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Food & Drink

Top food critic declares Manchester restaurant as ‘one of the best meals of the year’

Raving reviews just in for an Ancoats gem

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Dishes from Erst in Ancoats
@erst_mcr / Instagram

“This is bloody good, isn’t it.”

That’s what top food critic Jay Rayner had to say when he dined at Ancoats’ restaurant Erst last week in an experience he proclaimed as ‘one of the best meals of the year so far, a succession of modestly priced platefuls, which bring on low groans and delicate signs of happiness’.

Writing in his column for The Observer, Rayner began his critique of his Erst experience with Carlingford rock oysters dressed ‘with a precisely judged spoonful of mignonette’, something he described as ‘very bracing’.

He then declared the flatbread, which is spread with freshly chopped tomato pulp, to be ‘the best £5 I have spent in a very long time’.

@erst_mcr / Instagram

@erst_mcr / Instagram

Rayner tried a number of Erst’s most popular dishes, including meaty Cantabrian anchovies, ‘floating on their olive oil pond’, garlic herb buttered anchovies, slices of cured seabass, thinly sliced lamb’s hearts with lettuce, grilled green beans and a green chilli sauce, and the ‘George Clooney of garlic breads’ which he described as forcing him to type ‘utter blathering, enthusiastic b*llocks’.

But he reserved his optimum gushing for Erst’s famous fried potatoes: “Seriously, look at them: baked potatoes that have then been crushed with force until they are a mess of crevices and edges and folds.

“We break off one bit after another. Somewhere in the middle there might be soft potato. Mostly they are just the thrilling business end of crispness right to the heart.

“It is £5 worth of glorious, crowd-pleasing fun.”

@erst_mcr / Instagram

@erst_mcr / Instagram

And this isn’t the first time the restaurant has received critical acclaim among the experts: In January this year, Erst earned a place in the Michelin Guide 2021 for offering ‘something refreshingly different in the city’.

And last year, Marina O’Loughlin from The Sunday Times sang their praises, saying their food seems to come from people who ‘genuinely like to eat’. She also sampled the fried potatoes, noting how they were ‘fiendishly good’ shards of ‘golden, glistening crunch’, adding that these things have ‘done the hokey cokey with the hot oil’.

As you can see, the review – and all the rest of them – couldn’t be any more complimentary and will undoubtedly ensure Erst’s booking list is full for the foreseeable future.

A massive congratulations to the talented team over at Erst, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them – you can stay up to date on book on their website here.

Read Jay Rayner’s full review here.

Food & Drink

You can get doner kebab pies from this Greater Manchester bakery and they look incredible

Wigan, you’ve really outdone yourself…

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Well Good Blog

A Wigan bakery has started making doner kebab pies and, let me tell you, they look revolutionary.

Wigan has been on the map for its unique pie creations for quite some time now – it’s the place that brought the Wigan Kebab to us, for goodness sake (a meat pie sandwiched in a barm, incase you’re new here). But the town’s latest pie offering could be the best yet.

Introducing, the doner kebab pie: Carefully curated by Whittles Pies, the kebab pie consists of all those beloved takeaway bits, including doner meat, sweetcorn relish and chilli sauce all baked inside a homemade shortcrust pastry.

Well Good Blog

Beats a 2am doner kebab from the dodgy takeaway on the corner, doesn’t it?

And better yet, the pie – which can be enjoyed both hot or cold – is priced at an outrageously reasonable £1.80, so a haul won’t set you back too much.

And for those of you who prefer something a little more traditional, Whittles Pies have a whole array of tasty pies on their menu, such as meat and potato, steak, chicken and mushroom and even sausage rolls and cheese and onion pasties.

Whittles Pies / Facebook

Who else really fancies a pie now?

Whittles Pies is open between 9:30am – 1:30pm Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and can be found at the rear of 1 Tunstall Lane, Pemberton.

Make sure to check out their Facebook page for menu updates.

