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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.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Jewish Soul Food Supper Club

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Jewish Soul Food Supper Club

It was my third time at one of Sue Waxman’s ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ supper clubs at her home in Prestwich. The first absolutely blew me away but by her own very high standards the second wasn’t quite as good. Thankfully, the third, ‘Jewish Soul Food’ was almost as good as the original. Beisdes a couple of mainstay dishes, most of ... Read More »

Wood. Wine & Deli – Northern Quarter, Manchester (Revisit)

Wood. Wine & Deli – Northern Quarter, Manchester (Revisit)

Slightly stale Cinnamon Swirl aside; I really enjoyed my visit to Wood. Wine & Deli in Manchester’s Northern Quarter last year. Back then it felt very much like a wine bar and deli that served food rather than a restaurant. But head chef Gary contacted me recently to see if I’d be interested in sampling some of their new small plates after shifting ... Read More »

Splendid Kitchen Takeover: Love From The Streets

Splendid Kitchen Takeover: Love From The Streets

It’s all change at Splendid since my visit last year. Firstly, they’ve changed their name from Splendid Sausage Co to Splendid Kitchen, presumably because they ended up selling a whole lot more than just sausages. More recently they’ve begun a series of ‘Kitchen Takeovers’ on Monday nights, which have seen prominent Manchester street food vendors serve their own food for one night only. ... Read More »

Back To ‘The French By Simon Rogan’ For An Exceptional Value Lunch

Back To ‘The French By Simon Rogan’ For An Exceptional Value Lunch

It’s no coincidence that the standard of dining in Manchester improved the moment Simon Rogan arrived. His restaurant The French in the Midland Hotel is producing the best food in the city, which has forced others to up their game too. I was blown away on my first visit in March 2013, returning twice more that year. With the last almost 18 months ago I was overdue a ... Read More »

The Alchemist, Spinningfields Relaunches & DOUBLES In Size!

The Alchemist, Spinningfields Relaunches & DOUBLES In Size!

I was surprised to receive an invite to the ‘reopening’ of The Alchemist in Spinningfields recently. I didn’t even know it had closed, much less that it was to reopen double its size and with a full food menu. Probably because Spinningfields isn’t an area I spend much time. I’d never eaten in The Alchemist before either, though I had been for cocktails ... Read More »

Finally Back To The Farmers Arms, Bolton

Finally Back To The Farmers Arms, Bolton

If only there were more days in the week, or at least a few more hours in the day. I’d almost certainly visit The Farmers Arms more often. It’s somewhere I never get bored of going back to but just don’t seem to find the time to go often enough. Although, time does appear to stand still in Darcy Lever where the ... Read More »

Thailand Cafe, Bolton – As Recommended by MasterChef’s John Torode

Thailand Cafe, Bolton – As Recommended by MasterChef’s John Torode

If you asked 100 foodies to guess where MasterChef judge and well known lover of Asian food John Torode ate the ‘best Thai food outside of Thailand’, chances are precisely none of them would’ve said Bolton. “Hand on heart it was the best Thai food I have had outside of Thailand. Maybe it is Bolton’s hidden gem.” – John Torode That’s ... Read More »

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Balabusta Delight

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Balabusta Delight

Of the almost 20 supper clubs I attended last year, one of my favourites was ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul‘. An Israeli/Middle Eastern inspired feast cooked up by Sue Waxman at her Prestwich home. When she announced her next event ‘Balabusta Delight’ would feature some of her favourite Jewish dishes I snapped up tickets immediately. With more guests than ever before the table ... Read More »

Van Zeller, Harrogate – Award Winning Fine-Dining

Van Zeller, Harrogate – Award Winning Fine-Dining

Ask anybody who’s into food for dining recommendations in Harrogate and the answer almost always includes Van Zeller. A partnership between David Moore – who has two Michelin stars from London restaurants Pied à Terre and L’Autre Pied – and head chef Tom van Zeller, who’s worked with the likes of Raymond Blanc, Pierre Koffman and Tom Aikens. Not only loved by diners, Van Zeller has ... Read More »

Cuckoo, Prestwich – Possibly The Most Pointless Review Ever?

Cuckoo, Prestwich – Possibly The Most Pointless Review Ever?

What you’re about to read may just be the most pointless restaurant ‘review’ ever written. As no more than a week after my visit to Cuckoo in Prestwich it was announced that top chef Mary-Ellen McTague would be taking over the kitchen for a three-month residency. Just as well really as I wasn’t overly impressed with the food at the time. ... Read More »

Norse, Harrogate – Nordic Inspired Fine Dining By A MasterChef Finalist

Norse, Harrogate – Nordic Inspired Fine Dining By A MasterChef Finalist

When planning a trip to Harrogate last year, my first choice for main evening meal was fine-dining restaurant Van Zeller. However, after stumbling upon Norse, a Nordic inspired restaurant with stunning Noma-esque dishes and a glowing Jay Rayner review, I just had to go. Rearranging Van Zeller for lunch the following day, I booked Norse for the Friday evening. Located within Baltzersen’s, a café ... Read More »

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