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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

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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

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Food & Drink

Manchester restaurant serving ‘world’s hottest curry’ to anyone brave enough

It has been described as ‘like eating molten lava!’

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Zouk

A Manchester eatery is daring customers to try its extremely hot curry for National Chilli Day.

This February 22nd, Zouk is creating the World’s Hottest Curry as part of the restaurant’s celebration of National Chilli Day – where courageous participants will have to eat a whole portion of it within the allocated time frame to win a prize.

The dish will feature the World’s Hottest Chilli (according to the Guinness Book of Records), the star of the show, The Carolina Reaper.

The Carolina Reaper Karahi curry – available in chicken (£15.95) and vegetable (£14.95) options – will be available Monday, February 19th to Friday 23rd as a special.

Zouk

Zouk has also created the world’s hottest kebab, the Reaper Seekh Kebab (£7.95), also made with Carolina Reaper Chillies, mixed lamb and chicken keema. 

The restaurant is offering prizes for those bold enough to take these fiery dishes on.

On National Chilli Day (February 22nd), Zouk is challenging the most daredevil customers to take on the Reaper Curry or Reaper Seekh Kebab, where if they manage to complete the task they can win prizes to be enjoyed at the restaurant at a later date.

As a menu special, there is also a devilishly good Chilli Margarita drink for guests to enjoy – although this is made with milder fresh chillies.

Zouk

The prizes for those customers with a ‘strong stomach and mind’ are:

  • Finish the full Carolina Reaper Seekh Kebab in one sitting (maximum eating time is 30 minutes and no help from companions) and you will get your kebab on Zouk, plus a £10 gift card to enjoy at the restaurant to redeem against food or drinks at a later date. 
  • Finish the full Carolina Reaper Curry (either chicken or vegetable) in one sitting (maximum eating time is 30 minutes and no help from companions) then you will not only get your Reaper Curry on Zouk, but you will also win a Brunch for two at the restaurant at a later date. 
  • Finish both the full Carolina Reaper Seekh Kebab and the Carolina Reaper Curry in one sitting (maximum eating time is one hour and no help from companions) and you will get your kebab and curry on the restaurant, as well as winning a Zouk Sunday Roast Meal for two.
Zouk

Knowing the Reaper is officially the world’s hottest chilli, it may not surprise you to learn from the chefs that even cooking this curry is a bit of a challenge. 

Owner Tayub Amjad commented: “The chillies are so hot that the chefs must be careful when handling them. You can feel them on your hands and stinging your eyes. The heat really is intense. 

“We’ve also made a vegetable karahi suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Last year we made a kebab but this year we’ve upped the stakes and made a seekh kebab reaper dish, we believe it is the world’s hottest kebab. 

“Last year only about 15 people completed the challenge and beat the reaper so I can’t wait to see who takes on this trio of Reaper dishes in 2024.”

Zouk

Anybody who finishes one of these challenges will also get a Zouk Ice Cream Sundae to help cool off those scorched taste buds! 

Zouk believes this to be the World’s Hottest Curry, so if you fancy putting it and yourself to the test, make a booking now and embrace National Chilli Day’s Biggest Challenge. 

To find out more about the challenge and prizes or book a place at Zouk, click HERE.

Zouk’s World’s Hottest Curry Challenge takes place at Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester on Thursday February 22nd.

*Diners will be required to sign a disclaimer before trying.

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Food & Drink

A week-long margarita-mile bar crawl is coming to Manchester next week

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Manchester's Finest Group

A mile-long Margarita bar crawl is returning to Manchester with a host of venues set to take part to celebrate the drink’s national day.

Honouring National Margarita Day on February 22nd, the celebratory bar crawl will feature El Tequileño tequila in a variety of cocktails at venues across the city.

Known as ‘Mexico’s best kept secret’, El Tequileño is produced in the heart of the old town of Tequila and stays true to its authentic roots.

Manchester’s Finest Group

The brand will collaborate with Maldon Salt – because what’s a Margarita without the perfect dusting of premium salt around the rim of your glass? – to deliver the event at bars including Stray Bar, Madre, New Century, Fierce and Smithfield Social.

