Bundobust – Indian Vegetarian Streetfood Comes to Manchester

I was kindly invited  last night to one of the two private launch evenings for another Manchester Newcomer, Bundobust. Not being massively familiar with the Leeds food scene, I hadn’t heard of it before, and had to take to Google to suss it out!

Bundobust is, in four words, Delicious Indian Vegetarian Streetfood. You won’t find any meat options on their menu, though you might rejoice (should you be the unlucky carnivore) to see their wide range of craft beers on tap.


it took us a little while to find it, located in the basement beside a Subway on Piccadilly (the corner of Portland street by Piccadilly Gardens), though the entrance once spotted is pretty cool. You descend beneath a purposefully ‘Hinglish’ sign stating “Welcome Please”, into a cool, long subterranean restaurant, split by booths and long tables and benches. The furniture and fixtures are a pleasant mish-mash of reclaimed 90s breezeblock, woodchip and glass panes, alongside new orange leather-look booths and fresh formica-style tables. Not to mention the really cool custom Bundobust Hindi posters – I need to get me one of the Beehive ones…


We ordered 4 dishes and some rice, settling for Bhajis, Punjabi Khadi, Tarka Dhal, Chole Bhatura. I chose a half of their craft beer, Bombay Dazzler, which pairs really well with the spiced Indian food due to the presence of cardamom et al.


The food was served in card pots, the same material as coffee cups, and you use plastic cutlery and paper plates that are laid ready in the centre of the table. I did wonder if these were recyclable at all, as this restaurant would generate rather a lot of waste otherwise!

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Manchester is already lucky enough to have a Mowgli, which in my view is a “level-up” from Bundobust in it’s interior style, the manner in which food is served (metal tins and proper plates, versus plastic cutlery and paper plates and serving pots), and for the fact they offer both vegetarian and carnivore menus.

That said, I enjoyed Bundobust. It was effortless in it’s interior style- I could see myself enjoying a drink or two over a light lunch at the weekend – they offer a 2 for £7 lunch menu. The music was fun and energetic, I loved the orange & mint colour scheme and the eclectic fittings and decorations. The staff were really friendly, and the loos get a big thumbs up for their amazing tiling!

thanks to  Simon at I Like Press for organising the evening.




Leaf Manchester – Pudding Club Review 

Hello everyone! 

For those of you based in or near Manchester, or even those of you who frequent Liverpool’s Bold Street, you must know about Leaf.

Leaf is a tea room with a difference. There are no chintz fabrics in sight here (though it has its place, don’t get me wrong), and tea is not it’s only USP. 

Gin specialist, tea retailer, and events space, Leaf has something for everyone, not to mention delicious food and white marble tables a blogger could drool over. 


The team at Manchester’s Leaf, found on Portland Street in a spacious high ceilinged space with industrial and scandi vibe decor, kindly invited me to attend their inaugural Pudding club! 

What it says on the tin – pudding club is a must visit for those with a sweet tooth. Five – yes , five! – courses of pudding! Not only that, each dessert is matched to and served alongside a specially picked Leaf tea. 

Having viewed the menu, I realised one course was a no-go for me as a peanut allergy sufferer. Emma, the lovely general manager hailing from Liverpool, took great care of me and substituted my course with little fuss. 

First up came the star dish  from my point of view : matcha Tea doughnuts with a warm white chocolate sauce. The Matcha worked beautifully with the dough/batter (what do you call it?!) and the chocolate sauce was delicious!  

Matcha tea doughnuts

My husband, ever the sugar addict, favoured the pineapple soaked in rum and served with a rich caramel cream. 

Charred Pineapple with Kraken Rum

We also enjoyed courgette cake, peanut butter mousse (I had lemon & poppyseed cake instead for this course) and heavy rich chocolate truffles with pink peppercorns. At this point I threw in the towel! Those things were as big as they look. 

