Food & Drink
NEW OPENING: The Old Trafford spot serving up churros, whipped gelato and charcoal barbecue meat
Formerly known as Marsei’s, Whipp’n’ Charcoal & Churros is on a mission to bring freshly prepared and quality food back to Manchester
Old Trafford’s latest opening, Whipp ‘n’ Charcoal & Churros, is offering the eclectic mix of Caribbean-Indian fusion barbecue, Italian gelato and homemade Spanish churros.
Those of you who have frequented the Old Trafford area might be familiar with an establishment called Marsei’s – opening in a makeshift shipping container in late 2019, Marsei’s became a firm favourite among locals for it’s Caribbean-Indian fusion offerings, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic when it was one of the only restaurants still operating as a ‘grab and go’ in the area.
Marsei’s founder and owner Deiago has always been an avid lover of food, a passion that has reflected in his career choices. Over the years, he has worked as a chef in a number of different kitchens across Manchester, such as Almost Famous, Gusto and The Ivy.
However, after finding himself becoming disheartened by the lack of fresh food being cooked and served in larger establishments, Deiago pushed himself to open and run his very own kitchen, vowing to ‘always cook everything we offer from scratch on that day.’
Speaking with Proper Manchester, Deiago explained that it wasn’t until his partner was nearing the end of her pregnancy with their son that the opportunity arose to open his own restaurant.
He said: “People have always mentioned that I need to open my own place up so, when the opportunity presented itself at the end of 2019, I just thought that when my little boy is born, I’d love to be working in my own place so he can grow up watching his dad grafting away.
“I had the money put together at the time so I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it. We decided that our little boy would be called Marsei before his birth, so I decided to name the shop after him because, at the end of the day, he was who I was doing it all for.”
Every day, Deiago and his team would prepare their food from the ground up, with absolutely nothing pre-cooked being served. He added: “A team of three or four of us was just smashing it out every single day, making fresh food for people to come and take away.”
Things couldn’t have been going better for Marsei’s and business was booming – but at the start of this year, a new opportunity presented itself in the form of two suntanned friends returning from a trip to Spain with a craving for churros.
Deiago explained: “At the start of this year, two friends of mine proposed the idea of opening up a dessert shop. They came up with the concept after a trip to Spain and experiencing churros. At the time, they thought, ‘we don’t have this back in Manchester.’
“So we decided to collaborate and one thing led to another… We threw a lot of money into revamping the business, and we eventually renamed the shop Whipp ‘n’ Charcoal and Churros.”
The era of Marsei’s was officially brought to a close, though elements of the original restaurant remain in their new venture; Whipp ‘n’ Charcoal and Churros’ menu includes charcoal cooked punjabi and tandoori chicken, Caribbean jerk, and the East Coast chilli chicken, all made from scratch and in house. Guests will be able to build their own ‘Charcoal meals’, choosing their own sauces, marinades and sides.
And as for the dessert offering?
Well, it says it on the tin: Whipp ‘n’ Charcoal & Churros maintains a strong focus on churros, with Deiago even investing in a churro maker to make his own from scratch. All the sauces to accompany the churros are also made fresh in house.
A menu highlight is definitely the looped churro; vanilla whipped gelato with a churro pressed in the top covered in fresh milk chocolate sauce, topped with nibbed roasted peanuts and sherbert.
The churros can be filled with either a white chocolate sauce or a milk chocolate sauce (Deiago assured me that a fruit coulis is in the works). Traditional churros without a filling are also up for grabs and, instead of being accompanied with a sauce, are simply sprinkled with a little sugar and cinnamon.
There will also be the option to buy a luxury churro box, which comes with four looped churros each flavoured differently such as Lotus Biscoff, chocolate and nut, white chocolate sprinkle, and sherbet.
But it’s their gelato that steals the show – made using ingredients imported directly from Italy, the gelato is put through a whipping machine to be transformed into their signature whipped gelato – a posh Italian Mr. Whippy, if you will.
