Whilst for some January means resolutions, diets, and a fresh opportunity to bring vision boards to life, for others it heralds the arrival ofnew dining deals, restaurant discounts and free food.
As often happens at the start of the year Manchester’s restaurants are dishing out discounts, with a range of set menus, 50% off and 2-4-1 deals all suddenly in abundance.
But one Northern Quarter spot is going even further, by handing out £2 pints, free chicken wings, and desserts to its customers in the know throughout January.
Known for its towering dirty burgers and fried chicken plates, served under tongue-in-cheek names like The Dirty Bird and The Massive C*ck, buttermilk fried chicken thighs are very much the order of the day at Yard and Coop.
The restaurant has been a staple on Edge Street for as long as we can remember, and now we have one more reason to visit: as it has just released its very own ‘Yard card’ for 2023, with special offers running every week.
After kicking off the new year with £2 glasses of prosecco, this week Yard and Coop will be slashing the prices of its pints to £2 each for cardholders.
This month, staff will also be handing out free baskets of Yard and Coop’s signature wings – fried until golden in a secret house crumb, then smothered in homemade sauces like hot honey, Stateside BBQ, buffalo and ranch – as well as giving away some complimentary desserts this month.
Each week of January sees a different offer available at the fried chicken diner, with the £2 pints deal running from 9-14 January. After that, cardholders can enjoy free wings between 16-22 January, and free puddings from 21-31 January.
As well as the introduction of its new black Yard Card this month, Yard and Coop have also rolled out a small but mighty vegan menu for diners of the plant-powered persuasion.
Created in collaboration with the team at Temple of Seitan, it consists of three vegan burger meals and a plate of pickled ‘cheese’ fries topped with salty baconnaise, melted vegan cheese, pickles and crispy and chopped onions.
Burger choices include a fully vegan reimagining of its popular Dirty Birdie BBBQ burger, made with pulled seitan chicken, tangy BBQ sauce, melted vegan cheese, crispy onion rings, seitan fried chicken and jalapeno mayo, as well as the sriracha mayo-slathered Viet’Nom burger with sweet and spicy rice noodles and a crunchy Asian slaw.
Elsewhere, you’ll also find The Bechamelt – described as ‘all kinds of extra’ by the team. Think crispy seitan fried chicken with melted vegan cheese, lettuce and onion, slathered in baconnaise and drenched in Yard and Coop’s secret recipe bechamel cheese sauce, followed by a layer of sweet scotch bonnet chili jam and a crispy onion ring.
Available all month long, to find out more, view the full menu and get your Yard Card for those cheeky freebies and savings, head over to the Yard and Coop website here.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
This hidden Manchester pasta and dumplings restaurant has just made the Michelin Guide
Michelin has just added some new additions to its guide, and one of our favourite Manchester restaurants has finally made the cut.
Loved by locals for its continental pasta and dumplings, gorgeous European wine list and sake collection, The Sparrows in the Green Quarter is something of a hidden gem – tucked in a disused railway arch on Red Bank.
It received rave reviews from local and national critics alike when it first opened in 2019 in a tiny space with room for just 12 covers. Since then, it’s relocated to a bigger home and its following has grown significantly.
After spending years wowing foodies in the know, the restaurant has made it onto the radar of Michelin’s inspectors at last – and we have to say, the accolade is well deserved indeed.
Front of house is headed up by Polish-born Kasia Hitchcock with her chef partner Franco Concli at the helm in the kitchen. Plates celebrate Franco’s Tyrolean heritage, with their signature dish spätzle, a rustic fresh egg pasta from which the restaurant takes its name, sitting front and centre.
Traditionally made by scraping dough from the wooden board straight into a pot of boiling water, these irregular-shaped delights translate from Swabian-German to mean “little sparrows.”
Served in multiples ways, they can be enjoyed either savoury or sweet – mixed with braised onions into a creamy gruyere and Emmental cheese sauce, as is traditional, or transformed into a pudding with a touch of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.
Joining the now seventeen Manchester restaurants to be featured in the prestigious guide, its description reads as follows: “Nestled under the railway arches in Manchester’s Green Quarter is a restaurant whose name is (almost) the English translation of the word ‘spätzle’ – which gives some clue as to the style of food on offer here.
“The dumplings and assorted pasta dishes are all made in-house and include excellent pierogi. The focus on Eastern Europe carries through to the wine list, which has a leaning towards Polish wines.”
A welcome new addition, if you haven’t yet visited then we recommend you book in swiftly. No doubt the news of its conclusion in the Michelin Guide will send reservations filling up pretty sharpish.
Feature image – Google Maps
New DNA evidence could clear ‘innocent’ man who spent 17 years in prison for Salford rape
A man who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he has continued to claim he did not commit has now been granted a fresh appeal after DNA was linked to an alternative suspect.
57-year-old Andrew Malkinson from Grimsby was convicted by a jury verdict of 10-2 of strangling and raping a woman in Little Hulton in Salford back in 2003, and was jailed for life following a trial at Manchester Crown Court in February 2004.
The victim – who had been walking home alone in the early hours of 19 July 2003 – was sexually assaulted after being throttled until the point of unconsciousness, and also suffered a broken neck and a fractured cheekbone during the attack.
There was no DNA or other forensic evidence linking Mr Malkinson to the crime at the time, and the prosecution case relied mainly on identification evidence from eyewitnesses.
This is why he has always maintained his innocence and insisted it was a case of mistaken identity.
Mr Malkinson had twice been refused an appeal in the past after applying for his case to be reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) – which is the body responsible for investigating alleged miscarriages of justice – but after being released on license from prison back in 2020, scientific techniques have advanced, and this has potentially lead to some new evidence.
The legal team at the charity APPEAL was able to commission new DNA testing that revealed the presence of unknown male DNA in samples taken from the victim and her clothing, and this “breakthrough” has therefore cast doubt on Mr Malkinson’s conviction.
APPEAL Director Emily Bolton said “the battle for justice is not yet over”, adding that the CCRC “will now form its own view of the fresh evidence and we hope they will agree that Andy’s conviction cannot now be regarded as safe.”
Mr Malkinson says he “finally has the chance to prove his innocence”.
“I am innocent,” Mr Malkinson questioned in a statement provided by his legal representatives.
“Finally, I have the chance to prove it thanks to the perseverance of my legal team at APPEAL. I only have one life and so far 20 years of it has been stolen from me. Yesterday I turned 57 years old. How much longer will it take?”
As well as the case having being referred back to the CCRC this week, in light of new information, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed last month that it had arrested a 48-year-old man from Exeter on suspicion of rape, but he has since been released under investigation.
Addressing Mr Malkinson’s case, CCRC chairwoman Helen Pitcher said: “The new results raise concerns about the safety of these serious convictions.
“It is now for the Court of Appeal to decide whether they should be quashed.
“New evidence can come to light years after a conviction, and in the ever-changing world of forensic science, it is crucial an independent body can undertake these enquiries and send cases of concern back to court.
“Following Mr Malkinson’s application, we used our special powers and expertise to re-examine this case, instructing experts to undertake state-of-the-art DNA testing.”