Week 31: in which Sleuth discovers that pulling out never works in a toilet

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth

Sleuth's new dish of the week

Sleuth was in the pub discussing the origin of chicken tikka this week. Some said it was invented in India, others said Birmingham, even Glasgow got a mention. But Sleuth sees The Royal Balti House in Farnworth, Bolton are taking no such chance, and have come up with a sure fire way of making sure there's no doubting the origins of their new curry - the ‘Bolti’. Named in honour of the town and ahead of the upcoming annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival (August 25 to 28), the Bolti is based on a traditional Balti recipe, but enhanced with a key local ingredient – Lancashire Sauce made by Ramsbottom family firm Entwistle’s. Sleuth's looking forward to trying it, along with a black pudding Buryani and a Rochdaal with a Wignaan and a couple of poppOldhams.

Bolti Anwar And Keith Outside Shop
Anwar and Keith outside The Royal Balti House in Farnworth

Sleuth's cocktail ingredient of the week

...and with the introduction of aerated vegetables, Manchester's cocktail scene had finally outdone itself.

Cane Grain Cocktail
Mary's First Bite at Cane & Grain

Sleuth’s unique pub sign of the week

Sleuth was enjoying a traditional British pub sing-along in Shude Hill’s Hare and Hounds this week. The Hare and Hounds has won the Manchester city centre’s ‘Old Man’s Pub Of The Year Award’ several years running. It’s a glorious space, with fine fixtures and fittings, and only mildly smells of wet dog. In one corner is the curious sign shown below. Rumour has it the vibration occurs when Brenda from Miles Platting hits her high notes during Simply the Best; high notes which have a curious pitch well-known for giving the pickled eggs behind the bar an extra pickling. Others say it’s because the beer kit is directly below, in the cellar. Sleuth knows which he believes.

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Old Man’s Pub of the Year-winner, The Hare & Hounds

Sleuth’s best business plan of the week

Sleuth has been in Mallorca this week. In one restaurant he had a fine dish of caracoles (aka snails). The snails were excellent but now he can’t find a Manchester restaurant that sells them. Or a restaurant, for that matter, that serves the classic Lancashire dish and a favourite of Sleuth's, tripe. So Sleuth’s going to open a restaurant selling both and he knows where to put it. Thomas Pink, the dandy suit and shirt shop Sleuth used to frequent, has closed in the last couple of weeks on King Street. It gets better. Sleuth has decided to combine all three. Keep your eyes peeled, dear reader, for Tripe, Snails and Suit Tails, opening soon, a truly unique concept. Investor interest welcomed. 

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One in the pink...

Sleuth's new dining concept of the week

Speaking of new concepts, Sleuth was at the opening of El Taquero in Northern Quarter last night, a new venture behind Solita from the fellas behind Solita. Sleuth spoke to co-founder, Franco Sotgiu: "This will be Manchester's first dedicated taqueria, serving Manchester with something it has never seen before. They're called 'tacos' and are a little-known American snack that look a little like a floppy Mexican pizza, but folded, like a calzone," said Sotgui. "I'm also just back from Spain, where the bars put out free diddy plates of scran to encourage drinkers to stay and drink more. It's great. We're going to open one here, but instead of putting out free, simple food of one or two ingredients, we're going to overcomplicate them with things you've never heard of, like nasturtium or guindilla, so that we can justifiably charge slightly more than for a starter, but slightly less than for a main, so that people order loads and don't realise they're getting rogered up the jacksie until the bill drops. I'm telling you, it's the future, you heard it here first, another new concept for Manchester - we're calling it El Tapas."

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'That'll be £17, please'

Mobike, mo' problems

Sleuth loves the theory behind Manchester's new Mobike scheme - the Chinese-owned dockless cycle-share scheme which allows users to pick up and drop off bicycles for 50p per half hour - but hears the issue with stolen Mobikes is escalating. Now, in an uncharacteristically strong-armed response, it seems the Chinese have called in the heavies to protect their interests...

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Mobike have ramped up security in Manchester - one bouncer per bike

Sleuth’s toilet poster of the week

This is the City Council’s public notice over the urinals in the Lloyd Street public toilets. Interesting that it refers to 2016 (maybe time for a change) and that under the new announced powers for Greater Manchester, someone has added ‘Rain’. Meanwhile Sleuth is dubious about the sticker added in the top right which states ‘pulling out never works’. Sleuth thinks it concerns the EU but given it’s right above the urinal basin, Sleuth finds it unsettling.

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...and at that moment, Sleuth felt a tap on his shoulder

Sleuth's other poster of the week

Sleuth is intrigued by the poster on the side of the Bridgewater Hall promoting the building as a wedding venue. The main image shows the loving if unpopular couple embracing on an empty stage in an empty venue. A neighbouring image on the poster shows them five minutes later following an acrimonious divorce. She’s looking to find the exit. He’s looking the other way with an expression on his face that seems to say, listen I couldn’t even be arsed ordering a full suit…and you smell.

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That went well

Sleuth’s amusing vandalism of the week

This was on Charles Street off Oxford Road. The road sign man has been given a pointy hat and a spliff. He’s been labelled ‘Wizard at Work’. The streets are all the entertainment we need says Sleuth.

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Wizard while you work

Devo Manc is a mini-pig

New research from the University of Manchester claims that Greater Manchester's new decentralisation deal with the government, Devo Manc, is in fact a mini pig. Presumably Westminster gifted the mini pig to the council after David Cameron had finished with it...