I'm only1icklejen from Manchester. I've been Qyping since 19-11-2008
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87 Rue Moulins, 74400 Chamonix Mont Blanc
I visited Munchie whilst on holiday in Chamonix in February 2011. When it was mentioned at the table, as a suggestion of where to go when the chef at the chalet had his night off I was a little put off by the name. It sounds a little like a fast food restaurant and that wasn't what I wanted.
On the recommendation of two guests a group of us decided to give it a go. Even though they told me the food was of Asian influence I expected a naff decor and the like. I was very pleasantly surprised. The restaurant is quite intimate and had quite modern decor. Lots of fairy light adorned the place and those eating in there appeared to be quite well dressed and it had an upmarket feel. My only worry was the large dog lazing by the bar. I'm an animal lover but I don't agree with pets in restaurants.
The menu had just the right amount of food, so often the munu at these kind of places is so big it takes an hour to chose and you always end up with food envy. Everything appealed and was reasonably priced although if I had been eating out every night I may have gone for a cheaper option.
Two of the group opted for Sushi to start and my friend and I went for the Tom Yum soup. each one of was very pleased and finished everything in front of us. We did wait rather a long time to be served but it was well worth the wait. I then opted for the Duck Teriyaki and my fellow diners had a selection of beef and chicken dishes. Everyone agreed they had food envy when mine arrived and it was possibly one of the nicest duck dishes I had ever eaten. It melted in the mouth and was oozing with flavour.
The staff were all very friendly and attentive, although service was a tad slow. We were in there for a number of hours but we weren't in a rush so we just sat back, chatted, enjoyed the wine and patted the dog!
11 Bloom Street, Salford, Greater Manchester M3 6AN
I love this pub. It's a few minutes walk from my office so I can nip in at lunch, eat, and make it back within the hour or I can nip in after work, drink, and stumble to the bus stop without too much trouble.
It attracts office types, students, real ale drinkers, arty types...everyone has a place here and no one would ever feel out of place. There is a good selection of food and drink on offer and it's reasonably priced, if it were a few hundred yards up the road it would probably milk the postcode but thankfully it's in just the right spot.
Upstairs houses Studio Salford which hosts Poetry evenings, club nights, comedy, film nights, gigs and theatre productions. There is always something going on. You can even take up knitting or do a bit of busking downstairs.
The more people I introduce to this pub the more I realise that it's a reet hidden gem.
76 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
I live in Manchester so the Cat and Mutton is hardly a ‘local’ but I have friends who live nearby so if I’m down for the weekend and Saturday night creeps into Sunday lunchtime territory and the Holyoaks/Eastenders/Come Dine with Me omnibus’s have finished the pull of a good Sunday Roast at the Cat & Mutton, before the arduous journey home, is enough to thrust me into mixing with people for a few hours.
The pub itself has a semi rustic feel with differing sized tables and a big old bar, which for a short arse like me is not ideal, and although it is usually busy if you happen to go on a nice day, even in mid October, the crowd tend to spill out onto the street so you can often still get a table. Or share a table, you quite often find 2-3 people on a table of 8 but don’t feel put off by asking to share. East London may be renowned for its ‘Di**heads’ but even they make for good table mates. It’s a great pub for people watching. They have an upstairs area too which is sometimes overlooked, probably as the spiral staircase on a Sunday hangover is too much to attempt for someone in ridiculously skinny jeans.
The food here is of a very good standard with big portions, slightly pricey, but probably not for this part of town. Roasts with all the trimmings will set you back £15. They have the usual selection of gastro pub beers and ciders although running out of cider at 6pm on a Sunday was bad planning by someone.
I haven’t any cause to complain about the staff being rude or pretentious as I haven’t experienced it. Whenever I’ve been in there’s been quite a varied clientele and it is bustling. I find the atmosphere vibrant and it certainly perks me up for my long journey home.
10 Tib Lane, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 4JB
Having been aware of this restaurant for quite some years it's one of those places I have always fancied trying but never get around to going. I received an email from Lounge 10 advertising a £10 2 course menu so suggested to a friend that we should give it a go. And having seen the said menu my mouth was watering almost as much as my friends eyes (having just broken up with her boyfriend).
I had wondered if Lounge 10 would be on the pretentious side but when we arrived we were greeted by a very friendly gentleman who took our coats and showed us to our table, wishing us a pleasant evening. From then on we were waited on attentively and by very warm and friendly staff.
The whole place oozes glamour and would be a very romantic setting for couples. It's very elegant and has some amazing art work. There was a very mixed bag of clientele too which was refreshing. Even the bathroom is grand and I love a Chaise long to recline on whilst I powder my nose but I don't like unisex cubicles where men miss the target and hit the floor and leave the toilet seats up, that's my only criticism of the place.
