Tag Archives: food

Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn: Reviewed

Manchester’s newest taco joint, Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn, inspired by a road trip from Vegas to Mexico, is blowing the minds of those lucky, lusty (and smart) enough to have paid it a visit already.

Exterior signage

Exterior signage

Formally known as Socio Rehab, the guys behind Home Sweet Home, Almost Famous and Keko Moku have brought us another glorious hangout over two floors!

It’s not just ‘Almost Famous with Mexican food’. It’s a completely different vibe to Famous, not better or worse but different, more ‘grown up’ shall we say? Less slut, more class and unmistakably ‘cool’.

Guac and artichoke dips with 'chips'

Guac and artichoke dips with ‘chips’

The menu is large and varied, providing meaty, veggie and fishy options. Accompanied by the delightful Sarah Nosh, we started off with the guacamole which is hand-smashed at your table for uber-freshness meaning you get the full hit of the lime, chilli and coriander complimenting the avocado. Alongside this we ordered the warm artichoke, jalapeno and cheese dip which also comes with nachos and was extremely moreish and something I’d never had before so I was pleasantly surprised.

However, for the calorie conscious you can indulge in carb-free goodness too such as the chicken lettuce cups. Chicken, pineapple, peanuts and sunflower seeds drizzed with a teriyaki BBQ sauce and served in a gem lettuce leaf. VERY good.

Chicken Lettuce Cups

Chicken Lettuce Cups

On to the tacos, burritos and sticky buns (now you’re listening?!), well, they are quite something. We ordered the Beef Smackdown burrito which was delicious but a bit heavy for me (the portion sizes are substantial). The slow-cooked beef with chipotle gravy, peppers, onions, hot sauce and cheese is spicy and comforting and it sure as hell gives you bang for your buck.

MASSIVE Beef Smackdown

MASSIVE Beef Smackdown Burrito

We also tried the Yum Yum sticky pork buns. The mini brioche buns are very sweet, too sweet for some but I enjoyed them. Smoky and sweet shredded pork topped with BBQ sauce and pineapple, HELLO INDULGENCE. However, on my second visit I ordered the Dirty Chicken tacos and I really can’t recommend them enough.

Sticky Pork Buns with Chips AND Salad (we ordered extra)

Sticky Pork Buns with Chips AND Salad (we ordered extra)

Dirty Chicken Tacos - Phenomenal

Dirty Chicken Tacos

They’re gorgeously tasty, creamy, tangy, cheesy and even refreshing ALL AT ONCE! I don’t know how that’s possible, but it is at Luck & Lust.

A new feature to those who are fond of Famous and fancy something a little different is dessert! Now, apart from when the weekly special had vanilla ice-cream on the burger the closest thing I’ve come to a dessert in Famous is ordering another tequila Scramble cocktail.

However, dangerously, you can now choose between salted caramel chocolate brownie (baked with a freaking oreo in the middle!!!) or a pineapple and coconut cheesecake with strawberry sauce, lusty wafers and amazing blood orange jellies. Both come with a scoop of Penelope’s malted vanilla ice crea. Yummy! Could I pick a favourite? No. Basically, it will take several return visits in order to come to a conclusion.

Salted Caramel Brownie with Oreo

Pineapple Coconut Cheesecake

Pineapple Coconut Cheesecake

I must confess that due to lack of funds and having done Dry January I haven’t yet ventured into Tom’s cocktail creations but the drinks menu is certainly one to widen the eyes and whet the appetite. Next time.

The main difference between Famous and Luck & Lust, because people will compare (rightly or wrongly), is the sheer volume of the menu on offer at the latter. The quality is there, the atmosphere is there and also, they have actual plates at Luck. Decadence, indeed.

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Restaurant Review: Restaurant Bar and Grill

Kind enough to invite us along to check out this restaurant just off Albert Square/Deansgate, we were more than happy to sample the goods at, one of the city’s most talked about restaurants (on the Twittersphere), Restaurant Bar and Grill.

It was a bustling Saturday night and the place was packed to the rafters, and it’s seriously big, so I was thinking that I would allow for a bit of a wait for food/drinks etc. I usually give the staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to an insanely busy service, to a certain extent obviously, but there was no need.

We were greeted promptly at the door and offered a drink at the bar even though we turned up right on time and our table was ready, which we gladly accepted. Some places give you the feeling that they would rather get you in and out as quick as possible but not here. The front of house said he would come and get us in 10-15 minutes and take us to our table. Again, I anticipated being forgot about but, bang on the dot he came over and asked us if we were ready to eat and showed us upstairs to our lovely table by the window looking over John Dalton Street.

