Plus new cocktail menus, Simon Rogan boxes and more

Easter is fast approaching so this week's food and drink news features a few ideas for the bank holiday (bring on that four day weekend, praise the lawd). We've also squeezed in a couple of new openings (more of those next week) and an exciting supper club. 

Wrap up warm (that wind is almost as bitter as some of our exes) and get stuck into the neverending dinner party that is Manchester's food and drink world.

Keep reading for the array of small plates that is Manchester food and drink news.

Auntie Joyce Cashew Balls From Little Sri Lankan Manchester Popping Up For A Supper Club In Nourish In Wilmslow
Auntie Joyce sounds like our kind of family member Image: Confidentials

Supper in Sri Lanka (sort of) 

Alright, it's not quite Manchester but near enough and a damn sight easier to get to than Sri Lanka itself. The Little Sri Lankan is popping up for a four-course supper club at Nourish Cafe in Wilmslow 21 May. Sri Lankan Malanie and her partner Mike set up their pop up to showcase the varied and wonderful food of Sri Lanka.

Expect “short dishes” like the delightfully named Auntie Joyce’s Cashew Ball (a sort of fritter made with cashew, bacon, potato, green chilli and mint which sounds amazing) and mutton pancake rolls, amongst others, and traditional Sri Lankan curries for mains (gentle spice and lashings of coconut will be involved). Desserts include a traditional pineapple upside-down cake which may bring to mind memories of your mum’s retro tin can cooking but the Sri Lankan version features an altogether more exciting cardamom custard - sorry Mum. There’s also the irresistibly named Love Cake which was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese and features pumpkin and baking spices. 

All this can be accompanied by a lovely pot of Ceylon tea or BYOB if you wish. Cut off for bookings is 18 May. Tickets are £40.

Kampus Will Host A Series Of Globe Trotting Parties
There's always something exciting happening over at Kampus Image: Kampus

Paint the town red at Nell’s

If you’re looking forward to the Easter long weekend - and were smug and organised enough to book Thursday 14 April off work too - allow us to point you in the direction of Nell’s at Kampus. It is holding a five-day-long party full of karaoke, DJs and everything in between. Swing by on Thursday 14 April to catch Manchester queen, Banksie hosting the karaoke party from 8 til late. Pick your musical genre, because Nell’s DJs are covering everything from amapiano to R&B and funky beats for the rest of the weekend. Not forgetting an art takeover with Cork & Canvas on Monday 18 April to ease you back into the short working week.

Under Pressure Cocktail At 3 Little Words In Manchester
Pressure, pushing down on me Image: Three Little Words

More new cocktail menus

Railway arch resident Three Little Words has revealed its new cocktail menu. Set to take you on a journey from ground to glass, the menu is inspired by each stage of the spirit production process in the distillery next door: cultivation, distillation, maturation and adoration. QR codes throughout the menu will also give you the chance to make the cocktail at home, neat. Our pick, which featured in our recent EXTRA cocktails round-up, is the 100 Problems but Under Pressure, a citrus number featuring raspberry-infused Manchester Gin and watermelon-washed Aperol is also a tantalising choice. There’s also a new food menu taking in seasonal small plates like beef skirt cooked with One-Eyed Rebel rum, shallots and burnt orange.

Speaking of cocktails, trendy new Canal Street hotel Leven has also launched a new list. Cocktail Bartender Jasmine Peen has rustled up a list of ten luxe libations. These include the tea-inspired Steep In Thought with Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, cranberry and raspberry tea, strawberry jam, Passoa and Ms Better’s Bitters Miraculous Foamer served with a teapot. There's also room on the menu for some less obvious classics like a Boulevardier (mature cousin of the Negroni), and a rhubarb sour.

Chris Hallam And Another Cheesemonger At Chorlton Cheesemongers Manchester
Chorlton Cheesemonger is a winner in more ways that one Image: Confidentials

Big cheese

Confidentials fromagey fave Chorlton Cheesemongers has been shortlisted for the High Street Hero Award, sponsored by TSB, for Best High Street Business at this year’s Small Awards. Organised annually by Small Business Britain, the awards aim to champion and support the six million small companies operating in Britain. Judged by a panel of experts, the winners will be announced on 19 May 2022.

But one award nomination is not enough for the South Manchester cheesemonger. It has also been shortlisted as a champion of quality produce and sustainable practice by the Farm Shop & Deli Awards. For this award, a panel of judges have looked at how retailers have adapted and evolved their businesses to demonstrate innovation and sustainability. The list of seven regional finalists has been chosen from hundreds of entries and the winners will be announced at a ceremony held at the NEC Birmingham on 25 April 2022. 

The struggles of the hospitality industry during the pandemic had a detrimental effect right down the supply chain. Chorlton Cheesemonger and others like it are essential in supporting small cheesemakers that have suffered greatly over the past couple of years. It’s great to see them being celebrated. They’re winners to us either way.

