There’s a new Joy Division-inspired bar in Manchester city centre, and as stunning as it is, it’s attracting A LOT of the same jokes.
Disorder opened on High Street last week, taking the former Walrus bar and turning it into a sleek restaurant and bar.
Its new look includes a mural of Ian Curtis himself, painted by the legendary local street artist Akse-P19.
There’s also a green neon sign nodding to Joy Division’s 1979 album Unknown Pleasures, beautiful green tiles and brown leather furniture.
When our food and drink editor popped in for a sneak peek, she said it was reminiscent of the ‘glory days of Northern Quarter bars, how they used to be maybe ten years ago – in the very best way with drinks and food upstairs and a party waiting to happen down below.’
So far so good – so what exactly is everyone’s problem?
It initially seems to boil down to the Asian fusion menu, which features items like Japanese sandos, loaded skewers, and tostadas.
Which probably weren’t part of Ian’s staple diet back in the late 1970s, admittedly, and a lot of people have made comments of the sort.
One person commented on our Facebook post: “Nothing says Joy Division more than loaded fries and Gyozas.”
Someone else said: “Yeah cos whenever I listen to Joy Division it always makes me think of Asian Fusion…”
And another comment was: “Ian Curtis couldn’t get enough of smash burgers and gyozas. Lived on a diet of them by all accounts. A fitting tribute to them.”
One clear Joy Division fan said: “I fully expect this to close after 4 years and become a New Order bar. Then close and split into 3 different, but not very different bars.”
And a gold star for this person, who said: “The most annoying thing about this is they haven’t bothered with even a single pun on the menu…
“Heart & Sole. Flambé of the Lords. From Safety to Gruyère. Love Will Tear ‘n’ Share Us Apart. New Prawn Fades. A Means to an Egg. Etc etc.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
A restaurant in Ancoats is serving up plates of crispy fried squirrel
A Manchester restaurant is serving up plates of crispy fried squirrel – and their customers absolutely love it.
Taking game dishes to a whole other level, the wild crispy buttermilk fried squirrel at Ancoats restaurant Street Urchin comes served atop a creamy pulled ham hock cassoulet, with hazelnut bread croutons and nettle pesto and costs £22.50.
Sourced from their game supplier in Cumbria, it might sound nutty but owner Rachel Choudhary told The Manc that the dish has proven incredibly popular – and that the team has been ‘really surprised’ at how much of a hit it has become with customers since adding it to the menu.
She said: “We were looking for something new for the game options on the menu. Kev was speaking to our game supplier and randomly asked if he had any grey squirrels. Happily, he did.
“The whole team tried the dish the day it went on and the majority thought it was really good.
“We weren’t sure if it would sell, but have been really surprised. So many people have tried it and given good feedback. We’ve recommended that they eat it like chicken wings and pick it up, that way you get most of the meat.
“I’d never tried squirrel before and I absolutely loved it, it has great flavour, rich buttery texture, and it’s wild, free-range meat.”
The gray squirrel currently has an estimated population of 2.5 million in the UK according to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and is considered a good sustainable alternative to factory-farmed meat.
It is legal to control grey squirrels by shooting or trapping them in the UK in a humane manner and even helps protect the UK’s endangered native red squirrel population.
Whilst some might find the idea of eating squirrels a tad unappealing, many chefs argue it is better to eat them when culling as it means the meat does not go to waste.
English market diner Street Urchin was first opened on Great Ancoats Street in 2019 by husband and wife team Rachel and Kevin Choudary.
Prior to opening in town, the couple ran The Victoria in Altrincham for eight years before deciding that it was time to move on.
Their Ancoats market diner has made its name on being one of the few city centre restaurants specialising in fresh fish, with everything from clams and mackerel to cured chalk stream trout, king scallops, and whole grilled red gurnard regularly available on the menu.