Our weekly round up of stories you might have missed from around town
JANUARY continues to serve up a varied treasure trove of delights, whether you’re going without or trying something new. From sober Saturdays to gin-soaked tasting menus or from eating meat treats to sampling something plant-based, you should find something here to whet your whistle…
On the nose
Trafford College’s Highly Commended AA-Rosette Aspire Restaurant in Altrincham is bang on message as we enter the new decade, focusing on cutting out kitchen waste and exploring ways to use leftovers. Initiatives have included cooking Christmas dinners for Manchester’s homeless community and inviting in Temper Soho head chef Ashley Clarke to share some of his zero-waste tips, from making stock for soups and sauces to creating tasty dishes using every last scrap. On Thursday 16th January, from 6.45pm, Ashley will be showcasing his nose-to-tail techniques to students and diners, serving up a three-course meal with a feasting platter of smoked al pastor pork. Ashley says: “If everyone wasted less food, it would make a massive difference. During the restaurant takeover, I’m looking forward to teaching students how to use the whole animal by being creative with the parts most people don’t use, showing students a few techniques: butchery, smoking and making some pâté.” What an offally good idea. Book here.
It’s a wrap
Burrito fans may have noticed a couple of, er, Changos this week as the Oxford Street and Oxford Road branches have reopened as Listo. Owner Roger Taylor puts the name change down to “trademark and legal reasons”, but stresses that you can expect the same quality (including plenty of vegetarian, vegan and low-carb options), the same dedicated staff and the same locally sourced ingredients, just a new look and décor for the new year. North West artist Chris Dorning, aka De Cunning Craftsman, has created some special Bad Ass Burritos murals in store and the relaunch sees Listo donating a percentage of sales to The Booth Centre charity throughout January. They’re also giving away free limited-edition 3lb burritos every day this month – follow @listoburrito on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and whenever you see an image of the special, share using the hashtag #AreYouListo?
Seeing the light
If the idea of healthier options is growing on you this month, swing by The Ivy in Spinningfields, where a selection of lighter dishes has taken hold in the Brasserie and Roof Garden. Specials chalked up for January include a miso-glazed chicken salad while one highlight on the à la carte menu is yellowfin tuna carpaccio with cucumber and avocado. Veganuary (for more plant-based places, click here) isn’t slipping through the net, either, with meat-free serves including a tossed warm Asian salad of beansprouts, pak choi, watermelon, broccoli, cashew nuts, sesame and coriander with hoisin sauce (pictured) and a jackfruit and peanut bang bang salad, available as both starter size or main. Dryanuary-wise, the bar is serving up low and no alcohol drinks and a fresh selection of smoothies and coolers like the peach and elderflower iced tea.
Begin at the gin-ing
Suffering from the January blues? We may have found the lift you need… the one that takes you up from street level at No1 Spinningfields. Rooftop restaurant 20 Stories is joining forces with Thomas Dakin to crack open Ginuary, creating a five-course tasting menu exclusively for Friday 17th January. The first of six gin-based tipples will welcome you to the Private Dining Room with a view, where you’ll hear more from the distiller and savour the dishes designed especially to complement the famous gin brand’s botanicals. The evening starts at 6.30pm and tickets are £70 per person, including a Thomas Dakin gift bag, available in advance.
Rounding off Dryanuary and setting you up for the year ahead, the Low & No Festival will showcase alternatives to alcohol at Selina NQ1 Manchester’s Cotton Club, restaurant, Wilson’s Social and Double Down cocktail bar, by introducing you to entertainment, culture and art without booze. The free-entry all-dayer on Saturday 25th January starts at noon with a set by acclaimed DJ Paulette followed by poetry from Helen Darby, a panel talk about all aspects of sobriety, a zero-alcohol cocktail demo from Double Down’s Nathan Larkin and a ‘surprise performance’ at 4pm. A tasty range of beer, wines, tonics, sodas and cordials all at 0.0-0.5% will be available to sample throughout the day. Watch this space for more on Selina NQ1’s programme of sober events throughout 2020, from meditation and gong baths to ecstatic dance and sober circles.
Kiss and make up
Spread the love this Valentine’s Day with local charity Elle For Elle, which collects toiletries and cosmetics from public donations to pass on to women’s refuges and shelters. On Wednesday 12th February, EFE – the brainchild of friends Lynette Page-Collin and Rachel O’Hare – are hosting a special Galentine’s shindig at glam food and fitness gaff Foodwell, when you can enjoy a glass of fizz, some great sharing platters, a fantastic raffle and a networking event with a difference. The event takes place from noon until 4pm, with tickets £35 in advanceand proceeds going to benefit vulnerable women and children. Ladies and gents welcome!
It was confirmed earlier this week that fancy Thai old-timer Chaophraya has closed its doors on Chapel Walks after 12 years. Thai Leisure Group MD Ian Leigh announced the news of the closure, just off Cross Street, noting that sister restaurants Thaikhun in Spinningfields and the Trafford Centre’s ChaoBaby remain open. You can also still get your Chaophraya fix at seven Chaophraya sites elsewhere, including Leeds and Liverpool.