A new fine dining pop-up by a former MasterChef contestant has landed inside the kitchen of Ancoats wine bar Blossom Street Social.
Called the Sao Paulo project, it’s the brainchild of former Brazilian MasterChef contestant Caroline Martins.
Offering a British-Brazilian fusion menu that draws on her experiences working in Michelin starred kitchens around the world, she’s only in residency at the bar for the next three months – running from now until 19 March 2022.
Operating on a walk-in basis only (and just a stone’s throw from Mana, Manchester’s only Michelin starred restaurant), she’s serving up Michelin-style food for a tiny fraction of the price.
Here, canapes disguised as succulents, beef fat ‘candles’ and a pudding that looks like a lethal mushroom are just a few of the surprises in store for visitors to the Sao Paulo Project – and unlike most fine dining settings, there’s no set menu obligation.
Rather, you can pay per dish, ordering what you like and leaving what you don’t.
There are seven different options on the menu to choose from, each distinct and interesting in its own way – with the bar currently working on a matching (optional) wine pairing list.
Standouts include the ‘Romeu & Julieta’ pudding (£7.50), a combination of guava parfait and jam, parmesan Genoise sponge, Sangiorgio’s Minas cheese, Dormouse chocolate and lime crumble and edible flowers from Platt Fields Market Garden; and a terrarium of cheesy, meaty and fruity canapes simply titled a ‘selection of threes’ (£5.50).
Elsewhere, you’ll find a beautifully soft hand-dived scallop served with tropical Brazilian ingredients like heart of palm and nutty, starchy cassava root mousseline (£5.50); a sumptuous dry aged picanha from the Butcher’s Quarter (£12); and several cheese courses that combine punchy English cheeses with fruity chutneys and relishes made from banana, mushroom and more (£10-20).
Her ‘Bread Course’ (£6) surpasses all expectations, too.
Switching out the tired old sourdough and bold butter format we’ve become used to, Caroline’s version features light, Calabrian sausage-laden brioche, textured caramelised onion butter and, just for a touch of theatre, an edible beef fat ‘candle’. Exquisite.
The final course on the list, a designated sharer, is great for groups – combining baked Tunworth cheese with guava paste, mixed nuts, rosemary and thyme in such a way as to revive a love of gooey, hot cheese (no mean feat following a Christmas spent stuffing ourselves with unreasonable amounts of the stuff).
Flanked all around by soft, buttery tearaway brioche rolls, it’s recommended for four but can easily feed plenty more – more than justifying the hefty-ish £20 price tag.
Previously, Caroline has worked at the two Michelin star Trenkerstube at Hotel Castel in Tyrol, and in London at various kitchens including the two-star Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia and the one-star Galvin La Chapella.
Most recently, here in Manchester, she hosted a supper club pop-up at Manchester Union Lager brewery. Now she’s bringing those stand out dishes to Ancoats.
When many think of Brazilian restaurants, they might think of all-you-can-eat steakhouses like Fazenda, Bem Brazil and Jardim Rodizio. Whilst Caroline does nod to this with a stunning dry-aged picanha course, ultimately this is not what you’ll find at the Sao Paulo project. Far from it.
Instead, the Cordon Bleu graduate Caroline’s menu showcases popular tropical Brazilian ingredients in a fine-dining style, combining them with local produce sourced from a wealth of independent Manchester suppliers like Flawd’s Cinderwood Market Garden, the Crafty Cheese Man and fellow Ancaots’ Brazilian the Flat Baker.
Assisted in the kitchen by former Mana and Lowry Hotel chefs, she’s headed for great things – no doubt about it. Not to be missed, make sure to pay her a visit – that way, when she’s on the telly later this year, you can say to your family with pride, ‘I’ve eaten that dish, it was amazing.’
To find out more, visit the Sao Paulo Project’s website here.
Feature image – The Manc Group / The Sao Paulo Project
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?
19-year-old charged with murder of man stabbed to death in Old Trafford
A 19-year-old has been charged with murder after a man was stabbed to death in Old Trafford last week.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has confirmed that 19-year-old Demari Adrian Raymond Rose has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article after officers were called to reports of a “disturbance” at an address on Kings Road in the Old Trafford area of Manchester at around 7:45pm on Wednesday 31 May.
A 21-year-old victim – who has since been named as Salah Adam Eldin – was found seriously injured when police arrived, and despite the best efforts of the first responders, GMP confirmed that the young man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Rose was arrested in the early hours of last Saturday morning (3 June), and was remanded into custody, before appearing at Tameside Magistrates Court yesterday.
A further two teenage males were arrested on the night of the attack in connection with the murder – a 15-year-old on suspicion of murder, and a 16-year-old on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in the nearby area – but GMP has revealed they have both been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Salah’s family are continuing to be supported by officers, GMP assured, and are also being continuously updated with the progress being made in the investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Hopkinson, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said in a statement when Rose was arrested last week that the force “recognises the impact this tragic event will have on the friends and family of Salah,” and insisted that their thoughts remain with them as they “come to terms with this loss in terrible circumstances”.
DCI Hopkinson also reissued an urgent appeal to the public for witnesses and information, as well as any CCTV, doorbell, or dashcam footage.
“Whilst we have made a number of arrests,” DCI Hopkinson continued, “we are still in the early stages of a murder investigation and are working hard to piece together the timeline of events.
“We are also keeping an open mind and are continuing to appeal to members of the public to share any information they might have about this case with the police.
“It is believed the two offenders were riding a black mountain bike and a yellow Council Beryl bicycle, and enquiries also suggest there were approximately five people in the area at the time of the murder who may have vital information that could assist the investigation.”