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Food & Drink

NEW OPENING: A Polynesian-themed tiki bar with treasure chest cocktails comes to the Northern Quarter

Another wonderful addition to the Northern Quarter

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@lonocove / Instagram

Manchester’s Northern Quarter has an exciting new addition in the form of a Polynesian-themed tiki bar.

Opening its doors just last week in the former Apotheca site, Lono Cove features two floors of ‘contemporary’ tiki fun, including treasure chest cocktails and an abundance of greenery – enough in fact to make you forget that you’re in rainy Manchester at all.

Billed as a ‘tropical escape’, Lono Cove is owned and founded by former Big Brother star Luke Edge. It’s already built a name for itself at its debut site in Chester, which opened in 2018 and scooped a number of prestigious awards within its first year.

@lonocove / Instagram

@lonocove / Instagram

And its new Northern Quarter venture is looking to fare no differently; there’s two floors of tropical cocktails, with the ground floor featuring cosy booths and giant birdcages which can cater for groups of up to 6 people. 

Down in the basement, guests can drink among gorgeous floral decor and partake in private functions and cocktail masterclasses. 

And, perhaps most importantly, Lono Cove features a very impressive cocktail menu; we’re talking all the tiki classics such as Zombies and Mojitos, and even treasure chest cocktails packed with flavour, fun and plenty of booze. 

@lonocove / Instagram

@lonocove / Instagram

Luke Edge said on the growth of his brand: “We are so excited to be opening in Manchester alongside some amazing operators. Chester has been embraced by both customers and the trade, winning three awards in the first year, I knew it was ready to take it further afield and into a bigger unit with a much more diverse usage.

“We can now offer private parties and large bookings, something I have been keen to do as it’s what our customers want.I wanted to design a bar that had all the magic of Tiki but in a sumptuous setting that would tantalise your senses. Welcome to Lono Cove!”

Lono Cove Manchester is open now, follow them on Instagram for news and updates.

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Food & Drink

NEW OPENING: A hot sauce pop-up serving spicy wings, burgers and wraps is coming to The Trafford Centre

Oh My Glaze has become popular for its unique range of hot sauces

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@ohmyglaze / Instagram

The Trafford Centre’s already impressive food court is set to get an exciting new addition courtesy of Oh My Glaze, the chicken wing, wraps and waffles pop-up taking Manchester by storm.

Established in 2015 by Emmerdale actor Adam Thomas and his best friend Scott Graham, Oh My Glaze has been making and selling top quality hot sauces in a variety of unique flavours such as passionfruit, mango and even rhubarb.

And after their sauces proved to be a massive success, the lads took their project to the next level with the opening of their debut restaurant in Cheadle, The Spinn, which features its very own Oh My Glaze-inspired menu of wraps and all of OMG’s sauces and wings.

@ohmyglaze / Instagram

@thespinn / Instagram

And, luckily for you lovely lot, Oh My Glaze has secured its next venture in arguably one of the most sought-after locations for all aspiring restaurant owners in the North West; The Trafford Centre.

Oh My Glaze will be located in a little shipping container ‘village’ in the car park outside of The Great Hall, offering up all their menu favourites such as wings, wraps and burgers, alongside a fully-functioning bar and even a ‘Dessert Glaze Station’ offering up everything on the sweet side from waffles to crêpes.

Thomas said on the exciting new era for his brand: “From serving our famous Oh My Glaze wraps on the streets for five years, we finally have a place we can call home: the iconic Trafford Centre!

“We’re buzzing to be launching this new venture, and after looking for several sites to launch our first Oh My Glaze kitchen we felt the Trafford Centre was the place to be.

@ohmyglaze / Instagram

@ohmyglaze / Instagram

“There are so many exciting things happening in and around Manchester, especially at the Trafford Centre, and we felt we had to be in the mix.

“And so, here we are… expect the unexpected and be part of the next chapter with Oh My Glaze!”

Oh My Glaze will be launching in The Trafford Centre on Friday October 29th. To stay posted with updates and new menu additions, follow the Oh My Glaze Instagram page.

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