This week, the team behind Gooey has launched its new pasta concept Onda inside Manchester’s newest bar and food hall Exhibition.
Onda pasta bar – translating to ‘wave’ from the Italian – sees the team collaborate with Michelin-trained chef Sam Astley Dean to cook up some gorgeous fresh pasta dishes over on Peter Street, taking over what was formerly Caroline Martin’s Sao Paulo Bistro unit.
Serving up a core menu of pasta small plates from £6 alongside starters of arancini, mixed vegetable fritti, and proper crunchy garlic bread with parsley butter, you’ll also find some giant family-style sharers on the menu here – not least, a huge plate of lumache alla vodka.
Putting a spin on the viral TikTok pasta trend (and the classic Italian recipe that precedes it), the dish combines organic tomato with ‘nduja and parmesan to create the ultimate cheesy crowd-pleaser.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a second giant sharer dish of gnocchi gratinati combining spinach, mozzarella and pangrattato, plus some seriously plump raviolo stuffed with scallop, crab and fennel atop a rich seafood bisque.
Pasta small plate must-tries include the spaghetti casrbonara with pecorino, pancetta and a whole egg yolk that you mixed into your pasta at the table yourself, the aforementioned ravioli, and a pici cacio e pepe that nods to one of chef Sam Astley-Dean’s earliest Rise pizza creations.
Starters of note, meanwhile, include a mouthwatering saffron risotto short rib arancini atop lemon aioli, and the most indulgent Caesar salad we’ve encountered in some time – we’re talking whole leaves of baby gem drenched in sauce and wearing a veritable wig of parmesan on top.
Add to that dreamy slices of tiramisu and a plan to make their own gelato in house very soon (a fior di latte mainstay will always be on, so we’re told, plus blood orange and rhubarb flavours to start with), and it’s fair to say that – between the big flavours and the affordability – Onda is well worth a look in.
Speaking on the new menu, chef Sam Astley-Dean told The Manc as we watched him hand-roll his pasta: “Our whole menu rests on flour and water, like our focaccia, our bread and all our pastas, and the only way to get good at it is to just do it over and over and get the feel.
“It’s very therapeutic, it’s good, like, it’s the only way to get to know something. “
Asked what his favourite dish is, he jokes: “I don’t actually like pasta” before going on to enthusiastically list almost every pasta plate on Onda’s menu.
He gushed: “It’s probably the lumache, but the vongole is like, that’s a bit of me that, like shellfish, chilli, garlic.
“I genuinely love it all, every single dish, it’s all our favourite pastas. The cacio e pepe, pesto with anything, the cavatelli’s great, erm, the vongole, the shellfish raviolo, the pappardelle, oh no the carbonara, I love the carbonara.”
“Honestly all of them, every single one of them, like, we want it to be super approachable, that’s why we’ve not banged on about ingredients too much. It’s for everyone, if you’re in with your mates or a date or your family.
“I want to bring my daughter and my dog, but I’d also like to come on a date night with my wife, so it’s got that vibe of it’s affordable. Yes, it’s got good ingredients but we’re not being preachy about it, it’s just good food.”
The Lawn Club closes temporarily after bar brawl at event leaves ‘trail of blood’ on floor
The Lawn Club has been temporarily instructed to close after a fight last weekend left a trail of blood on the floor outside.
The popular Spinningfields sun-trap bar has said that it’s cooperating fully with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council while the incident is investigated.
A report from GMP said that ‘a large group of people’ were fighting at the city centre bar, one of whom reportedly was seen with a gun, which was thankfully not fired.
At 10.25pm on Sunday 4 June, North West Ambulance service reported that a male had been stabbed in the leg but ‘the knife was no longer in his leg and they didn’t know where it was’.
The victim got up and walked away, and has still not been traced.
The incident happened during an event that was organised by a third party promoter.
The Lawn Club provided CCTV footage to officers, which showed two males arguing before a third appeared with a black handgun.
A spokesperson for the venue said: “On Sunday 4th June, an incident occurred at The Lawn Club, the premises operated by Hardman Bars. This was during an event organised by a third party promoter.
“As a result of this incident, we have been instructed to close the premises temporarily. We also recognise and fully comply with the request by GMP and Manchester City Council, received at a hearing on 07.06.23, for a temporary suspension of our licence while the incident is investigated and reviewed in full.
“We are cooperating entirely with GMP and Manchester City Council to provide any information they require in relation to the incident.
“We’d like to reassure our customers and the community that this is an isolated incident. But nevertheless, the safety of our team, customers and the community is of the highest importance to us. As such, during this period of closure, we will be actively working with the authorities and relevant parties to review all policies and procedures in place at the premises.”