Rapper Big Zuu has grown quite a reputation as a foodie personality, receiving rave reviews with his new ITV series Big Zuu’s 12 Dishes in 12 Hours.
So when he teamed up with the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller to share a list of the best restaurants in Manchester, expectations were high.
Most of us expected him to dig out some authentic little local gems – and he did almost exactly the opposite.
Big Zuu’s favourite restaurants have been labelled by fans as, quite bluntly, ‘bulls**t’.
So where did he think was worthy of a place on his top five restaurants? Was it the Michelin-approved independents like The Sparrows or the newly-Bib-Gourmand Higher Ground, or cosy local favourites like Erst or Bar San Juan? Yeah, not exactly.
Instead, Big Zuu has chosen a selection of mostly chain restaurants, with a couple of actual Manchester businesses chucked in for good measure. Though he calls the city ‘Mani’ the whole way through which is a little controversial.
At the top of his list comes San Carlo, the Italian restaurant group that you can find in several major UK cities at this point.
Big Zuu said it’s his favourite place to go before a night out, stating that it’s ‘big and extravant but not very expensive’.
The grime star and TV personality also said that his favourite dish to order at San Carlo is the half-and-half pizza.
Next up? Jimmy’s Killer Prawns, which to be fair is a fun place to eat if you don’t mind wearing latex gloves and a plastic bib – but doesn’t exactly scream authentic Manchester to us.
Big Zuu said he hasn’t actually visited the Liverpool Road restaurant, and prefers to order his mountains of prawns for delivery, and said ‘it’s great value – you just can’t go wrong’.
He also listed Dishoom, an Indian group that started down in London but has indeed become of Manchester’s most popular restaurants since opening on Bridge Street in 2018.
Our site of Dishoom its ‘own flavour’ apparently, and Big Zuu raved about the daal and naan bread.
He said: “I’ve got a real soft spot for the Manchester one. It’s big and a little bit easier to get into. I love the décor: it’s in a beautiful building, with beautiful architecture” – and no one could argue with him about that.
Big Zuu gave a shout-out to Chorlton’s The Drop Bar Cafe, a Caribbean restaurant famed for its ‘Hench Boxes’.
He said: “Most places people go to in Manchester are in the city centre, but this is out near Old Trafford, so this is a bit out there.”
The Drop Bar Cafe in Chorlton is also one of Big Zuu’s favourite restaurants in ManchesterThe Drop Bar Cafe in Chorlton is also one of Big Zuu’s favourite restaurants in Manchester
Big Zuu continued: “They do a Caribbean Sunday roast and it’s just so good. You can get everything you want – lamb, chicken and all the usual sides like coconut rice with peas and fried plantain. And there is an epic ‘reggae roast,’ which is jerk chicken with things like mac ‘n’ cheese and the ‘veggie rasta roast,’ which is toasted pumpkin.”
And his final pick went to Chai Latte Cafe on Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter, which he said ‘may not be the best in the universe’ but is good after a night out when you’re ‘starving’.
Siri, show me a bigger back-handed compliment.
Since sharing Big Zuu’s insights on social media, Conde Nast Traveller has received a fair few comments questioning his choices.
One person asked on Instagram: “Is this a joke?”
Another said: “When you have chain restaurants in a guide to the BEST a city can offer… I think we know its a bulls**t guide! Thank you, next.”
Someone else posted: “I doubt that in the city with one of the coolest food scenes the top 5 restaurants are almost all chain restaurants…”
And another wrote: “This is a wack list and nobody calls it ‘Mani’”
And one final cynic shared: “This looks like the restaurants w the biggest PR budget.”
Stockport County create a new community mural with young street artists in Edgeley
Stockport County is creating a brand new mural with a group of young street artists from the local area and a little help from one of their squad members.
This past February half-term, the Greater Manchester football club enlisted the help of some schoolkids and aspiring artists, along with local creatives from around the area to create a brand new piece of artwork right in the heart of the community.
With some paint, plenty of spray cans and the expertise of Manc muralist and designer, Oskar With A K, and poet Ruth Awolola, a dozen local secondary school pupils helped write, design and paint the mural — taking inspiration directly from the club and the thriving fan culture in Stockport.
