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.

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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…

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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.

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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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VERDICT

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.

 

 

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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.

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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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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?

Holly's Lollies

Holly’s Lollies – Gourmet Candy Lollipops!

Holly's Lollies

Holly's LolliesHello there!

Bringing a culinary delight to you today that I am very excited about! Please meet Holly’s Lollies, the fantastic gourmet lollipop company! Holly started to make lollipops during a summer break from University, and they were so good she began to be unable to keep up with demand! Now with her degree under her belt, Holly is ready to focus all her attention on her Business (she also has a food blog, Mess Makes Food – Gosh, isn’t she a busy lady!)

I got my mitts on some of these lollipops to taste and review for you all – aren’t I the lucky one?! They’re beautifully wrapped with colour coordinated string, and have the beautiful logo on brown paper labels.

Pina Colada

My main passion when it comes to Cocktails (and also perfume!) A beautiful warm yellow opaque lolly with a coating of desiccated coconut. It tastes EXACTLY like a Pina Colada – Rum, Coconut, Pineapple- it’s all there!

Caramel Latte

My husband claimed this one instantly, though I managed to steal it for a moment to get a taste. The caramel has a distinct cinder toffee vibe to it- it would make a perfect treat for Halloween or Bonfire Night!

The other flavours are as yet to be sampled (I didn’t want a sugar overload!) but I’m so excited to try them, if they’re as good as the other two!

One thing my husband and I both liked was that the stick was plastic – paper can be cuter but when you’ve got a long lasting lollipop like this it can turn to mush – yuck!

  • Raspberry & White Chocolate
  • Elderflower & Vanilla
  • Magical Mango

THE ONLY WAY to get these ahead of the launch date of 1st September is to support Holly in her Kickstarter Campaign. From as little as £3 you can support her small business AND get your hands on a lollipop flavour of your choice! Whopee! I’ll definitely be supporting Holly – will you?

Visit her on HollysLollies.co.uk – you can subscribe to a mailing list to keep up to date with the company! Find her on twitter too.

Remember to keep up to date with my posts by following here in wordpress (click the follow button on the right) or on Bloglovin‘!

Holly's Lollies

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Food : Propertea tearooms Manchester

Today I went out for a spot of tea and cake with a few friends to Manchester’s Propertea tearooms. Situated by the beautiful Manchester cathedral,  Propertea is a bright airy cafe,  a patchwork of reclaimed beautiful furniture, expansive white walls and filament bulbs.

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It prides itself on its teas, brewed from the leaf and served with a separate empty vessel to pour out your tea to ensure that it does not overbrew past your taste.

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At the counter there is a selection of cakes, behind which are the teas,  available also to buy to take away with you to brew at home.

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Each table has beautiful fresh flowers,  and the cakes are served on cute blue China plates.

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Have any of my Manchester based readers visited Propertea?

Jess xx

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