Crisps are, we’re pretty sure, a universal snack that everyone can get behind – but how do you feel about caviar-topped crisps?
Undoubtedly, we all have our own ways of eating them – be that out of split packets spread open on pub tables and washed down with a pint, or dunked into bowls of creamy guacamole, hummus and spicy salsa.
But when it comes to Manchester’s boujiest crisps award, one cafe has really outshone itself. Yes, we’re talking about newcomer BQ Bitesize, opened by the team behind Tib Street favourites The Butcher’s Quarter.
We’ve certainly had some out-there combinations before. Memorably, last year Adam Reid (of The French fame) served us some incredibly moreish cheese and onion-topped crisps at his short-lived New Century butty venture.
But these crisps on the menu at BQ Bitesize, the new cafe inside Manchester’s Craft and Design Centre, really blow all others out of the water.
Combining black truffle Torres crisps with a generous splodge of sour cream and caviar, they’re equal parts messy and irresistible. Interestingly, they also happen to be the brainchild of Freddie Minns – formerly head chef at The French.
Elsewhere on the menu, there’s plenty more to shout about too: from hearty roast meat sandwiches (made using a different cut every day, hand-selected from their butcher shop) to wholesome, warming bowls of soup and big, fat breakfast butties.
On our visit, we tucked into a roast pork sandwich with pork loin, pickled red cabbage and Devil Dogs BBQ sauce (made for the Butcher’s Quarter by ex-Hawksmoor head chef William Kirwan, no less), plus a gorgeous cured gammon-topped pea and ham soup and hearty breakfast buttie.
Everything here is as locally sourced as possible, with bread coming from Holy Grain, coffee from local Manchester roastery Mancoco and all meat and fish from the Butcher’s Quarter’s other units on Tib Street and in Monton.
A relative newcomer to the Northern Quarter, the team told The Manc that they will also be hosting monthly supper clubs at the new space – with the first one set for Burns Night, featuring an all-Scottish menu offering a non-traditional twist on the usual feast (don’t worry, your neeps and tatties are still in there).
To find out more about BQ Bitesize artisan cafe, head over to the cafe’s Instagram page here.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
This hidden Manchester pasta and dumplings restaurant has just made the Michelin Guide
Michelin has just added some new additions to its guide, and one of our favourite Manchester restaurants has finally made the cut.
Loved by locals for its continental pasta and dumplings, gorgeous European wine list and sake collection, The Sparrows in the Green Quarter is something of a hidden gem – tucked in a disused railway arch on Red Bank.
It received rave reviews from local and national critics alike when it first opened in 2019 in a tiny space with room for just 12 covers. Since then, it’s relocated to a bigger home and its following has grown significantly.
After spending years wowing foodies in the know, the restaurant has made it onto the radar of Michelin’s inspectors at last – and we have to say, the accolade is well deserved indeed.
Front of house is headed up by Polish-born Kasia Hitchcock with her chef partner Franco Concli at the helm in the kitchen. Plates celebrate Franco’s Tyrolean heritage, with their signature dish spätzle, a rustic fresh egg pasta from which the restaurant takes its name, sitting front and centre.
Traditionally made by scraping dough from the wooden board straight into a pot of boiling water, these irregular-shaped delights translate from Swabian-German to mean “little sparrows.”
Served in multiples ways, they can be enjoyed either savoury or sweet – mixed with braised onions into a creamy gruyere and Emmental cheese sauce, as is traditional, or transformed into a pudding with a touch of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.
Joining the now seventeen Manchester restaurants to be featured in the prestigious guide, its description reads as follows: “Nestled under the railway arches in Manchester’s Green Quarter is a restaurant whose name is (almost) the English translation of the word ‘spätzle’ – which gives some clue as to the style of food on offer here.
“The dumplings and assorted pasta dishes are all made in-house and include excellent pierogi. The focus on Eastern Europe carries through to the wine list, which has a leaning towards Polish wines.”
A welcome new addition, if you haven’t yet visited then we recommend you book in swiftly. No doubt the news of its conclusion in the Michelin Guide will send reservations filling up pretty sharpish.
Feature image – Google Maps
Team behind Ancoats wine bar Flawd to relaunch Higher Ground restaurant
The team behind Ancoats wine bar and small plates spot Flawd will relaunch their restaurant concept Higher Ground at a new venue in Manchester next month.
First launched as a four-week pop-up back in February 2020, it was closed when Covid struck but now the bistro is making a return after securing a new permanent home in Chinatown’s Faulkner House.
The brainchild of Joseph Otway, Richard Cossins and Daniel Craig Martin, dishes will change on a daily basis depending on the season and showcase organic produce from their very own market garden, Cinderwood, as well as other local producers.
Promising a focus on North West ingredients, dishes will put a focus on small-scale agriculture and small herd, whole carcass cookery, whilst its wine list will center around small-scale, low intervention winemakers from around the European continent.
With room for 50 covers, guests will have the option to sit at traditional dining tables or perch on stools overlooking the open kitchen and charcoal oven.
An à la carte menu will allow guests to enjoy a few dishes and a glass or two from the wine selection, whilst a second sharing menu will be made up of both individual courses and sharing dishes.
Example plates could include Cumberland Farmhouse Cheddar Quiche and Jane’s Acorn Reared Pig Belly with Grain and Mushroom Porridge, whilst vegetarian dishes span BBQ Leek Skewers and Cow’s Curd and Celeriac with Spanish Blood Orange and Bay Leaf.
Guests will also be offered the choice of sweet or savoury options to round off their meal with Garstang Blue and Lager Rarebit sitting alongside Yorkshire rhubarb, Custard and Caramelised Croissant on the dessert menu.
Speaking on the new opening, Rich Cossins said: “We’re now over three years into our journey of owning our own business and we’re only just about to launch our first full-scale restaurant.
“The most exciting times are without question still to come and we look forward to contributing even more positively to the city of Manchester.”
As you’d expect from the team behind Ancoats’ critically acclaimed Flawd, the beverage list at Higher Ground will include an ever changing by the glass option along with a short and concise wine list.
There will also be a short list of aperitifs and specialty cocktails to begin the meal with as well as a range of UK beers in can and bottle format.
The restaurant will be open four days a week, between Wednesday and Saturday. They will serve dinner only on Wednesdays and Thursdays and will be open for both lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.