When Gooey first arrived in Manchester in 2020, it did so in perfect step with the pandemic.
Tentatively launching the same month the country plunged into lockdown, no one knew just how much its salty-sweet treats would shape the course of our isolation.
Beginning life as a small pop-up in borrowed space, its bakers soon became Manchester’s go-to sugar dealers as the business pivoted into home delivery.
Two and a half years later, as we wander around inside Gooey’s new bakery and cafe, we can’t help but wonder how many deliveries (and kiosk collections) it took to get here.
Now, the team is trying something new, with the launch of their very own cafe, which will offer an all-day brunch menu when it opens its doors this Friday.
Light, airy, and modern, with a full kitchen and on-site bakery, Gooey’s cafe will be serving up all-day breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes made using special breads baked on site.
Housed in the former Cat cafe unit, some serious work has gone in here over the past few months, not least the installation of a proper extraction fan.
On the counter, fans of Gooey’s signature melt-in-the-middle cookies and fluffy donuts can still pick up their favourites, to eat in or takeaway, or ogle a new selection of changing pastries, cakes and specials.
The biggest new addition is the new cafe menu, which caters to breakfasters, brunchers and lunchers from 9am-6pm with a range of different things on toast, in sandwiches or salads.
We cut open the Gooey French toast, a magnificent tower that’s somehow swimming in maple syrup and still lighter-than-air, only to find its insides oozing with dulce de leche and vanilla creme pat.
A Kewpie egg mayo sandwich on toasted Japanese Shokupan bread, a plump whole egg running through its middle, is a modest showstopper, as is a vegan-friendly wild mushroom toast on toasted chia brioche, smeared with a generous helping of roasted black garlic cashew cream.
Other menu highlights to look out for this Friday include the char sui bbq glazed baby back rib sesame sub, panko-fried chicken katsu brioche, and the hefty bricks of ‘side portion’ halloumi, which come slathered in a (pleasantly spicy) chilli jam.
A full coffee menu is also available, alongside a list of fresh, cold-pressed juices in orange (carrot, ginger and orange), or green (cucumber, kale, pear and grape),
If that’s not doing it for you, you’ll also find ‘fancy schmancy’ iced strawberry, vanilla and matcha lattes, a caramelised white chocolate mocha, and cold-brewed green and white tea with added coconut, pineapple and hibiscus on the drinks menu.
As for those who like life’s simpler pleasures, rest assured you can also get a proper builder’s brew here.
Prices start from £3.20 for a Yorkshire breakfast tea and £4 for slabs of toasted brioche loaf served with a pot of seasonal jam.
At £6.90, the aforementioned Kewpie egg sandwich is a steal, As for the French toast, at £11.30 it might be the most expensive thing on the menu but if you don’t order it you are seriously missing out. You can always split it with a friend.
Opening this Friday, 26 August, the new, dog-friendly cafe will welcome customers from 9am to 6pm seven days a week.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 10 – 16 October 2022
It’s really starting to feel a lot more like autumn across Greater Manchester now, and the spooky season couldn’t be closer.
After a jam-packed summer, the first couple of weeks of October may not have seemed as busy as others, but with Halloween (and, dare we say, Christmas) just around the corner now, the events calendar is starting to be filled with lots of different things to be getting up to, so we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide.
As always, some of the events we’re going to mention are completely free, while others will set you back a few pounds, and many will need to be booked in advance.
Here’s our top picks.
Scare City Experience
Monday 10 October – onwards
Have you seen that Scare City Experience is back for 2022?
The hugely-popular outdoor immersive horror experience has taken on a new life just in time for Halloween, and this time round, it’s taken over the derelict site of one of the North West’s most iconic theme parks.
Events company Park N Party’s sell-out success Scare City has arrived at Camelot with a new walkthrough scare attraction, and it’s described as a “blood-soaked ordeal”.
For those who’ve got the guts to enter this year, a trek through “nightmarish zones” awaits.
To help mark this year’s World Mental Health Awareness Day, mental health services provider Self Space is teaming up with Manchester’s very-own Feel Good Club to offer 30-minute therapy session slots at its cafe hub in the heart of the Northern Quarter for completely free of charge.
Free sessions will take place on Monday 10 October.
All you have to do is register, walk in, and have a good conversation with a qualified person.
The National Trust is celebrating the arrival of a new season by offering free visits to the sites it cares for this autumn.
Families will be able to visit the many stately homes, grand gardens, beaches and countryside locations that are looked after by the charity.
The limited-time offer will allow people to book an autumn trip to a National Trust site of their choosing, and each free ticket will admit two adults and up to four children – with hundreds of sites taking part in the campaign.
One of Manchester’s favourite curry houses has just introduced a bottomless curry menu.
Costing just £20 a head, for that you’ll get to enjoy endless plates of curry, with freshly baked naans and rice and an alcoholic drink of your choice – be that beer, wine, a gin and tonic, or a cocktail – at Zouk Tea Bar & Grill.
There’s a choice of eight different curries on offer, all varying in spice levels with a mix of veggie and meat options to ensure that everyone can get stuck in no matter their dietary requirements.
Tarantulas, komodo dragons, and poisonous dart frogs are just some of the creatures you can meet on Chester Zoo‘s newest interactive trail.
