Independent Polish restaurant Platzki is bringing back its famous vodka and pierogi festival to Manchester this week, and we couldn’t be more excited for some hearty dumpling fare.
Notorious for its top-tier filled pierogi, which are made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savoury or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water, Platzki is already something of a go-to for fine Polish food in Manchester.
But now, traditional European dumpling fans have another reason to get themselves down as the restaurant will be focusing almost entirely on pierogi for two days this week.
Taking place across Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 October from 3pm until sell-out (or at 9pm, whichever comes first), diners will have the chance to try Platzki’s perfect homemade pierogi in a range of mouth-watering flavours.
There will be plenty of different fillings to try, including some brand new vegetarian pierogi for non-meat eaters.
That’s not all, either. There’ll also be a midweek vodka tipple on standby as Platzki shows off its huge range of favourite Polish vodkas.
Think salted caramel vodka, strawberry vodka, golden black cherry vodka, hazelnut vodka and delicious cherry-chocolate vodka, all of which are (as we know too well from experience) dangerously drinkable.
Each day, the team will be making hundreds of pierogi for local dumpling lovers to sample.
Elsewhere, they will also be serving up some of their favourite dishes from the menu including a hearty sausage stew with freshly-baked bread, and melt-in-the-mouth karkówka roasted pork neck with spinach egg noodles.
A fixture in the city since 2018, Platzki has built up a reputation for serving an interesting list of Polish vodka and wine alongside traditional dishes like dumplings, pork neck and meatballs.
It has a gorgeous plant-filled restaurant and a bright terrace that backs onto the Great Northern Warehouse, giving diners views over the Great Northern Square as they dig into some of the best Polish food in the city.
To find out more about this week’s dumpling festival, follow Platzki on Instagram here.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Prestwich chippy overjoyed as shop named in UK’s Top 50 for third year running
A beloved Prestwich chip shop has been named amongst the UK’s best for the third year running – and its owners are absolutely chuffed.
Prestwich chippy Chips @ No.8 was named amongst the very best in the country by 2023 Fry Magazine Awards.
Sharing the news with followers, ownerDan Edwards wrote: “Whoop whoop! Our little shop has made @frymagazine UK’s Top 50 fish & chip shops list for the 3rd year running!
“Very proud of our team who consistently deliver great fish and chips and fantastic service, even when they’re under immense pressure.
“They really are a brilliant group of young people and we’re very lucky to have them here! A massive thank you to all our customers who continue to support us. We are eternally grateful.”
Daniel has previously revealed that when he opened the shop four years ago he didn’t even like fish and chips, and had only fried three fish in his life.
Having sunk ‘almost everything’ he had into doing the shop up and spending the rest down the road at All The Shapes manchester on ‘breaks’, six months later he opened his doors for a moment of truth.
He called the move “a moment of madness”, and said that he had “just wanted to be my own boss” – adding “I either sank or swam… fortunately, I discovered I was incredibly bouyant.”
He’s not wrong. Locals absolutely rave about his little chip shop down a side street – and now, the national judges are too.
The UK’s 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways and 10 Best Fish and Chip Restaurants 2022/2023 see mystery judges go into premises unannounced and secretly scrutinise a host of aspects including the quality of the food, the cleanliness of the premises, staff knowledge, value for money, ease of ordering and social media presence.
Shops can achieve 100% if they score top marks on every section of the mystery dine, but had to achieve at least 95% or over for takeaways to win an award and 92% or over for restaurants.
This is the 11th year the awards have been held and each year the judging criteria reflects the changing nature of the business.
Reece Head, competition organiser, comments: “Once again we’ve had another year where it’s simply got harder to operate a fish and chip business, with rising energy, labour and ingredient costs taking a heavy toll.
“It’s not easy but operators are working harder and smarter, staying ahead of changing tastes and behaviours and adapting accordingly.
“Although the profits might not be in fish and chips like they have in years gone by, the passion certainly is. And our awards are a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment these operators put into running successful businesses. We’re seeing shops introduce vegan and gluten free options to appeal to a wider customer base, instal self-serve kiosks and develop online ordering apps to make serving easier, invest in new frying equipment to produce better quality fish and chips, and embrace social media to engage with and reach more customers.
“The businesses that make up our 50 Best Fish & Chip Takeaways and 10 Best Fish & Chip Restaurants represent the best in the industry. They are pushing forwards while not losing sight of what makes the chippy so engrained in British culture – high quality, value for money food with great customer service and inviting surroundings.”
