The team behind indie Manchester bakehouse Batard has opened a permanent new cafe in the centre of Manchester.
Housed inside 86 Princess Street, it already feels like a bit of a secret due to the fact the entrance is hidden down a cobbled Manchester side street – but we don’t expect it’ll stay that way for long.
The cafe itself is all exposed brick and big sash windows, overlooking the back of Manchester’s iconic Klimpton hotel, with cool interiors that celebrate the areas industrial aesthetic.
In the morning, it’s flooded with sunlight and there are some lovely high perches where you can sit, sip and take in Manchester in all its glory. A perfect breakfast spot.
With a selection of Batard’s signature blackened bakes already sitting on the counter, we ogle over the likes of blackered basque cheesecake, fruity kolace, cookies and brownies before turning our eyes to the new breakfast and lunch menu they’ll be serving this week.
Featuring the return of their much-lauded steak bakes (now served with a side of house ferment) and a host of new dishes including an ethical take on the McDonald’s McMuffin, there’s a lot to get excited about.
Think porchetta and celeriac sandos, stout rarebit, babka french toast and grilled cheese, plus breakfast buttys done to perfection. The genius of this menu is that it’s full of proper northern favourites and doesn’t feel elitist, but it’s all been created to exacting standards.
Case and point, as Lewis brings out their Manc McMuffin (as I keep calling it during our visit) Dorothy asks if Lewis made it with the red sauce.
“Kasundi,” he corrects her.
Turning with a smile, she explains: “We were going to do a house red and brown sauce but the kasundi came out more of an orange colour and Mr Perfectionist can’t call something that is orange red, so, just kasundi is fine.”
Kasundi, they explain, is an Indian tomato relish – and this one is made in house, using tomatoes from Cinderwood market garden cooked down “for frickin ages,” then blended with spices and herbs and a bit of chilli to give it a kick.
It’s the poshest McMuffin we’ve ever had, and it’s brilliant.
We also try their red wine poached pear babka, which smells like Christmas and is loaded with tahini honey mascarpone, burnt white chocolate and hazelnuts. Swimming in the poached pear liquor, it’s a thing of beauty – even more so on their retro 70’s plates.
“My heritage, on a plate,” says Dorothy of the babka before launching into an explanation of how they make it.
She detailis how its dipped in egg before being put on the griddle to “get it nice and hot and let it caramelise,” and as she does we stare at it in wonder. It’s quite the looker, this dish – and having tried it we can say it certainly holds up on that end too.
There’s a lot of talk in Manchester hospitality about seasonality and local suppliers, but not everyone puts their money where their mouth is. It might sound cynical but sometimes it just feels like a marketing ploy. That’s not the case here, though – far from it.
Having just come from being small batch suppliers themselves working with the likes of Osma and Edinburgh Castle to supply bread and bakes for other restaurants around Manchester, Dorothy and Lewis are working almost exclusively with small-scale local producers.
Proudly displayed on the back of Batard’s menu is a list of some of the people they are working with, including Littlewoods Butchers, The Crafty Cheeseman and Cinderwood Market Garden.
Whilst chatting, though, we also hear about plenty more, such as their Altrincham-based mushroom supplier Polyspore and Salford-based coffee supplier Swansong – who even sits down with us for a minute to tell us about his coffee, having just popped in on chance.
The passion behind the project is clear, with every minute detail having been given a lot of thought here.
Dorothy tells us they eventually want to get a mock mill and mill their own grains on site, explaining how in their brownie, for example, they use rye kernels and rye flour, so you can really taste it.
“It provides a little crunch in the mixture that is really nice. We also use horlicks in there which brings out the malty taste of the rye flour.”
“Being able to do that with all different kinds of flours and make our own nut flours and stuf like that to offer something not gluten free because our kitchen’s too small but low gluten would be quite interesting as well – but that’s a little bit down the line.”
For now, they’re just focusing on getting open and enjoying settling into the new space on Princess Street. Just ten minutes walk from Piccadilly, it’s a central location but enough off the beaten path to make it feel like a destination.
Whether you consider yourself a bit of a foodie or you’re just after a good Northern scran done well, we’d definitely recommend putting them on your list.
