This week sees the start of Advent, and with snow already on the ground, it’s all starting to feel very festive here in Manchester.
It’s a feeling that’s reflected in this week’s list of new restaurant and bar openings, too, which cover a mix of Christmas tipis and market stall pop-ups alongside some permanent new additions to the city’s dining scene.
Keep reading to discover where to head for the newest food offerings in the city this week.
Salvi’s Italian Christmas Markets
Mancunian-Italian institution Salvi’s has gone all-out this year, hosting a festive Italian Christmas market in partnership with Deansgate Square. Open now, the two-tipi hub boasts a selection of fine Italian food and drinks alongside a roaring firepit, festive huts and more.
Pick up Salvi’s favourite street food, soffietti (fried dough balls) alongside olives and taralli, and enjoy drinks from the Campari and Peroni bars – selling the likes of fig, hazelnut and hot mulled negronis, Aperol spritz and Italian mulled wine Vin Brule, alongside the usual suspects.
Open from 27 November – 22 December. Find it at Deansgate Square.
All-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse Jardim Rodizio is officially open in Altrincham this week. Brought to the Trafford market town by Robert Melman, one of the restauranteurs behind Fazenda, the new opening offers diners top-quality Brazilian-style steak in a bottomless setting.
Launched inside the Old Post Rooms, meats are served directly off the cooking spit in traditional rodizio style – sliced and plated right at your table. There is also a substantial salad bar, to help you add a bit of green and balance out the endless meat feast.
Find it at 70 Stamford New Rd, Altrincham WA14 1EE.
Dishing out serves by Salford Rum alongside beers from the likes of Pomona Island, Cloudwater, Seven Brothers, Track, Shindigger and Squawk breweries, the festive pop-up will be open throughout December.
Open from December 1, serving between 12pm-12am every Wednesday through Sunday over Christmas.Find it at Arch 33 on Viaduct Street, Salford,
Steakhouse Herd NQ has revamped its old home at gin bar Allotment, taking over the space entirely and rebranding it as Herd.
The steakhouse has built a solid reputation for itself, using only the finest cuts from local butchers The Butcher’s Quarter, and runs popular steak nights as well as serving a bang-up roast.
This week, unfortunately, the kitchen is temporarily closed due to a number of kitchen staff testing positive for Covid-19 – but the bar remains open, selling some gorgeous martinis, spritzes, sours and more, alongside a strong wine list.
Find it at 24 Dale St, Manchester M1 1FY.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese at Winter Island
Manchester grilled cheese heroes Northern Soul have upped sticks – with not one but two hubs for you to get your cheese fix from this Christmas.
The eatery will be slinging its beloved Crimbo Dinner toastie special at Escape to Freight Island this winter, as well as from its Northern Quarter restaurant.
This toastie is up there with one of the best festive specials in the city – loaded with slices of turkey crown, homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce, not to mention oodles of cheese, before being toasted, topped with a pig in blanket lollipop, then drenched in gravy.
Find it at Winter Island, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ.
This Charming Naan at The Deaf Institute
Campus favourite The Deaf Institute has teamed up with Smiths-themed curry house This Charming Naan. Run by Smiths superfan Max Paley, the vegan Indian restaurant pays tribute to the band with dishes like ‘Girlfriend in a Korma’, ‘ How Saag Is Now’ and ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Some Bhaji Loved Me’.
With twenty different plant-based dishes on the menu, This Charming Naan is now available at The Deaf Institute every Wednesday to Sunday from 4pm until 10pm.
Find it at 135 Grosvenor St, Manchester M1 7HE.
Happy Lemon Taiwanese Bubble Tea
As well as its namesake bubble tea, Happy Lemon also sell bubble waffles and stuffed crepes with fillings ranging from ice cream to ham and cheese, Nutella, banana and red bean matcha (£3.50 – £3.95).
Tea-wise, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice with over 40 options on the menu. Think classic milk tea, cream crown milk tea, milk tea smoothies, fresh lemon milk tea, pure brewed milk tea, fresh fruit matcha latte and speciality drinks like chocolate milk tea with taro balls, red bean matcha latte smoothies and more.
The GIANT £375 chocolate Easter egg that’s ‘too beautiful to eat’
One of the north’s most legendary hospitality businesses has created an Imperial Easter Egg, and the effort that goes into crafting it is wild.
Coming in at 10kg, 22 inches tall, and £375, Bettys enormous chocolate treat shows off a whole lot of artistry.