There is no chant more iconic and important to the Hatters than their famous ‘The Scarf My Father Worse’ song and that’s exactly what the local artists have decided to immortalise.
🖼️ A new County-themed mural is currently being created in Edgeley by a talented group of young street artists – with a little help from Ethan Pye!
The new Stockport County mural is being completed as we speak.
The painting process began on Friday, 16 February and, as you can see, they even managed to rope in County defender Ethan Pye came along to lend a hand with the mural, armed with a can of spray paint to help the young people bring their ideas to life.
Being developed by the Stockport County Community Trust in collaboration with North West organisations, GRIT Studios and The Writing Squad, ‘The Scarf My Father Wore’ project has received £14,800 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Popping in a prime location on the corner of Castle Street and Mercian Way — just metres away from the Edgeley Park stadium and right at the beginning of the local village high street — this vibrant work of art will be passed by thousands of commuters and pedestrians every day.
Being brought to life in brilliant blue and white in line with the club’s colour scheme and proudly printing the title of the famous chant on the wall along with stencils of the County crest, footballs and many other details, it sits pride of place in the Stockport suburb.
Ethan offering his services off the pitch too.You can’t miss it.Credit: Supplied
Much like the historic chant and the symbolic scarf itself, this brilliant piece of street art will be passed down and enjoyed by generations to come, as well as make sure the club continues to play a key role in local culture.
County’s Community Trust CEO Alison Warwood said: “This project shows how art and writing by young people can make a real difference to the local community, and I can’t wait to see the end result.”
John Macaulay from GRIT Studios added: “We’re thrilled to be involved in such a collaborative and community-spirited initiative. Our young artists will be helping to create a lasting landmark that will become a focal point in Edgeley for years to come.”
With the Hatters currently top of the League Two table and looking at yet another promotion season, there feels like no better time for fans to wear the club on their sleeve, their scarves around their necks and now up on the wall too.
Manchester City legend Joe Hart announces he will be retiring at the end of the season
Manchester City legend and ex-England international Joe Hart has announced he will be retiring at the end of the season, bringing a close to a career spanning over two decades.
The iconic Man City keeper and former Three Lions goalkeeper played 266 games for the Blues and had 75 senior caps, but has finally decided to call it a day at the age of 36.
Currently in net for Scottish giants Celtic, who are going for an incredible 54th league title this season, the number one and long-serving English keeper confirmed in a club interview that he will be hanging up his gloves at the end of this campaign.
He also represented his country at three major international tournaments but says he is now in a “place of clarity” and confident in his decision, with manager Brendan Rodgers insisting he will be a “huge miss to the game”. Truly the end of an era.
🧤 Joe Hart announces that he will be retiring from playing football at the end of this season.
Joe Hart is retiring after 20 years at the top level.
Having spent 12 years at City between 2006-2018 and making over 340 appearances in the Premier League at the likes of Burnley, West Ham and a handful for Spurs in club competitions, not to mention nearly a century of games for Celtic since 2021 already, it’s fair to call Joe Hart a footballing veteran.
All told, he has made over 700 appearances at club level and even more all-told, with half of a blockbuster season in Scotland still yet to go. Quite the achievement.
Most famously back here in Manchester though, not only did he pick up four golden gloves during his time at the Etihad but he was also in net for the Aguero goal when the Blues won their first league title in 44 years, and his reaction to the stoppage time winner is almost just as memorable as the strike itself.
But, more importantly, he had plenty of highlight reels of his own.
Speaking to Celtic TV following the announcement, the Shrewsbury-born shot-stopper said: “This something that I have thought about for a while, there’s no right or wrong time is there?…
“Physically I feel great — I feel as good as I possibly can do for my age and what I have done to my body, I have been on the bench since I was 15 and have been involved in professional football every day since I was 16.
“I have gone down every avenue to keep myself in the best possible shape to give my all on game day and I do really think I am at that peak, but I am aware time waits for no man and I don’t want my body to be retiring me. That was one of the key factors, thinking I can smash through the finish line.”