This week we’ve been absolutely spoilt for choice when picking out the best new food and drink spots to try in Manchester. Get excited, because we’ve got some absolute crackers on the list for you this week.
The Black Friar – the historic Salford pub that’s survived an inner city bypass, fires, vandalism and an horrific, fatal car crash just before its opening weekend – has reopened its doors after nearly twenty years of closure to offer not one but two fantastic-looking menus.
Elsewhere, Northern Quarter stalwart Trof has to get an honorary mention, having finally reopened its doors for breakfast after a year and a half of doing dinner and drinks only – something that gives us great comfort indeed.
On top of all that, we’ve got some ice cream choux bun sandwiches for you, a top-notch Afro Carribean market stall in Piccadilly, a new cafe inside Affleck’s Palace and the return of one of Manchester’s most hotly-tipped kitchen pop-ups.
It’s going to be a very good week.
Legendary Salford pub The Black Friar reopens after nearly 20 years
It was shut for almost two decades, but now historic Salford pub The Black Friar has reopened its doors once again. Inside, the decor is a mix of traditional pub and modern restaurant with floor to ceiling glass windows at the back that lead on to a gorgeous drinking and dining terrace area.
The modern restaurant is headed up by Ben Chaplin, formerly Head Chef at 20 Stories, serving a menu packed with wonderfully balanced seasonal dishes. Think juniper cured creedy duck breast with roast cherries and pickled kohlrabi, sweet pea and truffle tortellini with a wild nettle and watercress sauce, and a melt-in-the-mouth Lake District Himalayan salt aged 10oz rib eye, served with roast shallots and peppercorn.
Pub food, meanwhile, includes tried and tested favourites like pies of the day served with buttered mash and gravy, and Boddingtons beer battered fish with minted crushed peas, tartare and chips. We’ve so much to say about this place, but the TLDR is essentially just ‘go immediately, you won’t regret it’.
Find The Black Friar on Blackfriars Road, Salford, M3 7DH.
A new zero waste cafe inside Affleck’s Palace
From the owner of Affleck’s zero waste shop Earth Friendly Rocker comes Potion, a new zero waste cafe that aims to be as sustainable as the shop that precedes it.
With a menu focused on Northern classics, all ingredients here are sourced locally to minimise carbon footprint. In-keeping with Potion’s sustainable ethos, there are plenty of vegan dishes on the menu here too. Look out for the gorgeous pink and green interiors when you head up to the top floor to find them.
Potion opens from today, 26 July for its soft launch. Find it on the top floor of Afflecks Palace in the Northern Quarter, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW.
Pop-up kitchen Tine is back on the scene
Tine is a pop-up kitchen run by two very talented Mancunian chefs, Joshua Shanahan (Where The Light Gets In) and James Lord (Manchester House / Wolf at the Door).
The duo came onto our radar just before the start of the pandemic in 2020. There they were, all set to be Manchester’s newest obsession making magic in a tiny kitchen at Ancoats’ wine bar Blossom Street Social, when suddenly the world ground to a halt
This weekend they’ll be throwing their first post-covid event at Atomeca Bar alongside some of our other hospitality favourites, the Schofield brothers. Tine will be using the konro grill to cook up a super small menu of small plates, served in tandem with drinks from Atomeca.
Further details are being kept under wraps for now, but we’ve also been told about a new planned residency pop-up announcement that’ll be coming out officially next week. Think a proper restaurant format and a 6-course set menu with paired wines. We can’t say any more than that for now, but we are very excited.
Find Tine at Atomeca bar, Deansgate Square West Tower, from 12-7pm on Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August.
Afro Carribbean street food boxes at Piccadilly Gardens market
Rita’s Reign has been getting all the love of late and for good reason too. Her Afro Carribbean street food stall is one of the most popular at Piccadilly Street food market, dishing up big boxes of dumplings, plantain, curried and roasted meats and what is known coloquially amongst her fans as simply “the purple stuff”.
If you’re not sure what to get we recomend trying her best seller, the combo box with jerk chicken, ‘the purple stuff’ (aka coleslaw made with red cabbage), two different types of rice (jollof rice AND rice and peas), curry goat, plantain, salad heaped together in one. It’s very special.
Rita’s Reign can be found at Piccadilly Gardens Street Food Market weekly, Wednesday to Sunday from 1030 am – 530 pm.
Ice cream choux sandwiches at Media City General Store
Although we keep hearing that the weather is about to take a turn for the worse, we’re still very keen to get our hands on some of this ice cream choux bun sandwiches at Media City this weekend.
This delicate pastry, which is also used in making eclairs and profiteroles, is first coated in a sweet and crunchy chocolate craquelin before being sliced in half and stuffed with Jersey ice cream from Cheshire’s Hopewell Farm. For an absolute bargain, you can even add in malted chocolate ganache for free.
Find Baby It’s Choux at Media City General Store, Unit 1 Lighbox, Salford M50 2AD on Saturday 31 July from 11 am – 3 pm.
Featured image – Ivor Josephson.