The atmosphere downstairs in the bar was, to be honest, not really my sort of scene but it was enjoyable. Loud dance-type music and folks in very fancy outfits made this place feel like a real treat and I was glad I dressed up for it but it’s not the kind of place I’d want to spend every Saturday night.

That aside, the menu is lovely, the kind of stuff you’d expect from a grill menu; fish and meat from the grill as well as salads, pastas and risottos. They also have 35-day dry aged steaks some of which are served on the bone for maximum flavour impact.

I opted for the lobster but sadly they had just sold out so I went for the rack of lamb with chilli, yoghurt and garlic from the tandoor clay oven and my partner had one of those lovely dry-aged steaks which came recommended by our waitress. For starters we had Iberico ham with tomatoes and sourdough and grilled asparagus with hollandaise and a poached egg.

The starters were lovely and actually could have been wonderful together – the lovely saltiness of the ham and the creamy richness of the egg and hollandaise were all delicious separately and together. The sourdough was lightly toasted and the asparagus was still crunchy and seared perfectly.

Poached egg and Hollandaise with asparagus

As we waited for our main course we enjoyed an Argentinean Malbec Don Nicanor 2010 which was recommended by the waitress again and was gorgeously smooth and rich in flavour – a perfect accompaniment to my spiced lamb and his steak with pepper sauce.

The lamb was absolutely delicious, served with rice, a coleslaw-style salad and a sauce, oh my god, the sauce, of lime leaves and coconut, was seriously to die for. I had forgotten all about my lobster. The lamb itself was slightly charred on the outside but on the inside it was lovely and pink. I couldn’t finish it all, we did get a side salad too but in this place the portions are big! Sometimes with places we skip the starters only to find that the main portions are tiny but not here, you get enough bang for your buck and we were delighted with that.

Rubbed rack of lamb with rice, salad and a coconut and lime sauce

My partner’s steak and chips was very nice, maybe not as nice as I’d expected given how much it was talked up beforehand but very nice indeed. The pepper sauce was rich and robust and the chips it came with were chunky and fluffy inside – although being a bloke, he probably would have preferred a bit more chips!

Steak, chips and pepper sauce

At this point, I must say, the staff were attentive but not overly so, they made sure you were happy but didn’t pester you as is sometimes the case when waiting staff mean well. Even when somebody other than our direct waitress brought us over our food they knew exactly who was having what; always the sign of a classy, and well organised, joint.

On to the desserts, well, I had crème brulee, which is my go-to dessert really, I should branch out more often but I just cannot bring myself to do so! My partner went for an apple tart tatin, another good judging cornerstone of a good restaurant. As the tart tatins are cooked to order we were advised that there would be a 20-minute wait, which was fine by us.

I find that sometimes restaurants bring desserts out too quickly so we were chuffed about the wait. During which, we were recommended a dessert wine which, as was assured would work perfectly well with my crème brulee and didn’t it just. It complemented what I can only described as the biggest crème brulee ever, to my delight!

The tart tatin was perfectly cooked and I even checked the underside to make sure the pastry was cooked, I’ve seen them do that on Masterchef, and it was perfect. The apples were soft and sweet but still had a slight bite to them and the whole thing was caramelised and came with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Tart Tatin and a massive Creme Brulee

We followed this with coffees and were offered out onto the fabulous new terrace. It was quite busy, since it was Saturday, so we declined a drink out there but it did look lovely and it was well heated.

The only gripe I have about the place is that it is huge, however that didn’t slow the service down, but there are only two ladies toilet cubicles in the upstairs dining area which meant that I was in for, at least, a 5-10 minute wait for the toilet each time which was slightly annoying.

Overall, I would definitely go back to RBG although it would be for a special occasion or if I had visitors staying who I wanted to impress. Top marks to the staff who gave great recommendations and make us feel very welcome throughout.

Food – 8/10

Service – 10/10

Atmosphere – 7/10

Value for Money – 7/10

We were complemented our meal by the restaurant on behalf of Manchester Confidential but I am under no obligation to say anything nice about the restaurant.

Restaurant Bar and Grill
14 John Dalton Street,
Manchester,
M2 6JR
T: 0161 839 1999

 

New mini-food menu launched at Tib Street Tavern

If beer, food and football, or just beer and food, is your thing you’ll be pleased to know that the Northern Quarter’s Tib Street Tavern has launched a food menu!

The traditional-style pub is serving up traditional pub grub with quality. The menu is a ‘mini’ one for the moment and it serves as a small taster for things to come when the full menu is launched.

