All aboard for our weekly specials served small-plate style for the whole table to share

Is anybody else exhausted this week or is it just us? It’s definitely been one of those weeks. How’s everyone getting on nearly a month into 2022? Still on track with Dry Jan? Veganuary going well? 

There's lots going on in the food and drink world this week, shipping containers being one of the more surprising themes but also collaborative gins, menu revamps and Greens part two. We’ve also been for a mooch around West Didsbury and picked up a bit of goss.

Keep scrolling for our pick'n'mix of the week's food and drink news.

Year Of The Tiger Manchester Gin Hello Oriental
Good fortune, bottled in Manchester Image: Hello Oriental/Manchester Gin

The tiger who came for G&T

If you’ve been wondering how to celebrate Chinese New Year on 1 February but none of the options so far have enough booze in them, this latest collab might be just what the doctor ordered. Iconic Chinese supermarket, Hello Oriental and award-winning distillery, Manchester Gin have teamed up to create a limited run of “Year of the Tiger” gin. 

Available to pre-order from Hello Oriental’s website, this team-up is being touted as a bottle of good fortune. Just in time for Hello Oriental’s grand opening in Circle Square on Oxford Road very soon (hopefully).

Greens New Sale Location In Stanley Square Sale
Sale is set for some Greens dreams in 2022 Image: Greens Sale

Green scenes in Sale's Stanley Square

Simon says, open a second spot in Sale. Although Greens (the brainchild of chefs Simon Rimmer and Simon Connolly) has been “terrifying carnivores since 1990” in Didsbury, the vegetarisan restaurant has now jumped on the Confidentials bandwagon and embraced that Sale is the buzzing burb that’s “suddenly popping” thanks to a whole load of new openings and Caroline Dowsett street art

Coming soon to Stanley Square, this new Greens location is currently in for a refurb with an opening date yet to be confirmed, but with a rep for extra special veggie and vegan cooking, it’s time to say “hello Sale-er” to Greens’ newest sibling.

Le Social Wine Bar Pollard Yard
Jerome at Le Social is a natural wine connoisseur Image: Joe Roper @jr_shot

The Social Pet Nat-work

Fans of casual, continental wining and dining will love the news that Pollard Yard’s chicest resident, Le Social Wine will be opening as Manchester's smallest wine bar every Saturday - starting this weekend. 

Joining an impressive line-up of natural vinos, the ubiquitous deli/charcuterie board will also be available to nibble on should the revolving selection of curated bottles leave you a bit peckish. With very limited seating (it is in a shipping container after all), booking via Le Social's website is essential. 

Fresh Babka from Manchester bakery Breadflowerwho are hosting a supper club at Manchester Union brewery taproom
Babka la vista, Kampus Image: Courtesy of Breadflower

Breadflower heading to Pollard Yard

Dynamic bakery and florist duo Maya Black and Scarlett Jamieson are upping (bread)sticks and shifting their Breadflower biz to Pollard Yard. The current Kampus bungalow tenants will be moving their wares to the container village in Ancoats which is also home to furry cake maker Palms Bakery and wine expert Le Social. Breadflower’s Kampus residency comes to an end on 30 January so make the most of it before it's gone. No firm date for BF's arrival at Pollard Yard yet but we'll be keeping our ears to the (stone)ground for the deets.

Batch New Menu At Batch Bottlestore And Deli In Altrincham
The winds of change are swooping through Batch Bottlestore & Deli Image: Batch Bottlestore & Deli

A batch of shifts and changes at Batch Bottlestore & Deli

If you haven’t walked yourself down to King’s Court yet in Altrincham, you need a word with yourself. Lovely and secluded, solid selection of indies, a great inclusive spot to watch the football thanks to Libero and of course Batch Deli doing all sorts of wonderful foodie things. 

This week Batch has announced it's changed things up a bit. That means sandwiches in the evening, a slightly reduced small plates and sandwich menu, Batch babs on hold until spring and summer, three rotating guest charcuterie and weekend one-off specials. Add a mean Sunday roast and 4-7pm drinks happy hour and there are even fewer excuses not to visit.

2019 11 20 Edinburgh Castle
The Edinburgh Castle has a poetic special menu on 25 Jan Image: Confidentials

Burns, baby, Burns

Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware / That jaups in luggies: / But, if ye wish her grateful prayer, /Gie her a Haggis /

The female contingent of the Manchester Confidential office - which is also the majority - would sooner be taken for a hearty haggis dinner than a pink-hued V-Day schmaltz-fest. If you too are looking to celebrate auld Rabbie Burns on 25 January, here are some ideas. The Edinburgh Castle is putting on a Scottish feast of small plates including haggis neeps and tatties, lamb faggots, venison and Cranachan. If you’re staying in reciting poetry to your loved ones, you can’t do much better than a Burns Night kit from the Butcher’s Quarter which included haggis-stuffed Chicken Balmoral, smoked salmon and wine (not from Scotland thankfully) amongst other things. If a wee dram is more what you’re after, there’s a whisky tasting at GRUB a couple of days after Burns Night 0n 27 Jan. Lang mae yer lum reek!

Graffiti On The Side Of Folk On Burton Road In West Didsbury
Must not put Ned Flanders joke, must not put Ned Flanders joke ... DIDDLEY Image: Manchester Confidential

Adventures in: Didsbury

If you’ve been keeping an eye on our Instagram you’ll have noticed we’ve been getting out of the city and gallivanting around the rest of Greater Manchester as much as possible. Last week we spent the day in Prestwich where we discovered Folk is now Wine & Wallop and spotted a pop up pasta van amongst other things. 

This week we stretched the old pistons with a mooch around Didsbury in its West and Village forms. It was lovely. We dropped in on the revamped Folk, which is under new ownership and looking tastier than ever. The team have sanded the floors, lightened the place up, developed new menus and told us they are keen to make it "a real hub for the community".

We visited clothing shop Steranko to peruse the sales, caught up with Penny at A Taste of Honey, queued up for the sought-after pastries at La Chouquette, reviewed somewhere (stayed tuned) and spent more than we should have on Vin Jaune and dusty Chateau Musar at Reserve Wines. Shoutouts also to the charming chaps at Fusion Deli, which is undergoing its own new year refurb under new owners Jack Warburton and Jay Anderson in charge and the shivering server at the tiny Kiosk on Lapwing Lane who was soldiering through the cold in a (glass cage) small wooden kiosk of (emotion) coffee, wine and pastries.

If there’s a criminally underrated area we should be exploring, a Strava route that’s packing serious food and drink credentials or a bench we should be sitting on - we’re all ears. Drop us a line.

Read next: 15+ new restaurant and bar openings you might not know about

Read again: Sale is Greater Manchester's next foodie hotspot

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