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.

bakchich

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!

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

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Feeling the Lebanese vibe

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Disaronno Terrace at The Oast House w/ All We Are

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Hello everyone!

Yesterday evening I was invited to attend a special summer event held at The Oast House,  a beautiful rustic countryfarm-esque food and drink venue nestled in the heart of Spinningfields, Manchester’s financial district.

I was really excited for this,  as All We Are were playing a live set –  this trio, describing themselves as “Bee-gees on Diazipam” are really making waves in the music scene and I sense big things will come of them. I was lucky enough to get to see them perform at a small intimate gig at Manchester’s Deaf Institute in March of this year, and I jumped at the chance to see them perform here.

The Oast House is a really unique venue in Manchester, boasting a spacious open area with wooden tables scattered beneath a high-peaked canopy. This canopy came in rather useful,  as typically for a Manchester summer it began to pour it down! Guests were provided with big squashy outdoor cushions to furnish the steps around the periphery of the venue, lending it a cosy atmosphere all round.

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I could have drank so many Disaronno sours, too – So delicious!

At this event I also met with a fellow Manchester blogger,  DromomaniaMCR! Roisin was so lovely,  and while were waiting for the band we shared thoughts on all things to do with blogging in Manchester,  the North’s power house!

In spite of the terrible weather, All We Are rocked out a 45 minute set including ‘Ebb/Flow’, ‘Feel Safe’ and concluding with my favourite ‘Keep me Alive’. Norwegian Guro Gikling’s voice was absolutely on point all the way through, smashing out high warbling notes that seriously compromise spinal integrity. The handsome Irishman Richard O’Flynn took to the drums with zeal and energy, with Brazilian Luis Santos focused and zen-like as he created trippy echoing guitar loops and switched it up with the tambourine from time to time.

I was not disappointed with these guys, and would gladly watch them perform again and again.

All We Are on Set

 

All We Are on Set
Final song for the set, “Keep Me Alive”.

 

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