Having perused the A La Carte menu, and wanting to eat everything on it, I was not disappointed with the special offer menu. To start I had a black budding dish, possibly the nicest I have ever tasted. My friend had pineapple fritter with chilli jam, which was also very tasty. The mains were, again, very well chosen for a cheaper menu and my roast striploin of beef with pomme puree and horseradish jus was excellent. Although the offer was for 2 courses, and to be fair I was quite satisfied after my meal, I had only intended to glance at the dessert menu, after all it'd be rude not to, but having opened it and spotted ETON MESS (I swear it called out my name) I was sold. It was divine. I do fancy myself as a bit of an Eton Mess connoisseur too so I don't say this about any old Eton Mess.
All in all we had a really enjoyable experience but I was a little disappointed that there were no singers or magicians performing, I think this may only be at weekends though, so we've booked again...for a Friday night.
Tib Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester M4 1NB
Another addition to the trendy Northern Quarter line up. Blackdog Ball room certainly has balls, pool balls to be precise.
A bar come diner come pool hall in a prime NQ spot must be a winner. The decor is fresh and suitably trendy. I visited on a busy Saturday night but it was perhaps too busy to get a feel for the place. I'd like to go back early evening and have a bite to eat. The food is being overseen by Anthony Fielden of Northern Quarter Restaurant so that gives me hope. I was a little miffed that although they advertise cocktails the guy behind the bar looked at me like I had just asked for a bowl of milk. No cocktails on offer but the other drinks were reasonably priced for that area.
I was in there on a reconnaissance mission, and would have been interested to check it out anyway, but felt a lot of the clientele were in there because they thought they'd be classed as the 'cool set'. That just means everyone is watching everyone else and forgets to actually have fun. Luckily my friends and I snared a table and set about doing just that.
I felt the music was poor for a Saturday night. I was expecting far better, especially as it's open until 5am. There are loads of good DJ's around who could offer something far more original. It was a bit like listening to a CD that is advertised in the ad breaks between Holyoaks. My friends and I left before I was tempted to 'hang the DJ' and found solace elsewhere.
It certainly isn't the jewel in NQ's crown but it's the new kid on the block so perhaps once it has found its feet it'll find a voice I want to listen to on a Saturday night.
66 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1EQ
The Goat was stage 2 of a crawl around Clapham the day after New Years Day. It was surprisingly busy but the atmosphere was welcome.
Having already eaten (at The Merchant up the road - well worth checking out for food) I was only sampling The Goats selection of wine/beer/spirits and fizz. All of which were adequate and the Prosecco was very reasonably priced.
We enjoyed quite a lively evening in The Goat. A couple of the group had some food and I notice the plates sat on our table all night. At one point a drink was knocked over, which we cleaned up ourselves and by the end of the evening there were enough glasses and bottles to start a recycling plant but no sign of any staff ready to clear them away.
One of the group, a male, was at the bar for quite some time waiting to be served and at one point was flanked either side by a blonde female, both arrived at the bar after him but both served before him so the service wasn't great but he eventually arrived with our drinks!
23-25 Battersea Rise, Clapham, London SW11 1HG
Post NYE a group of friends and I gathered here for a few drinks and a spot of lunch. It's a good place for big groups as the seating is well placed rather than lots of pokey tables and chairs.
The food far exceeded my expectations. I opted for Slow Roast Pork Belly with Crackling and it was cracking! There was no food envy from any of the group as everyone was happy with their choices. It was good winter food. I'd hope they would have some lighter options come spring/summer though.
Although the intention was to have a 'quiet' drink it ended up being an all day session, made even more fun by the numerous games they have in here. I'm not really a 'gamer' but point me in the direction of Space Invader/PacMan, once the wine has been flowing, and it's a whole different story....I was like a child at xmas!
My only gripe is that as a large group, some eating, some not, we were happy to settle our own bills but whenever we approached the bar to order food or drinks we were told a member of staff would come to the table to take our order. The fact that they 'offer' table service but we kept having to get up to go to the bar, only to be told to sit back down and someone would come over made me question why I would want to pay the 'service' charge. Even some of our plates sat around for quite a while so I think they did quite well out of not doing very much in an almost empty bar.
It certainly didn't spoil my night. I just think they could have been a little more attentive.
19-23 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
The name may be a little odd and some of the surrounding area less than salubrious but once inside this old Victorian warehouse it’s like being transported to another realm. It was a bit like stepping into the wardrobe in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and seeing Narnia spread out in front of you. The decor is luxurious, opulent, decadent and grand. I had worried that I would find it a little pretentious but even having booked a sought after booth and then turning up half an hour late we were greeted with a smile and politely shown to our table.
