I seem to be talking a lot about food lately, but I have figured it’s one of my very favourite topics, so it’s OK to bore the pants off you all with endless foodie talk and photos, right? I’m almost very tempted to say that food and eating out might actually be my favourite past time, so I’ve got to watch I don’t turn this blog into a shrine of my social life. The thing with living in Manchester is that I am surrounded by amazing food options every bloomin’ day, and last week saw me clock up a fair few visits to some of Manchester’s eateries.
So where did I eat, and where do I recommend? Take a read below (and listen to your bellies growl…)
1. Turtle Bay, Oxford Road
So I came here on a whim with work colleagues last week, and I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t through choice – we were just really struggling to find a place to seat 16 of us wandering around on a Friday afternoon. Anyway, what a great last minute option it turned out to be! I had roasted duck wraps to start, which came split into three portions and were crispy, hot and tasty. They were slightly on the large side for a starter, so well worth the money, and also as to why I opted to share these with a friend. I also kicked off with an Espresso Martini like I usually do, and it was a decent one if I do say so myself, coming from a regular Espresso Martini drinker…
The main meal however had to be my highlight. After taking around 15 minutes to decide what to chose because the menu is so good (they have a section called ‘one pots’ and I couldn’t pick which Caribbean themed dish I wanted as they all sounded fabulous). In the end I went for the ‘Rastafari Run Down’ one pot – a combination of butter beans, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, coconut milk and all sorts of veggies with brown rice and fried dumplings. It was creamy, spicy and full of flavour, and I felt like I was getting a real mix of veg. Truly delicious, couldn’t fault it at all. I’d love to go back and try the other one pots!
The incredible one pots aside, they have amazing burger options and jerk pit BBQ choices too. As for the fried dumplings; I can’t say I have had these before but I would definitely recommend them after trying them here. Possibly not the healthiest, but they have all the taste of regular fluffy dumplings with a crispy coating. YUM.
2. Tariff & Dale, Northern Quarter
I came here for the first time after hearing so many people rave about this new-ish Northern Quarter venue. I popped in for food and a drink with an old friend who has just moved back to Manchester after 4 years, and I chose Tariff & Dale to try show him how much ‘cooler’ and hugely improved the NQ has become. I was slightly disappointed at first, because for some reason I assumed from the exterior it would be a little classier than its neighbouring Whiskey Jar and El Capo bars. However, it was just as dark and moody inside as the others. In terms of atmosphere, it boasts a laid back and casual ambiance – ideal for after work drinks and food from my observation.
Never the less, it’s still a nice place, just very dimly lit and typical ‘shabby chic’ NQ like. Cocktails looked impressive from the menu, and I was more than happy with the food. I went for the hake and potatoes, and my friend went for the steak, and both meals were lovely. We dined downstairs and although I felt a little like I was in a cave, it was generally a decent dining area. I’d say that the staff service was fairly slow, and it took ages to get the bill to say it wasn’t that busy inside, which is a tad annoying when you need to dart off. But we took advantage of the 50% offer for January, which made the bill mega cheap! Definitely have no room to complain…
3. Pita Pit
OK so this isn’t exactly a restaurant, but Pita Pit is an eat-in or take-out healthy pita place which serves up a mean… well…pita bread! I walk past here all the time and have never stopped in before, until last week after a spinning class and I wanted to try a nice, healthy salad. I never eat salads – I always need that shining piece of carbohydrate staring back at me. You know, the sandwich option, or some form of potato or noodles, something ‘stodgy’ like that. Anyway, I went for the most filling salad, which was the falafel version, with an array of salad and light mayo. It was so delicious and really filled me up, therefore I’ve made a mental note to visit here more often for lunch.
4. Love Pizza
Now for the best bit – pizza time! I spent last Friday night having the girls round at my place, for an evening playing catch up. As we all know, a girls night in isn’t complete without an abundance of pizzas and wine, so this was totally on the food itinery. As I work in the center of Manchester, I headed to Love Pizza straight from finishing, which is a dedicated pizza delivery and take-out place offering affordable hand-crafted pizzas. Based on Hulme Street, they are literally a stones throw away from the city.
My visit was painless from the offset, as I managed to park up my car outside for free on the main street as it was after 6pm. Always a bonus in Manchester on a Friday night! You can’t really miss Love Pizza due to their bold red store front and colourful interior, and the super friendly pizza guys greeted me as soon as I entered with friendly smiles and a warm welcome. So lets get one thing straight, I love pizza. In fact, I adore it, it’s like my number one weakness. Any toppings will do, but I’m a sucker for a BBQ base, chicken, and vegetable options if I have to pick three favourites. So I went for a bit of a mix for us all to share: The BBQ chicken (with jalapeno sauce to spice it up), The Veggie, Hula Hula Hawaiian and The Bombay Surprise (a spicy chicken tandoori version, with red onion, spinach, mozzarella & fresh green chillis – and boy was this a hot one!). Each pizza had a gentle kick of spice and flavour, making these pizzas have a much more unique taste than the other pizza places out there.
Along with the large 15″ pizzas, we also tried a 7″ ‘The Zeus’ – a concoction of Tomato Sauce, Feta, Red Onion, Green Olives, Chopped Tomato, Green Pepper, Oregano & Basil. This size is a lovely starter idea to have alongside the side orders of chicken wings and wedges, which we piled ourselves up with too of course. I could tell that Love Pizza had put every effort into preparing a selection of wings to suit everyone’s tastes – they come in Piri Piri, BBQ and Sweet Chilli flavours and were so ridiculously tasty! I would go as far as to say the BBQ wings were tastier than those at a few specialised Wing places in Manchester, but I won’t name and shame…
The best bit about Love Pizza is how affordable the offerings are, for the great quality you receive. They recently have an offer on for x2 12″ pizzas for £10, and x2 15″ for £16, which in my opinion is great for a Manchester Pizza place. Us girls were all super happy – as were our bellies- and it really made our Friday night. A five star rating for me!
5. Hog Roast Manchester
Another foodie option in Manchester I came across last week was Hog Roast Manchester – a hog roast company that provides this traditional spinning meat idea. I’m basically planning my 30th birthday in a few months time and have been looking at caterers in the area, and was pleasantly surprised when I came across this company. I mean, who doesn’t love a good old hog roast? Definitely an option for me to consider, but also one I wanted to share in case it helps anyone else out who may be party planning for a variety of guests…