Peanut butter mousse, with salted popcorn

Chocolate & pink peppercorn truffles

Emma made a wonderful host, teaching us about tea and explaining the health benefits of the components. Her passion for her job was very clear and she was such a pleasure to talk to! 

Leaf pudding clubs are hosted once per month, cost an amazing £15.99 per ticket – keep an eye on their instagram or on their Manchester Listings for details of all upcoming events. They host bookclubs and music events, to name a couple. 

Show Leaf some love! 

Leaf Portland Street
Leaf Portland Street

Lemon & poppyseed cake

Manchester Restaurant Launches of 2015

Good morning readers. This post is a brain dump all about food blogger events –  please bear with me as I have a slight rant! It’s a bit of a round up of all my thoughts following a good season of foodie events to attend in the back half of 2016.

Manchester has been blessed with the arrival of a lot of new eating establishments recently, whether it be UK chains setting up shop here or Local Manchester restaurants branching out into new city locations. This is all positive stuff. A more competitive space and prices, more jobs in Manchester…

But one thing has been bugging me for a while and I have to get it off my chest.

Launch events.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

I’ve been to them all.

I’m always grateful to be invited to events held by restaurants opening in a new area, and they’re enormously important for getting the word out.

However execution is the key.

What do I mean? Well first, if you’re inviting people to experience a cuisine they’re never tried, or if your restaurant is supposed to have an exclusive,  VIP vibe, then to me there are ways that you can present the experience in its best light.

Vapiano in the Mcr Corn Exchange

I’ve been to a restaurant launch  where they made bookings open to people who had registered interest, and the bill was completely covered. This meant people got the full dining experience intended by the restaurant, whilst allowing the staff to iron out any teething  issues in the service. The atmosphere was relaxed, the menu was fully observed and explored by visitors… The drinks menu was actually narrowed down to their house beer, which I ended up loving!

(I reviewed my full experience of Pho, Manchester’s Vietnamese Street food joint, here).

A bowl of Pho!

This was done really well,  and I speak very highly of the restaurant in question to anyone who asks me about it.

Another couple of launches were free affairs too, but the focus was less food more drink. And I mean a lot of alcohol. I enjoyed my visit to Cabana Brasil, because who doesn’t like caipirihnas?

Cabana restaurant front

Food was carried around on plates like canapés and whilst it was delicious I cannot help but think that this isn’t really the best way of presenting the restaurant and it’s ambience on a normal day. Not to mention the fact that I had attended with every intention of reviewing the food, and didn’t have an opportunity to photograph any food (unless it was on a cocktail stick…)

although I did take a moment to snap my Caipirihna before I drank it all!
although I did take a moment to snap my Caipirihna before I drank it all!

The party at this place really kicked off, people were dancing on tables…  They most likely had a great time, sure, but are they expecting that on a Tuesday lunch? Or a Saturday dinner service?! Not likely.

Another restaurant launch crammed the place full of so many people it was impossible to get anything to eat! What I managed to get seemed tasty, but I wasn’t won over by the ambience of the place as it didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be. Again, I was unable and unwilling to review this place and this visit, as it wouldn’t be a true reflection of a normal evening service.

Lastly, I wanted to mention the exception that proves the rule : Bakchich. Bakchich is a Moroccan & Arabic street food restaurant that was founded in Liverpool and has recently opened a branch in Manchester – (see blog post here for a more in depth review.) They cited the event as being specifically fo bloggers and would be themed around Afternoon tea, but Arabic Style. They looked after us really well, the service was excellent, and it delivered exactly what it said on the tin, in spite of this not being their normal style of serving up food, it gave me a great sample of the variety on their menu, and most importantly I didn’t go hungry!

Bakchich "spread"! As you can see we were well fed and not overcrowded!
Bakchich “spread”! As you can see we were well fed and not overcrowded!

In summary, if I was to advise a restaurant on a launch event I’d give them this check list.

