pasta’ and ‘towering lasagnas’ looking to come to Manchester

A taste of la dolce vita could be coming to Manchester

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Big Mamma Group & @bigmamma.uk / Instagram

The ‘OTT’ group famous for its pasta served in a wheel of cheese and 10-level lasagnas is reportedly looking to open a new Italian restaurant in Manchester city centre.

French-based Big Mamma Group, which owns over-the-top Italian restaurants in London – Gloria, Carlotta, Jacuzzi, Ave Mario and Circolo Popolare – will open a new venue in Gary Neville’s under-construction St Michael’s development off Deansgate.

Its restaurants are known for their flamboyant, retro interiors, resembling vintage maximalism Italian eateries, as well as US-style red sauce joints.

Big Mamma Group

The regularly changing menus feature a variety of Italian classics, including fettuccine alfredo al tartufo, spaghetti with meatballs, a famous ’10 level’ lasagne and carbonara served in a huge cheese wheel.

The Manchester restaurant will be the first UK venue to be located outside of London and will – sit alongside the also announced Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte, also to be built at St Michael’s.

The move follows a host of other operators in the capital choosing to open new sites in Manchester.

Big Mamma Group

Soon to arrive in the city will be the likes of Caravan, Flat Iron, Soho House and Blacklock.

Big Mamma – which was founded in 2013 by French entrepreneurs Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux – has more than 20 restaurants across Europe including Paris, Monaco, Milan, Madrid and Berlin.

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Food & Drink

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU offering 30% off in March

Take advantage of vibrant Japanese dining experience

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MUSU

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU is offering 30% off in March for customers who sign up to its new free rewards programme.

The contemporary Japanese eatery, nestled in the heart of the city centre on Bridge Street, is launching its own membership rewards programme.

The scheme is free to join and will give members 30% off their food bill throughout March upon signing up.

MUSU

Rewards customers can enjoy discounted prices on menus including the Omakase – the theatrical, educational sushi experience which is served individually to diners at the restaurant’s six–seat omakase counter. 

This also includes the full Land of the Rising Sun tasting menus, which take in a range of cooking styles from all over Japan, devised by chef-patron Mike Shaw.

Then from April, members of the programme will be able to take advantage of a series of other rewards, including 30% off any food bill when dining at lunch time, 10% off when dining at dinner on any menu, and a 10% discount on private hire and private dining.

MUSU

The restaurant has a closed-off area for its private dining experience for guests to enjoy, which is regularly used by celebrities and food critics alike.

On top of this, members celebrating their birthdays at MUSU will receive a complimentary drink, and every reward programme member will be entered into a monthly prize draw to win a 12-course Land of the Rising Sun experience, complete with wine pairings.

You can get early access to the restaurant’s special events, like its live tuna cutting experience, where a whole bluefin tuna is carved in front of diners, while its expert sushi chefs talk you through the provenance of the fish and the skills displayed in this ancient craft.

You can sign up to MUSU’s free rewards scheme, HERE.

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Food & Drink

A Manchester Tiki bar is giving away free cocktails for life

Free Zombies for life!!!

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Gerald England / Geograph & @hulatikimcr / Instagram

One lucky winner can win free cocktails for life at a Manchester Tiki bar to celebrate 15 years of being open.

This April will mark 15 years of Hula – the Northern Quarter’s basement 1950s-style beach bar lounge – and to celebrate, the venue wants to offer one lucky winner a life-long prize to say ‘thank you’ for supporting them over the years.

Many Mancunians will have memories of being in this vibrant late night party hideout at some point, even if they are a little sketchy through a cloudy cocktail ridden haze.

Gerald England / Geograph

April 12th and 13th will be the bar’s official birthday weekend and they have some exciting plans for their guests.

As a special treat, Hulu is running a competition online where one lucky winner will be treated to free zombies for life.

All you have to do is visit @hulatikimcr on Instagram, like the post, follow the page and share to your stories for an extra entry.

In a post on Instagram, Hula wrote: “So… April will mark 15 years of Hula. I know crazy! Every one of us has memories of being in Hula at some point (some we’d probably like to forget)

“It may have gone through some changes throughout the years but Hula remains standing.

“April 12th & 13th will be our official birthday weekend and we have some exciting plans in place… more on that later. So as a special treat to celebrate, we thought why not give back to those who have kept us here all these years.

“We are giving one lucky winner free zombies for LIFE! Like FOREVER!”

Stay tuned for further details of Hula’s 15th birthday celebrations across April 12th and 13th. You can find Hula hidden below Quarter House and The Fitzgerald at 11 Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter.

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