Food & Drink
Aldi’s hot chocolate Christmas mug melts return and there’s new penguin and unicorn versions
Aldi has pulled it out of the bag once again…
Some fantastic winter news for you all to sink your teeth into: Aldi has brought back its iconic hot chocolate Christmas mug melts.
In what could be the best timing ever (because it’s now bloody freezing out there), the budget supermarket is now selling the tasty mug melts with two very cute new characters.
This years mug melts feature the familiar snowman design from last year, and the new penguin and unicorn designs, with each hot chocolate melt being available in stores now for just £1.25 a pop.
All you need to do is sit the melts in your mug, add steaming hot milk and watch them dissolve into a wonderfully thick and creamy hot chocolate – perfect for the many freezing evenings we’re all set to endure over the next few months.
The mug melts also come in 100% plastic-free packaging – what’s not to love?! To get your hands on some, you can either visit your local Aldi or visit the Aldi website.
Though this isn’t the only thing Aldi are doing this Christmas – earlier this month, the supermarket launched their annual Christmas advert where they revealed they’d partnered up with Man United star Marcus Rashford to donate 1.8 million meals to families over the festive period.
This years advert, which has taken inspiration from Charles Dickens’ festive classic A Christmas Carol, centres around new character, Ebanana Scrooge, who holds a passionate dislike for Christmas after being rejected by Santa for a mince pie as a baby banana.
Old favourite Kevin the Carrot also returns as the Ghost of Christmas Past and, in a first, Rashford makes a brief cameo as the footballer radish, Marcus Radishford.
Rashford said of his partnership in a statement: “As a family, we relied on the local food bank to get our Christmas dinner. To this day, I remember queuing outside that building with mum, mum feeling embarrassed that she might be recognised. It is with that in mind that I’m delighted to lend my support to the Aldi campaign.
“For many children in situations like mine growing up, there is very little expectation around this time of year; add the impact of the pandemic and the very least they deserve is a Christmas dinner.”
Food & Drink
Zouk’s bottomless curry buffet is back for Ramadan with an entire stuffed lamb
It will be available for everyone throughout the entirety of Ramadan — Zouk have it covered!
Zouk is bringing back its epic bottomless buffet, available throughout the whole of Ramadan, consisting of their best-loved dishes — including a whole stuffed lamb.
Every evening starting from Wednesday March 22nd, the colossal all-you-can-eat buffet will be open for everyone to feast on — the perfect way for families to celebrate Iftar and break their fast.
Guests will be greeted with a gift of stuffed dates on arrival plus fruit chaat, dates and water on the table. Once seated, customers can go up to the buffet and enjoy the daily selection of food which will include salads, starters, curries, lamb raan and a selection of accompaniments.
Zouk have created two sittings this year, so the Ramadan buffet is available for a longer period of time each evening — with a rotating menu in case you want to come back for more.
There will be one sitting at Iftar with a second sitting an hour earlier or later, depending on BST. All you have to do is simply select the time that best suits you and your fellow diners when booking.
The Ramadan buffet is £25 per person for adults, £12.50 per child (under 12s) and free for children under five. Throughout the month, Zouk will also be supporting a number of local charities by donating both meals and money to help with the homelessness crisis across Manchester.
While walk-ins are welcome, it is advised to make a reservation to avoid disappointment. Get booked in here.
The rotating menu is as follows:
Salads (a choice of three every day including)
Mint & Cucumber
Starters (a choice of five every day)
Mixed Vegetable Pakora
Dhai Balahi (yoghurt based dish served chilled)
Whole Stuffed Lamb Raan (weekends)
Leg Lamb Raan (weekdays)
Curry (a choice of four every day)
Chicken Sindhi Biryani
Chicken & Spinach
Lamb & Potatoes
Assorted Naan breads
Mango Mumbai Mess
Raspberry Mumbai Mess
Food & Drink
This Manchester food hall has been named best in entire UK
Three Manchester food halls made it into the top 10 list
A food hall in Manchester has been named as the best in the UK for its ‘exceptional’ food.
Mackie Mayor, based in the Northern Quarter, beat competition from London, Liverpool and Sheffield as it was voted best in the whole of the UK. Two other Greater Manchester food halls also made it to the top 10; Altrincham Market House and Society food hall, coming in fourth and eighth respectively.
Mackie Mayor scooped the top spot and was praised for the ‘exceptional’ food from its many food and drink operators, while second place went to Italian-inspired concept Eataly in London.
The news was announced by global travel site Big 7 Travel and hospitality specialists Enjoy Travel, who teamed up to find the best food halls in the UK. Venues were ranked on several factors including range of cuisines, selection of vendors, unique and special events and overall atmosphere.