  • know your audience : who are you targeting?
  • ambience : what vibe are you creating and how can you keep this as contact as possible.
  • Bloggers or public : if you invite a few bloggers, be prepared to compensate them, even if it’s covering the bill. If you’re event is public don’t always expect content to be pushed out automatically covering your launch!
  • Set up : if you’re going for a party vibe, make that apparent so less people leave disappointed (and hungry!)

Thanks for indulging me! We’re you able to relate to any of this? Leave me a comment below!

2015-11-21 15.10.48
me at Bakchich enjoying an Arabic coffee

Bakchich & Arabic Afternoon Tea

Last weekend I was invited to attend a blogger event at the newly launched Manchester branch of Bakchich, whose flagship restaurant can be found on the coolest street in Liverpool, Bold Street.

You’ll find it tucked down Chester Street, off Oxford Road, nestled in the heart of a buzzing student area. Keep your peepers peeled for this sign.


The event was themed around Arabic afternoon tea, which was a very intriguing concept to me. I’m not overly enamored by British Afternoon tea. I prefer Cheese scones to fruit, and I’d take pie over cake if given the choice (I know I’m totally Northern, and proud).

We were greeted warmly by Gary, the General Manager, possibly (and I mean this in a highly complimentary way) the most Manc person I’ve met in a long while. Floral shirt button up the top, and rocking a haircut the Gallagher brothers would approve of (approval being some form of curt nod, following by an utterance of “Kid”).

After being seated and plied with Morroccan Tea (mint, green tea and a generous injection of brown sugar make up this delicious traditional brew, poured from a great height to generate bubbles), I took I few moments to appraise the interior.

You’ll find the staple beauty that are Morroccan tiles and prints, splashed across walls, floors and the menus in various guises and palettes; interspersed with burnished copper, filament bulbs and an urban vibe in the wall art and the tables and chairs.

What followed was a flurry of dishes being circulated between myself and my Husband and the other couple who had attended – well known and well loved Arabic, Moroccan and Lebanese favourites in miniature form – Shawarma, falafel, Lebanese Sausage, Halloumi, Manakeesh… As well as many other things I can’t recall the names of.

You can browse the full menu here.

One of the main highlights for me was actually the variety of soft drinks that were served – 3 different types of handmade Lemonades, blended with mint and limes, Rose, or pomegranate and orange blossom. They were all absolutely delicious, so fragrant and refreshing. None of the photos I took were very flattering but you will have to take my word for it that they looks beautiful, too.

The main delight of the event for me was meeting Amine (Pronounced Eh-min I believe, and apologies to him if I’ve spelled it wrong!). Founder of the restaurant, he served us many of the dishes and explained to us what they were, if they were vegetarian and what they were made of. He came to sit with is while we were enjoying our pastries and Arabic Coffee and we chatted happily to him about his passion for serving fresh handmade food. Amine was delightful, sharing our enthusiasm for Liverpool, where my husband and I used to live, and also sharing our joy that so many Indie restaurants are finding a home in Manchester.

His main vision, he said, was to make sure his food was tasty enough and also very importantly, affordable enough to have families dine with him as often as they chose. His menu is very reasonably priced; his food, right down to even the dips was clearly hand made with love and care, and his staff were friendly and welcoming.

Thank you to Amine for hosting us, we had a wonderful time – my husband was the happiest I have seen him in a while when that dish of pastries was placed before him!

2015-11-21 15.01.21coffee

You can be sure we will come back, and I will tell everyone I know that Bakchich is delicious, and affordable.

Feeling the Lebanese vibe

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A sweet creation retro sweets box

Xmas Gifts for a Sweet Tooth!

This post falls into so many categories for me, I’m so excited about it!

Firstly, SWEETS! Secondly, Small & Local & Handmade Business! tick, tick tick!

But seriously, this post contains two beautiful candy-related items from two different sellers which would make great Christmas gifts for a loved one or a friend – the best thing about it is that they won’t break the bank, and you’ll be supporting a small business in the process.