With the spooky season right around the corner, Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail has taken over the UK’s biggest charity zoo for the whole of this month up until Monday 31 October, and it looks set to be an ideal day out for families during the half term.
The trail is free with the price of admission, and aims to raise awareness of all the “creepy but crucial creatures” at the zoo that are venomous and poisonous.
Have you had the chance to visit Manchester‘s first new park in the heart of the city centre for more than 100 years that’s officially opened to the public yet?
It’s been a long journey to get here, but Mayfield Park has become a reality.
Over the last 18 months, the vast and mostly-derelict former industrial site next to Piccadilly Station has been transformed into what project developers are calling a “stunning, accessible, and varied” green space for everyone who visits the city centre to enjoy.
Looking for some new restaurants and bars to try out in Manchester city centre this month?
As ever, a host of exciting new restaurants and bars are opening in Manchester in October.
Whether you’re into glitzy late-night hang outs, casual dining turnarounds or award-winning burritos, let’s just say there’s something on the list for you – from the brand new Shogun Ramen and Bar, which sees beloved Chorlton restaurant Peck & Yard give it ‘one more shot’ with a ramen and sushi concept, to Mayfair celeb haunt Mnky Hse.
You can read our round-up to find out where to put on your list this month here.
Friday 14 October
A ‘cabaret rave’ sensory experience especially for babies and toddlers is coming to Manchester this Friday.
Our city-region may never be short of unique events and interesting things to be getting up to, but CABABABARAVE is gearing up to be unlike anything else on offer for little Mancs and their parents, as it’s bringing the experience of a “big London night out” to a popular social club in Salford.
It’s described as being a “little slice of afternoon delight” that provides “show-stopping cabaret interspersed with baby sensory moments”.
And if all that wasn’t “captivating” enough as it is, each session ends in a rave.
After a successful run in 2021, the Trafford Centre has announced that Spookfest is returning just in time for Halloween.
From 14 October, Trafford Centre’s outdoor space will come alive with Halloween activity, with a variety of exciting family-friendly things on offer for all ages to enjoy, such as thrilling funfair rides, the action-packed Spooktacular Big Top circus, the North West’s first and only pumpkin tower, face painting, creepy costume characters, big-screen scary movies and Halloween-themed food and drink.
The hugely popular woodland trail inspired by the forbidden forest from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise is returning this weekend.
After what was undoubtedly a massive success back in 2021, with people travelling from all across the UK to see what it was all about, organisers of the Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience have announced it’s coming back to the Grade II-listed Arley Hall & Gardens in Cheshire.
Arriving just in time for Halloween, Potter-heads are invited to “walk into the depths of a dark forest”, and “discover fantastic beasts and iconic Wizarding World moments illuminated like never before”.
With more than 160 consoles and hundreds of games to play, Power UP is back at the Science and Industry Museum for the first time in three years, taking ticket-holders on a journey through five decades of gaming, with everything from retro arcade games, to state-of-the-art virtual reality, and so much more.
Power UP is taking place every weekend and school holiday all the way through to December 2023, and every ticket includes unlimited play all day.
Inside Bar San Juan, the tiny Chorlton tapas bar with a cult-like status
We visit Bar San Juan on a very wet, very dark Friday afternoon. The rain is pelting down as hurricane Ian makes his presence felt on both sides of the Atlantic, but inside it’s a different story entirely.
This cosy little slice of Spain on Beech Road is as unassuming as it is full of European charm. It’s also something of a local treasure, gradually achieving cult-like status amongst the foodies of South Manchester (and beyond) over the past twelve years.
Since opening in 2010, Bar San Juan had famously never taken reservations. Queues were not uncommon, and the conventional wisdom amongst regulars has always been that you should come for an early lunch or dinner if you don’t like to wait.
It tried to operate a walk-in system where diners join a waiting list and are called 15 minutes ahead of time, but has since succumbed to an online booking system with the added promise that, if you can’t find the time you want, you can always Whatsapp to see if they can squeeze you in.
A testament to its popularity, after the easing of the first lockdown in 2020 owners bought neighbouring pub The Parlour to ‘accommodate social distancing’ – but inside it still feels incredibly snug.
On our visit, every table is full. The tapas bar has just won the Manchester Food and Drink Festival’s Neighbourhood Venue of the Year award, and well deserved it is too. Clearly, it’s well-loved, but until now we’ve never visited – to our shame.
Until the small plates hit our table, we don’t truly appreciate just how much we’ve been missing out.
Out come plump pastry parcels stuffed with pulled lamb on a Tempranillo red wine reduction, truffled quails egg toast liberally spread with sobrassada (chorizo paste), juicy tiger prawns swimming in garlic butter and melt-in-the-mouth beef cheeks topped with crispy leek in a homemade gravy.
We dig in with gusto, oohing and ahhing as even more treats arrive in quick succession: a plate of deep-fried piquillo peppers filled with cod and bechamel and topped with red pepper sauce, followed by discs of chorizo from the northern region of Asturias cooked in white wine until they’re sumptuously soft.
Washed down with a hearty half-pint of sangria and a tall, refreshing Mahou beer, we’ve almost forgotten that the sky is black with rain outside.
For the past hour and a half, perched on a high table next to a heater inside the enclosed terrace, we really felt transported – a feat not easily achieved when you’re soaked through with biting cold Manchester rain.