Some of the most sought-after restaurants in Manchester are raffling off tables to help feed local people in need.
Working in partnership with local charity Eat Well MCR, top restaurants like AA rosette award-winner El Gato Negro, 5-star hotel The Lowry, Mackie Mayor, District and The Creameries are just a handful to be involved in the fundraising raffle.
Launched to mark the start of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, the Eat Well MCR raffle gives people the chance to win meals worth over £100 at some venues whilst also donating to support the charity’s important work across Greater Manchester feeding vulnerable local people in need.
With tickets priced at £10 each, every sale will provide five meals to people sidelined by poverty in Manchester as well as giving the buyer a chance to bag some mega prizes worth ten times the value of their raffle ticket.
There is a total of 31 prizes up for grabs, including concert tickets for Elbow, £150 to spend at Freight Island, £100 to spend at El Gato, £100 at Mackie Mayor, and VIP tickets to Homobloc’s WHP 2021 show at Depot Mayfield.
Further prizes include a meal for two at Tokyo Ramen, a £100 voucher for Tampopo, family tickets to Lightopia, and a traditional afternoon tea at five-star hotel The Lowry.
The proceeds from every ticket sale will go towards supporting families and other local Manchester people who find themselves fallen on hard times.
Many people In Manchester are using food banks, living in temporary accommodation with no cooking facilities, or sheltering from domestic abuse in a refuge – and these are the people that will be most helped by the sale of these raffle tickets.
See the full list of prizes up for grabs below and click here to purchase your raffle ticket. Act fast, the raffle closes on 27 September.
The full list of prizes available to win in the MFDF x Eat Well MCR raffle:
1.£100 to spend at any restaurant in the El Gato group
2.Meal for 2 at Tokyo Ramen (drinks not included)
3.Table for 2 at District for My First Crush + a bottle of wine OR 2 cocktails
4.£100 voucher for Mackie Mayor, Markethouse Alrincham or Picturehouse Macclesfield
(These vouchers can be used at any of the bars or kitchens. The vouchers are valid until 16th September 2022. The vouchers can be collected from Mackie Mayor as soon as the prize has been drawn.)
5.£100 voucher for Tampopo
6.Family Ticket for Lightopia, Heaton Park Nov 2021 – Jan 2022
(Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children) to the award-winning Lightopia, enchanting light and lantern festival, from November 18th, 2021 – January 3rd, 2022, at Heaton Park. Prize subject to availability)
7.Homobloc VIP tickets x 2 – 6th November 2021, Mayfield Depot
8.£150 to spend at Freight Island
9.Honest Crust Bundle – pizza vouchers, a Hannah Valentine x Honest Crust limited edition T-shirt and tote bag and a bottle of olive oil
10.Taste of Honey lunch or dinner for up to 15 people in Taste Of Honey’s secret courtyard (details TBC)
11.Traditional Afternoon Tea for 2 at The Lowry Hotel
12.The Creameries – 4 course lunch for 2 people at The Creameries (to be used within 6 months, drinks not included)
13.ELBOW Tickets x 2 – Manchester Apollo Wednesday 29th September 2021
(PLEASE NOTE: Winners must be fully compliant with all venue policies to gain entry, in particular covid compliance requirements click here to view. They should read this in plenty of time, as they may need to prepare lateral flow tests or covid passes ahead of the show. Sadly due to Covid restrictions and to reduce the risk of infection or transmission, there are no aftershow arrangements, backstage access or meet and greet opportunities on this tour. Winners are advised to keep an eye on Elbow and Apollo social media for any last minute changes.)
14.Be Diddy Voucher
15.Medium Cheese Hamper Box from Chorlton Cheesemongers
(Winner to notify of any specific dietary requirements; Allergen information can be found under the product description on website. Prize includes delivery to main UK postcodes – additional charges for delivery to Highlands & Islands. Cheeses can occasionally be different to description due to seasonal availability.)
16.Batard – brunch for 2
(details TBC – to be redeemed post November 2021)
17.Maison Breizh Lambig de Bretagne (Breton cider brandy) x 1 bottle
18.Beehive Foods – Chutney Selection box
19.Isca – Indulgence Box
(including a bottle of natural wine (choice of red, white or orange), maple + rosemary nuts, a jar of organic jam, a jar of organic chutney and a bar of small batch chocolate. Shipped or collection from Isca.)
20.Into The Gathering Dusk – Botanical Gin and Tonic Package
(2 x 250ml varieties of gin infused with botanicals from our local area (37.5% abv). Makes approx 10 double gin and tonics with plenty of tonic cordial to spare. Comes with cute citrus wheel garnishes)
21.Jaunty Festival Scarf by Design Confections
22.Frederick & Tubs hand painted glass candle holder
23.Platt Fields Market Garden Hamper
(Contains a selection of seasonal and organically grown PFMG vegetables and herbs along with pickles, kimchi, hot sauce and sweet and savoury treats all produced by amazon chef at the PFMG onsite kitchen with own grown ingredients. Also included, organic eggs and apple juice from local supplier.)
24.Adam Pester A1 print of Manchester
25.Reserve Wines – Case of 6 bottles
26.Letters of Note – collection of signed books
(Signed set of 12 mini compliations of Letters Of Note, Shaun Usher : Love, War, Art, Music, Cats, Dogs, Mothers, Fathers, Sex, Space, Grief, New York)
27.Rebecca Morris Ceramics – pair of handmade ramen bowls and Pippy Eats chilli oil set
28.Kabusk plant pot
(The recipient of this prize may choose one large or two smaller items from their Collection One range to be specially made for them.)