First up are these Retro sweetie boxes from A Sweet Creation, A Manchester confectionery seller who also specialize in events.

These boxes cost only £5 each, and can be ordered directly from their Facebook page by following the link here! Items come giftwrapped and with a blank gingerbread man tag to write out. They always respond super quickly to messages, so don’t hesitate to have a chat about placing an order.


candy box!

Secondly, is a piece of jewellery almost good enough to eat!

If you have a female friend with a super sweet tooth and penchant for jewellery, then look no further than this ADORABLE miniature sweetie jar necklace, created by the very talented Caroline at Tiny Treat Boutique. Her pieces are exquisitely detailed and really reasonably priced. Go and have a browse of her Etsy shop for other pieces. You can get anything from hot dogs to cake! I chose this piece because I literally cannot resist a coconut wheel.

Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace
Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace

Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace Tiny Treat Boutique miniature pick and mix necklace

The detail is incredible, and the quality is brilliant. I love wearing this piece, almost as much as I love Pick n Mix!

Want more Christmas gift ideas for Booklovers? Or for that person who has geeky interests, ranging from insects to video games? Check out my Geek Pinterest board!

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Lunya deli manchester

It’s arrived – Lunya Deli opens in Manchester

Although I embrace my current Manc situation and the Manc way of life, I spent 4 years of my life in Liverpool where I studied at University. Liverpool is so much smaller than Manchester, yet in spite of that has a lot going on within it’s condensed city centre.

Bold street is the Northern Quarter of Liverpool. It has one of the oldest China Towns in the UK; Students form a  sizeable portion of the population of the city, and cultures live happily side by side in the  form of restaurants and eating establishments as you might expect in any multicultural city.

Nestled behind BBC Merseyside HQ just off Hanover street was a Catalan Deli & Restaurant called Lunya. Me and Matt (boyfriend back then, Husband now) used to visit there as often as budget allowed, and we absolutely loved the food. The vibe was simple, unpretentious. They let the food do all of the talking.

Can you imagine our delight when we heart it was making the journey along the M62 to Manchester?

Lunya deli manchester

We were invited to attend their launch evening last weekend, and we rubbed our hands together with excitement, keen to revisit old favourite dishes and perhaps try new ones- after all, they were offering 50% off the bill!

Barton Arcade Manchester
Barton Arcade – a jewel often overlooked on Manchester’s Deansgate

The new digs in the Stunning Barton Arcade on Deansgate are perfect. Walking in, I immediately felt at home with the simplistic interior of warm dark red walls and dark wooden furniture. We were seated at the bar and placed a drink ordered before being taken to our seats in the dining area upstairs.

Lunya deli bar

We ordered a number of dishes ; Croquettes (a personal addiction), Ox Cheeks (by far the most beautiful thing in existence), Cuttlefish with black rice, Goats Cheese, and a deli platter featuring delicious cuts of Spanish meats and hard cheeses.

All food comes at different times, and no single dish disappointed us in terms of presentation or flavour. You can browse their menu here but I note that some of the Manc specials are absent.

As well as their expansive tapas menu, Lunya offers a variety of world-wide gins, beautiful Spanish wines and has a fantastic cocktail menu – here’s my passion fruit Mojito!

20151024_183920 20151024_183910

Lunya comes along on the tide of a much welcomed culinary explosion in Manchester’s city centre in recent months, with the unveiling of eateries in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange alongside news of the expansion of well-loved Northern quarter restaurants into the Great Northern Building.

Not that Manchester could ever be accused of offering a lack of choice, it’s just that often one has to travel outside of the city to find the gems, when if you simply want to fall into the nearest place and be guaranteed a good meal, then the new openings will be sure to deliver just that.