Whatever your Marg preference – classic tequila and lime, frozen or spicy – there will be plenty of signature mixes to sip on between February 19th and 25th.

Stray will showcase distinguished blends like their Tomato Vine Margarita, Madre will be serving up flights of the good stuff, while Fierce are mixing it up with beer to make the Cervezarita.

Manchester’s Finest Group

In a nice touch, ALL participating bars will be discounting Margaritas to £6 on Margarita Day (February 22nd) itself.

Many of the venues taking part are also adding margherita pizzas to the mix, so you can grab a slice to accompany your tipple.

Tequila fans and connoisseurs can learn about the origins of their favourite drink and how it is made from very special guest Tony Salles – the grandson of El Tequileño creator Don Jorge Salles Cuervo. 

Supplied

Tony will meet those on the mile at The Daisy to chat about all things tequila on National Margarita Day.

Taking inspiration from Manchester’s Margarita Mile last year, London and Leeds cities will also be hosting their own first Margarita Mile in February 2024, also in conjunction with El Tequileño, Maldon Salt and Tabasco.

The Margarita-Mile bar crawl takes place from February 19th – 25th at the above participating venues.

*Please remember to drink responsibly.

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Food & Drink

Individual Restaurants offers new loyalty scheme focused on personalised customer experiences

Members can enjoy access to sporting events, free birthday drinks, discounts, Club IR parties and top culinary experiences

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@piccolinorestaurants / Instagram

Individual Restaurants brings Club IR – the new highly anticipated loyalty scheme offering customers an unforgettable experience and real rewards.

The move comes after customer insight from Individual Restaurants revealed that 60% of people don’t value points as part of a loyalty programme.

Individual Restaurants says the new programme, which launched on January 4th, elevates what diners can expect from a loyalty card, ditching the tired ‘points’ system and instead focusing on giving guests what they really want; personalised offers, exceptional service and money-can’t-buy experiences.

@piccolinorestaurants / Instagram

With personalisation at the heart of Club IR, members on each of the three tiers; ‘Club’, ‘Black’ and ‘Diamond’, can expect the ultimate tailored experience.

From a round of drinks on your birthday to exclusive invitations to VIP events such as luxurious Club IR parties, top sporting events and once-in-a-lifetime trips to top culinary destinations, Club IR has it all covered.

More than a loyalty scheme, Club IR has been curated based on valuable customer insight that shows more than half of customers prefer a variety of offers and discounts, as well as surprise rewards (92%) and a tiered system of loyalty (85%).

Individual Restaurants

The Individual Restaurants collection includes Restaurant Bar & Grill, Piccolino, Riva Blu and Piccolo by Piccolino, totalling 31 restaurants across the UK. 

As part of the new programme, members will be the first to know about news and events, and will be privy to a variety of specially curated in-restaurant perks.

With an amazing new app, Club IR could not be easier to access, allowing guests to see exclusive rewards and experiences available in real time and book tables.

Individual Restaurants

Individual Restaurants has designed the programme so all guests are welcome from the moment they join the club, with benefits starting from sign up.

Andrew Garton, CEO of Individual Restaurant Group, said: “We know from our members that it’s not points that they value. 

“Instead our guests value personalised service, incredible food and friendly hospitality – something that we pride ourselves on at Individual Restaurants. 

Individual Restaurants

“With our new loyalty scheme, we’ve taken what was an extremely popular programme already and listened to guests to make it even better – with more personalised offers, luxury experiences and tailored event invitations.

“Club IR exemplifies our values through specially curated, personal offers for our members, a range of incredible money-can’t-buy experiences and a knowledge that they will always receive the very best service when they enter any one of our restaurants. 

“We’re confident that our new Club IR loyalty programme is the best on the market. “We value every single one of our guests, and want to reward them in the most special and personal ways we can.”

Become a member of Club IR or find out more by clicking HERE – you could have the perfect Valentine’s Day!

 

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