29.Stan Chow Print of Anthony Bourdain
(designed especially for Eat Well MCR)
30.Stan Chow – Noodles Print
31.L347her Lightening Bolt Earrings
This Manchester restaurant serves an all-vegan roast with ‘meat’ and all the trimmings
A Manchester vegan restaurant is serving an all-vegan roast with mock ‘meat’ and all the trimmings, putting an ethical twist on the British Sunday classic.Keen to see if it’s worth the hype, I took a trip down to try it out for myself – and left feeling pretty impressed.
Not being a vegan personally, I enlisted the help of two friends of the plant-powered persuasion to accompany me to get a real feel for every option.
Suffice it to say, it was a success and, whilst I won’t be converting to veganism any time soon, it’s nice to know that there are options out there for when I feel like being ‘good’.
With three different roast choices on offer, Wholesome Junkies is the first restaurant in the city centre to venture past the usual vegan choices of mushroom Wellington and roasted squash and go all-out with a variety of mock meat options.
Meats have been created in partnership with Liverpool vegan brand CB Sushi, using their mock beef and turkey joints to give vegans the feeling of a ‘proper’ roast.
Think glazed ‘turkey’ filled with stuffing, medallions of ‘beef’ and crispy deep-fried oyster mushrooms, all served with lashings of onion gravy, ‘buttered’ seasonal greens, glazed carrots and parsnips, deep-fried stuffing balls, crispy roasties and fluffy Yorkshire puddings created by Mabel’s.
Having tried all three, I have to say that my favourite was the turkey. It’s actually my least favourite meat to eat, so it was something of a surprise to find I enjoyed the vegan version much more than the real thing.
The texture was spot on, and there was none of the dryness you typically associate with the bird. Washed down with a pint of locally-brewed Cloudwater Fuzzy Hazy Pale Ale, it absolutely hit the spot.
Coming in a close second was the deep-fried oyster mushroom roast, which was so packed with flavour that it almost felt like I was eating fried chicken with my Sunday dinner.
As for the beef, it didn’t really do it for me – tasting more of herbs than red meat, but then, I don’t suppose there are many vegans queueing up the block for a bloody meat substitute.
Wholesome Junkies has long been a favourite with Manchester vegans. First shooting to fame in 2018 with an appearance on BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, owner Chelsea appeared on the show to ask for 95,000 to open her own vegan junk food restaurant.
Prior to that, she’d been running her Wholesome Junkies concept as a street food pop-up at sites like Grub and Ancoats General Store.
Whilst her bid to impress the BBC judges was not successful at the time, the TV appearance put her on the map and within a year she had her own Arndale market stall.
Fast forward a few more, and in 2022 she opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant – taking over the former Umezushi site at 4 Mirabel Street.
Since moving in, she’s completely transformed it: decking it out in bright colours and filling every corner with quirky little ornaments and decorations.
Strings of fairy lights, hanging mushrooms and frames filled with pictures from local artists all make the small space feel incredibly warm and welcoming – and our visit the restaurant was absolutely packed.
At a time when so many vegan restaurants seem to be closing, it was an absolute joy to see so many bums on seats during our visit.
Veganuary might almost be over, but if you’re a vegan – or simply just trying to cut down on your meat consumption – it’s definitely worth giving this one a go.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Meet the couple who quit their jobs to sell sandwiches from their Northern Quarter flat
If you’re a fan of things in bread (and honestly, who isn’t) then there’s a new Italian sandwich dealer in town that you absolutely need to get down your neck.
Serving up some of the best butties we’ve had in a long time, it’s called Ad Maiora and is being run by a couple who are making absolutely everything out of a kitchen in their little Manchester flat.
Collected from a nondescript door on a Norther Quarter back street, we’re talking giant focaccia-style loaves generously stuffed with premium ingredients like ‘nduja, spicy Tuscan sausage, smoked scamorza, mortadella, burrata and red pesto.
The brainchild of Sardinian couple Daniela Steri and Enrico Pinna, all of their sandwiches are made using only top quality Italian ingredients with a total of nine different options to choose from.
From the vegan-friendly La Nonna (Italian hummus, roasted aubergine, olives, sundried tomatoes and rocket) to a huge array of different cheesy and meaty delights, fillings include parma ham, gorgonzola DOP, truffled brie, Milano salami and crumbled pistachios.
Their bread is baked freshly by hand each morning using a tiny domestic oven, and they’re already baking up to 60 loaves of schiacciata (a traditional Tuscan flatbread) a day to keep up with the demand – putting just four in the oven at a time, over and over again.
On our visit, the pair tell us that they moved over from Sardinia to the UK six years ago and first tried living in London for a year (they say they hated it) before making the move up to Manchester.
In that time, they say they’ve fallen in love with the city of Manchester and with the Northern Quarter in particular.
Inspired by the brilliant food scene in their area, two months ago they both decided to pack in their jobs and pursue their own business instead – and haven’t looked back since.
Previously, Daniela tells us she’d worked at hotel Dakota in housekeeping for three years whilst her partner, Enrico, had been employed at Ezra and Gil. Despite their hospitality experience, though, neither of them had made bread before.
That doesn’t seem to be holding them back, though, and demand for their sandwiches is rocketing as word spreads about the new homemade Italian butties for sale on a Manchester backstreet.