From stuffed kozhukattai to a posh Big Mac - here's the scran we think you should seek out this month

This month: from silken Keralan dim sum in Chorlton to wood-fired Rodaballo in Ramsbottom, we've been up, down and around the region bringing you the best bites we could find.

Hungry for more? Here's our best bites from MayJune and July.

Stuffed Kozhukattai - Amma's Canteen (£5.75)

A great place to eat can make the back end of nowhere worth visiting - and new Keralan restaurant Amma’s Canteen, on the outskirts of Chorlton, feels like a destination already. If I had to pigeon hole it, I’d say the cooking is south Indian meets local produce. Stuffed kozhukattai (£5.75), for example, is a silken Indo-Chinese dish: perfectly limpid, crimped dim sum are filled with peas and carrots and topped with ‘poor man’s relish’; all buttery-clear shallots, smoked chilli and tamarind. A memorable dish from an unmemorable part of Chorlton. Ruth Allan

285 Barlow Moor Road, Manchester M21 7GH

170731 Ammas Canteen Review Ammas Canteen Aug17 Stuffed Kozhukattai Dimsum 2

Lamb Maqlooba Tagine - Comptoir Libanais (£11.95)

The problem with Lebanese cooking in Manchester and the North West is that there are no tip-top family-run gaffs like there are down in that there London. There are a few nice caffs but most of them are inconsistent. Subsequently, what should be sublime dishes like the tagines, with balanced spicing and moist texture, usually come out pretty bloody horrible. Not at Comptoir Libanais it seems. Gordo loves the falafel and hummus here, as well as the lamb Kibbeh - this group gets it right all the time. This month, during a visit, someone ordered the lamb Maqlooba tagine; a slow-cooked lamb shank, moist, sticky, great mouthfeel, the fat having melted into the meat taking the clever, sexy spicing with it. Sat on basmati rice, chick peas and nudging five-spiced aubergine, it came topped with a cooling yoghurt flecked with pomegranate seeds which flavour-bombed a really great dish. Love it, call me a tagine convert. Gordo

18-19 The Avenue, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HF

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Fried Tofu Tacos - Pot Kettle Black (£9.50)

Vegan versions of fast food are absolutely de rigeour at the moment (see Zads' pizza, V-Rev's entire menu) but out of the many animal friendly options I'm plumping for these vegan tacos - packed with flavour thanks to the kimchee, chock full of crunch courtesy of the red cabbage slaw and, well, totally tofu-y thanks to the tofu, it's tasty enough to satisfy the quick and dirty demands of lunch but won't compromise your high moral standing. Lucy Tomlinson

14 Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW

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Wood Fire-Roasted Turbot – Baratxuri (£35)

Baratxuri’s Joe Botham has gone and bought himself the ultimate Hispanophile boy’s toy – a Pereruela oven, fashioned from refractory clay at a Castilian village factory that has been making them since the 15th century. This centrepiece serving his new Comedor dining room gives a smoky concentration to Pulpo a la Gallega, octopus roasted over embers with potatoes and pimenton, but really comes into its own for the whole Rodaballo (turbot). Watching our server carving it off the bone was pure theatre as the crisp skin was peeled away and the glistening white flesh lifted with due reverence from the bone. Just a wedge of lettuce on the side and ample Albarino in our glasses, pure sensory overload. Neil Sowerby

1 Smithy Street, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 9AT

2017 08 09 Best Dishes Bara Turbot

Moules Marinere (Baked in a Pizza Crust) - Artisan (£8)

Mussels and chips are a European classic - usually not to be messed with, but Artisan have done a clever thing here. By baking the shellfish under a sealed dough crust (using their freshly made pizza base), they keep all the juicy flavours in, allowing for slightly more intensity. All you need to do is peel back the crust, take in the heavenly smell of mussels cooked in garlic, onions, parsley and white wine, and dip bits of torn crust (and the odd chip or two) into the juices at the bottom. Deanna Thomas

The Avenue, 18-22 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BZ

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The Big Matt Meal - Hawksmoor (£20)

