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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

Food & Drink

You can now get Biscoff-flavoured gin and it looks incredible

Gin like you’ve never had it before…

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The Boutique Gin Co.

A revolutionary gin liqueur that tastes exactly like Biscoff biscuits is now a thing, and it looks absolutely bloody marvelous.

Now, you’ll all be aware that Biscoff has boomed in popularity in recent years – what was once the random little biscuit you’d get free with your coffee is now a cultural phenomenon.

These days, Biscoff is just as famous for its delicious smooth and crunchy spreads as it is for its original biscuits. You can also buy Biscoff sauce, Biscoff ice cream and Biscoff and Go pots. It’s a great time to be alive.

But now, possibly the best – and definitely the most boozy – Biscoff invention has landed: The Biscoff flavoured gin liqueur

@bwydallefydd / Instagram

Okay, people have already been making Biscoff espresso martinis for quite some time, but never before has there been an actual spirit flavoured after the stuff.

Courtesy of the Boutique Gin Co., Biscoff fans far and wide will be able to get their hands on a bottle of Ginscoffi, a gin liqueur which combines delicious notes of cinnamon and caramel to create a deliciously sweet and warming gin liqueur that is perfect for sipping on cold evenings.

The Ginscoffi creators suggest for the spirit to be enjoyed mixed with ginger ale or simply on its own over ice – they also recommend adding it to cocktails favourites to add a festive twist, such as in an espresso martini.

Layla, the Chief Ginnovator behind the drink, said: “I am a huge fan of biscuits such as Biscoff and biscotti so to me it made sense to try to combine those flavours to create a brand new flavoured gin liqueur.

The Boutique Gin Co.

“It has taken me almost a year to create the recipe, but I think the end product is something really unique. Even if you aren’t a gin fan, Ginscoffi will blow you away. Its sweet cinnamon and caramel taste is so versatile and is ideal for making chocolate or coffee based cocktails, and it has a lovely festive feel to it.

“We’ve been having so much fun using Ginscoffi to create loads of tasty cocktails. Fans can check them out on our website and social media pages.”

Ginscoffi is available to buy exclusively on their online store, drinkthis.co.uk. Make sure to follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram for exciting product updates.

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Food & Drink

There’s a new Pan Asian bottomless brunch with endless prosecco and cocktails

This could be the best bottomless brunch offering yet…

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Tampopo

A new bottomless brunch complete with authentic Pan Asian dishes and an abundance of cocktails and prosecco has landed in Manchester and it looks incredible.

Tampopo has been serving up wonderful dishes inspired by the far-flung countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan to Mancunians since 1997 and, now, it has launched its first ever bottomless brunch menu.

The exciting new deal offers a selection of Pan Asian delights alongside those all-important ninety minutes of free-flowing drinks – sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?

Tampopo

Diners can tuck into either a two-course or a three-course brunch special, which includes the likes of Thai Green Curry, Beef Rendang or a Katsu Curry. 

There are also a number of sweet treats up for grabs on the menu, including Tampopo’s famous ‘Little Moons’ and a number of refreshing sorbet options. 

On the drinks front, guests can then indulge in ninety minutes of bottomless prosecco, bellinis and Tiger beer, as well as a selection of mocktails and juices; ideal for those who fancy something a little less boozy.

Tampopo

The menu will be available every single day from 12pm-5pm at the Albert Square, Corn Exchange and Trafford Centre venues, with two courses costing £34.95, and three courses costing just a little bit extra at £37.95

Walk-ins are welcome, though bookings are advised to avoid disappointment.

Fancy it? Make your own booking here.

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Food & Drink

Price of a pint could rise by 25p in October, Sacha Lord warns

The humble pint is set to become even more expensive…

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@SachaLord / Twitter & @pintsofmcr / Instagram

Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord has warned that the price of a pint could be rising from October 1st.

Lord estimated that both food and drink prices will rise in line with the government’s hike in VAT for the hospitality sector – the tax rate for pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality establishments was reduced to 5% to help the hospitality sector survive the pandemic but, two weeks ago, it was announced that it will increase to 12.5% at the end of the month.

By 2022, it is expected to return to the usual 20%.

The price of an average pint in England is predicted to rise by 25p to £3.94, while the average glass of wine is likely to shift from £4.07 to £4.35 to cover overall losses felt by operators.

@pintsofmcr / Instagram

This week, Lord has urged the Government to rethink the increase, calling for the move to be delayed until the industry recovers to pre-pandemic levels.

He said: “The 5% VAT rate was the single biggest recovery measure for the industry over the past eighteen months, and has enabled venues to stay in business and staff to keep their jobs. Removing this relief will have a severe effect on operators across the country.

“VAT is the biggest expense in any business, and it is the quickest way to reduce cash flow. For businesses who have little-to-no cash reserves as a result of the pandemic, it could be last orders.

“Many operators will be forced to pass the increase onto the customer to stay afloat, and we could see prices across food and drink rise by as much as 7-10% from October as bosses attempt to recover losses and fight the dire financial situation they find themselves in.”

@louishansel / Unsplash

Lord continued by stressing that the VAT increase will see the permanent closure of many local and independent venues, before warning that ‘we have a tough winter ahead for our nightlife sector’.

He said: “Operators will take at least three years to recover from this pandemic, and I urge the Government to rethink this rise and extend the current rate until that point. The hospitality industry is vital to the UK’s recovery and growth.

“Cancelling a measure which will result in venues closing, staff being made redundant and VAT bills left unpaid through bankruptcy will only hinder, not help the economy. To punish the sector now will have devastating consequences just as it starts to recover.”

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