This weekend, Manchester will be welcoming with very open arms one of the region’s most acclaimed pie makers.
Baldy’s Pies doesn’t look like much from the outside thanks to its obscure spot in the middle of an industrial estate in Wigan but, inside, founders Alex Melling and Chris Vernazza have put their experience in Michelin-star kitchens to use by creating somewhat of a pie revolution.
Their business was born during lockdown and was quick to gain a handsome reputation as a result of Melling and Vernazza’s homemade and locally sourced produce.
And today, Baldy’s Pies are considered to be some of the best in not only Wigan, but the whole of Greater Manchester.
The pies are so good, in fact, that the business has scooped up three different prizes at the prestigious National Pie Awards over the years.
On the menu, you’ll find things like slow fourteen-hour cooked brisket, gravy that takes over two days to make and unique ‘crumbs’ aloft each pie, complementing the flavours perfectly.
One of the most popular pies on the menu is The Big Jim, made up of braised beef shin, bone marrow, confit onion and a dusting of pistachio crumb.
Another fan favourite is The Chicken Kiev, a pie consisting of free range chicken breast, buttered leeks, home made herb béchamel and a garlic and parsley crumb.
Each pie can also come served with a little pot of buttered mash with crispy shallots and home made gravy – because it wouldn’t be a real pie experience without mash and gravy, would it?
And this bank holiday weekend, Mancunians will be able to save themselves the drive to Wigan because Baldy’s Pies will coming to the city for one day only.
Baldy’s will be taking over at Blossom Street Social in Ancoats this Sunday (May 1st) from 2pm – 6pm… And you’d best be quick because once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Manchester restaurant is hiring a ‘cheese and wine expert’ for £24k a year
Great news for cheese and wine lovers looking for a new role!
A Manchester restaurant is recruiting an ‘expert’ in cheeses for £24k a year.
If you consider yourself a connoisseur of cheese and wines, this job could be the one for you.
Master Chef 2015 winner, Simon Wood, is looking for someone to work at his city centre restaurant Wood, in its sophisticated cheese and wine room called Homage.
The job advertisement is for a host but applicants must know their stuff when it comes to cheese and wines. They are on the lookout for a full-time staff member to work four days a week at the city centre restaurant.
The vacancy reads: “This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an individual who has a good knowledge for wine and a love of cheese.”
Other requirements for the prospective candidates for the position include a high level of customer service and attention to detail, experience and knowledge of wine service and a genuine passion and enthusiasm for hospitality at its best.
Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) knowledge is preferred but not essential. The salary for the vacancy is from £24,000 a year (dependant on experience), plus service charge.
For those who wish to apply, you can email your CV and covering letter to Simon@woodmanchester.com
The hidden gem serving up Hong Kong’s top rated pork chop curry in Eccles
Stick Popchop on your list of Manchester food to try!
Chinese takeaway Popchop, in Eccles, serves up a pork curry which has been ranked one of the top ten pork chop rice dishes by Time Out magazine Hong Kong.
From the outside this low-key takeaway, located on Liverpool Road, looks almost indistinguishable from any other. Even the inside is simple and straight to the point, with just a couple of small seating arrangements for the odd person who needs somewhere convenient to quickly demolish their feast.
Owner Samuel serves up the Hong Kong pork chop curry — a 40-year-old family recipe — which made it to the top ten best pork chop dishes in Hong Kong by Time Out magazine.
His dad runs the Sun King Yuen curry restaurant in Hong Kong which is famous for its pork chops, and it’s good news for Eccles, as he passed his wisdom on to his son.
Samuel keeps framed pictures of his dad around Popchop, and in them, he is busy cooking over his wok. It is from him that Samuel learned the techniques to create the top-rated curry sauce and crispy breadcrumbed pork chops that go with it.
Samuel and his wife moved to Eccles two years ago and opened up Popchop in July 2022. Since opening, locals have been queuing down the street with meals reportedly selling out fast — it’s no surprise when you learn the history behind the food and the love that goes into it.
Of the family classic, Time Out said: “This classic curry house in Wan Chai is famed for its pork chops, and is one of the few tourist attractions in the district that locals still love.”
Sharing a little of the secret to how it is made, Samuel said: “The pork is first left to marinate for four hours in a homemade spice mix before being breaded and deep-fried.
“The base paste for the curry is what makes the difference,” he added.
It’s all made using the exact same methods and techniques as his relatives at their restaurant Sun King Yeun in Hong Kong, and once cooked, is served with soft potatoes on a bed of white rice.
FYI: for those that don’t fancy pork, there’s also a chicken version of this dish.
Popchop’s menu is simple but effective. It’s the kind of place that does just a few things but does them really well – an excellent addition to Eccles.
Popchop is open 5-9pm Wednesday to Sunday.
Manchester’s legendary Cafe Metro forced to close after four decades
They had initially looked to relocate but had been unable to ‘find a premises that enabled them to offer customers the same service and pricing.’
Cafe Metro, situated on High Street in the city centre, has announced its closure on social media.
The family run business, operated by father and son duo George and Michael Stavrinou, has closed its doors for good after four decades trading in the city.
Cafe Metro first opened its doors in 1982 before relocating to its High Street location on the edge of the Northern Quarter after the IRA bomb in 1996 destroyed its former site. It closed permanently on Christmas Eve 2022.
The family said they had initially looked to relocate but had been unable to ‘find a premises that enabled them to offer customers the same service and pricing.’
In a Facebook post they said: “It is with regret and great sadness that we announce the closure of Cafe Metro.
“We have come to the end of our lease and the landlord’s plans to redevelop means that we can’t stay.
“Although we have looked to relocate we have not been able to find premises that come close to enabling us to offer our customers the same service and pricing.
“With Christmas Eve being our last day, George, Michael and the family would like to thank all our customers for their valued custom and support over the last 25 years, we’ve enjoyed serving you and will miss our chats about life in general, families, cars, F1, football, you name it we’ve probably talked about it.
“Thank you to our valued staff for your hard work and support, particularly now in our final week and last but not least Aida who has been part of the Cafe Metro family for over 20 years – thank you for all your hard work and support until the very end.
“We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year 2023 and the very best for the future.
“Goodbye for now.”
Commenters on the post shared their love for the cafe and their sadness upon hearing the news. Amanda Jane Pritchard said: “ Gutted, my first job after leaving school was at Cafe Metro. Loved my job. Town won’t be the same. Take care and good luck in all you do.”
Raimonda Arne said: “Such a shame it’s closing. I have some lovely memories working there back in 2006 when I was a student. Good luck, George, Aida and Michael.”
Thekla Sotiriou said: “The end of an era. Such a loss to Manchester! Wishing you all the best in all that comes next. Sending all our love and best wishes.”