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Lunya Deli

Icecream cologne from Library of Fragrance

Library of Fragrance Ice Cream Shop

This Summer saw the launch of a new and exciting fragrance for Library of Fragrance UK in the form of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice-cream. This is my favourite ice-Cream flavour ever, so I was super dooper excited about the launch, and from my point of view it’s a very welcome addition to the family!

You can also read more about my Library of Fragrance Collection reviews here:

Baby Powder / Fragrances for the Weather / Classic Combinations / Coconut and Freesia

Mint Choc Chip joins Vanilla, Strawberry and Pistachio to further add to the Ice-Cream family of colognes from LOF (Where oh where is chocolate, I hear you ask. Believe me, I’ve already asked!)

icecream scented cologne perfume from Library of Fragrance

I’m excited to be able to review this lovely little collection for you on the blog today.


WHAT IT REMINDS ME OF: a 99 cone (these should totally be renamed by the way, as they totally cost at least twice that.) I realise that the basis of a 99 is the vanilla soft serve ice cream, but i’m more thinking of that first lick, when you get that hit of strawberry sauce! Yummy!

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Barbados Cherry or Dark Chocolate for a more opulent Ice-cream Sundae approach, or a layer of Black Pepper.


WHAT IT REMINDS ME OF: Vanilla is vanilla. Not really a lot to be added!

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Freshen with Zingy Ginger or Grass, or add a fruity punch with Peach or Pina Colada!


WHAT IT REMINDS ME OF: I’ve never eaten Pistachio ice cream before, can you believe that? The Pistachio Ice Cream fragrance is slightly nutty, slightly sweet, cool and creamy.

PAIRING SUGGESTION: layer with Salt Air for a fresh touch, or Sunshine for a sweet and summery touch.


mint colonge

WHAT IT REMINDS ME OF: The creation of a ‘mint’ cologne has been one of the most frequent customer requests – wow! The scent is  fresh, cool and uplifting, and delicious at the same time!! I absolutely love it!

PAIRING SUGGESTION: Layer with Salt Air for a fresh touch, or chuck in pineapple for a fruity layer.



Is there another flavour of ice-cream you’d rather see? Or is have you any other fragrance ideas – Don’t forget you can view the #BottleThis Pinterest Board which I curate with Library of Fragrance here, and I can share all your ideas with their followers!

Read more about my Library of Fragrance Collection reviews here:

Baby Powder / Fragrances for the Weather / Classic Combinations / Coconut and Freesia

Keep up to date with my blog posts by hitting ‘follow’ in the sidebar- or you can find me on Bloglovin‘!

Library of fragrance UK ice cream scent

Solita Prestwich Menu

SoLita Manchester – Prestwich Launch

This weekend my husband and I visited our newly opened and local SoLita restaurant- Manchester’s finest burger restaurant in my opinion. There appears to be a bit of an abundance of the super-junk-food joints springing up across the city, but to me, SoLita has managed to remain honest and unpretentious (Almost Famous goes just a bit too far for me to enjoy eating there).

What we like about it, is if you don’t quite fancy a burger there’s still a great selection of delicious dishes in the form of Chicken, Steak, Fish or otherwise that you don’t miss out!

For the first 2 weeks of service there is 50% off the food bill, so its a great time to try it out if you’ve never been, or even if you have! We ended up paying a mere £40 and I had two cocktails. The same price as  TGI Friday’s and at least two times as good.

The Prestwich restaurant is sleek and cool, while managing to blend into it’s surroundings – apart from the trademark neon logo in the window and the lego brickwork that is!

We ordered Ribs, Wings Rings and Things for starter to share (What it says on the tin – the things being corn on the cob), which was delicious, totally gluttonous and finger lickin’ good.

Solita's Ribs, Wings, Rings and Things
Ribs, Wings, Rings and Things

We each ordered a burger, my husband opting for their famous “Big Manc” burger, and me for the Jack Daddy, with Sweet potato crinkles – so delicious!

