From The Ivy to an all you can eat Japanese buffet in Cheetham Hill - we get about we do
Confidential has reviewed over 60 restaurants in and around Manchester this year, plus dozens more in our other two cities: Liverpool and Leeds. That's a lot of food and a lot of accompanying words... upwards of 100,000, we reckon.
Now our fingers hurt, as does our collective jaw.
Still, you can never say we send you off out there uninformed. We wouldn't want you spending your hard earned money on crap food now would we? Which is why we go to all the effort... and to dine out on expenses... and to show off a little.
Anyway, here are the ten most read and talked about restaurants reviews of 2018, in case you missed them first time around...
Score: 17.5/14.5 out of 20
Quick bite: 'From a food perspective this is a game of two halves. Chef Aiden Byrne, a one time Michelin star winner, seems to be showing his weakness now with fine dining, but his strengths with strong, chop-house style grill menus.'
Quick bite: 'Now ladies and gentlemen, if you’re thinking of going to the newly opened ‘Ivy Collection’ here in Manchester, expecting to be sat next to Joan Collins, or even Sir Michael Caine, then you’re going to be very disappointed.'
Quick bite: 'As unlikely as it sounds, someone has got hold of the front half of a Boeing 737, parked it on the A676 opposite the University of Bolton’s Technical College, and is selling hot food from it.'
Quick bite: 'I can be forgiven for some messy slurping of my soft shell crab tonkotsu in the most interesting Northern Quarter arrival of the year, Cocktail Beer Ramen + Bun... It serves all of the above, so no issues over trade description.'
Quick bite: 'A word of warning. Apart from eating cake using only your face (or is that just me?) this must be the messiest way to eat - our table looked like a crime scene. We splattered soup all over our clothes and in our hair as well as the clothes and hair of the people sitting three seats away. Our napkins had napkins.'
Quick bite: 'The whole place is a mass of fantastically flamboyant flourishes of gaudy decoration that induce a dizzying compulsion to caw like a crow in a cross wind. And all this for an all-you-can-eat menu price of £21.99 (early week).'
Quick bite: 'When the bill came it turned out we’d had an enormous meal for two, one that we couldn’t finish, all for slightly over £20. For the first time in my life I might have to chastise a restaurant for being too cheap.'
Quick bite: 'Kyotoya is everything that I love; delicious food that doesn’t hide behind deep-fried shortcuts, reasonable prices and owners who treat their restaurant like it’s an extension of their home. I think I bowed to them as I left, not in a clumsy attempt at cultural formality, but because I was genuinely thankful.'
Quick bite: 'What follows mark the Moorcock as an astonishing arrival on the Northern culinary scene. Paradisal black pudding, salvaged wild honey with parkin, deconstructed dock pudding, a cascade of herbs and leaves that go way beyond plate dressing.'
Quick bite: 'Annyeong isn’t the owner (although I do know an Ann Young), it’s Korean for ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’. Given the North Korean nuclear threat it seems such plurality of sentiment might come in handy. Here Annyeong should mean, “come in, you’re very welcome, is there anything we can do to help?”'