Mackie Mayor food hall is located inside an 1858 Grade II-listed market building that was once Smithfield Market Hall. The site reopened as Mackie Mayor following a huge refurbishment in 2017.
The Swan Street plot was given a total revamp by the same team behind Altrincham Market — led by Nick Johnson — after lying empty for years. The team behind both food halls also run the Picturedrome food hall in Macclesfield.
Featuring a range of food and drink operators, all under its huge glass roof, Mackie Mayor holds the capacity for almost 500 people. The current line-up of vendors includes Tender Cow, Eagle Street Coffee, Honest Crust, Pico’s, New Wave Ramen, Mumma’s, Chilli B and BlackJack Brewtap.
Taking top position above Eataly in London and Cutlery Works in Sheffield, the description for Mackie Mayor said it was ‘crammed full of top-notch food and drink vendors’ and one of Manchester’s ‘most popular spots’.
It added: “Honest Crust serves exceptional seasonal sourdough pizzas, FIN Fish Bar is beloved for its sustainable day-boat fish cooked whole over a chargrill and Baohouse serves up the steamiest little Taiwanese buns. At Tender Cow, punters can tuck into lesser-known cuts of beef from some of the best producers and farms in Britain. Groups of 10 or more people can book a table too.”
The other Manchester food hall making the top ten was Society, located in the long-vacated bar site next to Bridgewater Hall on Barbirolli Square, serving up a range of street food, craft beers and cocktails.
Current traders at the food hall include Chaat Cart, Yoki Social Table and Vocation brewery.
Food & Drink
A massive Hong Kong food festival is coming to the award-winning Bury Market
‘I believe food can connect people from different cultures’
A Hong Kong food and crafts festival is coming to the award-winning Bury Market this month.
The event will feature over 30 stalls dedicated to the region’s cuisine and crafts taking place from Friday 17th – Saturday 18th March. Greater Manchester’s favourite market will host over 30 stalls serving traditional Hong Kong cuisine and handicrafts for visitors to immerse themselves in its culture.
The two-day market – named So Hong Kong – is not only a celebration of Greater Manchester’s Hong Kong community, but an introduction to the region’s food, which includes homegrown Cantonese cooking as well as Japanese, Korean and other South Asian dishes.
Hong Kong cuisine is characterised by rice dishes, roasted meats, soups and dim sum, amongst others — all of which will be available to sample in Bury next week. Cammie Liu, owner of Moliuliu’s Store in Bury Market and one of the organisers behind the event, said: “The main purpose of the market is to introduce Hong Kong street food to the local people, as I believe food can connect people from different cultures.
“It will make use of the empty stalls, attract more young people to explore the lovely Bury Market, and also allow Hong Kong people to have the chance to set up their businesses.”
Already confirmed for the event are contestants from Bake Off: The Professionals 2022, A Little Sweet, a Sale-based bakery and the brainchild of Jeffrey Koo Ka Chun — who made his name in the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
One of Koo’s staples is the Red Bean Bun, a popular Japanese steamed bun featuring an azuki bean paste filling, said to taste sweet and earthy. Another business joining A Little Sweet is Pan.dora Meal Box, a popular Bury restaurant bringing Hainanese chicken rice, Cantonese thin pancakes, peanuts mochi, rice balls and more to their stall next week.
Alongside these traders, there’ll also be bubble tea from Shining Rainbow Dream Tea & Snacks Hong Kong hot pots from Ardwick’s Fat Tat, traditional Asian teas from Bang Bang Brands and Yunnan rice noodles from Derek Leung.
And it’s not just taste buds that will be satisfied next week, as So Hong Kong is also inviting a number of traders offering Hong Kong arts and crafts, with everything from handmade jade stone accessories, stationary, pearl jewellery, handcrafted slippers, candles and aromatherapy products available to browse.
The festival has been organised in collaboration with Hong Kong March and Moliuliu’s Store, a Hong Kong grocery store based in the market. It’s part of a month-long, UK-wide festival promoting, celebrating and introducing Hong Kong culture to different communities, with events taking place across 16 cities exploring everything from film and music to history, food and more.
If successful, the organisers behind the food market are hoping to make it a permanent fixture every three months. Visitors would be able to enjoy around 30 businesses offering a taste of Hong Kong’s very best street food throughout the year, alongside craft pop-ups and Bury Market’s beloved resident traders.
One of the North West’s most notable last standing authentic markets, with everything from butchers to fishmongers, fruit and vegetable stalls, haberdashery and DVD collectors, Bury Market has a special place in the heart of its local community.
Voted Best Market In Britain, the indoor and outdoor market hall is a destination for shoppers wanting to step back in time to the packed out markets of 1960s Britain.
So Hong Kong will take place from 9am–4.30pm on Friday 17th March and 9am–5pm on Saturday 18th March. The event is free to attend.