Plus smacked khakri, a wheel of cheese and an indoor picnic

How was your first week of dining IN? Team Confidentials has been doing our bit to eat and drink our way around the city as much as possible including popping to new venues like Society and Seven Bro7hers Mediacity and heading back to see old pals too. We also popped back to Manchester Art Gallery this week to check out the Grayson's Art Club Exhibition. It's been an emotional return to some kind of normality.

Read on for the food and drink news stories on our radar this week.

20160321 Sams Chop Bg2

Save Sam’s (by drinking wine)

As many bars and restaurants opened this week, one of Manchester’s oldest and most loved gastropubs remains notably closed. Sam’s Chop House on Chapel Walk has still not opened its doors due to ongoing renovation and improvements needed to the building, Cavendish House, in which it's housed. With timings for a possible reopening date uncertain, Sam’s is relying on its At Home service and wine tasting events to keep it afloat. So you know what you have to do. Take one for the team and order a Sunday roast or Sam's Father’s Day special three-course meal. Or you could do the right thing and get involved with tomorrow’s online Eurovision wine tasting or one of the live tastings coming up at Mr Thomas’s Chop House. There’s a Call My Bluff special on 10 June – CALL MY BLUFF: Wine Edition and an International Rose Day event on 24 June. Go on, be your best selfless self.

Dishes From The New Menu At Bundobust Manchester

New Bundo, who dis?

To celebrate a week of re-openings, Bundobust has added not one but five new vegan dishes to its Indian street food menu. Returning diners can expect Mung Chatpata (sprouting mung beans, toasted corn), Smacked Khakri (zingy strips of pickled cucumber), Aloo Gobi Paratha (potato and cauliflower masala-filled flatbreads), Sweetcorn Chevdo (dry-fried sweetcorn and peanuts) and Rajma & Rice (Slow-braised kidney beans with chilli, ginger and garam masala). All gluten-free too except the flatbreads. Does this count as a cleanse? We’re definitely counting this as a cleanse.

Good As Gold Turmeric Ginger Cocktail From Habas Manchester

Cocktail Sheikh-er

Simon Shaw(arma)’s Middle Eastern restaurant Habas is now taking bookings and opens on 3 June. We recently brought you news of its hummus-tastic menu (and we’ll be in to try the food very soon) but what about those mysterious “Middle Eastern cocktails”? All the big flavours of the region are present and correct with rose, pomegranate, ginger, jasmine, orange blossom and cardamom all getting their muddle on. A couple we’ve got our eye on are the “Sea, Sun, Basbousa” (£8) with Pampero Blanco, cashew, coconut and orange blossom, and the hella hella “Good as Gold” (£9.5) with Bulleit Bourbon, turmeric and ginger tea, lemon and aquafaba. Classic cocktails are available too.

An Unusual Banana And Anchovies Pizza From Crazy Pedros

Shell out for a crazy pizza

We’re getting rather used to Crazy Pedro’s dreaming up strange pizza toppings that shouldn’t work but do - goats cheese and Monster Munch is a favourite in our office. So we weren’t really surprised when we heard that a new banana and anchovy pizza will be going on sale this weekend. Fans of nineties cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be able to enjoy this, along with two other sewer-inspired toppings for two days only. 

The part-time pizza parlour has partnered with Deliveroo to honour World Turtle Day on Sunday and is calling on “pizza stans and turtle lovers” to try its “turtley weird” flavours which also include pepperoni and marshmallow and sausage and jellybean. Turtle lovers can also show their appreciation for the endangered sea turtle by learning about charities like Fauna & Flora International who are tackling poachers, working with Nicaraguan communities, and doing what they can to safeguard turtle nesting sites internationally.

Midland swank

The Midland Hotel is finally ready to welcome guests following its £14m spruce up. All bedrooms and public areas have been given a revamp with the gorgeous bottle green-tiled, split-level bar built on a raised platform in the hotel’s lobby providing a spectacular centrepiece. The reopening also means you get to try the new menu at Mount Street restaurant - formerly Mr Cooper’s - if you haven’t already managed it. It’s hard to believe the Midland isn’t among the city’s five-star hotels, maybe this makeover will give the accreditors pause to reassess that. 

Selfridges Trafford Picnic With Flowers Prosecco Mezze And Strawberries

Pick n Nics

While it might not be picnic weather right now (and by "not picnic weather", we mean, "Get the sandbags out, it's flooding again!") we are apparently due a spell of glorious weather very soon. Give us a peek of sunshine and British hearts and minds naturally turn to foil-wrapped butties and M&S mini sausages. But if you fancy something more stylishly weatherproof, Selfridges Trafford Centre is launching an indoor picnic over the traditionally rainy bank holiday weekend. The picnic features mezze-style light bites, fresh fruit and sweet treats, along with the option to add half a bottle of Prosecco to share. Kids will receive complimentary activity packs that include colouring sheets and nature trails to keep them busy, and even some seeds to take home and plant in the garden as a part of the Selfridges Good Nature scheme for 2021. Friday 28 May - Monday 31 May from 12pm. Adult tickets for the Selfridges picnic are £16.50 and must be booked in advance.

New Dishes From The Menu At Ducie Street Warehouse Including Tomahawk Steak

Warehouse project

Close your eyes and imagine sitting around a big table with your mates. The waiter brings over a huge tomahawk steak and a whole kilogram of Camembert for you all to share, and you drink cocktails all evening and then you all live happily ever after. The end. 

This fairytale was brought to you by Ducie Street Warehouse which over the bank holiday weekend will be celebrating bringing people together again in its all-day lounge. From Friday 28 May - Monday 31 May the enormous Grade II listed warehouse will be teeming with a diverse lineup of Manchester-based record spinners like Steam Radio, Me Gusta All Day and Eastern Bloc to help ease us back into indoor restaurant behaviour. The new menu does in fact boast entire wheels of oozy cheese that you can share if you really want to. Pick five of your favourite people and make it one of your pitstops next week.

Read next: 'Your rubbish is not a gift' - Open Kitchen cafe opens at PHM

Read again: New bars, restaurants and cafes opening May 2021 and beyond