Pasta As Part Of The Konoba Manchester Based Meal Service
Konoba has pimped your meals on wheels Image: Konoba

Konoba launches bespoke meal delivery service

The Manchester-based chef Kate Moberly behind catering brand, Konoba, is launching a bespoke meal service. Described as “in-between Hello Fresh and a private chef”, the personalised weekly service will see Kate cook and deliver food to customers. Meals will make the most of seasonal produce for healthy, fresh meals using suppliers including the likes of Unicorn Grocery, Wintertarn Dairy and Littlewoods Butchers. 

Covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, the service covers a minimum of five meals per week. Menu samples include quinoa and flax pancakes with berries & yoghurt for breakfast, harissa roasted cauliflower with tahini, slaw and pickle for lunch and slow-roast lamb shoulder with flatbread, labneh, slaw & pickle.

Salford Rum And Slattery Chocolate As Part Of The Easter Bundle
Two delicious worlds collide Image: Salford Rum

Salford Rum + Slattery's = chocolate cocktails

As far as collabs go, do they get any more indulgent than this? Award-winning Manc rum makers Salford rum have teamed up with Whitefield chocolate legend Slattery's for a special Easter bundle to make the rum-charged hot chocolate of dreams. 

Containing a Salford Rum mug (complete with Dave Draws design), a recipe card, choice of rum and 200g Slattery's chocolate flakes, the bundle is the ideal boozy treat. Prefer something cooler? They’ve thought of that too. Shake it with ice, strain into a tumbler and you’ve got a spring chocolate cooler.

I, Libertine

Is Withington our favourite 'burb right now? Don't answer, we love them all equally. There is definitely plenty of energy emanating from the not-grungy-Fallowfield, not-bougie-Didsbury Goldilocks zone of South Manchester. Many have been intrigued by the destiny of the old NatWest bank in the heart of Withy village. The 8,600 sq ft Grade II listed building was constructed in 1890 and snapped up for over a mil back in 2018 but plans were slowed by you-know-what. 

Now it can be revealed that the former bank will become an all-day brasserie named Libertine which will become a natural hangout for the residents of the high-end apartments that have been developed at the rear. An Instagram post showed work had already begun on the building which boasts gorgeous windows and period panelling. If the interiors live up to their potential and the food matches, it is sure to be a stunner.

Ramona We Are One Event One Year Anniversary 2022
The vibes and margs will be flowing on Easter weekend Image: Ramona

Ramona’s birthday bender

Celebrating the rebirth of Christ and its first birthday in the same mad weekend, Ramona is making sure that we go back to work with a whopping post-bank-hol hangover next week. Like every proper first birthday party, there's bottomless Detroit pizza and margaritas every day from 12 'til 5pm, and a live psych-electro-riot will see you off on Sunday evening. Running from Wednesday 13 April to Sunday 17 April, other musical highlights include A Guy Called Gerald, Joe Redmore, and See Thru Hands, as well as some sets from the resident Ramona lot. This Swan Street spot is usually rammed, so we suggest you try and secure your space beforehand.

Home By Simon Rogan At Home Cooking Boxes Confidentials Microsite
I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words Image: Home by Simon Rogan

Home is where Simon Rogan is

Confidentials’ latest collab comes in the form of some pretty special cook at home boxes from Home by Simon Rogan, and we’re more than ready to shout about them. Featuring seasonal three-course dining experiences that showcase top-quality ingredients from the Cartmel Valley, these boxes are the genius work of a chef and restaurateur with three Michelin stars under his belt. 

The menus change every month and a load of extras like British cheese and bespoke wine pairings can be added to each order. Customers can then follow the step-by-step videos inside the box to re-create Rogan’s genius creations in their own homes. Confidentials customers also get an exclusive truffle pudding included with every box. There's only a limited number of these beauties that will go out each month, so pre-order in advance and pick a night for some at-home luxury. The May menu is looking pretty magic. 

Burgers Tots And More From Vurger Co Which Is Opening In Manchester In April
More vegan burgers arrive in Manchester Image: The Vurger Co

Vurger Co opens, finally

We wrote about its imminence back in October 2021 and Vurger Co is finally opening on Church Street in the Northern Quarter on 23 April. If you thought veganism was a niche diet or a fad, well, you were wrong because more and more plant-based palaces are thriving here in Manchester. Billed as "London and Brighton's best vegan fast-food restaurant," you can expect massive burgers imitating your favourite beef and chicken varieties in plant-based form. And of course, there will be tots. 

Still on a snack attack?

This week we've also brought you news of tunnel-based supper clubs in Mayfield Depot, a round-up of food and drink spots in Ramsbottom and a review of the hottest new restaurant in town, Another Hand. We've also revealed our Confidential Guides Hot 50 for March which features the most visited restaurant pages for the month from our popular restaurant guide.

In non-food news, there's a story on the British Pop Archive landing in Manchester, a very polite building and an art trail taking in the Rochdale canal. Loads of ideas for the weekend then.

Read next: Supper clubs in a tunnel? Lucky Foot arrives in Manchester

Read again: 'A real statement' - Another Hand, Deansgate Mews, reviewed

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