Here’s a little warning before you continue to read: be prepared for an array of photos of the food and drink kind! The 4 days Easter weekend has been and gone quicker than I can blink, but luckily for me it has involved copious amounts of eating and visiting various places in Manchester. As I’m from Manchester, it’s always nice to have a couple of days off work to explore the city, and this weekend in particular I had a friend up from Devon, so it was really nice to show her around to some of my favourite city haunts!
Embrace yourself for a round-up of food and drinking heaven…
To celebrate the start of the Easter holidays, I baked for my work friends to make it feel like it was a sweet treat Friday. Don’t forget though, I work, I blog, I business, I socialise… I definitely don’t have time to bake. So I purchased a Carrot Cake mixture by Wright’s from Aldi. For a mega cheap £1.50, it created this beautiful carrot and almond cake! I didn’t mention to my work friends that I used a packet mix, because a) they didn’t ask, and b) it received the nicest of compliments! Everyone loved it and said it was ridiculously moist, full of flavour and super sweet. I topped the cake with a frosting of icing and a sprinkle of almonds and voila – the tastiest Carrot cake I’ve eaten. Although it does taste very gingery too, which is a good thing for me as I love a bit of ginger cake, but make sure you do before buying and baking.
Revolucion De Cuba
Love daiquiris? Revolucion De Cuba Rum bar and Cantina do the best Strawberry and Mango varieties! I headed down here after work on Thursday to see in the 4 day Easter weekend, and fully enjoyed sipping on the daiquiris. They are the fruitiest one’s in the largest of glasses. For a bit of music, drinks, live entertainment, dressed-up danders and a full of cuban themed experience, it’s a great bar to head to if you are visiting Manchester. Oh, and they do the best mexican style burritos and tapas too!
Artisan Kitchen and Bar is one of my favourite places in Manchester to catch up with friends over Espresso Martini cocktails, before indulging in the range of pizza’s and amazing food Artisan provide. You can see another feature on Artisan I posted a few months ago here, as I clearly love this place a lot. On this occasion, I met up with some friends on Friday evening before a Thai meal and had a couple of cocktails and a chat before heading off for food. The atmosphere is always really homely; with a warm feel, a constant buzz and a cool crowd.
The Grill on New York Street
If you live in Manchester, it may be worth your while getting your hands on a Black House card – the restaurant chain behind The Grill On The Alley and The Grill On New York Street. My sister booked us in at The Grill On New York Street this weekend where four of us enjoyed 40% off our main meals, as we booked online with the card. The food is just lovely – I had the pan fried chicken with beetroot risotto and it tasted amazing. One of the best risottos I have had at a Manchester restaurant. As it was lunch time, we skipped desserts but had coffee’s instead, where I experienced the loveliest, creamiest mocha. My sister had a Chicken and Bacon Caesar salad, and her two friends had fish dishes, with everyone more than enjoying their lunches. The portion sizes are huge – we didn’t really need the extra side portions of chips we ordered, but they got ate non the less!
When I lived in Australia, Thai food was the norm. Gone were your average pizza takeaways and Indian curry houses – Thailand’s finest cuisine lined the streets, where I would regularly finish a night out with a red Thai chicken curry and brown rice. Back in Manchester, the city is fairly low on Thai restaurants bar Try Thai and Chaophraya. So imagine my happiness when Thaikun opened in Spinningfields! With quirky bicylces lining the outside of the restaurant, it’s a busy, dimly lit Thai style eatery, with long wooden tables and an impressive range of drinks. We shared starter platters, providing 6 of us with Thai fish cakes, chicken balls, prawns in batter, beef and satay chicken sticks, sticky pork… pretty much everything imaginable. Depending on your Thai favourite, there is an extensive selection of noodle, rice and stir fry dishses. But let me recommend the Chicken Masaman Curry – the creamiest coconut based curry I have had in a long time. Fantastic Thai food at this place, with curries costing around £9 – great value! Oh and spot the selfie stick photo above…
Gusto, off Deansgate, Manchester
Another place I have raved about before – Gusto is one of my favourite Italian eateries. Every time I visit, I get the Gnocchi main meal, so I’m possibly not the most adventurous reviewer of this place, but you know when a meal is so good it’s not worth changing your option? They do a lovely Gnocchi with roasted pork and tomatoes which is my ultimate favourite, followed by the Oven Baked Gnocchi (salami, cheese and tomato baked in a dish). If you love pasta, this is your place. And may I add the decor is beautiful, as well as the old building Gusto is situated in, having a touch of vintage glamour to it.
Elixr Tonics and Treats
Another smart little place I have featured previously on whatemmadid.com – take a look at my post from 2014 discussing this amazing cocktail bar here. I popped along on Saturday evening for a few cocktails, and can honestly say that it takes me about 15 minutes to take in the menu and make a choice! Every drink is like a dessert in it’s own right, either topped with syrups or creams, or come with a little addition such as this chocolate dipped strawberry. If you have a few hours to kill in the evening when you are in Manchester, you should check out this little bar on Deansgate facing Spinningfields. The entire bar smells of insense, there is a brilliant DJ playing a mix of dance, R&B and remixed chart hits, and you’ll be blown away by the choice of cocktails Elixr hosts. Enough said!
Luck Lust Liquor Burn, Northern Quarter.
This has been a favourite eating place of mine for so long! This Northern Quarter bar and restaurant Luck Lust Liqor Burn serves up tacos, burgers, burritos, nachos and fries, owned by the popular burger company Almost Famous. I actually prefer eating here over Almost Famous – much more choice and I have never been disappointed with my food to date. They do the best Alabama Slammer burrito, packed with pulled pork and lashings of bbq sauce and cheese, which used to be my regular dish. However, it’s sitting in second place now to the Bikini Dippin Chicken burger, which comes with Teriyaki prawns and the biggest portion of coleslaw toppings. It’s also a fantastic place for drinking beer – I recommend this place a lot and always take friends who are new to Manchester to experience it!
So there we have it – a round up of my Easter eating weekend, touring around pretty much the whole of Manchester. I’ve had a brilliant 4 day week, but now it’s coming to an end and it’s back to blogging and catching up on the backlog of work. Hope you all had a great Easter too!
(Twin cars – mine and my friends Fiat 500’s lined up for our weekend of fun!)