Whipp ‘n’ Charcoal & Churros & will be operating as a fully plastic-free ‘grab and go,’ but Deiago is hopeful for it to become a sit down restaurant at some point in the near future.
There are also ambitious plans for the food, too. He explained: “We’re hoping to expand to do world barbecue, such as Korean barbecue, so when guests come to choose their flavour, we’ll have a number of world barbecue options for them to choose from.”
Whipp ‘n’ Charcoal & Churros can be found down Kings Road at Old Trafford and will be officially opening next week on Wednesday, September 1st.
To stay posted on menu updates and news, follow their official Instagram page here, and to place an order, give them a call at 0161 641 9042.
Food & Drink
Wetherspoons selling cheap pints from as little as £2.15 starting this week
Calling all beer lovers!
Pub chain Wetherspoons has announced it is hosting a 12-day celebration of all things ale — with pints costing as little as £2.15, starting this week.
The chain’s Real Ale Festival runs from Wednesday March 22nd to Sunday April 2nd, just in time for beer garden season. Exact prices will depend on where you live but the average cost is still expected to be below £3.
A range of 30 ales will be included in the deal, which is part of the pub chain’s real ale festival, from citrusy IPAs to deep dark rubies, available at extremely tempting prices across all of its pubs.
Some of those beers – 24 in total – will also have been brewed especially for the Wetherspoons event. Vegan and gluten free beers will also be on sale as part of the festival collection. Included in the selection of tipples will be offerings from leading British breweries as well as brewers in countries such as Switzerland, USA and Belgium.
Wetherspoon operations director, Martin Geoghegan said: “The festival is a great celebration of real ale. It will allow our pubs to showcase a selection of superb beers over a 12-day period, at great value for money prices.
“It will also give our customers the opportunity to enjoy a number of beers which have not previously been served in the pub, including those from overseas.”
The annual festival arrives as Spoons prices have risen by around 7.5 percent and a number of its venues have been put up for sale. Despite this, boss Tim Martin said that he remains ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the brand’s future.
The full list of ales is:
- Robinsons Brewery, Citra Pale Ale 3.4% ABV
- Rooster’s Brewery, Blind Jack 3.7% ABV
- Wainwright, Amber 4.0% ABV
- Butcombe Brewery, Vincent 4.0% ABV
- JW Lees Brewery, Vanilla Cream Pale 4.0% ABV
- Vale Brewery, Brass Monkey 4.0% ABV
- Exmoor Ales, Upside Brown 4.2% ABV
- Hook Norton Brewery, Merula Stout 4.2% ABV
- Theakston Brewery, Double Cross IPA 4.2% ABV
- Adnams Brewery, Extra 4.3% ABV
- Daleside Brewery, Seafever 4.3% ABV
- Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, 1822 4.3% ABV
- Greene King Brewery, Spring Break 4.4% ABV
- Sudwerk Brewery, Reeds Ale 4.4% ABV
- Glamorgan Brewery, Fresh 4.5% ABV
- Redemption Brewery, Steam 4.5% ABV
- Brombeer Compagnie, Freddy Export 4.6% ABV
- Titanic Brewery, EBA 4.6% ABV
- Cairngorm Brewery, White Lady 4.7% ABV
- Orkney Brewery, Cliff Edge 4.7% ABV
- Liberation Brewery, Defiant ESB 4.8% ABV
- Moorhouse’s Brewery, Totemic 4.8% ABV
- Saltaire Brewery, Triple Choc 4.8% ABV
- Batemans Brewery, Spring Breeze 5.0% ABV
- Hawkshead Brewery, Five Hop 5.0% ABV
- Nethergate Brewery, Umbel Magna 5.0% ABV
- Sambrook’s Brewery, Valhalla 5.0% ABV
- Oakham Ales, Buckle Up! 5.2% ABV
- Otter Brewery, Head 5.8% ABV
- Cambridge Brewing, Flower Child IPA 6.0% ABV
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 Thursday March 23rd, 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.