We poured over the menu whilst chatting for quite a while but weren’t rushed at any point. Having dinner with a couple of girlfriends meant we bypassed the starter and opted for a cocktail instead. Porn Star Martini’s all round which at £9.50 each isn’t cheap but it was possibly the nicest one I’d ever had. They have a lovely selection of wines, most of which are way out of my price range but we settled on a rose to satisfy the none red/none white drinkers. For the seriously flash they offer the Cristal Brut, Louis Roederer 1985, a snip at £2300. If you prefer a younger model they have the 2002 at only £400! Just reading the food menu is a mouth watering experience and even drew silence on our table for at least a minute or so whilst we pondered on delights such as Chateaubriand, Piri Piri Lime & Chilli Chicken and Pan Fried Fillet of Sea Bass. Being sensible we all opted for a different salad, but this was by no means the healthy option, for example I had the Crispy Duck and Watermelon salad. This wasn’t a bowl of leaves with the odd morsel of crispy duck...oh no. This was chunky pieces of melon with a huge pile of crispy duck on top with not a lettuce leaf in site. Although my friends had food envy over my dish the dishes they chose were similarly light on the rabbit food effect. Having chosen wisely we even had room for dessert. Eaton Mess wins out every time and their take on it was delightful.
Throughout dining the service was pleasant, polite and attentive. Having finished our meals we left our table whilst waiting for the bill but took longer than expected to return. On doing so we had been replaced by new diners, even though our bill was sat, unpaid, on the table. We spotted the waiter and he seated us at the bar whilst we settled the bill but we pointed out that there had been some wine left and we had intended to finish it (it cost us enough after all!). As the table had been cleared away he was very apologetic and we were all given a complementary glass of champagne. Considering we were quite thoughtless in having all left the table at the same time I thought this was an incredibly nice gesture on their part.
Beach Blanket Babylon is housed over three floors. I believe there is a gallery on the first floor but I didn’t venture that far. We ended our night in the basement which is home to a bar. I found this a little disappointing as the opulence of the restaurant hadn’t been continued through to the basement. It felt more like a bar in a ski resort. The ‘CHANEL’ sign over the cloakroom had a whiff of cheese about it and I half expected to find Gluhwein being sold behind the bar, it made the name of the place appear even odder after this. If I visit Beach Blanket Babylon again it will be on the strength of the food and service but I’ll probably nip over the road to Loungelover for after dinner drinks. Apparently Madonna held her birthday party here and I bet that wasn’t at all cheesy.
167 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, Greater Manchester M20 2LN
Having taken advantage of an offer of 2 courses for £14.95 I can only review what was a limited set menu. Both my friend and I chose the same dishes, I was some what limited in that not being a lover of rice two of the dishes contained rice, so I only had the choice of two mains which I was a little disappointed about. I needn’t have worried though as both dishes were thoroughly enjoyable. A starter of goats cheese on griddled polenta cakes with roasted veg certainly whet our appetite and was followed by chicken on bubble & squeak mash with a tarragon sauce. Unfortunately when the dessert menu was presented to us we were both pleasantly full and declined what would have meant us rolling home.
Rhubarb is an intimate and tastefully decorated restaurant situated in West Didsbury. The staff were attentive and polite and could see that my friend and I were so busy chatting that we needed extra time to decide on our dishes and also once we had finished there was no feeling of us being rushed, despite the restaurant filling up quite quickly later in the evening.
All in all the food was great value and looking at the dishes on the a la cart menu I would definitely return. I feel the extra choice would be worth the money.
1 Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Greater Manchester M1 1RG
Weirdly I don’t like rice. What I do like is noodles and I can find noodles here in abundance. For those who do like rice I am lead to believe the rice based dishes are pretty tasty too.
Situated in Piccadilly Gardens in a glass fronted, light and airy unit there isn’t an occasion I have been in here when it hasn’t been brimming with office workers on their lunch hour, drawn in by the promise of fast food without it having been sat around for ten minutes a la McDonalds. Shoppers looking for something fresh and those who just want to eat noodles from a cardboard box, like they do in American movies.
The menu is based around dishes which are teamed with a selection of rice’s and not your bog standard soggy boiled stuff. Moroccan Lamb Tangine is teamed with Minted Rice or Thai Red Curry with Indonesian Coconut Rice. It’s making my mouth water just writing this and I don’t even eat the stuff! I can highly recommend the Chicken Pad Thai or Duck and Hoisin with noodles. The specials board is full of tasty alternatives to the main menu.
Price wise you can get a meal and a drink for under £10 which although slightly more than your Big Mac Meal is far more nutritious, tasty and fresh. There are also offers to be found on the website so it’s worth looking on there before heading over.
Rice is fast expanding in Manchester. As well as the original Selfridges concession and the flagship Piccadilly Gardens outlet there is now a Rice on Oxford Road and one opening on Deansgate. There is also one in the Trafford Centre.
If you like rice, noodles or just eating from cardboard boxes then Rice is well worth a visit.