The iconic tearoom, which has sites across Yorkshire, has shared the behind-the-scenes video to its TikTok page, drumming up almost half a million views.
The mouth-watering video shows first milk chocolate being hand-painted onto a chocolate egg-shaped mould to create the Easter egg’s beautiful textured appearance, The Hoot reports.
Then layer after layer of melted chocolate is poured in from a chocolate tap, before being trimmed and tidied.
Bettys, which has tearooms across Harrogate, York, and Leeds, uses the finest Swiss Grand Cru chocolate for its imperial Easter egg, and every bit that’s trimmed away is melted down to reuse elsewhere.
Then a pastry chef at the tearoom will spend up to an hour PER EGG piping on the ornate decorations, carefully piping on coloured white chocolate stems and ferns.
Then colourful royal icing flowers are placed on its surface, each one again hand-piped by their cake decorators.
The end result is a whopping Spring-time masterpiece covered in shades of green, yellow and purple.
Bettys Imperial Easter Egg weighs in at a massive 10kg and stands at 22 inches tall.
Bettys says: “Celebrating the creativity and craft that makes Bettys unique, our handmade Imperial Easter eggs continue a tradition stretching back more than a century, when our founder Frederick Belmont designed eggs which were ornately embellished with hand-piped icing designs.
“Containing over five kilos of Grand Cru Swiss chocolate made from prized Venezuelan criollo cocoa beans, the Imperial Egg is a true work of art, showcasing the highest skills of our chocolatiers and cake decorators.
“Each Imperial Egg carries an array of delicate, individually crafted spring blooms and foliage including primroses, narcissi and pansies, with hand-piped stems as a final perfect touch.
“Our Imperial Easter Egg is made to order and is only available for collection from one of our Yorkshire shops.”
And if £375 is a bit out of budget, you can buy a miniature version that’s just as beautiful for a tenth of the price.
In the comment section on the video, one person wrote: “30 mins and a cup of tea and I’d polish that off.”
Another said: “A chocolate… tap?! I’m calling my plumber.”
Someone else wrote: “That’s just too beautiful to eat! A work of art!”
What a beautiful beast indeed.
Featured image: Bettys
Inside the Manchester restaurant serving ‘India’s answer to a Wigan kebab’
When it comes to finding new and innovative ways to enjoy the humble potato, it’s fair to say that we Brits pretty much have the art down.
From creamy mash to deep-fried chips, crunchy hasslebacks, hash browns, and the all-time classic that is bubble and squeak, you name it, we’ve tried it.
Still, somehow it took the arrival of Indian street food favorite Bundobust for us to be introduced to the concept of a mashed potato burger – and we are forever thankful.
Comprised of a deep-fried potato dumpling placed inside a brioche bun, accompanied by two house-made chutneys and a whole green chili pepper, since its introduction to the Manchester food scene in 2016 the Vada Pav has become one of Bundobust’s most iconic dishes.
Also known as a Bombay burger, the vegetarian fast food snack sells in its thousands back home in Mumbai and has now become something of a signature dish here in Manchester too.
We recently popped down with Deliveroo for an episode of Takeaway Champions to try the dish, and after one taste our reviewer immediately called it the ‘Indian answer to a Wigan kebab’. It’s simply carbs on carbs on carbs, and we’re here for it.
That said, it’s not the only thing worth ordering when you visit.
Other longstanding menu staples at Bundobust include its barbecued paneer, mushroom and pepper tikka kebabs, sweet and crunchy Bundo chaat, and crispy okra fries; whilst new dishes include the Ragda Pethis – a north-meets-east combination of mushy peas and potato cake, sev, tomato, onion, and tamarind chutney.
Having first opened in Manchester in 2016, today Bundobust has two sites in the city centre. Its original home still sits underneath Piccadilly Gardens, with a second restaurant and in-house brewery residing over on Oxford Road.
The restaurant – initially born in Leeds before making its way to Manchester – has always had a strong reputation for sourcing excellent craft beer, but since quietly opening its own brewery during the Covid lockdowns it’s only gone from strength to strength.
Housed in a unique 100-year-old space within the iconic Grade II listed St James building, the Manchester-based brewery is a custom-built 10-hectolitre facility capable of producing 20,000 pints a month.
Today, alongside beers from other respected brewers, the restaurant serves up a list of specially-made house beers, all designed to complement the flavours of its dishes.
These include a coriander lager, a masala chai porter and a tropical pale ale, as well as its latest concoction: a mango lassi beer created in collaboration with brewers at Northern Monk.