During lockdown you may well have noticed a huge, mysterious door appear in the Northern Quarter.
While we’ve all been waiting at home for the country to finally reopen again, others have been busy transforming an unassuming part of the city centre into a magical new bar.
The large suspicious-looking door is located on the corner of Dale Street and Lever Street, and behind it lies Mala.
Mala is home to a 160-seat secret garden, complete with 13 private huts and six baby pink cable carts.
The new bar is set to open today, Tuesday May 4th, and the venue will be partnering with a number of operators around the Northern Quarter to bring food and drink.
The secretive concept will give establishments who don’t have their own outside seating areas the chance to to deliver food and drink to the Mala site.
However, that’s as much as we know so far, and the businesses partnering with Mala are still to be announced – although there will be some great cocktails and beers to choose from when it opens.
Whatever the plan is, it’s great to see a new lease of life given to this once rundown section of the Northern Quarter.
It’s walk-ins only, so no need to get yourself booked in – handy if you’re about in town and fancy a last minute drink.
You can stay up to date on Mala’s Instagram here.
Kong’s Chicken launches jerk fried chicken, hanger steak ‘surf & turf’ and cheesy chips with gravy on new menu
Kong’s has shaken up the menu with some tasty new additions…
Manchester’s staple fried chicken joint Kongs Chicken Shop has strayed from tradition with the launch of its brand new menu.
Kong’s, the very place that sent the city into a frenzy with its fried chicken Sunday roast last year, was born out of the popular Northern Quarter ramen spot, CBRB, where it operated on a collection and delivery basis.
Thanks to its success however, Kong’s has been quick to grow and, in its short life, has held residencies in a number of city centre venues such as Foundation Coffee on Portland Street, Northern Monk Refectory, The Head of Steam in Didsbury Village and, most recently, Clubhouse in Spinningfields.
But in perhaps their biggest move yet, the fried chicken connoisseurs launched their very own American-style diner in late night arcade and bowling bar Dog Bowl at the start of the year.
And now they’ve settled into their new home nicely, Kong’s have unveiled a brand new menu, complete with their iconic fried chicken and something a little different, too.
Fans of the restaurant will recognise their trademark Signature Chicken Sandwich, which comes with a fried chicken thigh, crispy chicken skin, chunky burger sauce, iceberg lettuce, pickles and sriracha slaw, all sandwiched within a toasted seeded brioche bun.
For the first time, Kong’s is offering its own take on Caribbean cuisine with the new Jerk Chicken Sandwich – the chicken is marinated in house jerk sauce and paired with mango and pineapple hot salsa, slaw and iceberg lettuce. It is also available in vegan form, and is equally as good.
Also new to the menu is the Panang Curry Chicken Sandwich and the Buffalo Chicken Poutine, consisting of a fried chicken thigh in buffalo sauce with mozzarella, fries, gravy, blue cheese sauce, crumbled cheese, chives and chilli.
Kong’s has strayed from tradition with some of their new dishes too, including the Hanger Steak and Fries, which comes cooked rare and topped with chimichurri and watercress, with the option to add king prawns for £5 and a fried egg and grilled pineapple ring for £1.
And it’s worth mentioning that the restaurant doesn’t mess about when it comes to sides; their fried chicken and steak can be accompanied by Kong’s Slaw, Onion Rings, Buffalo Blue Cheese Fries and a range of BBQ chicken wings and tenders.
Kong’s at Dog Bowl is open from 12pm every day, and makes the perfect accompaniment to a game of bowling or fun in the arcade.
Make sure to follow Kong’s Chicken Shop on Instagram for news and updates.
New Turtle Bay restaurant set to open in Salford Quays as plans submitted
Manchester’s existing Turtle Bay restaurants are hugely popular thanks to their Caribbean-inspired menus and cocktails
Salford Quays could soon be getting its very own Turtle Bay, with plans to build a new restaurant recently being submitted.
There are currently two existing Turtle Bay restaurants in Manchester, with one located down Oxford Road and the other in the Northern Quarter.
The venues have proven to be a huge hit among Mancunians over the years, mainly thanks to their Caribbean-inspired menus, extensive list of rum cocktails and their competitive Happy Hour, which runs at varying hours every day of the week.
But the brand could soon be expanding outside of the city centre, with plans been recently submitted to open a new restaurant in Salford Quays.
According to the Salford City Council website, the application was received on Wednesday April 6th, and proposed the brands recognisable features, including an illuminated Turtle Bay sign, a ‘Caribbean social’ neon sign, and coloured awnings with pattern/graphics wording.
It has also been pitched for the new Turtle Bay to move into the former Real China restaurant space in The Lowry Designer Outlet.
The proposal was validated last week on Tuesday May 3rd, so updates can be expected in the coming months.
Turtle Bay was founded in 2010 by Sri Lankan Ajith Jaya-Wickrema, who also established the Mexican restaurant chain Las Iguanas.
Ajith, who moved to the UK at the age of fifteen, had a vision to create a group of restaurants that would ‘transport you to the Caribbean without a plane ticket’ and, ultimately, ‘bring the fun, bring the flavour, and bring on the good times’.
Fast forward to today and there are now forty-two Turtle Bay restaurants across the UK, with ever-evolving menus, cocktails, live music and social events.
Head over to the Turtle Bay website for to stay posted with updates on their next venture.
M&S launch new Corgi and Jubilee Connie the Caterpillar cakes
‘When you thought you’d seen it all… introducing Corgi meets Jubilee Connie the Caterpillar’
M&S is commemorating the Queen’s seventieth year on the throne the only way it knows how with the launch of some very regal caterpillar cakes.
The supermarket took to social media today to unveil its miniature Jubilee Connie the Caterpillar, as well as a brand new corgi version of the popular chocolate cake.
Sharing a photo of the tasty treats, which take on the same shape as the original caterpillar cake but with new crowns and royal capes, M&S wrote: “When you thought you’d seen it all… introducing Corgi meets Jubilee Connie the Caterpillar”.
Jubilee Connie the Caterpillar and her corgi companion will be available to buy in all M&S stores from Tuesday May 17th, just in time for the Jubilee celebrations.
And these aren’t the only new additions to M&S’s Platinum Jubilee range this year, with the retailer selling a whole host of royal-themed treats, drinks and home additions.
Though M&S isn’t the first supermarket to give their caterpillar cake a royal makeover, with Morrisons last month unveiling their very own Clarence the Corgi cake for the Jubilee celebrations.
The limited edition corgi cake is made up of the usual chocolate-coated swiss roll cake, and will come complete with red, white and blue sprinkles, little boots, and a Union Jack crown to top it all off.
It will be available to buy in all good Morrisons stores from May 21st.
The country is gearing up for four days worth of celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including two extra days off across the May bank holiday weekend.
Other celebrations that weekend will include a Platinum Pudding Competition, which will be judged by baking royalty Dame Mary Berry.
The Platinum Jubilee Line Up in Full
May 12th-15th: Performances in Windsor Castle
June 2nd: Bank holiday begins with a Trooping The Colour and lighting of beacons
June 3rd: Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral
June 4th: Celebrity Party At The Palace outside Buckingham Palace
June 5th: Big Jubilee Lunch and Jubilee Pageant
July: Performances charting the stories of the Queen’s coronation and jubilees
The May Bank Holiday – which usually falls at the end of the month – will be moved to Thursday June 2nd, while an extra Bank Holiday will be added on Friday June 3rd, making it a four-day weekend.
You can shop the full M&S Platinum Jubilee range here.