First appearing on the specials menu down in Spitalfields, exec chef Matt Brown’s tribute to the McDonald’s staple went down so well that bosses decided to feature it in all eight restaurants. So what is this hoity-toity Big Mac packing? Two well-aged beef and bone marrow patties (the marrow adding a lovely rich fattiness), onions, iceberg lettuce, homemade pickles, tangy ‘Big Matt’ sauce and Sparkenhoe Red Leicester cheese dripping suggestively, lava-like, from the club bun. Add to that beef dripping fries with a dipping pot of Hawksmoor's own special sauce, the anchovy hollandaise, and to cut through all that fat a refreshing 'turbo shandy' of Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew, and you're in fast food fairyland. David Blake

184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB

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Steak and Eggs - Albert's Schloss (£11)

The steak and eggs is not breakfast as we might know it, but bloody hell, it ain’t half good. You get a flat iron steak, retaining pinkness and richness, under two plump runny eggs with a good hollandaise and a potato rosti to add rugged texture. In fact, forget breakfast, any time of the day or night this protein heavy mix of strength and subtlety will fill you and delight you. An absolute recommendation - if the queue isn't too long. Jonathan Schofield

27 Peter St, Manchester, M2 5QR

2017 08 09 Alberts Schloss Steak And Eggs

Monkfish with Apple and Lovage – Manchester House (£17)

You’d have to voyage to the low-key Sicilian resort of Donnalucata to savour my fish dish of the summer – amazing beccafico sardines with orange stuffing (thank you Roberta and Antonio at Il Consiglio di Sicilia). Nearer home I was delighted by a monkfish starter in a very different setting. In my picture it resembles a friendly robot, albeit decked in edible leaves and micro cress. The flecked carapace is a wafer thin sheet of Bramley apple, wrapped around a dense but juicy fish tranche; the pool it sits in is pure essence of lovage. This herb, with its uber-celeryish taste, colonises my garden and rarely gets used, but here in the hands of chef Aiden Byrne is its green and clean apotheosis. The rest of a recent dinner lived up to the class of this dish, too. Neil Sowerby

Tower 12, 18-22 Bridge Street, M3 3BZ

2017 08 09 Best Dishes Monkfish

Paella Valenciana - Iberica (£6 to £14 a head, min 2 people)

Did you know that the crusty, caramelised burnt layer of rice stuck to the bottom of any paella dish worth its two-handed cast-iron pan is not only its most crucial element, but also has a name: 'Socarrat'. Derived from the Spanish verb, socarrar (meaning to singe), socarrat is achieved by thinly spreading the rice across the bottom of the paella (the name of the pan, not the food, by the way), allowing it to soak up flavour from the stock/chicken/seafood/veg before being cooked to a satisfying snap, crackle and pop. True paella chefs are said to be able to determine the readiness of the rice by sound alone. Led by Asturias-born exec chef Cesar Garcia, Iberica cook their paella strictly in the Valenciana style, with each batch requiring at least thirty minutes preparation. They'll even send out someone to scrape up all the socarrat - but where's the fun in that? David Blake

14-15 Hardman St, Manchester M3 3HF

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Butter - Pollen (few quid)

Anyone who follows Gordo on Twitter knows that he is a fan of Pollen bakery. The peeps there are producing the best bread products in the North West. The croissants are better than the ones the Fatman had in a French Relais & Chateau hotel with a three star Michelin restaurant attached - and they were mind blowing. On the last visit to Pollen Gordo bought, amongst many other things, a box of butter. It's called Bungay raw butter, from Fen Farm Dairy. This lot boast a herd of Montbeliarde cows (me neither) which, apparently, are very happy moo-moos fed on the finest grass and treated to tickles every evening (the website is worth looking at; they're either genius marketing bullshitters, or very nice people. Gordo is leaning towards the latter). The thing is the butter, currently the highest scoring item of its kind in Gordo’s little black book. Spread obscenely thickly on torn bits of the aforementioned croissants - a delightful brekkie. Gordo

2 Sheffield St, Manchester M1 2ND

Hungry for more? Here's our best bites from May, June and July.