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Reviews

Here you’ll find details of my many restaurant visits; from Manchester to London and beyond. From Michelin starred fine-dining establishments to local hidden gems, sushi to burgers and all that’s in between.

Although I call them ‘reviews’ I like to think these posts are more like a journal of my dining out experiences.

Trove Cafe + Bakery, Levenshulme – Great Brunch But Why So Slow?

Trove Cafe + Bakery, Levenshulme – Great Brunch But Why So Slow?

I don’t get out for breakfast often these days, mainly because it involves getting up and leaving the house far earlier than I’d like, especially on weekends. But when staying close to Levenshulme last month I couldn’t resist a trip to Trove Cafe + Bakery. Unfortunately, even when just around the corner I didn’t make it in time for breakfast, having to settle ... Read More »

Five Guys, Trafford Centre

Five Guys, Trafford Centre

There are few things that fill me with dread more than a trip to the Trafford Centre. I’m not a big shopper anyway but it’s easily my least favourite place when I have to. There’s not even anywhere worth eating to soften the blow. Or so I thought. On a recent unavoidable – but thankfully rare – visit I was really struggling for ... Read More »

Food Pairing Dinner At Ibérica, Spinningfields

Food Pairing Dinner At Ibérica, Spinningfields

I started my sister blog to avoid writing about beer to much over here. But every now and again I attend an event and can’t decide where best to put it. That happened recently when I was invited to a ‘Food Pairing Dinner’ at Ibérica, Spinningfields. Since it was hosted by Spanish brewery Casimiro I decided it was better suited over ... Read More »

The White Swan at Fence – Jay Rayner Was Right

The White Swan at Fence – Jay Rayner Was Right

Jay Rayner has clearly had a better upbringing than me; in his review of The White Swan, he’s quite dismissive of Fence, the small village near Burnley in which it’s set. I’m sure he was exaggerating to make a point, and it is fairly unassuming. But from the bits I saw it looked like quite a charming area. Including The White Swan itself, ... Read More »

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, Ancoats, Manchester

Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza, Ancoats, Manchester

When I  wrote about new Northern Quarter pizza joint PLY last summer I wondered why the best pizzas were coming from street food traders rather than restaurants. All the best ones seem to be coming from street food vendors like Rudy’s and particularly Honest Crust. I just couldn’t understand why small traders can get it right whilst restaurants were continuously getting it wrong. ... Read More »

The Night Before Christmas At The Parkers Arms

The Night Before Christmas At The Parkers Arms

When people ask me for my favourite place to eat, as they often do, I usually struggle to give a definitive answer. But the more I think of it the more I reckon it’s probably the Parkers Arms. I know, it’s not got a Michelin star or a celebrity chef attached. It’s not glitzy, or in an up and coming part of town, ... Read More »

Christmas At The Farmers Arms, Bolton

Christmas At The Farmers Arms, Bolton

I get the impression that Jon Jones, head chef of The Farmers Arms, doesn’t really like Christmas. That’s just from talking to him, thankfully it doesn’t show in his menus or cooking. I had a jolly festive feast there a couple of years ago so booked a table just before the Christmas madness started to get 2015’s festivities underway. The pub ... Read More »

The Solita Christmas Burger 2015 (And NQ Refurb)

The Solita Christmas Burger 2015 (And NQ Refurb)

The Solita Christmas burger is now a firmly established Food Geek Christmas tradition. I left it late this year but made it to the original Northern Quarter restaurant on Christmas Eve Eve Eve to get my festive fix for the fourth consecutive year. The newly refurbished basement is looking great, modelled on the impressive designs of the newer Didsbury & ... Read More »

Restaurant Story, London – Michelin Star, But Does It Wow & Where’s The Story?

Restaurant Story, London – Michelin Star, But Does It Wow & Where’s The Story?

There aren’t too many restaurant openings that I get genuinely excited about these days. But Restaurant Story was definitely one of them when it launched in 2013. The ‘book themed’ restaurant where diners were asked to bring their favourite stories with them and dishes are inspired by chef Tom Sellers’ childhood memories sounded totally unique. It went on to earn a Michelin star within just ... Read More »

Christmas At Café Football, Hotel Football, Manchester

Christmas At Café Football, Hotel Football, Manchester

Since ‘retiring’ last year Ryan Giggs seems to have seriously upped his workload. Assistant manager of one of the biggest football clubs in the world is a full time job to most, but he’s also pursuing a number of personal business ventures including co-owning Salford City football club, a restaurant, George’s in Worsley and now Hotel Football. Located right outside ... Read More »

The Gourmet Gays – A Venezian Evening Of Cicchetti

The Gourmet Gays – A Venezian Evening Of Cicchetti

I’ve been attending supper clubs for over two years now, but although I’ve been to loads they’re mostly run by the same few people. It had been ages since I went to a new one. Step in the new kids on the block, ‘The Gourmet Gays’, also known as Stephen, Andy and Carl. The menu for their inaugural supper club ... Read More »

Sandinista, Manchester – Winter Menu Showcase

Sandinista, Manchester – Winter Menu Showcase

I like to think I know Manchester pretty well, especially when it comes to eating to and drinking. But I’d never heard of Sandinista when I was invited to preview their winter menu. I assumed it must be new, but it turns out the Latin-inspired tapas bar/restaurant has been tucked away on Old Bank Street, next to the Royal Exchange Theatre for four years. Who ... Read More »

Splendid Kitchen, Manchester

Splendid Kitchen, Manchester

There are a few places I go to eat that are guaranteed to cheer me up. Splendid Kitchen is one of them. Since opening as Splendid Sausage Co around 18 months ago, their menu has evolved from gourmet hot dogs to fantastic American style comfort food and probably the best fried chicken in town. Choosing what to order is always ... Read More »

George’s Dining Room & Bar, Worsley

George’s Dining Room & Bar, Worsley

I can’t say I was particularly interested when I heard Ryan Giggs had bought a restaurant, even less so knowing it was in Worsley. Not that there’s anything wrong with the lovely little village, it’s just a bit out of the way for me. But shortly after ‘George’s’ opened I began hearing great things, especially regarding head chef Andrew Parker, ... Read More »

Breakfast @ Friends Of Ham, Leeds

Breakfast @ Friends Of Ham, Leeds

I’m really growing to love Leeds; in fact, in many ways I think I prefer it to Manchester now. I’m still finding out about the city, but one place I keep going back to is Friends Of Ham. Having been a few times for their fantastic charcuterie and great range of craft beers, I recently visited in the morning to try their ... Read More »

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