Here are a few dishes we highly recommend you try this month

Chickpeas, the most versatile of kitchen cupboard staples, feature a couple of times this month as well as traditional Polish cooking, fab babs and super sashimi.

Here are the things we recommend you eat and enjoy in and around town this month…

2020 03 03 Farinata Cultureplex

Farinata (£8.50), Lucy on Ducie (£8) - Cultureplex  

People love a reason to create an emergency stockpile. Brexit, corona virus, plague of locusts - the vogue is for a well-stocked cupboard. For inspiration on what to do with your canned goods, look to Cultureplex’s daytime menu. The farinata, for instance, is a good example of how to make best use of longlife fave, the chickpea. A chickpea pancake doused liberally in sriracha and capers (another long-lifer) and topped with more crispy chickpeas, this natty lunchtime treat only requires thinly sliced onions and rocket to finish, and to be honest if things are looking really bad outside you could probably do without the green stuff. Wash down with a ‘Lucy on Ducie’ cocktail (fabulous name) made with canned peaches and rye whisky and survive the apocalypse in style. Lucy Tomlinson 

CULTUREPLEX, Ducie Street, M1 2TP

2020 03 03 Patra Jaipur Palace

Patra - Jaipur Palace (£3.49)

As more and more people are eating fewer and fewer animal products, more and better veggie and vegan restaurants are opening and thriving. Chorlton’s Jaipur Palace is the newest naan on the tandoor - following in the footsteps of its sibling in Fallowfield. The menu is longer than Shantaram and even when ordering a table full of starters we barely scratched the surface - all the more reason to return. Pani puri served with shot glasses of mint water like spicy sambuca were an easy crowd-pleaser, but it was a Gujarati dish of toad-green, savoury Swiss roll slices aka patra that tickled my (lime) pickle. A new culinary experience for me, colocasia leaves are stuffed with a spicy, chickpea flour mixture, rolled and steamed before being sliced and shallow fried. Sprinkled with coconut and served with a sweet tamarind dip, these spongy, iron-rich babies are my new favourite snack. Kelly Bishop

Jaipur Palace613A Wilbraham Rd, Chorlton, M21 9AN

2020 03 01 Platzki Sausages

Leczo – Platzi (£10)

You have to find Platzi first, up the stairs from Deansgate or Great Bridgewater Street, close to the Odeon cinema in the Great Northern complex. The food here is worth the search, it is some of the most wholesome, satisfying, filling food in the city from a restaurant that gives us the best of trad Polish cuisine. Poland is an unheralded nation for food, perhaps even disparaged, but Platzi gives the lie to that. The Leczo dish is typical of the menu here and is made up of a smoked sausage stew with onions, red peppers and courgette all in a tomato sauce so red it looks like a massacre in an abattoir. It comes, of course, with sourdough bread, and carries heat and substance. Wonderful. If you want setting up for the day or night then this dish is the start you might require. The family run restaurant is charmer all round. Jonathan Schofield

Platzi, Unit F, Deansgate Mews, The Great Northern, 255 Deansgate, M3 4EN  

For more on this, read - 

Platzki, Great Northern, Deansgate, reviewed

2020 03 03 Flat Iron Steak Bab

Flat iron steak bab - BAB BQ  (£12)

As we savour a choice cut from a robata or a Josper grill how we take for granted the abundance of cooking fuel. It was ever thus in Europe with its forests aplenty. Wood was scarcer in the Middle East, hence the necessity of cooking meat quickly in small chunks on skewers rather than going for a full roast. None of which excuses the döner kebab, invented by a canny Turk in Berlin in 1972 and the global fodder of auto-pilot pissheads ever since. Döner Haus is peddling an ersatz ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ shtick in the Corn Exchange, all foaming litres of Löwenbräu and ‘fladenbrots’ stuffed with flakes of veal/turkey composite. Kebabs don’t have to be like this. At BAB NQ, tucked away off Stevenson Square, there’s not a döner in sight. Instead interesting takes on filled bread pouches – harissa octopus, pig cheek shawarma with pickled fennel and lamb adana with feta and pistachio labneh. All three lose out to my favourite, tender slices of flat iron steak on a delicate flatbread strewn with whipped blue cheese and truffle, pickled raisins, walnuts, balsamic pickled onions, beetroot puree and watercress. Neil Sowerby

BAB NQ, 14 Little Lever St, M1 1HR

2020 03 03 Salmon Sashimi Peter Street Kitchen

Salmon sashimi with wasabi sour cream – Peter St Kitchen (£7) 

Peter Street Kitchen is in the Edwardian Hotel on Peter Street. It's been a few different things over the years and Gordo hadn't been to this new iteration before. It works. Really well. Early on a Monday evening, the place was nearly full, buzzy and, well, charming for a hotel restaurant. Gordo ordered across the two menus, mixing and matching, having a fun experience. 

When he got to the salmon sashimi with wasabi cream on a made-in-house taco, he was stopped in his tracks. The sashimi was of glorious quality, draped across the spicy, crunchy taco that had been lavishly spread with the wasabi cream. This dish worked. Bloody gorgeous. Gordo motored through four of them, and next time he's going to order eight. Go eat them. Now. Gordo

Peter Street Kitchen, Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, M2 5GP

2020 03 03 Iberica Fish

Crispy Cabrarroca - Iberica, (£28)

A visit to Iberica was well overdue, so I was excited about the opportunity to try out a few of their new spring dishes - especially as their Michelin-starred executive chef Nacho Manzano was on the pass, cooking with Iberica Manchester’s affable group chef Cesar Garcia. There were vibrant and colourful salads of pickled vegetables and full flavoured beef tomatoes with salmorejo, the Andalucian tomato bread purée. But what really stayed with me was a whole, perhaps slightly intimidating Cabra redfish fried in a crispy batter. Apparently this is a signature dish from Nacho’s Gloria restaurant in northern Spain. It has been designed to share and is served without cutlery. Pull apart this flaky white fish with your hands, watch out for bones and enjoy. Deanna Thomas

Iberica, 14-15 The Avenue, Spinningfields, M3 3HF 

Like this? Read - 

Manchester's top 30 eating out offers: March 2020

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