Big Manc Solita
Holy mother of burgers
Jack Daddy - Beef patty, sticky Jack Daniels sauce with onion rings and monterey Jack cheese.
Jack Daddy – Beef patty, sticky Jack Daniels sauce with onion rings and monterey Jack cheese.

And because evidently that food wasn’t enough (!!!!!) we shared the SoLita Vanilla Icecream Donut Sandwich! Warm chocolate sauce with dark chocolate chunks… delicious!

vanilla icecream donut sandwich
vanilla icecream donut sandwich

These Prestwich digs make their restaurant number up to 3, with the Northern Quarter and Didsbury restaurants,too. All I can say is, long may it reign. The food is delicious, the service was great, and it helps that I live so close by so I can waddle home after eating so much food!

Thank you, Solita! Take a look at their menu – what do you fancy?

neon sign "Pho"

What the Pho?

Hello! This one is a bit of a foodie post for you today!

I recently attended a launch event for the Manchester branch of Pho (apparently the dish is pronounced “Fuh”),a Vietnamese street food restaurant which has restaurants in London and Leeds. It was actually my first foray into Vietnamese food, so I was glad to have a seasoned foodie at my side in Roisin of Dromomania blog!

The Restaurant has opened within the iconic Manchester Corn Exchange which nestles between the Manchester Cathedral and listed Tudor pub Sinclairs Oyster Bar. I’m so pleased that this incredible listed Edwardian building, previously used as a trading hub within the powerhouse of the North that it Manchester, is being revived and will be filled with people once more. There’s loads of placed opening where you can go for somewhere to eat, outside of the crazy hubub of the Northern Quarter.

Anyway, back to Pho.

The decor was industrial, with touches of street-style. Filament bulbs, neon signs and simple wooden topped tables and benches,with the odd graffiti art on the walls and exposed pipework- an idea setting for a street food restaurant! We were seated on a long bench and the menu was explained to us by a lovely waitress. Every table is set with a variety of chillli sauces (proceed with caution), Hoisin Sauce and soy.

neon sign "Pho"

Table setting

I ordered;


Cánh gà – Seasoned, crispy chicken wings served with srirachia &a portion of Prawn Crackers to share.

Verdict : Delicious! I love crispy chicken, and this didn’t disappoint. however it was served with the same sauce that is on the table – a little more inventiveness wouldn’t have gone amiss.

crispy chicken wings at Pho


Phở đặc biệt – Tiger prawns, tofu & flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock (or some variant of this, as the menus vary from sites!)

my husband's dish - I can't remember what he had!!!
my husband’s dish – I can’t remember what he had!!!

Phở đặc biệt - Tiger prawns, tofu & flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock

Verdict : This was served with a plate of herbs and spices and chilis that I could add at my leisure. I chucked in some mint and chilli, and some of the other herbs. This was a nice touch, as the broth of this dish can be a bit flat. You slurp this with a large wooden laden and chopsticks. I didn’t find this difficult at all, and actually quite fun! There could have been more beef for my taste, and the sauce really lacked seasoning (even with my added herbs!) Fun to eat, though, and tasty nonetheless.

We also ordered a good few sides to sample;

The morning glory went down really well, and was absolutely delicious! I love spinach anyway, and the dressing was divine.

Coffee & Tea

We ordered vietnamese coffee (Cà phê) out of curiosity, as it was served with delicious condensed milk! Actually quite a delicious Pick Me Up!

I also had a lemongrass and Ginger infused tea – a perfect digestif!


Couldn’t really fault it. We were served in a timely manner, and when I asked for extra care to be taken with regards to my peanut allergy, the staff were accommodating and conscientious. I ate happy and safely! We were offered drink refills regularly (fantastic Vietnamese beer by the way!) and the staff were happy to talk through the menu and dishes when asked.

Bia Saigon at Pho

Overall, I had a great time at Pho, and would go again to try different dishes and stick with some favourites! Thank you for having me, Pho!