Mini Menu

We opted to share the Currywurst sausage with chips and home made sauce, it was definitely the pub-grub that we needed! With the food at a very reasonable price, it provides the perfect amount satisfaction and sustenance to get your started on the pitchers of beer.

Currywurst Sausage and Chips with Homemade Sauce

The chips were great and seasoned really nicely (my partner enjoyed them and he’s definitely a chip man! The sausage was yummy and the homemade sauce was a tangy, tomato and onion mix with a hint of spices – really good!

You’ll also be pleased to know that a four-pint pitcher of Amstel is only £10 from 3pm-7pm, and only £12 afterwards, so you don’t have to keep going to the bar if the match is on – perfect!

Although Tib Street Tavern shows football it doesn’t allow football colours to be worn. Odd at first but it actually makes for a really friendly vibe, especially if you’re not there to watch the game.

Bliss…

We’ve always experienced great service at Tib Street Tavern and our last visit was no different with table service being provided if we were running low and a complimentary peanut mix for all tables as the hours grew wee.

It’s the little things which make a bar great.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this place for a while as it has quickly become a favourite of mine. It’s unassuming and low-key and although it won’t excite everyone it has a charm about it which will always keep me going back.

The first time I visited, the bar was super busy, and my three friends and I wanted cocktails so we asked to see a cocktail menu.

Instead of saying that they didn’t have a cocktail menu, the really lovely girls behind the bar said that the cocktail menu hadn’t quite been finalised yet but they were more than willing to make us some of the classics (margarita, cosmopolitan etc).

We ordered some cocktails and they were fantastic, if a little impromptu! Since then, we were hooked and it set us up for a great night!

Great service, with a (genuine) smile, great drinks offers, a new menu and an even newer one in the pipeline… what’s not to like? Get down and try it out!

Tib Street Tavern 74 Tib St, Manchester, M4 1LG

Doughy Delights @ Bakerie

By Charlotte Dobson

Bread fans will love the Bakerie tasting store – just don’t call it a wine shop.

Picture this: mounds of bread, gallons of delicious wine and a line of punters determinedly queuing for their free tasters.

As one man wryly observes: “It’s like the war. This is an actual breadline.”

But this is no ordinary bread, this is the best bread you’ll get in Manchester courtesy of the Bakerie Tasting Store – the latest trendy delight to pop up in the Hive in the Northern Quarter.

The store’s no-messing strap line, ‘It’s all about the bread’ will not disappoint carb fans with a passion for the doughy-stuff.

We’re at the opening night and over by the ovens, you can watch and chat to the bakers as they kneed their magic into a selection of loaves.

Meanwhile in the corner, people are scrambling over each other to mop up some balsamic vinegar – the organiser’s did not see this frenzy coming.

Another dimension to the Bakerie is their impressive selection of quirky yet high quality wines. Whether you’ve a taste for a full-bodied Malbec or crisp Sauvignon Blanc, or (like me) you haven’t a fig about vino, Bakerie’s tasting sessions are a great place to start.

Bakerie store manager, Dale Meakin, explains: “It’s not a wine shop, it’s a tasting store. For us it’s all about finding great quality wine, no matter where it’s from or how whacky it is. For example, we’ve got a stunning Sauvignon Blanc from India, wine made from grapes grown on Mount Fuji and another from Cyprus.”

This is all new to a wine novice like me, stuck in the “I’ll get what’s on offer” state of mind.

Dale adds: “Because we’re independent, we’ve got a freedom in choosing what wines we have on offer without anyone telling us what we should be selling. It’s all about great quality wine.”

Next we shimmy over to the wine tasting session in ‘the Classroom’ – Bakerie’s bespoke contemporary arty space (it has proper primary school benches, the one’s you dropped on your foot in P.E lessons).

We’re welcomed by Peter Dawson and Dougie Lowe of Origin Wines & Spirits who top up our glasses with their finest.

First up is an Italian rose, Anima Rosa. I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of the pink stuff but this is beautiful. Light, dry and crisp – right up my street.

Next is up is a red made with a ‘very rare grape’ – La Crima and for red wine fan Amanda Dubrowski it’s a hit.

“It tastes like you’re drinking from the bowels earth, like frankincense – it’s beautiful.”

As we admire the legs on a Majorcan red, Dougie explains: “This Virat is an example of a more unusual wine and it’s named after a native Majorcan dog.

“The thing is, a lot of people tend to drink a lot of the same – if they like Pinot Grigio, then they will often drink that. But here you have the chance to try lots of unusual wines from places you might not expect.”

With it’s simple but addictive combination wine and bread, it’s clear the Bakerie Tasting Store is a big hit with Mancunians.

For more information go to: http://bakerie.co.uk/bakerie-tasting-store