Some exciting announcements to make this week in food news, with an addition to Manchester’s booming fine dining scene as ex-Noma chef Simon Martin sets his sights on Ancoats for his first solo venture, Mana. Award winning, Bristol-based healthy fast food chain Friska launches in March and Odd Bar becomes Folk & Soul vegan restaurant. For the adventurous, head to Chorlton’s Barbecue for Into the Gathering Dust’s Spring Thing cocktail pop-up, and a roof terrace bar might be on it’s way to the stunning Barton Arcade rooftop in the very near future.

Mana to open in Ancoats
Manchester’s fine dining scene has been blossoming of late, with this month’s opening of Aiden Byrnes 20 Stories, and the recent announcement that Paco Perez will be heading up the kitchen at the Pep Guardiolo backed ‘Tast’. And now, it looks like there will be another destination restaurant on the cards with news that ex-Noma chef Simon Martin is planning an Ancoats venture. Martin will be leaving the 2 Michelin starred Copenhagen restaurant to return to the North-West and open up shop under the name Mana. An intimate affair, Mana will seat just 30 diners, and open 4 days a week for a set (but flexible) tasting menu of 10-15 courses. Martin hopes that the restaurant will be an interactive dining experience with an open kitchen where conversation between chefs, waiters and diners is actively encouraged.
Opening date and location TBA. Check back for more details coming soon.

Healthy fast food chain Friska to open in Manchester
Opening their 10th branch in Manchester, the award-winning healthy fast food chain will add to the growing number of independent chains moving North to Manchester after a successful start down South. Friska’s ‘feel-good’ ethos revolves around the idea that a meal grabbed on the go can be healthy, packed with flavour, and good for you (and the environment) too. Breakfasts include everything from locally sourced pastries and doughnuts, to peanut butter and jam toasties or smoked salmon, avocado and kale pots. On the lunch menu are hot filling butternut and black bean dopiaza hot boxes and crispy pork pho dishes. Friska is will open on the 12th of March in St. Peter’s Square (next to Wagamamas) for the worker bees of Manchester’s city centre offices.
Opening Mon 12 Mar. Friska, 2 St. Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 3AA.

Odd Bar to reopen as Folk & Soul vegan restaurant
Manchester’s Odd and Oddest bars closed suddenly without warning in January after their parent company’s financial difficulties came to a head. Thankfully both the Northern Quarter and Chorlton haunt have been rescued and will stay together as part of a new venture from Matt and Phred’s founder Matt Nickson and Annabel Holland. Teaming up with chef Adam Reagan, the Northern Quarter site will become Folk & Soul, an all-vegan restaurant to seat 100, serving up brunches, and late-night small plates. Even the brews will be vegan, as rumour has it Joseph Holt will be supplying a vegan house ale. Unsurprisingly, considering the new owner’s Jazz Club resume, upstairs will become a music venue playing host to funk, soul, folk and more. Plans have yet to be fully announced for the Wilbraham Road bar (site of Oddest), but we hear it will become Mash Tun, a cask ale bar.
Opening date TBA. Folk & Soul, 30-32 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1ER.

Cocktail pop-up at Chorlton’s Barbecue
For something a little different, Into the Gathering Dust, the creatively named cocktail pop-up night will be returning to Barbecue coffee shop and roastery in Chorlton on Saturday for a ‘Spring Thing’. Using foraged ingredients that embody the flavours of the seasons, these unconventional cocktails will be unlike anything you have tasted before. The menu includes a sea herb martini, manzanilla sherry with orange and almond orgeat, and a rhubarb and gorse flower daquari – to name just a few. DJs Dan Hope and Lee Andrews will be there to soundtrack the night so that two cocktails in, you’ll be dancing. Tickets cost £6, including one drink.
Sat 3 Mar, Barbeque, 486 Wilbraham Road, Manchester, M21 9AS. 7.30-12pm, £6 (includes one drink),

Buxton Brewery Tasting Room
Hop on a train and take a trip to Buxton Brewery’s weekend tasting room. The bar above the brewery launched in December and has been going strong ever since, with 6 keg lines installed and a large selection of bottled beers to choose from. There are two sessions a day, Saturday and Sunday, it costs £7 and you get 2 2/3 pints for that – not bad.
Sat & Sun, Buxton Brewery Company Ltd, Unit 4B Staden Lane Business Park, Staden Lane, Buxton, SK17 9RZ. 2-3pm / 4-7pm.

In short:

Barton Arcade to open rooftop bar
There is a dearth of rooftop bars in Manchester, a fact that usually rears its head on those (admittedly few) blazing hot summer days, but, fear not! Alongside the new roof terrace bar at the not-yet-open Now Wave Charles Street club, Barton Arcade will be opening a roof top bar in the stunning victorian glass domes that sit high above the pedestrian walkways. Hopefully the space will be open in time to catch some of 2018’s summer rays. The basement, two stories beneath the city, will be renovated and brought to life as a private members lounge – fancy! Watch this space for more information coming soon.
Opening date TBA. Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BW.

Deal of the week: Fish & chips at Randall & Aubin
Nipping round to the chippy is all well and good, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more civilised Randall & Aubin offer a tempting midweek fish and chips deal. Between 3pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday, you can enjoy a piece of prime Peterhead haddock with chips and a glass of fizz or a beer, all for just £12.50.
Offer available 3-6pm, Monday to Friday. Randall & Aubin, 64 Bridge Street, Manchester M3. Tel: 0161 711 1007,

For more food & drink events and news click here.

Wed 28 Feb - Sun 1 Apr
Olivia Rye
Published on:
Thu 1 Mar 2018