Batard is open from Wednesday 29 September at 86 Princess Street. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 9 am to 3 pm. To find out more, follow them on social media here.
The new restaurants and bars opening in Manchester this month | October 2022
Another month, another round of new openings – and there’s plenty to get stuck into.
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 this October.
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, keep reading to discover where to put on your list this month.
Shogun Ramen and Bar
Fans and staff alike were heartbroken when Chorlton restaurant Peck & Yard announced it was closing its doors for good in August, so we’re all happy to see the team return under a new guise.
Switching from baskets of fried chicken to steaming bowls of ramen and handrolled sushi, bosses will try something entirely new as they delve into the world of Japanese cuisine.
The concept is something they had originally considered before opening Peck & Yard, and they said that “with the times we’re in” they thought “why not go back to the original idea and give this one last shot”.
Soft launch 1 October from 5pm, open from 6 October.
Late-night bar and restaurant Mnky Hse (pronounced “monkey house”) is set to be taking over a space in Lloyd House this month.
First opened in Mayfair, London, in 2016, it will be the second UK site for the restaurant and its first in the north of England when it opens its doors this September.
Known for its ‘hidden entrance’, Instagram-friendly interiors, live music, extensive cocktail menu and Latin American dishes, here you’ll find a great range of tacos – both soft and crunchy – alongside a range of sushi, ceviche and grill dishes.
Tortilla, Oxford Road
Mexican food chain Tortilla has arrived in Manchester, bringing a new burrito shop to the Oxford Road student stretch this month.
Offering a range of award-winning burritos, nachos and tacos, you’ll also find quesadillas, chips and salsa, salad bowls and more on the menu.
A new arrival in Longridge, Fell Bistro comes from former Masterchef the Professional finalist Oli Martin who previously spent eight years at four AA rosette restaurant Hipping Hall.
With head chef Rikki Hughes, previousl of Tom Kerridge’s Michelin pub The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, heading up the kitchen we expect great things.
The menu offers a selection of classic dishes with their wood fired oven and grill featuring prominently. Elsewhere, find hearty Sunday lunches and light bites.
Bread and Bowl, Spinningfields
There are carb overloads, and then there is Bread & Bowls‘ Full English breakfast in a hollowed-out loaf.
First launched in February 2020, these ginormous loaves of sourdough – stuffed with fry-up favourites like high-grade local sausages, crispy streaky bacon, beans, cheese, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and hash browns – became something of a hungover lockdown sensation.
Now, you can find them at the new Spinningfields coffee shop 92 Degrees, housed inside the no.1 Spinningfields building Served between 8am and 4pm every day.
Bold Street Coffee, Oxford Road
Liverpool-born Bold Street Coffee has just opened its second shop here in the space of a few months.
Moving into the universities territory, the new site is found at University Green just off Oxford Road.
Serving the same menu as its Cross Street site, head down for egg boxes, signature BSC frys, and hearty bowls of super porridge and granola.
Feature image – Federal / Tortilla / The Manc Eats
Oasis’ Bonehead reveals he has been given the all-clear following cancer battle
Music lovers everywhere, rejoice, as Oasis‘ former guitarist ‘Bonehead‘ has revealed that he has been given the all-clear following his cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
The 57-year-old – real name Paul Benjamin Arthurs – announced the uplifting update via social media on Friday morning, confirming he had a “full scan 10 days ago” and that the cancer is now gone.
Absolutely mint news.
Bonehead was diagnosed with tonsil cancer back in April and kept fans in the loop with intermittent posts informing them on how his treatment was progressing, confirming that he had finished his final round of sessions back in June.
Besides behind the rhythm guitarist and occasional keyboardist, Arthurs was one of the band’s founding members all the way back in 1999. He ultimately left in 1999 whilst they were recording their fourth album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Bonehead thanked his followers for their messages of support throughout his journey, insisting “you’ve helped more than you know”.
He also gave a special thank you to “the team at @TheChristieNHS“, Manchester’s specialist cancer treatment hospital, one of the biggest in Europe.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Withington is the largest single cancer treatment centre on the continent and one of the leading facilities for cancer research, care and radiotherapy in the UK.