The full list of Fry Magazine’s 50 Best Fish & Chip takeaways:
Ainsworth’s Fish & Chip Shop, Caernarfon, Gwynedd
Angells Fisheries, Newark, Nottingham
Auckley Friery, Auckley, Doncaster
Bredon Village Fish and Chip Shop, Bredon, Tewksbury, Gloucestershire
Burnham Fish and Chips, Burnham, Berkshire
Catch Netherlee, Glasgow
Chips @ No.8 Prestwich, Manchester
Churchill’s Fish & Chips, Eastbourne
Codfella’s, Greenwich Avenue, Ipswich
Croft Street Fisheries, Farsley, Leeds
Dunkeld Fish Bar, Dunkeld, Perth
Ernie’s Fish and Chips, Hoyland, South Yorkshire
Farnhams Fish and Chips, Brook, Llantwit Major
Fiddlers Elbow Fish & Chips, Leintwardine, Herefordshire
Finney’s @ Port Chippy, Amlwch Port, Anglesey
Finney’s @ The Golden Fry, Benllech Anglesey
Fish and Chips on The Waterfront, Anstruther, Fife
Fish Kitchen 1854, Maesycwmmer, Caerphilly
French’s Fish Shop, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
Garioch Fish Bar, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
Greg & Lou’s, Redruth, Cornwall
Harbour Fish and Chips, Felbridge, West Sussex
Hill Top Fisheries, Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire
Hillycroft Fisheries, Morley, Leeds
Hooked on the Heath, Knutsford, Cheshire
Howe & Co Van 22, South Buckinghamshire
Kirbys of Horsforth, Horsforth, Leeds
Kirbys of Meanwood, Meanwood, Leeds
Land & Sea, Thirsk, North Yorkshire
Lily’s @ Hornsea, Hornsea, Essex
Lighthouse Fisheries Of Flamborough, Flamborough, East Yorkshire,
Newington Fish Bar, Ramsgate, Kent
Off The Hook Fish And Chips, Sale, Cheshire
Pennington Plaice, Leigh, Greater Manchester
Pisces, Fleetwood, Lancashire
Portside Fish & Chips, Harrogate Road, Leeds,
Scott’s Plaice, Gosport, Hampshire
Sea Salt +Sole, Dyce, Aberdeen
Stones Fish & Chips, Acton, West London
Sykes Fish and Chips, Pendlebury, Swinton, Greater Manchester
The Bearded Sailor, Pudsey, Leeds
The Chippy Van, Penrith, Cumbria
The Fish at Goose Green, Goose Green, Wigan, Greater Manchester
The Fish Works, Largs, North Ayrshire
The Friary, Carrickfergus, East Antrim
The Hook of Halstead, Halstead, Essex
The Lincolnshire Fryer, Lincolnshire
The Oyster Shell, Bath, Somerset
The Village Fish & Chips, Petts Wood, Kent
The Real Food Café, Tyndrum, Stirling
Yans Fish Bar, Heath, Cardiff
Feature image – Chips @ No. 8
Wetherspoons change breakfast menu due to nationwide shortage caused in part by Brexit
Wetherspoons has this morning announced that it will be pulling a key item from its breakfast menu due to a nationwide shortage.
The budget pub chain has revealed that its customers will no longer be able to enjoy traditional grilled tomatoes with their Full English breakfasts, with the decision being broadly blamed on bad weather in Europe affecting crop yields.
However, according to farmers the current UK rationing of tomatoes involves several factors including the climate crisis, energy prices and Brexit with many UK regions still in drought.
As a result, the boozer’s bargain £6.88 fry-up will now be missing a key ingredient for several months at least – leaving customers fuming.
Prior to the shortage, it was comprised of two slices of toast, two sausages, two bacon, two fried eggs, a large mushroom slice, three hash browns, a tomato and baked beans.
But for now, customers will have to do without.
Punters are also unable to add on grilled tomatoes as an extra to other meals, with the item currently listed as being ‘out of stock’.
After receiving several customer complaints, Wetherspoons installed informational posters around its pubs explaining why the key item is currently missing from its menu.
It reads: “There is a national supply issue affecting tomato and cucumber in some pubs.
“This means some menu dishes, such as breakfasts, burgers and steaks, will be served without tomatoes.”
Tomatoes have largely disappeared from shelves across the UK after local producers didn’t feel confident to cover their costs for growing the energy-intensive crop.
As such, UK supermarkets have been forced to increase their reliance on tomatoes grown abroad – sourcing 95% from farms in Spain and Morocco during the winter months.
However, adverse weather conditions abroad has led to a lower crop yield than usual, leading producers to drive up their prices – and major UK supermarkets to reduce the amount of tomatoes on offer in response.
Despite shortages in UK supermarkets, it’s worth noting that local UK greengrocers are reporting no similar problems.
The situation also seems to be different in Europe, with some Europeans getting very vocal online about the abundance of tomatoes in their own stores.
It does appear that the wider EU is not facing any shortages, despite the problems in the UK.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, told ITV News: “Difficult weather conditions in the south of Europe and northern Africa have disrupted the harvest for some fruit and vegetables including tomatoes and peppers.”
“Supermarkets are adept at managing supply chain issues and are working with farmers to ensure that customers are able to access a wide range of fresh produce.”
Ksenija Simovic, senior policy advisor at the United Voice of Farmers and Agri-cooperatives in the EU, explained that with major growers like Netherlands and Belgium cutting back on production due to the rise in energy and fertiliser costs the supply in Europe has been ‘squeezed’.
However, rather than facing shortages at home, the EU has opted for fewer external exports and higher prices.
Ms Simovic said: “Things tend to be managed easier within the Single Market.”
When asked if Brexit was to blame for the shortages in the UK she said while it wasn’t the leading cause “it certainly doesn’t help.”
The general view appears to be that the shortage will only last a few weeks, but some growers have predicted it continuing into the summer.